Northern Argentina & Chile Expedition

The journey begins in the arid regions of Salta and the Jujuy Province with exquisite gastronomy and unworldly landscapes before crossing over the Andes through spectacular road journey to the Atacama Desert and ending this epic journey with the good life in Santiago and the wine country of Mendoza.

HIGHLIGHTS

Stay in National Geographic Unique Lodges and Relais Chateaux

Experience the best of Northern Argentina & Chile

Savour fine and exquisite gastronomy 

Experience amazing desert wine regions of Salta and Mendoza

ITINERARY

DAY 1: BUENOS AIRES / SALTA

Depart Buenos Aires for your short domestic flight to Salta (2h 15mins). Arrive Salta Martin Miguel de Guemes Intl Airport and begin a city tour of Salta - capital city of the Homonimous Province and one of the most fertile lands blessed by nature. Sitting at an altitude of nearly 4,000 feet (1,187m) above sea level with the backdrop of Mount San Bernardo, we explore the city with its defined Hispanic influence witnessing its charming colonial architecture, streets and narrow alleys. Visit the extraordinary pink Cathedral, built in 1855; the Cultural Centre America, a historical museum of the north with its exhibitions of sacred art, the San Francisco Church and the ceremonious Monument of General Martin Miguel de Guemes. Continue next to San Bernardo Hill to enjoy a paranomic view over Salta before continuing to visit the impressive Battle of Salta Monument. Thereafter, be transferred to the charming and intimate House of Jasmines to check in in this exquisite 120 year-old estancia and a Relais & Chateaux property. 

Overnight: House of Jasmines, Salta

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 2: SALTA (EXCURSION TO CAYAFATE & CALCHAQUI VALLEY)

Today, we journey out past Cerrillos, El Carril, Coronel Moldes, Ampascachi, Talampaya, Alemania and Quebrada del Rio las Conchas - together declared a world natural monument by UNESCO for its colorful hills and unique natural formations. Each of the hills has distinctly-shaped features including the "Devil's Throat", the "Amphitheater", the "Frog" and more. We then continue to Cafayate, a town nestled in the Calchaqui Valley wine country and home to the famous "Torrontes", an intense and amazing grape variety unique to Argentina. Make a visit to the famous Bodega Colome to learn the secrets of Argentine wine-making, tasting and enjoy an exquisite lunch with fantastic views of the vineyards. Also visit the El Esteco, another exquisite wine estate tucked away in an enchanting landscape. 

Overnight: House of Jasmines, Salta

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

 

DAY 3: SALTA / HUMAHUACA GORGE / PURMAMURCA

We leave Salta today and journey north into the Jujuy Province where we will visit the impressive Quebrada de Humahuaca, a UNESCO site. Marvel at the rainbow-colored rock formations and jagged natural landscapes and the towns of Huacalera, Uquia and Humahuaca at the foothills. We then continue to the town of Pumamurca where you will experience rural Jujuy culture at the Mercado Artesanal (craft market) in the central plaza and gaze upon the spectacular Seven Colors Hill "Cerro de los Siete Colores". Then retreat to the elegant environment of El Manantial del Silencio for check in. 

Overnight: Hotel El Manantial del Silencio, Purmamurca

Meals: Breakfast

 

DAY 4: PURMAMURCA / ATACAMA

A spectacular day beckons as we go on an adventurous drive from the Argentine heartlands over the spectacular Andes Mountain range to the stunning Chilean desert landscapes of Atacama (5hrs drive). On arrival, be welcome by the splendid environments of Tierra Atacama, a National Geographic unique lodge with breathtaking vistas and serene silence of the desert. 

Overnight: Tierra Atacama, Atacama

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

 

DAY 5: ATACAMA

Early this morning, we begin an excursion to the Moon Valley "Vallee de la Luna" to appreciate the surreal beauty of the landscape from many viewpoints in the Salt Mountain Range, such as the scenery of Death Valley, Moon Valley and the Andes Mountain Range. Take short walks to the rocky outcrops formed by natural erosion and weathering of wind, rain and temperature change of the desert. Thereafter, travel to the remote lagoons of Aguas Calientes and the salt flats of Tuyajto with its amazing colors and contrasts. Experience the Piedras Rojas Red Rocks with formations that seemed to come from another dimension. The colors of the Altiplano stand out against the fierce blue skies and make for a stunning panorama. 

Overnight: Tierra Atacama, Atacama

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 6: ATACAMA

Begin another day of exploration with a visit to the Tatio Geysers, located at an altitude of 4,300m. The geothermal field has close links to the volcanic activity in the zone and consists of huge steam columns which reach heights of 12m. On the way back to the village, there is an opportunity to spot families of vicunas, foxes, vizcachas and Andean ostriches. En route, stop in the village of Machuca, situated at 4,000m and has a privileged site surrounded by nature and is the only village where we can see roofs made of cactus and maybe taste some barbecued llama, oered by the villagers. 

