Northern Argentina, Chile & Uyuni Salt Flats

Plan your adventure

  • Take some of our most adventurous tours like traversing the Uyuni Salt Flats in a 4×4 and exploring the strange figures that the wind have carved into the towering rocks of the Atacama Desert.
  • Fly to the North of Argentina and stay in Salta and Jujuy
  • Visit Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile, the most impressive capital cities in South America
  • Best time to travel: All year round
 

The North has always been a magical region of Argentina. Nothing compares to the outstanding colors of Purmamarca Hill, the green vastness of Calchaqui Valley, and the humble hearts of the local Northerners. During this 17-day adventurous travel itinerary to South America you’ll discover the northern region of Argentina, as well as the best of Bolivia and Chile! 

Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to your adventure travel itinerary to South America
Buenos Aires

  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel - Day at leisure

 

  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel – Day at leisure

Upon arrival,we will drive you to the city and you’ll have the rest of the day to enjoy Buenos Aires at your own pace. Buenos Aires is a marvelous, energetic, cosmopolitan city, full of color and different styles of architecture. 

The capital of Argentina, and described as the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires proudly embraces its title, and also shows off plenty of its own culture! Argentinians are usually eager to host visitors; if you walk the streets with a map, someone will surely stop and ask if you need directions…that’s just our spirit! 

 

Say Hueque Tips

Our recommendations for your first day of your travel itinerary to South America:

  • Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, che! (“che” means “guy” in Argentina). For this first day, feel free to wander the cobblestone streets lined with outdoor cafes, enjoy the mouthwatering aroma of world-famous Argentine beef sizzling on an open parrilla (barbeque), and browse the local antique and artisan markets that offer plenty of bargain shopping.

 

Day 1

Day 2

Buenos Aires city tour & tango show

  • Half-day city tour through Buenos Aires
  • Dinner and Tango Show

 

  • Half-day city tour through Buenos Aires

In the morning we will pick you up from your hotel to enjoy our 5-hour Buenos Aires city tour—you will be swept away by the highlights of our beloved Buenos Aires! Over the course of a half-day you will have the chance to visit the historical and political center of the city; Plaza de Mayo and the Pink House (the presidential house).

Next, we’ll move on to San Telmo, with its cobblestone streets and the oldest residential neighborhood, and then to La Boca where Buenos Aires turns colorful and tango is ever-present. Come walk Caminito street and dance with the locals. The next stop is the chic and aristocratic Recoleta, where the big palaces remind us why Buenos Aires is called the “Paris of the South”.

 

  • Dinner and Tango Show 

In the evening we’ll pick you up from your hotel to take you to a mystical place where you’ll discover one of our most ancient traditions. Tango is more than our national dance… tango is our immigrant origins, the talent of our local artists, the sensuality of Argentine women and our way to deal with a broken heart; dancing our way through tragic, and yet eternal, love stories.

Tonight you will enjoy a 3-hour professional display of tango and music with a group of local artists onstage immersed in an elegant and alluring place. The manners, ambience, clothes and dance steps which tango-lovers used to practice 100 years ago will come to life again and you will travel back in time for a night.

This spectacular tango show in Buenos Aires will be accompanied by delicious Argentine and international cuisine. Dinner is all-inclusive, beverages included so you can lose yourself in the ethereal taste of Malbec wine. At the end of the evening, around midnight, you will be driven back to your hotel, fully in love with the bohemian spirit of our incredible city.

 

Say Hueque Tips

  • What you need to know about tango culture in Buenos Aires

Tango is, all in all, a cultural experience that’s deeply rooted in Argentine hearts. Where do regular people go to dance tango? There are an immense number of dance halls or milongas in Buenos Aires. Some of our favorites are La Viruta -beginners friendly- and Salon Canning -with more advanced clientele- in Palermo neighbourhood. Tango has evolved a big deal in the past years, and now there are also LGBT milongas that encourage a most inclusive practice. 

