HIGHLIGHTS OF NORTHERN ARGENTINA: CULTURE, NATURE & WINE

hosted by Claire Martin

This 13-day Highlights of Northern Argentina is all about exploring the culture, nature and wine of this interesting part of South America. We visit Buenos Aires, Argentina’s elegant capital, explore Iguazu Falls, the largest waterfall system in the world, spanning the border between Argentina and Brazil; discover the Quebrada de Humahuaca, which follows the Inca Road, a major cultural route; visit Salta, a town featuring beautiful Spanish colonial architecture; see the spectacular Valles Calchaquíes and visit Cafayate, a place renowned for the high quality of its wines where we enjoy vineyard visits and wine tastings. A special session learning the art of Tango followed at the farewell dinner accompanied by the finest wines of the country over a spectator tango show. This hosted journey, is also accompanied by local English-speaking tour guides, who to take us through the local history, culture and more.
Claire Martin
TOUR HOST
Claire Martin is a degreed meteorologist, an award winning TV host/science communicator, and a veteran of the Canadian media industry.

Claire started winning over TV audiences in Edmonton, Alberta where in 1999 and again in 2000, she was awarded Alberta Motion Picture Industry Awards for her educational style of delivering daily weathercasts. In 2005, she joined the CBC in Toronto as the Chief Meteorologist for the flagship newscast The National.

In 2011, the University of Alberta awarded Claire it’s most prestigious award - the Distinguished Alumni Award - recognizing her achievements that had earned her national and international prominence, as well as her volunteer work with the World Meteorological Organization (a specialized agency of the United Nations).

As a passionate environmentalist, Claire also ran as the Green Party candidate in North Vancouver in the Canadian 2015 federal election campaign. Despite losing to the Liberal candidate, Claire said that the experience offered an “exceptionally unique opportunity to have an open and frank dialogue about the effects of climate change in Canada”.

Claire Martin grew up in England (is in fact, a true cockney) and moved to Canada in 1989. She is an avid traveller and has always dreamed of exploring South America.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in this tour
1. Iguazu National Park, Argentina 2. Iguaçu National Park, Brazil
3. Quebrada de Humahuaca    

Tour Information
Tour Duration : 13 days
Min. Tour Size : 12 persons
Max. Tour Size : 18 persons
Tour Price (From) : US$ 4495
Includes international air
Day 01: November 08, 2020: Arrive Buenos Aires
Day 02: November 09, 2020: Buenos Aires
(B)
Day 03: November 10, 2020: Buenos Aires
(B, L)
Day 04: November 11, 2020: Buenos Aires/Iguazu Falls (Flight)
(B)
Day 05: November 12, 2020: Iguazu Falls
(B)
Day 06: November 13, 2020: Iguazu Falls/Salta (Flight)/Purmamarca (Drive)
(B)
Day 07: November 14, 2020: Purmamarca/Salta (Drive)
(B)
Day 08: November 15, 2020: Salta
(B, D)
Day 09: November 16, 2020: Salta/Cachi/Cafayate (Drive)
(B)
Day 10: November 17, 2020: Cafayate
(B, L)
Day 11: November 18, 2020: Cafayate
(B)
Day 12: November 19, 2020: Salta/Buenos Aires (Flight)
(B, D)
Day 13: November 20, 2020: Depart Buenos Aires
(B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day 01: November 08, 2020: Arrive Buenos Aires

Upon arrival at Buenos Aires International Airport, we are cordially met and transferred to our hotel. The city has strong European influences, which is reflected by its refined architecture, gastronomy, the fashion sense of its inhabitants and a remarkable nightlife. In the evening we meet our tour host and the other tour participants. Balance of the day is free.

Overnight: Hotel Pulitzer, Buenos Aires (3 nights)

Day 02: November 09, 2020: Buenos Aires

After breakfast we start our journey by exploring the magnificent city of Buenos Aires. We drive along 9 de Julio Avenue, the widest avenue of the world, to visit the Teatro Colon, one of the world's best-known opera houses. The theatre was built in 1908 using materials that were imported from around the globe. Especially impressive is the ‘Salon de Oro’ (Hall of Gold), where crystal chandeliers and opulent wall decorations create an opulent atmosphere. Occupying an entire city block, the theater can sit 2,500 people. Drive along the famous Avenida de Mayo that runs into the Plaza De Mayo, surrounded by the Casa Rosada (Presidential Palace) and visit of the Metropolitan Cathedral, an imposing Neo-classical building housing the mausoleum of General San Martin, an important leader of South America independence from Spain. We then head to La Boca neighborhood, which retains a strong Italian flavour, and visit colorful Calle Caminito.  Continue to Palermo, the green area of the city and visit the Recoleta Cemetery, considered to be one of the most impressive artistic monuments of Argentina featuring numerous elaborate mausoleums of Argentina’s most relevant personalities, including the grave of Eva Perón, popularly known as Evita. (B)

