ExperiencePlus! Blog

Cycling Northern Argentina – Get Off the Beaten Path

Would you like to ride through multi-colored canyons, rich tropical and cloud forests, green valleys dotted with vineyards and estancias, across surreal salt flats, through mountain valleys? Northern Argentina has all of this and more.

Do you enjoy a challenge? This trip offers the option to ride to one of the highest salt flats in the world at 12,000 feet but wait the “fun” isn’t over; there are 25 more switchbacks that will take you to 13,681 feet. Those with more sense can still visit the salt flats or take it easy and explore the lively town of Purmamarca with its impressive church and street vendors selling traditional crafts and woolen goods. Cycling Northern Argentina is, without a doubt, one of the most varied and spectacular Switchbacks to the salt flats in Northern Argentinatours ExperiencePlus! offers anywhere.

It’s easy to get to and away. The 8 and 12 day itinerary options begin in Salta, Argentina, which has frequent departures from Buenos Aires – be sure to take a few extra days to take some Tango lessons and explore this vibrant city. If you only have time for 8-days, we’ll shuttle you back to Salta for flights home. If you can stay for the full 12-days (highly recommended), your most convenient flights are from San Miguel de Tucuman and back to Buenos Aires.

Enjoy history and culture? This area was once home to a thriving pre-Incan population and part of aExplore canyon country with ExperiencePlus! in Northern Argentina. major and cultural route between Buenos Aires, Bolivia and Peru. We’ll visit Pucará de Tilcara, a restored Incan fortress that overlooks the modern town of Tilcara. San Salvador de Jujuy is a well-preserved colonial town with a thriving Indian market. There are archaeological museums to visit in Salta and in Quilmes the Pachamama “Mother Earth” museum complex to explore on the 12-day Plus! tour.

Did we mention the food and accommodations? The local goat cheese is to die for and we’ll visit a farm where you can try and determine your favorite variety. The Cafayate area is gaining national recognition for its excellent wines which we’ll be sure to sample regularly. Snack on empanadas, or corn humitas y tamales, enjoy grilled meats or meats in any shape or form… “cazuela de cabrito” anybody? We’ll have a magnificent asado dinner at a local finca, and make sure to taste the quinoa risotto which perfectly melds local ingredients and traditions with European novelties.

Relax at two night stays at some of our favorite hotels such as the perfectly-situated, inn at Purmamarca, and one of our all-time favorites, Hotel Killa…. do the 12-day Plus! tour you’ll have 2 nights to enjoy the pool, gardens, and hospitality.

More reasons to stay for the full 12-days… Enjoy taking a hot tub under the stars at our hotel near the famous (or infamous) ruins of Quilmes, one of the last strongholds against the Spanish conquistadores. Saunter through trendy Salta La Linda (Salta the Beautiful) as our hotel is in the center of town—either enjoy the nightlife or make your way to visit all its cultural and historic sites.

Make 2012 the year you explore Argentina: our April 17th departure is confirmed (both short and long tour) and there is still space for you! 

We went to a small winery on our day off in Cafayate. The guides drove us out in the van and after the tour we had lunch on the porch. It was a sunny day and the view was of the vineyards with the mountains behind us and in the distance. Was perfect Argentinean moment.
Marion M., Toronto, Canada

Loved the trip up to the salt flat. Best bike days were the ride up through the cloud forest en route to Salta and the gorgeous canyon ride to Cafayate.
Carolyn D., Concord, NH

I loved the whole trip. The rides through the colorful canyons was almost like being home, just not so many people. The change of scenery from reds and oranges and desert like to green lush tropic like vegetation was great.
Carolyn M., Centerville, UT