Discover the many ways Mother Nature blessed Argentina’s Salta province on this day trip that combines spectacular scenery with delicious wine. You’ll head south of Salta city into the Calchaquí Valley, known for its array of gorges, rivers, mountains and valleys. Stop at dramatic rock formations like Devil’s Throat, and then visit the wine town of Cafayate, where you’ll tour a neighboring winery and enjoy a tasting of varietals like malbec and torrontés.
After hotel pickup by your local guide, your day trip begins by heading out of town on Route 68 toward Cafayate, about 120 miles (190 km) south of Salta. Drive through the Lerma Valley, stopping after about 90 minutes for a coffee break in Posta de las Cabras or La Viña. Continue your drive all the way down into the Calchaquí Valley (Valles Calchaquíes), a series of striking valleys, rivers and gorges spread across Salta and its neighboring provinces that’s on UNESCO’s tentative list to become a World Heritage site. Reach the villages of Talapampa and Alemania at the entrance to Quebrada de las Conchas (Gorge of the Shells), which you’ll drive through, stopping four times to admire its various rock formations and canyons, such as Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo) and the Amphitheater (Amfiteatro).Finally, arrive in Cafayate, where you have a 1-hour break to enjoy lunch. You may eat with your guide at a local restaurant reserved for the tour (restaurants vary by day), find your own restaurant on the town square or, if you brought a packed lunch with you, find a nice spot to enjoy a picnic (lunch is at your own expense). After lunch, meet back up with your guide and group to head to a local winery.The exact winery visited on your tour varies by day; you may visit a vineyard such as Domingo Hermanos, El Tránsito or Vasija Secreta. Take a 15- to 25-minute tour of the winery, perhaps seeing the vineyards or barreling facilities, and learn about the winemaking process in Cafayate. Then enjoy a tasting of three to four wines including varietals such as torrontés (the region’s signature white varietal), malbec, cabernet or mistela (a dessert wine). After your tasting, head back to Salta the way you came. Your day trip ends with hotel drop-off.Note: If there is time, you may visit a second winery before returning to Salta.