Day 2

Day 3

Adventure trip to South America
Travel to Salta

  • Transfer from your hotel to Buenos Aires airport
  • Transfer to the airport to your hotel in - Day at leisure

 

  • Transfer from your hotel to Buenos Aires airport

Get prepared to fly to the beautiful North of Argentina. Your first stop will be the famous city of Salta!  We’ll pick you up from your hotel and drive you to the domestic airport to take a 2-hour flight.

 

  • Transfer to the airport to your hotel in – Day at leisure

Upon arrival, we’ll meet at the airport and we’ll drive you to your hotel. Take the rest of the afternoon to explore the city. Bear in mind that this is a stress-free hub: la siesta (mid-day nap) is kind of a religious ritual for locals, which means that between 1 pm and 5 pm shops are usually closed.

Salta is the selected jumping-off point for travelers seeking to explore the North of Argentina. From here, you can visit the most outstanding natural wonders of the area: the Humahuaca Gorge, and the Seven Colors Hill located in Jujuy, a bordering province which is also famous worldwide.

 

Say Hueque Tips

What to do on your first day touring Salta?

Salta has it all: the geographical diversity (red, green and brown-tinted mountains) and the vast history—it is in these time-honored lands that men fought for the freedom of Argentina. Make the most of your time in the city and:

  • Admire the colonial architecture, the lively cafés in the main plaza (great people-watching spot) and try the traditional “tamales”.
  • Visit the vibrant and authentic peñas, which are places where locals grab a table to watch their favorite folkloric singers, and after a glass of wine (or two) everyone joins in for dancing. “¿Bailamos?” (Shall we dance?): it’s all you need to say to start the party!

 

Day 3

Day 4

Adventure travel itinerary to South America
Salta - Calchaquí Valley

  • 2-day trip through the Calchaquí Valleys - Night in Cafayate
  • Visit wineries in Cafayate

 

  • 2-day trip through the Calchaquí Valleys

We’ll pick you up from your hotel in Salta and leave behind the Lerma Valley to visit Laures and Escoipe, the first two gorges of this 12-hour excursion. The landscapes will still remain green, but colors will definitely begin to change when we approach the Cuesta del Obispo, the windiest and most spectacular road in this area. We’ll climb up to 11,000 feet high—get prepared to see the world from above!

This is the connective road to get to the high valleys, where the Calchaqui Valley wine region sits. We’ll see enormous cactus while passing through Los Cardones National Park on our way to Cachi, a famous village where Spanish and native tradition combines to form the most beautiful architecture.

In the afternoon, continue with your exploration of the valleys and reach the town of Molinos and Angastaco, just before visiting Las Flechas Gorge, a special rocky formation which creates a labyrinth of sharp, high peaks. After going down its mysterious passages, we’ll get to Cafayate where we’ll spend the night.

Cafayate is one of the most popular destinations of the Calchaqui Valley wine region. Cafayate wine is renowned in Argentina, especially because of the star product of the region: the Torrontes wine.

 

  • Visit wineries in Cafayate

Enjoy the end of the day in this picturesque town while sipping on a drink at sunset in the main square, or maybe a Malbec ice cream from a traditional gelato shop. Since there are many surrounding wineries, we thought that a visit to one or two of them could be interesting for you… so we’ve already scheduled it! According to weather and timetables, you will be able to partake in this memorable tour either on your arrival day or the day after.  

 

Day 4

Day 5

Salta
Calchaquí Valley tour

  • Calchaquí Valley Excursion - Night in Salta

 

  • Calchaquí Valley Excursion – Night in Salta

On the second day of this Calchaqui Valley adventure you’ll leave Cafayate and be directly immersed into the forbidding universe of Las Conchas Gorge, where erosion has carved mysterious red shapes into the rocks. Get prepared to visit this Natural Reserve for about 5 hours, and to enjoy the views of its colorful hills while you go down its red-tinted promontories and discover the most prominent rocky highlights: the Frog, the Obelisk and the Castles.

The highlight of the day will be the Amphitheater and the famous Devil’s Throat. The amphitheater is a natural semicircular formation (65 feet high), and is home to intimate concerts performed by local artists. Get inside and check out the amazing acoustics by singing your favorite tune! Nearby, the Devil’s Throat awaits at the end of Las Conchas Gorge. Going down this particular rocky formation, you’ll feel as though you’re right in the belly of a giant!