Day 03: November 10, 2020: Buenos Aires

Today, we head to San Antonio de Areco, set in the heart of Argentina's Pampas. This preserved colonial town, founded more than 280 years ago, has kept the gaucho lifestyle, traditions and customs alive. Here we visit a silversmith workshop and the Museum of Criollo Silverworks; followed by a guided walking tour through a historical neighborhood. We then head to an Estancia, a working ranch and get to enjoy a magnificent Asado (Argentinean barbecue) accompanied by drinks and folkloric music, followed by demonstrations of the incredible abilities on horseback of the gauchos (Argentinean cowboys). (B, L)

Day 04: November 11, 2020: Buenos Aires/Iguazu Falls (Flight)

Today a major highlight of the tour, as we take a short flight to Puerto Iguazu. Upon arrival we are welcomed by our local guide and transferred to our hotel located on the Argentinean side of the falls. Iguazu Falls are a semicircular series of waterfalls, which extend for 2,700 m along the border between Argentina and Brazil. Made up of many cascades producing vast sprays of water, it is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. In the afternoon and after some rest time we cross over to the Brazilian side of the Falls. Here we walk along the paths following and get amazing panoramic views of the falls from the Brazilian before returning to Argentina.

Overnight: Hotel Mercure, Iguazu Falls (2 nights) (B)

Day 05: November 12, 2020: Iguazu Falls

A short drive and we are at the Iguazu National Park in Argentina and board a train at the main station by the Visitors Centre, which takes us to the upper falls circuit and the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat), the most prominent of the falls. Then, we walk over 3 km (1.87 mi.) along the Iguassu river escarpment, via both, the lower and upper circuit to get a closer look of some of the 270 individual waterfalls. The surrounding subtropical rainforest has over 2,000 species of vascular plants and is home to the typical wildlife of the region: tapirs, giant anteaters, howler monkeys, ocelots, jaguars and caimans. (B)

Optional Excursion:
The Great Adventure combines the whole essence of the Iguassu National Park in one ride: the jungle and the waterfalls. All terrain trucks travel through the jungle for about 6km in the humid subtropical forest as far as the banks of the Iguazú River. Here we board special boats that will take us to the base of the falls for unique views.   Please note that this tour is on shared basis with other guests and you are guaranteed to get very wet.

Day 06: November 13, 2020: Iguazu Falls/Salta (Flight)/Purmamarca (Drive)

After breakfast we are transferred to Puerto Iguazu Airport for our flight to Salta. Upon arrival at Salta airport we are met by our local guide and transferred to our hotel in Purmamarca (Distance 126 km / 90 mi - about 2 hours). Purmamarca is located in the heart of the Quebrada de Humahuaca, which is on a major cultural route, the Camino Inca. There is substantial evidence of its use as a major trade route for the past 10,000 years. It features visible traces of prehistoric hunter-gatherer communities, of the Inca Empire and the war of independence in the 19th century. En route we make a stop to photograph the Cerro de Siete Colores, the beautiful hill of seven colors.

Overnight: Hotel La Comarca, Purmamarca (1 night) (B)

Day 07: November 14, 2020: Purmamarca/Salta (Drive)

Today we explore the Quebrada de Humahuaca, visiting Tilcara to visit the ruins of a Pucará, an old indigenous fortress and the archaeological museum. We continue further north and stop at the town of Humahuaca to visit the interesting handicraft market and see the Belgrano monument. We then drive to the city of Salta. Salta is in a very fertile valley and got its name from the Aymara word ‘sagta’ meaning ‘very beautiful’. Founded in 1582, the city of Salta features beautiful Spanish colonial architecture. Balance of the day is free to stroll around Salta on your own.

Overnight: Hotel Brizo, Salta (2 nights) (B)

Day 08: November 15, 2020: Salta

Today we explore Salta, starting with the main square, 9 de Julio, which is surrounded by several colonial buildings, the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Cabildo. We then head to San Bernardo Hill, where we can embark on an optional cable car ride in order to get very panoramic views of Salta. We then drive through residential areas built mostly in colonial style architecture and also visit nearby San Lorenzo, a quaint local village. Our last stop is at the art and crafts market of Salta. Our afternoon is free. Optional visit to the High Mountain Museum, featuring the archaeological exhibit of the ‘Children of Llullaillaco’. These three frozen children were found at the top of Llullaillaco volcano, at an altitude 6.700 m (21.980 ft), along with 146 objects of personal belongings. The Mummies of Llullaillaco are a good example of human sacrifice during the Inca Empire. In the evening, as part of our tour program, we will enjoy dinner at a local peña (a grass-roots community meeting place where popular folkloric music is showcased). The peña is a 10-minute walk from our hotel. (B, D)

Day 09: November 16, 2020: Salta/Cachi/Cafayate (Drive)

An interesting and scenic drive from Salta, through the Calchaquí Valleys, to Cafayate. This area is best known for its contrast of colours and its unique geography that ranges from the mountain desert to the subtropical forest. We visit Cachi, situated at 2,210 m above sea level at the confluence of the Calchaqui and Cachi rivers at the foot of Nevado de Cachi hill. The town has preserved its colonial style and its main square is surrounded by paved streets and stone houses, featuring adobe walls covered by lime and white sand, wrought iron grids, roofs of cactus or reed covered with mud. Continue to Molinos, a typical village dating back to the times of the Spaniards. We travel along the legendary National Route 40, paralleling the Andes mountains and see incredible landscapes at the Quebrada de las Flechas, before arriving in Cafayate in the afternoon to check into our hotel set amidst the vineyards of the El Esteco winery, founded in 1892. Patios de Cafayate boasts thick walls, corridors with glazed domes, Spanish roof tiles, wrought iron gates, murmuring fountains, colonial water wells and a vast collection of vintage furniture and pictures. This unique hotel also dazzles us with its upscale wines, which reflect the creativity and talent of the winemakers. It constitutes the most interesting wine tourist destination in the North of Argentina, combining top-end wines, regional cuisine and a unique hotel experience.