Overnight: Tierra Atacama, Atacama

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 7: ATACAMA / SANTIAGO

Farewell today to the surreal landscapes of Atacama as we drive to Calama El Loa Airport (1hr drive) for a domestic flight to Santiago (2hrs). On arrival at Santiago - capital city of Chile, begin a walking tour of the historical centre of the city where we admire the vibrant atmosphere of Plaza de Armas, the majestic Moneda Palace and appreciate the verdant splendor of Parque Forestal, modelled after Paris' Champs Elysees and enjoy the bohemian atmosphere and colorful street art of the Bellavista neighborhood. Consider an ascend to the summit of San Cristobal Hill for a panoramic view of the glittering city with the Andes Mountain Range as the backdrop. Finally, retreat to The Aubrey, a charming boutique hotel with a contemporary modern buzz. 

Overnight: The Aubrey, Santiago

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8: SANTIAGO (EXCURSION TO VINA DEL MAR & VALPARAISO)

We take an excursion today to experience the coastal beauty of Vina del Mar and Valparaiso today. En route, we journey to the verdant vineyards of the Curacavi and Casablanca valleys where we visit a wine estate and tasting before continuing to the vibrant town of Vina del Mar, dubbed as the "Garden City" with impressive architecture and horticulture. Next, visit the UNESCO-listed town of Valparaiso, laden with architectural eccentricities tumbling over 43 hills. Explore the serpentine streets dotted with colorful buildings and spend some time with a local to experience the town from an insiders angle. 

Overnight: The Aubrey, Santiago

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 9: SANTIAGO / MENDOZA

Today, transfer to Santiago Arturo Merino Benitez Intl Airport for a short flight to Mendoza (1hr) as we re-enter into Argentina. Be sure to choose a window seat on the left as you fly over the Andes with a signature view of the Aconcagua, at 6,960m, the highest peak outside of Asia. Arriving at Mendoza Governor Francisco Gabrielli Intl Airport, be met and begin an orientation tour of the charming city of Mendoza. Start from the Foundational Area, the oldest part of the city before continuing to Independencia Square, situated at the main point of town and then to General San Martin Park, renowned for being one of the largest and most beautiful parks in Argentina. We end the tour with a visit to Cerro de la Gloria's Monument for a panoramic view of the city and then drive on to the countryside to arrive at one of the world's most stunning vineyard environment - the Cavas Wine Lodge, at the foot of the Andes Mountain range. 

Overnight: Cavas Wine Lodge, Mendoza

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10: MENDOZA

A day of wine and gastronomy begins as we enjoy an unparalleled access to some of the finest wine estates in Mendoza - the birthplace of the celebrated Argentine Malbec and other premium wines while meeting the people involved in growing and making these exquisite cult wines in the modern Lujan de Cuyo region and the historic and rustic Maipu region. Enjoy tasting straight from the barrel and savor an exquisite lunch with a view of the Andes. 

Overnight: Cavas Wine Lodge, Mendoza

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 11: DEPART MENDOZA / BUENOS AIRES

We say our farewells today as we transfer to Mendoza Francisco Gabrielli Intl Airport for a short domestic flight return to Buenos Aires (2hrs). 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

House of Jasmines, Salta

House of Jasmines is a restored farmhouse and Relais & Chateaux property, owned by famous actor, Robert Duvall and his lovely Argentine wine, Luciana located outside the colonial city of Salta. Opened in 2004, the 120 year-old ranch was transformed into a gorgeous boutique inn with just 7 exquisite and charming rooms on a lush 300 acres of pristine ground against the backdrop of the Andes. 

El Manantial del Silencio is a peaceful retreat in colonial-style splendor, stunningly located in Purmamurca, the most idyllic village in the Quebrada de Humahuaca in Jujuy Province, Argentina. The boutique hotel comes with white-monastic style furnishings with 19 comfortable bedrooms and an award-winning restaurant. 

El Manantial del Silencio, Purmamurca

Amid the surreal, lava-sculpted, salt-glazed landscapes of Northern Chile lies the Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa, a National Geographic unique lodge surrounded by natural beauty of epic proportions. The lodge blends into the windswept plateau, landscaped into the native vegetation and built inside the clay walls of a centuries-old cattle corral. 

Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa, Atacama

The Aubrey is Santiago's first true boutique hotel and is truly a distinctive urban retreat that lets one escape from the buzz of the city. It is a transformed space with 15 beautifully appointed en suite bedrooms, each with a unique character and most with balconies and terraces. 

The Aubrey, Santiago

Arguably the most famous lodge in Argentina, the Cavas Wine Lodge has become an institution in the Mendoza for its high standards, exceptional food and stunning location. Set in beautiful vineyards each of the quirky cabins has its own rooftop area in which to lounge and take in the surrounding sights. 

Cavas Wine Lodge, Mendoza

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