At the end of the day, we’ll take you back to Salta. Enjoy the evening by eating an empanada salteña, a special variation of this classic Argentine dish.

 

Day 5

Day 6

Salta and Jujuy tours
Visit Humahuaca

  • Full-day visit to Humahuaca Gorge - Night in Jujuy

 

  • Full-day visit to Humahuaca Gorge  – Night in Jujuy

We’ll pick you up early in the morning and take you on a 12-hour adventure to Humahuaca Gorge, a famous UNESCO Heritage Site, another natural highlight of your adventure travel itinerary to South America . Humahuaca Gorge is home to a bunch of amazing natural monuments like the Hill of Seven Colors, the Pucará de Tilcara (a ramshackle, yet well-restored native fortress), and the Paleta del Pintor (Painter’s Palette) in Maimará village, another impressive multi-colored mountain range.

On your way to Humahuaca you’ll see some peculiar paintings of the colonial period (called Pinturas Cuzqueñas) at the little Uquía Church, and finally, pass by the famous Tropic of Capricorn milestone.  Wander among their traditional houses and streets, and get a feel for the old-world languor that still survives in this setting. 

At the end of the day, we’ll drive you to your hotel in the traditional village of Purmamarca.

Day 6

Day 7

Discover Jujuy
Day at leisure in Purmamarca

  • Day at leisure - Optional trek Los Colorados

 

  • Day at leisure – Optional trek Los Colorados

Purmamarca, located at the base of Jujuy’s famed Hill of Seven Colors, is one of the most peaceful places to visit in the North of Argentina. It’s really easy to get around on foot, and the downtown is quite quaint.

For your free day in Purmamarca, we recommend that you take the 2-mile trek called Los Colorados, which will allow you to explore the Hill of Seven Colors up-close and personal. This is an easy trek that you can start just a few minutes outside of town.

You’ll discover… imposing red-striped hills, a wind tunnel (hold on to your hat, the wind is really intense!) and other-worldly rocky structures that have been carved out by the wind. Take your time on this adventure; this is a stress-free spot.

Day 7

Day 8

Travel adventure to South America
Travel to Chile - San Pedro de Atacama

  • Bus to San Pedro de Atacama (Chile)

 

  • Bus to San Pedro de Atacama (Chile)

Early in the morning, you will make your way to the bus station and take the bus to San Pedro de Atacama.

During this 12-hour journey you will cross the Andes through the “Paso de Jama”, one of the highest-altitude international passes in the world. What will you see during the trip? The natural solitude of the Altiplano and the winding road dropping behind the mountains.

You’ll finally reach San Pedro de Atacama, a small city of little adobe houses, unpaved streets and cozy restaurants, which is the base to begin exploring one of Chile’s most spectacular environments. Make your own way to your hotel and begin an adventurous journey that involves multicolored moon-type landscapes, incredible geysers and huge volcanoes! 

 

Say Hueque Tips

  • What to do in San Pedro de Atacama?

San Pedro de Atacama is also one of the best places to stargaze in the whole world. With this altitude, you’ll see the clearest skies of your life. Make sure you don’t waste the opportunity… get out there and chase some starlight!

Day 8

Day 9

Discover Chile
Atacama tours - Explore the Moon Valley

  • Half-day Moon Valley tour

 

  • Half-day Moon Valley tour

Today, we’ll pick you up from your hotel to depart on a 4-hour adventure in the Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley); an out-of-this-world place. Driving straight into the desert, we’ll start noticing mysterious forms of salt and clay as we get closer to the “Three Marias”. These statues are the female guardians of this cosmic desert, so don’t forget to bow and make a wish to them before you continue. The Atacama Desert is one of the world’s driest and most hostile zones.

After this first encounter, take a winding, hidden path to the Salt Caves, and discover the peculiar salt gemstones that have formed over centuries from the lack of humidity and the altitude of this zone. The highlight of your adventure will appear at sunset, when all the colors of this incredible landscape change their palette.

