Salta itinerary- 4 nights

Old Feb 27th, 2014, 07:00 AM
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Salta itinerary- 4 nights

Hi,

My husband and I will be traveling to Argentina in May. We will be flying into Buenos Aires, and taking an overnight bus to Iguazu Falls. We Are staying in Iguazu for 2 nights then taking an 11:40am flight to Salta. We are staying in the northwest region for 4 nights and then taking the overnight bus to buenos aires- where we will be staying for 5 nights.

We can't decide whether to split up our time in The northwest region and stay 2 nights in Cafayate and 2 nights in Tilcara or pick either north or south of Salta. If We decide to have one base, should We pick north or south? (We plan on spending half a day in Salta upon arrival before heading to our base.)

We really want to see both humuaca and cachi, but we are starting to think we are being too ambitious. Though we've read some people have done this renting a car.

This is our first time traveling to South America. We are both in our early thirties and love food and great scenery. We will probably do a short hike one day, but we aren't very active people. We won't be renting a car, but plan on taking a bus or hire a car.
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 07:26 AM
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If you click on my name I just posted my report
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Old Feb 28th, 2014, 10:10 AM
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I would suggest that you re-consider renting a car for this area. It is not difficult to drive or navigate (except getting out of Salta itself) and you will be free to see all the places you want to see...at your own pace. Staying two nights in Tilcara and 2 in Cafayate sounds like a good plan.

Guides can be excellent resources in this area, too, if you are really averse to driving. Perhaps you can find a small group with a guide ?
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Old Feb 28th, 2014, 11:54 AM
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I agree with Marnie that renting a car is definitely the best way to see the region. There is som much to see on the drives between the various places that you will find yourself wanting to stop and marvel at the scenery very frequently.

We have now visited the area twice. The first time covering the north and south circuits which is best done over 5 or 6 days. The second time we basically stuck to. Cachi and Cafayate.

Details of our route and lots of photos are on our blog

http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blo...ai/1/tpod.html entrie 75 to 80

And our more recent, shorter trip
http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blo...3537/tpod.html

As Marnie says, the driving is pretty straightforward, the most difficult part being gettingboutvof Salta city.
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Old Mar 1st, 2014, 08:00 AM
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Thank you for your responses.

I can't seem to convince my husband to rent a car so I think we will have to hire a car instead- need too look into the cost. Any idea? And what are our chances of ending up with a creepy driver?

I'm afraid the drive from cafayate to tilcara will be too long so I'm leaning towards exploring the north. From my research, if I have to choose, it seems the north is worth seeing more than the south. What do you think? (Humuaca and salt flats)

I put together two rough itineraries.. Which itinerary do you think is better? Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.

Itinerary 1:
Day 1 Arrive salta- explore and stay overnight
Day 2 tren a las nubes. Salt flat sunset. Check in tilcara
Day 3 hike Cerro de los siete huamahuaca, explore tilcara
Day 4 purmamarca, maimara cemetery, iruya
Day 5 head back to salta and take overnight bus to buenos aires

Itinerary 2:
Day 1 arrive salta and explore for half day. Check in tilcara
Day 2 purmamarca, huamahuaca - maybe hike if we have time
Day 3 explore tilcara and drive to cafayate. Check in
Day 4 quebradas de las conchas, wineries
Day 5 explore cafayate and head back to salta to take overnight bus to buenos aires

* my husband and I love wine and food and we live in california so we travel to napa valley about once a year. I'm not sure if it's worth the experience or our time to travel to cafayate to wine taste. (We are not wine connoisseurs) Is cafayate worth traveling to if it's not just for the wine?

It seems like I will have to choose an itinerary based on whether the drive to iruya and the salt flats is better than the drive to cafayate from tilcara.

Please help, thank you!
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Old Mar 1st, 2014, 08:57 AM
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I suggest you research our resident Salta expert, who posts here as http://www.fodors.com/community/profile/flintstones/ and is an independent NW guide with her own transportation.

You can do so by typing "Angie" (her real name) in the TA search feature here: http://tinyurl.com/nw9f4

No one has called her "creepy".

