Covitour by Covitour

Self Drive Trip in The Andean World

8-day road trip without driver through Calchaquí valley and Humahuaca gorge.
 Approximately driving distance: 1500 km

8 day/7 nights | Argentina | 1,500 km

At a glance

Incredible self-drive exploration to get the feel of some of the most spectacular and attractive sites of Argentina in north western Argentina at the foot of the Andes.

The sunlit mountains and reddish-red rocky landscapes of the Salta and Jujuy provinces are a rugged canvas interwoven with white colonial churches, distinctive markets, and adobe villages. The landscape is enchanting throughout the year, there is also tasty regional food and wine to please your taste buds. 

At the Northwest of Argentina, you will be immersed in a series of landscapes with colorful mountains and beautiful valleys, where you will find vestiges of ancient indigenous settlements around every bend. This package combines car rental and charming lodges and inns.

Places and attractions to visit:

  • City of Salta, 
  • Cafayate, 
  • Calchaquí valley, 
  • Cuesta del Obispo ravine, 
  • Humahuaca Canyon, 
  • 7 collors hill
  • Ancient Culture.


  • Bring back to life the ancient history of this venerable area holding the pre-hispanic Inca strongholds.
  • Impressive hilly landscapes and charming villages.
  • Admire the impressive façades of Hispanic colonial buildings in Salta.
  • Enjoy the local foods, traditions and local cultures.
  • Be astonished by the spectacular landscape of Quebrada de las Flechas.
  • Experience the amazing yuxtaposition of colors of the Valles Calchaquíes and the unique geological shapes decorating its landscape.

When to Go

This trip can be done all year round.

What to wear and personal belongs:

  • Hat and/or cap; simple clothing and footwear, appropriate for hiking.
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • Photo equipment (do not forget additional memories) and binoculars.
  • Very warm clothes form some excursion. 
  • Note: Remember that the type of trip requires being comfortable, without too much to carry.

Flight to Salta - Pick Up Rental Car
 Upon arrival at Salta airport, you'll pick up a 4x4 rental car for a self-drive adventure.
The city is well-preserved 16th-century colonial architecture, and year-round.


Drive to Cafayate
 In the morning, departure to Cafayate on an amazing drive along the Valley of Rio Las Conchas up to the "Valles Calchaquies". An ever-surprising panorama of changing landscapes unfolds, with lush greens and red coloring weird-looking and fantastic rock formations. Cafayate holds some magnificent pieces of arts and crafts like tapestry, pottery, wood carvings. The place is very famous for its local wines.
A few kilometers off of Route 40 near Cafayate, in a desert area plenty of Cardon cactus, you will reach the interesting native ruins of the ancient settlement of the Quilmes villagers. There were approximately 5,000 people living here between 1000 and 1667AD. They fought off the Spanish for over 150 years until defeated and removed to Buenos Aires.
Overnight at Cafayate.
Driving distance: 196 km totally paved in very good condition.


Drive to Molinos 
The Calchaqui Valleys is a must-see visit that goes beyond Salta, it is a must see in Argentina.
You will drive from Cafayate through the mythical route 40. On the way you will get the chance to see villages such as San Carlos, Molinos, Angastaco, Seclantas and Cachi form a chain that generally encloses between its chapels and archaeological remains, much of pre-Columbian history, the Spanish conquest and the Argentine independence.
All of these combined with a dream geography and friendly people. Later on we will go through a road that provides views of fascinating rock formations. From Molinos we highly recommend to visit Estancia Colomé, an unbelievable place where you can take a winery tour, wine tasting and a visit of the museum.
Overnight in Molinos, a charming town, which one imagines must be quite similar to what it was in the 17th century.
Driving distance: 157 km. (gravel road in good conditions)


Molinos – Cachi and and surroundings 
Today you will drive through amazing attractions such historic ruins, scattered houses and small villages.
Along the way, some adobe houses are concentrated under the carob trees, where some weavers in front of huge looms welcome the few tourists who pass through their backyards, while family life unfolds alongside them.
In Cachi, you'll find architecture that beautifully combines indigenous and Spanish traditions with adobe houses and white colonial buildings.
Overnight in Molinos
Driving distance: 120 km. (gravel road in good conditions)


Molinos to Purmamarca 
The road trip continues today to Payogasta, where you will take Route 33 to Salta and drive down to the low hills and flatlands of Los Cardones National Park and continue through arid landscapes along spots as the Escoipe gorge.
You will climb the majestic Cuesta del Obispo mountain road up to its highest point at 9,842 feet (3,000 meters).
From here, you'll continue driving down to Salta city before continuing north to Puramarca crossing amazing landscapes on your journey.
You'll stop at a hotel for the night. Once you get to your hotel and check in, you'll have the rest of the evening free.
Driving distance: 360 km Paved road in very good condition


Purmamarca - Humahuaca Gorge 
At Purmamarca, you'll be at the base of the famed seven-colored mountain, which is amazing to see in the morning.
The Humahuaca Gorge (UNESCO World Heritage Site) is a must-see of Argentina, traces the spectacular valley of the Rio Grande and shows substantial evidence of its use as a major trade route during the past 10,000 years, with visible traces of prehistoric hunter-gatherer communities of the Inca Empire (15th to 16th centuries).
Overnight in Huacalera, just in the hearth of the Gorge, where the tropic of Capricorn is crossing.
Driving distance: 160 km fully paved in very good conditions.


HUACALERA - Salinas grande - SUSQUES - Salta 
This day will probably lead to one of the best scenic trails in the world. You will marvel at the sinuous path of curves and forks going up to Abra de Potrerillos at a height over the 4,100 meters.
You will drive through the Cuesta de Lipan gorge, an incredible feat of engineering, which is so vast and amazing.
Then you will reach the Puna or Altiplano, a high altitude plateau within the Andes mountain range.
In this area, there are not many people living, however you can see the picturesque small town of Susques, probably the highest city in Argentina, with a population of 2000 inhabitants. We recommend you to visit its beautiful church.
Later, we will begin the return to Quebrada de Humahuaca on the Cuesta de Lipan looking down and then back to Salta through a scenic road called "La Cornisa".
Total distance traveled: 450 km. All roads are paved in excellent condition, but take your time on this road because it is impossible to drive fast.


Departure via Buenos Aires 
After breakfast, a driver will pick you up at your hotel and transfer you to Airport, where you'll catch your 2-hour flight back to Buenos Aires. In Buenos Aires, you will head to the international terminal to catch your return flight home.



The price includes: 
 Rent a car.
 Maximum 4 people.

It is not included 
 Meals during the expedition, except where indicated.
 National Park entrance fee.
 Not detailed excursion.
 Other personal expenses.