9. From Salta: 3-Day Trip to Salinas Grandes, Cachi & Hornocal
DAY 1. Tour to Cachi: Depart Salta and journey along Provincial Route 68, traveling through the small towns of Cerrillos, La Merced and El Carril. Then, drive along Provincial Route 33 to pass the dramatic Gorge of Escoipe and Los Laureles.
Next, start your journey along the famous winding road of the Cuesta del Obispo (Bishop's Slope). Admire the magnificent rock formations and natural walls en route to the summit at 3,348 meters above sea level. Look for condors flying above, and marvel at the majesty of the "King of the Sky."
Get a stunning view of El Valle Encantado ("The Enchanted Valley"), where the scenery is like something out of a fairytale. Notice how the landscape changes as you leave the sub-tropical valleys to go to Recta del Tin Tin, built during the time of the Incas. Travel through the Parque Nacional los Cardones ("National Park of the Cactus"), named for its abundance of cardon grande cactus bush formations.
Arrive in the beautiful town of Cachi in time for lunch. Then, stroll through streets of perfectly-preserved colonial architecture. Visit the town church in Central Plaza, and go to the historical museum showcasing the history of the Aboriginal communities. Pick up some souvenirs in the craft market and enjoy some free time to shop before the return drive to Salta.
DAY 2. Tour to Salinas Grandes. Your first stop of the day is at the beautiful town of Purmamarca, one of the most picturesque villages in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Quebrada de Humahuaca. Visit the town's vibrant main square and perhaps pick up some souvenirs at one of the many surrounding craft stands. Afterward, enjoy a visit to the breathtaking and aptly-named 7 Color Hill.
Later, continue your ascent along the majestic Cuesta del Lipan to reach the Salinas Grandes, one of the 7 Wonders of the Argentine Republic. Here, enjoy some free time to admire the unique salt planes and famous pools. Afterward, return to Purmamarca and break for lunch at one of the many traditional restaurants before returning to Salta.
DAY 3. Tour to Humahuaca. The adventure begins at approximately 7:00 AM with pickup from centrally-located hotels in Salta.
Travel in the comfort of an air-conditioned van and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the National Route 9 on the way to Jujuy province where we visit the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a narrow mountain valley declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. Stop in Purmamarca and admire the Hill of Seven Colors and its striking red and orange hues before exploring the main square and local craft stands.
Continuing along Route 9, we reach the town of Humahuaca, located at 2,939 meters above sea level. Wander down to the Church of La Candelaria and visit the Independence Monument before enjoying free time for lunch.
After lunch, enjoy 45 minutes of free time to explore Hornocal and its Hill of Fourteen Colors. Return along Route 9 to Salta City.