Self-drive Adventure to The Calchaquí Valleys

Self-drive Adventure to The Calchaquí Valleys

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  • Enjoy a self-drive trip to Argentina’s Calchaquí Valleys and explore the North of the country assisted by our local experts.
  • Drive through the valleys and visit Cachi and the pass-through Los Cardones National Park to see immense cacti. 
  • Visit Cafayate, the wine hub of the North, and taste the delicious Torreontés wine.
  • Best time to travel: Al year-round

Enjoy a 6-day self-drive travel experience to Argentina’s Calchaquí Valleys and explore the natural wonders of the north. Drive through the gorges of the valley and the daring Cuesta del Obispo. Discover the colonial architecture of the little northern villages, the regional museums and the traditional vineyards of Cafayate. This is not just a self-drive trip, we’ll share with you our insider tips to discover Northern Argentina and you’ll receive 24/7 assistance from our local experts!



Welcome to your self-drive trip to Argentina


  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel 

Upon arrival at Salta, you will be driven to your hotel and have the rest of the afternoon to explore the city. 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 monuments of the area like the Calchaquí Valleys.


  • Meet our local guide 
  • and pick up your car 


At the appropriate time, you’ll meet our local guide who will brief and share all the information you need for your trip. Then you’ll pick up your car at the car rentals office located downtown. 



From Salta to Cachi
Calchaquí Valleys


  • Self-drive tour to Cachi and the Calchaquí Valleys

Start your self-drive adventure through Argentina driving to the Calchaquí Valleys,  where little pre-Columbian villages spread all over the place, with amazing gorges backdropped by multi-colored mountains. Leave Salta early in the morning, there is a lot to see before arriving at Cachi where you’ll spend the night!


Directions for today:

  • Leave Salta in the morning, taking RN 68 driving through the Quebrada de Escoipe valley and reach the town of El Carril. Enjoy some of Northern Argentina’s most fabulous countryside!
  • Take the RP38 passing through lush, jungle-like vegetation as you follow the Escape River. Continue for 80 km, the landscape will change little by little as the road climbs into the mountains and the air becomes drier.
  • Entered the section of the highway known as the Cuesta del Obispo which meanders up the mountainside. Make a stop at Piedra del Molino viewpoint (3620 meters), where you will enjoy a wonderful panoramic view. Sometimes you may find artisans selling their crafts nearby.
  • Take the 13-km Tin Tin straightway 600 meters below, that cuts through Los Cardones National Park (a cardon is a cactus that grows in a typical candlestick fashion). Inside the park, you may see some animals like the vicuña and condors! 
  • Continue until reaching RN40, passing by the native village of Payogasta. This is a paved route, except for a 25 km stretch of gravel road in very good condition and well signposted
  •  Reach Cachi after midday


The self-drive adventure of today will take you to travel along 170 km, mostly paved road except for 25 km of gravel road in the RN40, and for 3h 30 min (plus the time spent on-site). 



Drive from Cachi to Cafayate


  • Self-drive trip from Cachi to Cafayate

Today you will leave Cachi behind and head to Seclantas whose townsfolk are known for theirexcellent knitting skills, especially ponchos. Then continue to Molinos, a town founded in the 17th century where you’ll appreciate the beautiful architecture of its adobe houses, and towards Angastaco. Your next stop will be San Carlos, where we recommend that you visit the town square and church, built on the banks of the Las Flechas River. Your last stop will be Cafayate where you’ll spend the night. Cafayate wine is renowned in Argentina, especially because of the star product of the region: the Torrontes wine. We recommend that you take some time to visit the wineries of the area and its wine museum.


Directions for today:

  • Leave Cachí through RN40 and on the way visit Seclantas, Molinos, Angastaco, San Carlos and reach Cafayate.


The self-drive journey of today will take you to travel along 165 km of gravel road (be careful during the rainy season since the road may be washed out), and for 5 hours (plus the time spent on-site). 



Day at leisure in Cafayate


  • Day at leisure in Cafayate

Take the day to immerse yourself in the landscapes and tours to explore Cafayate. If you are interested in an optional tour, we recommend that you rent a bike and visit Piatelli vineyards!


Drive from Cafayate to Salta


  • Self-drive from Cafayate to Salta 

In the morning you will leave Cafayate and return to Salta through the Cafayate Gorge. There are plenty of charming attractions to see along this route, and you could easily stop around every curve to take wonderful pictures. Don’t miss the amazing rock formations like Garganta del Diablo, El Fraile and the Anfiteatro.


Directions for today:

  • Take RN68 and follow the Las Conchas River through the valley called Quebrada de Cafayate until reaching Salta. 


Today’s self-drive adventure will take you to travel 190 km of paved road for 3h 30min. 



The end of your self-drive trip to Argentina and the Calchaquí Valleys


  • Self-drive from your hotel to Salta airport – Drop off your car

This is the end of your amazing self-drive experience in Argentina! At the appropriate time, you will drive from Salta to the airport and return the vehicle at the car rental office.


Directions for today:

  • Drive through the RN51 for 25 minutes until you reach the airport. 


Today’s self-drive trip will take you to travel 12 km of paved road for 25 minutes.  



If this trip doesn’t meet your expectations we can tailor it to your needs and budget.

Prices per person



USD 840

View INN & B&B Hotels



USD 970

View Comfort Hotels



USD 1105

View Superior Hotels


  • Prices in US Dollars.
  • Valid until April 2024 (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.


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. It feels good to do it right. Learn more about our actions against climate change here.


  • 2-night accommodation in Salta
  • 2-night accommodation in Cafayate
  • 1-night accommodation in Cachi
  • Daily Breakfast
  • Transfer as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Car rental vehicle as detailed in the itinerary
  • Days of rental: 6 days
  • GPS device
  • Roadmap 
  • Self-drive kit
  • Check the coverages and credit card hold here
  • Check the policies here
  • Bilingual English / Spanish speaking guide for self-drive briefing


  • International or domestic flights or buses 
  • Any services or meals not detailed in this itinerary 
  • Optional tours 
  • Entrance fees to museums, natural reserves, national parks, etc. 
  • Tips and personal expenses 
  • Travel / Medical Insurance 



No flights needed for this trip. Trip starts and finishes at Salta.


No flights needed for this trip. Trip starts and finishes at Salta.