Have a great time in our country.
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Old Mar 1st, 2014, 09:14 AM
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Hi, Ap101;
I think that you need a taylored itinerary that fits your four nights.
Option 1;
Salta - Purmamarca visiting the salt flats at sunset.
Purmamarca - Uquia - Humahuaca - Purmamarca
Purmamarca - Back to Salta
Option 2; Salta - Cachi through National Park Los Cardones
Cachi - Cafayate visit to some wineries and a goat cheese factory with free cheese tasting.
Cafayate - Salta
These are 3-day tours
Option 3;
Salta - Purmamarca - Salt flats
Purmamarca - Uquia - Humahuaca - Tilcara - Salta
Salta - Cafayate wine and Cheese!
Cafayate - Salta
This an itinerary of four days.
If you wish to drive yourself pls, feel free all the questions about the whole area...
I will be pleased to help you with your plans.
Warm regards,
Angie/Flintstones.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2014, 06:42 AM
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Angie/flinstones,

Thank you so much for your response! Sounds like we would be ably to do both the salt flats and cafayate with option 3.

Since we will have 4 nights, 5 nights, how would you recommend us splitting our nights?

1. Tilcara 2 night, cafayate 2 nights
2. Tilcara 3 nights, cafayate 1 night
Or 3. Tilcara 2 nights, cafayate 1 night, salta 1 night?

Also, could you provide me more information about your private tour for option 3 with an additional night? Rates and any additional information we would need? Looking forward to your response.

Thank you
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 11:19 AM
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Well, I suggest Purmamarca instead of Tilcara. It is a nice cute town, in my opinion it is much more authentic and it is also on the way to the slat flats which makes everything much easier...
Salta - Purmamarca (or Tilcara if you wish)one night
Purmamarca - Uquia - Humahuaca - Tilcara - Salta...second night in Salta
Salta - Cafayate -
one night in cafayate
Cafayate - Salta - one night in Cafayate.
for me is the best option. If you have an extra night... you can do Salta - Cachi
Cachi - Cafayate
Cafayate - Salta and see all the Calchaquies Valleys!
Angie/Flintstones
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 11:45 AM
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ap101: Angie did not answer the part of your question about her services, probably because she does not wish to be accused of posting "commercially".

Write to her to: angie_guideAThotmail.com

Have a great time in our country.
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Old Mar 5th, 2014, 06:48 AM
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So I was able to convince my husband to rent a car! Woo hoo!

now I'm thinking:

Day 1 salta- purmamarca (stay overnight)- visit salt flats
Day 2 purmamarca- tilcara- humuaca- salta (stay overnight)
Day 3 salta- cachi (stay overnight)- visit James turell light museum
Day 4 cachi to cafayate (stay overnight)- visit wineries
Day 5 cafayate to salta (overnight bus to buenos aires)

Sounds like I am trying to pack a lot in. This is a vacation after all...

Or do you think I should skip cachi and stay two nights in cafayate and spend more time in salta?

Is the weather in May safe to drive to cachi? Neither of us speak Spanish.. And don't want the risk of being stranded. Also, do you recommend renting a 4wd?
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Old Mar 5th, 2014, 08:54 AM
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The road is safe, but there are some detours would be nice for you to see on the way. May is pretty dry and the road is ok, but not many people in the valleys speak English.
On the other hand, you have only five days... and see the most as possible. Do you think you will see enough while driving?

4x4 is not necessary and very expensive cars, a regular car would be ok. No rains are expected since April to November.
The roads are well mantained and very sunny days.
Angie/Flintstones.
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Old Mar 13th, 2014, 07:41 AM
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Just wanted to thank everyone for helping us plan our northwest trip. We decided to stay in purmamarca the first night, salta the second night, cafayate the last 2 nights, skip cachi and plan to visit the salt flats if we have the extra time. We are really thrilled about our first trip to South America. Thanks again!
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Old Mar 13th, 2014, 09:31 AM
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This post helped us too so thank you! A question to tag in...if we are seeing the Salt Flats in Bolivia, is it still worthwhile seeing the Argentinian? Or in a 5-night Salta area itinerary, that time be better used elsewhere? Thank you.
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