Northern Argentina Self-drive

Plan your adventure

  • Enjoy a self-drive trip to Argentina’s northern natural treasures and explore Salta and Jujuy assisted by our local experts.
  • Drive through Salta and visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site called Huamhuaca Gorge.
  • Marvel at the picturesque village of Purmamarca and visit the Great Salt Flats.
  • Best time to travel: Al year-round
 

Enjoy a 5-day self-drive travel experience through Northern Argentina and explore incredible landscapes of multicolored mountains. Discover the natural marvel of Humahuaca Gorge, travel on high to visit gleaming salt flats, meet northerners, and learn about their ancient culture. This is not just a self-drive trip, we’ll share with you our insider tips to discover Patagonia and you’ll receive 24/7 assistance from our local experts!

 

Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to your self-drive trip to Argentina

  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel
  • Meet our local guide and pick up your car

 

  • 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: the Humahuaca Gorge, or the Seven Colours Hill in Jujuy, a bordering province which is also famous worldwide.

 

  • 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 self-drive trip to northern Argentina. Then you’ll pick up your car at the car rentals office located downtown. 

 

Day 1

Day 2

From Salta to the Salt Flats
Night in Purmamarca

  • Self-drive tour to Purmamarca and the Salt Flats

 

  • Self-drive tour to Purmamarca and the Salt Flats

Start your self-drive adventure through Argentina and the North very early in the morning, heading northwest to Campo Quijano until reaching the small town of Santa Rosa de Tástil, which was once one of South America’s major cities in the pre-Inca era. Then you’ll visit San Antonio de los Cobres where you may choose to have lunch at one of the scarce but cozy restaurants in the area. At the end of the day, reach the Great Salt Flats, the amazing white solid ocean of the north. Finally, take the Cuesta del Lipan, an undulating stretch in zigzag that provides outstanding views to reach Purmamarca, located at the base of Jujuy’s famed Seven Color Hill, where you’ll spend the night.

 

Directions for today:

  • Head northwest to Campo Quijano through RN51. Keep driving for the next 100 km until reaching the small town of Santa Rosa de Tástil.
  • Drive north through RN51 until you reach San Antonio de Los Cobres.
  • Continue driving for the next two hours through RN40 and head to Susques.
  • Then, take the RN52 heading to the Salt Flats. Remember to drive carefully through the gravel road! 
  • Drive south through RN52 through Cuesta del Lipan. Be especially careful with heavy truck traffic heading to Paraguay and Chile.
  • Continue driving to Purmamarca. 

 

The self-drive adventure of today will take you to travel along 418 km of paved and gravel road for 10 hours. 

 

Day 2

Day 3

Optional self-drive to Pucará de Tilcara
Purmamarca

  • Optional self-drive to Pucará de Tilcara

 

  • Optional self-drive to Pucará de Tilcara

Enjoy your day at leisure and explore the surroundings of Purmamarca. We suggest that you rise early in the morning and take the short walk through Camino de los Colorados, when the mountain is bathed in sunlight and there are fewer hikers around. 

After this walk, you can visit the Pucará de Tilcara archeological ruins, a former fortress constructed by the tilcaras, natives of the area, and located on a hill just outside the small town of Tilcara (an approximately 15-minute walk away). Once in Tilcara, you can also visit the botanical garden and Tilcara museum.

 

To reach Tilcara:

  • Drive east through RN52 for about 3,3 km until RN 9.
  • Continue driving north for about 21,6 km until you reach the town of Tilcara.
  • In Tilcara, turn right to catch Villafañe Ave. 
  • Turn left on the third intersection with Belgrano street. 
  • Turn right to follow through Ernesto Padilla St, until you reach the access to the Pucará. 

 

The self-drive adventure of today will take you to travel along 27,2 km of paved road for 1 hour (plus the time spent on-site). 

 

Day 3

Day 4

From Purmamarca to Salta
Visit Humahuaca gorge

  • Self-drive to the Humahuaca gorge

 

  • Self-drive to the Humahuaca Gorge

Continue your self-drive adventure trip to North Argentina by exploring the famous Humahuaca Gorge, flanked by the high plateau of the Puna and painted in the shades of pink, red and gray. This is a UNESCO heritage site, following the line of a major cultural route: the Inca Trail. You will be able to see the picturesque towns of Maimara, Tilcara, Humahuaca and Uquía, passing through many beautiful mountains like “Paleta del Pintor” and “Pollera de la Kolla” among others. We suggest you make a stop at Humahuaca town for a quick lunch and maybe buy some souvenirs from the artisan shops, you will find the best prices here! At Uquía you may want to visit the tiny church, famous for its paintings of “Ángeles arcabuceros” before returning to Salta. 

 

Directions for today:

  • Drive north through RN9 discovering the spectacular Humahuaca Gorge.
  • Drive south through RN9 for the next 4 hours and return to Salta.

 

The self-drive adventure of today will take you to travel along 320 km of paved road for 5 hours (plus the time spent on-site). 

 

Day 4

Day 5

The end of your self-drive trip to North Argentina

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

 

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

This is the end of your amazing self-drive experience to North 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.  

 

Day 5

Prices per person

INN & B&B

From

USD 536

View INN & B&B Hotels

Confort

From

USD 619

View Confort Hotels

Superior

From

USD 713

View Superior Hotels
  • 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

  • Days of rental: 5 days
  • Check the coverages and credit card hold here
  • Check the policies here
  • 2-night accommodation in a hotel (Salta), 2-night accommodation in a hotel (Purmamarca)
  • Daily Breakfast
  • Bilingual English / Spanish speaking guide for self-drive briefing
  • Transfer as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Car rental vehicle as detailed in the itinerary
  • GPS device
  • Roadmap 
  • Self-drive kit

NOT INCLUDED

  • 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 

 

FLIGHTS NEEDED
FOR THIS ITINERARY

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

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