The Calchaquí Valley is a system of mountains and valleys that extends across the provinces of Catamarca, Tucuman and Salta to the border with Bolivia. High peaks, such as the Nevado de Cachi at 6,700 meters above sea level surround it. It was inhabited in pre-Inca times by groups of Diaguita or “Calchaquí” origin. This was a brave indigenous culture that was one of the last to resist the Spanish invasion. Additionally, the valley is an important trade route between the Andean towns as the Inca Trail and caravans of llamas pass through this area to or from the “Alto Peru.” If you are interested in tours in Argentina that combine history, culture and incredible views this is the trip for you.
The unique”Round To The Valleys” trip traverses almost all of the Calchaquí Valley including its attractions, history and monuments. We start the trip in Salta and travel to Cachi, passing through the Cuesta del Obispo and the National Park Los Cardones. Later we will go down the beautiful Route 40 along the river as we visit historic Calchaquí villages such as Molinos, Seclantás, Angastaco, etc. Following this, we will visit the Quebrada de las Flechas and San Carlos. Finally we will arrive in Cafayate and spend the night there. The next morning, we will visit the town and wineries before returning to the capital of Salta after lunch. On the way back, we will also cross the Quebrada de las Conchas and Lerma’s Valley. Tours in Argentina’s Calchaquí Valley will give visitors a great sense of the immense beauty and fascinating history of the area.
CACHI: Town near the Calchaquí and Cachi rivers. Pre-existed the Spanish domination and has maintained old houses on narrow streets.
SECLANTAS: Its name comes from a nearby river, the “Seclantá.” Referred to as the “Cradle of Poncho salteño.” With expert craftsmen, it is an excellent place to buy blankets, carpets, ponchos or other fabric. It has houses with cane and mud covered roofs centered around a main street. About 12 km. from the town, is the beautiful and mysterious Lagoon “Brealito” full of stories and tales of strange lights, UFOs and monsters.
MOLINOS: A town founded in the mid 17th century at 2020 meters above sea level where the Humanao and Luracatao rivers converge. It has an irregular layout and adobe houses with mud roofs. One of the highlights is its Church, a national monument, that was built in 1639. The mummified remains of the last governor, Nicholas Isasmendi, lie here. Because of the towns proximity to the river, it is presently in danger of collapsing. Here you can also find Salta’s first hatchery of vicunas in semi-captivity, the Ruins of Churcal, and what remains of Fort Tacuil that was built by the indigenous people against conquerors.
ANGASTACO: Small town of 2531 inhabitants, located at 1990 meters in a valley crossed by a river of the same name. From this village begins the “Quebrada de las Flechas (Arrows)”, an allusion to the whimsical shapes of the mountains as a result of many years of wind and water erosion. The area cultivates vines, cereals, fruits, spices (pepper, cumin, anise) and artisan wines such as pateros. Its beautiful colonial style church is a recent construction and dates between 1976 and 1979.
SAN CARLOS: An ancient town that originated when the Jesuits established the “Mision San Carlos.” Due to economic and trade booms, it became the candidate to become provincial capital. Its church is a historic monument and the museum dates from the eighteenth century. Besides this, in the San Lucas area you can find cave paintings and petroglyphs. There is also the Finca Buena Vista, the only stone mill in operation in the region with this millennial system.
ANIMANA: A small town that means “Place of Heaven” in the Kakana language and whose economy revolves mainly around its patero wine production, fabrics and pottery.
CAFAYATE: One of Calchqui Valley Tour’s most important cities
2 Days / 1 Night
Salta – Cuesta del Obispo – P. N. Los Cardones – Cachi – Seclantás – Molinos – Angastaco – San Carlos – Cafayate – NIGHT IN CAFAYATE.
Cafayate – Quebrada de las Conchas (Anfiteatro, El Fraile, El Sapo…) – Salta
Departure Times: 07:00 am
Distance: 520 km. aprox
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