The forbidding Licancabur Volcano will turn pink while the valley awaits the rise of its lunar mother. After the excursion, you will be dropped off in downtown Atacama, and from there you can make your way back to your hotel on your own.

 

Day 9

Day 10

San Pedro de Atacama
Tatio Geysers tour and Machuca

  • Half-day Tatio Geysers and Machuca

 

  • Half-day Tatio Geysers and Machuca 

This morning, you’ll visit another highlight of the Atacama region: Geysers del Tatio. First, you will travel to where the crevices of the Earth exhale their millenary breath. At about 4 a.m., we’ll pick you up to take you 60 miles away from San Pedro de Atacama into the Andes for an 8-hour trip to see the geothermal field of Geysers del Tatio (the highest in the world). Here, you’ll see 40 geysers and 70 hot springs fighting against the super low temperatures of the first morning hours (their waters can reach up to 185 °F). Take the most impressive photos, swim in the Tatio Spring’s rich mineral waters, and enjoy a complete breakfast with this magnificent backdrop.

On your way back, visit the quaint village of Machuca (at 13,000 f.a.s.l), with barely 20 adobe houses and a traditional church that locals visit daily to ask the Virgin to give them water. This is the perfect opportunity to get closer to the mountain culture of the region, and to try one of the best sopaipilla in Chile (a fried tortilla)! 

At the end of the experience we’ll drive you back to San Pedro de Atacama for lunchtime.

Day 10

Day 11

Travel adventure to South America
Travel to Uyuni Salt Flats

  • 3-day tour to Bolivia - Uyuni Salt Flats

 

  • 3-day tour to Bolivia – Uyuni Salt Flats 

Few people are prepared to live a true adventure in South America. During this 3-day trip to Uyuni Salt Flats you will live more than one, guaranteed! The journey to Uyuni is different than anything you might have experienced before. Why? There are a few reasons; shimmering salt flats stretching as far as the eye can see, pink flamingos living in the highest lake on Earth, colossal volcanos, and multi-colored waters — see what we mean?

In the early morning we’ll pick you up from your hotel to start a 10-hour trip in which you’ll cross borders and have your first glimpses of some jaw-dropping Bolivian landscapes. We’ll pass through Chile and Bolivia immigration offices and, once on the Bolivian side and at 14,435 feet above sea level, you will change transportation to a 4WD jeep with a maximum capacity of 6 people.

During the first day, you’ll visit the National Park Eduardo Avaroa and see the Bolivian high plain,  Laguna Verde, and Laguna Blanca (Green and White Lagoons), all lying at the base of the enormous Licancabur Volcano. The next stop will be the aptly named ‘Dali Desert’ (or Valley), a part of the larger Siloli Desert. If you thought nature was already surrealistic in Bolivia, get prepared for all of your expectations to be blown away. 

Locals named this valley after some of Salvador Dali’s masterpieces which picture similar landscapes: unexpectedly-shaped rocky formations isolated on a 15,600-foot sandy plain. What you must look out for in Dali Desert is the Árbol de Piedra (Tree Stone), a volcanic rock formation which is an impressionable example of nature’s artwork.

You’ll be amazed by the thermal water pools (or “foreigners soup” as locals jokingly call it), and the Sol de Mañana geysers, which are intermittent explosions of underground water coming up at 194º F.

The journey ends at Laguna Colorada (Red Lagoon, named after the red algae which grows beneath the waters), the main nesting center for more than 30,000 flamingos of 3 different species, as well as alpacas which graze nearby. These places are located at an average height of  14,764 feet above sea level, and it is probable that you will spot native flora and fauna including flamingos, vicuñas and other animals.