Overnight: Hotel Patios de Cafayate, Cafayate (2 nights) (B)

Day 10: November 17, 2020: Cafayate

Cafayate is famous for its Torrontés wine (white and fruity), and we visit two local wineries. Enjoy wine tasting followed by lunch at the local winery. Cafayate is a quaint little town, with low rainfall, lying in the foothills of the Andes surrounded by vineyards. Remainder of the day is at leisure with time to relax, visit the local market and explore the interesting Wine Museum. (B, L)

Day 11: November 18, 2020: Cafayate

Leisurely drive to Salta via the National Route 68 visiting the Quebrada del Rio Las Conchas, renowned for its bizarre geological formations and the various colors of its hills. We will stop at several geological formations, such as Los Castillos (The Castles), El Obelisco (The Obelik), El Fraile (The Friar), El Sapo (The Toad), El Anfiteatro (The Amphitheatre) and La Garganta del Diablo (The Devil’s Throat). We arrive Salta in the early afternoon and check in to our hotel.  Balance of the day is an ideal opportunity to enjoy Salta on your own.

Overnight: Hotel Brizo, Salta (1 night) (B)

Day 12: November 19, 2020: Salta/Buenos Aires (Flight)

After breakfast, we take a short flight to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival, we are transferred to our hotel. Free time in Buenos Aires - the shopper’s bazaar of Argentina. Evening, it is time for Tango! The traditional Tango dance started at the end of the 19th century. Initially Tango was only danced by men and accompanied by flutes, violins and guitars. The flutes were later replaced by the ‘bandoneón’ (a type of accordion), which gave the Tango its distinctive sound, reflecting the nostalgia and melancholy of European immigrants in Buenos Aires. In the early evening, we are transferred to La Ventana, one of the most authentic tango houses located in the heart of the old San Telmo neighborhood. First, we take a 1-hour tango lesson in a wonderful French-style room. After our lesson, we will enjoy a sumptuous dinner accompanied by the finest wines. Then we enjoy a spectacular show featuring an orchestra performing in the same style of the great tango orchestras of the forties, accompanied by some of the best tango singers. The presentation will also showcase traditional Andean music and Argentinean folklore. The evening will end, Argentinian style, with lots of fun and memories close to midnight.

Overnight: Hotel Pulitzer, Buenos Aires (1 night) (B, D)

Day 13: November 20, 2020: Depart Buenos Aires

Today, our exciting adventure through Northern Argentina comes to an end as we are transferred to the airport in time for our departure flight. Hotel check out time is 12:00 Noon. Ideal opportunity to continue the Argentinian experience by joining our Highlights of Southern Argentina and explore Southern Patagonia. Please ask for details. (B)

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Departure Dates & Prices

We accept payments in US$, CA$ as well as in other convertible currencies like EUR, AUD and GBP. Tour prices have been costed in US$. CA$ price shown below is an indicative amount reached at by using the conversion rate at the time of web posting and will be applicable if there is no change in the conversion rate. Should the currency conversion rate change, the US$ pricing will prevail. Bestway Tours & Safaris offers a conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here

2020 Per Person on
Twin Sharing
Single Room
Supplement
Estimated Airfare (FROM)+
Departure(s) East Coast West Coast
November 08, 2020 US$ 4495 US$ 799 - -
2020 Per Person on
Twin Sharing
Single Room
Supplement
Estimated Airfare (FROM)+
Departure(s) East Coast West Coast
November 08, 2020 CA$ 6069 CA$ 1079 - -


Notes

Tour Deposit: US$ 1000 per person



Inclusions


Tour Price Includes
  • 12 nights accommodation as mentioned or similar, including hotel taxes
  • 16 Meals as mentioned (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Within tour air fares: Buenos Aires-Newbury/Iguazu Falls/Salta/Buenos Aires Newbery (currently at US$ 450)
  • Wine tasting
  • Tango class
  • All sightseeing and transfers using private airconditioned transportation
  • Entrance fees to museums and sites included in the itinerary
  • Services of a local English speaking Tour Guide
  • Accompanying host Claire Martin
Not Included
  • International airfares (please ask Bestway Tours & Safaris for assistance)
  • Insurance/visas (Travel Insurance, highly recommended please click here for details)
  • Tips/gratuities

Participants

This tour operates on a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 18 participants

Customised Itinerary

If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.

Contact Info
You may e-mail us at bestway@bestway.com or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.

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