 

Say Hueque Tips

Things to take into account:

  • You’ll spend the night in a basic shelter, consisting of shared rooms for 6 people each. Please note, since you will be visiting a remote and lesser-developed area, the accommodation is simple. It is important that you bring a sleeping bag to spend the night, especially during the months of June, July, August and September (they can also be rented upon arrival).
  • This day you will be crossing the border between Chile and Bolivia. Please note that Bolivia requests the certificate of a yellow fever vaccine to enter the country, and a visa for citizens of some countries.  Please, check if you need these requirements before traveling. You can apply for a travel visa at your home country’s Consulate
Day 11

Day 12

Discover Bolivia
4WD Adventure to the Salt Hotel

  • Visit to Siloli Desert and the Salt Hotel

 

  • Visit to Siloli Desert and the Salt Hotel

Welcome to the second day of your Bolivia adventure! You will have an 8-hour excursion to visit the Siloli Desert, surrounded by the great Uyuni Salt Flats and some colorful lagoons. Keep on exploring the rock formations carved by wind erosion and hit the next circuit of colored high plain lagoons, Laguna Honda and Cañapa, with their brackish and gleaming waters.

Take a moment to admire the particular vegetation of the coastline; its teal-colored waters where the great Caquena, Tapaquillcha and Cañapa volcanoes reflect their images. You’ll be able to see flamingos here, but remember that they are very sensitive animals, so please don’t feed them, and try to take pictures from afar.

Afterwards, we will continue to Chiguana salt flat, which is crossed by a railway that is still in use, and continue to the town of San Juan, a one-street village where little more than its adobe church and graveyard can be found. Sitting nearby is your special accommodation for the night, the Salt Hotel, and this is not just a symbolic name. In this hotel, most of the facilities are made of salt; salt tables, salt chairs, and salt couches. Enjoy a hot shower and a mineral-filled, restful sleep.

 

Day 12

Day 13

Discover Bolivia
4WD Adventure to Uyuni

  • Uyuni Salt Flats and transfer to the village of Villa Mar

 

  • Uyuni Salt Flats and transfer to the village of Villa Mar

Today we’ll take on the Bolivian highlight of this adventure travel itinerary to South America: the great Uyuni Salt Flats. We’ll depart bright and early in the morning to start our 6-hour outing. First, we’ll take a general tour around the widest (6,575 miles) and highest (11,975 feet above sea level) gleaming salt flats in the world. Come to grips with this open and endless space.

Challenge your eyes: sky and earth will seem to merge on the horizon during rainy season (November-March) when the endless brackish desert floods. But don’t worry, the salt always glistens brilliantly during the dry season too — no matter the time of year, you’re sure to see a natural spectacle that’s hard to forget.

The expedition will continue towards Isla Incahuasi, the island amid salt flats, which is the perfect place to catch a spectacular sunrise. Then, it’s time to test out your modeling skills for the famous perspective photos every traveler comes to get. It’s always a funny and creative moment for everyone, and a good souvenir to take back home.

We’ll continue on our way towards the eyes of the salt flats (two perfectly round pools) before heading to the town of Colchani, located at the limits of the Uyuni Salt Flats,  where you can buy local handcrafts. The day will finish in a mystical place; a train cemetery. Covered in piles of abandoned train bodywork, this will be the best scenery for the final pictures of this adventurous journey. From here, you will head to the tranquil Uyuni City, where you will arrive in the late afternoon and have time to explore.

Say goodbye to Bolivia! We’ll drive you back across the border and after 4 hours we’ll reach Villa Mar, a small village where you’ll spend the night.

Day 13

Day 14

Back to San Pedro de Atacama

  • Transfer from Villa Mar to San Pedro de Atacama - Day at leisure

 

  • Transfer from Villa Mar to San Pedro de Atacama – Day at leisure

Today, we’ll drive you back to San Pedro de Atacama, where you’ll arrive around midday and have the rest of the afternoon to relax. Enjoy the evening eating a pastel de choclo (a corn cake) at one of the classic restaurants on Caracoles Street (the main road), or maybe buy some artesanías (handcrafted souvenirs) at the market. Be bold in this secluded corner of the globe, and mingle with locals in the unpaved roads.

Day 14

Day 15

Travel Adventure to South America
Fly to Santiago de Chile

  • Transfer to Calama airport
  • Transfer from Santiago airport to your hotel - Day at leisure

 

  • Transfer to Calama airport

Today we’ll drive you to Calama airport for your flight to Santiago, the bustling capital of Chile. 

 

  • Transfer from Santiago airport to your hotel – Day at leisure

Upon arrival, we’ll pick you up from the airport and take you to the city. Tour Santiago de Chile at your own pace!

Located between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, this modern city offers all kinds of attractions for curious travelers. From different viewpoints in the city, you can see the natural beauty surrounding Santiago; the snow-capped mountains and the beautiful Valle del Maipo, where the best Chilean wine is produced.

Santiago de Chile is known as the home of Pisco Sour, the beautiful Santa Lucia Hill and the “Sanhattan” district, which is a stylish fusion between Manhattan and Santiago; heaven on earth for enthusiastic shoppers.  

 

Say Hueque Tips

  • What can you do on your first day wandering Santiago?

Enjoy your first evening in the city by visiting a museum in the Bellavista district which used to be the home of Pablo Neruda, a famous Chilean writer, and then wander the streets of Bellavista, the most bohemian and colorful district in Santiago, passing by traditional cafes, restaurants and pubs.

 

Day 15

Day 16

Santiago de Chile tours

  • Half-day city Tour in Santiago de Chile

 

  • Enjoy a guided city tour and discover the highlights of Santiago de Chile

Today we’ll pick you up from your hotel and take you to a 4-hour exploration of the city! Visit the beautiful Santa Lucía Hill, a famous downtown garden from where you’ll have the best views over the city, and the Hidalgo Castle, which was a fortress during the time of the Spanish Conquest.

Continue the tour by traveling to Plaza Constitucion, the central square of Santiago, where you can admire the La Moneda building, the current house of the government. From there, walk to Plaza de Armas while your tour guide illuminates some interesting facts about Chilean history, culture and architecture. From Plaza de Armas you can see the Metropolitan Cathedral, the permanent residence of the archbishop.

Next you’ll explore the Central Market, the Mapocho Station and the Museum of Fine Arts, before ending this urban exploration at the top of San Cristobal Hill, the second-highest lookout of the city. Enjoy your free time at San Cristobal Hill sipping a “mote con huesillo” or a traditional pisco while admiring the amazing barrios of Santiago. At the end of the tour, we’ll drive you back to your hotel to enjoy the rest of the evening.

Day 16

Day 17

The end of your travel adventure to South America

  • Transfer from your hotel to the airport

 

  • Transfer from your hotel to the airport

Time to go home, but not empty-handed! At the appropriate time we’ll take you to the airport to take your flight back home.

Is there still a place that you missed visiting? Maybe a traditional dish you couldn’t taste, or a hill you couldn’t hike? Don’t fret… because we have many more travel itineraries that are ready for your next travel adventure in South America. Read about it all!

Day 17

Prices per person

INN & B&B

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USD 2858

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Confort

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USD 3113

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Superior

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USD 3584

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Luxury

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  • Prices in US Dollars.
  • Valid until April 2022 (ask for prices in Christmas and New Year).
  • Prices are per person, based on 2 people in double occupancy. Single rates are available on request.
  • Flights are not included in the price, but can be arranged on request.
  • We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you book with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset. We are working to create more sustainable, responsible and meaningful ways of exploring South America.

INCLUDED

  • Transfers and tours mentioned in the itinerary
  • 2-night accommodation (Buenos Aires), 2-night accommodation (Salta), 1-night accommodation (Cafayate), 2-night accommodation (Purmamarca), 4-night accommodation (San Pedro de Atacama), 2-night accommodation (Santiago de Chile)
  • Daily breakfast 
  • Bilingual guide (English / Spanish, except in Bolivia where there is just a Spanish-speaking driver)
  • Meals: Snacks & dinner (day 2), lunch & dinner (day 11,12,13)

NOT INCLUDED

  • International or domestic flights or buses
  • National Park entrance fees
  • Travel / Medical Insurance – To get a free quote please follow this link: World Nomads
  • Visa for Bolivia – Citizens from the United States and Australia need to obtain a visa prior to the trip. Please check the requirements with the consulate of your country.

FLIGHTS NEEDED
FOR THIS ITINERARY

Buenos Aires – Salta – Calama- Santiago (Chile)

Flights in South America cost approximately $150 to $300 USD per segment (destination). We offer special rates on flights for this tailor-made itinerary.

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