Bicycling Northern Argentina

  • Itinerary Summary

    Here's an exciting opportunity to get a little further off the beaten path in Latin America. This tour presents irrefutable proof that there is a lot more to see and do in Argentina than visit Patagonia! Once home to a thriving Incan population, Northern Argentina enjoyed the prosperity that came with being located in the spectacular Rio Grande Valley. The area is part of the famous Camino Inca (Inca Trail) and a major trade and cultural route between Buenos Aires, Bolivia and Peru.

    We'll pedal through lush valleys, stopping to explore Incan ruins, deserts, cloudforest, and wine country. The grand finale is a ride through the twisted and dazzling geological formations of Quebrada de las Conchas.

    ***Extend this bicycle tour by 4 days. Click here to review our Bicycling Northern Argentina Plus! the Ruins of Quilmes.***
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    1. Day 1: Salta loop ride and bike fitting

      Highlights: Salta, bike fitting, warm up ride

      We'll meet early this afternoon in Salta. After introductions we'll do a bike fitting, and take a short loop ride. Known to Argentineans as "Salta la linda," or "Salta the beautiful" because of its delightful colonial architecture, pleasant weather and beautiful natural surroundings. We'll be back in Salta in a few days so on your first day we recommend you enjoy the town square and lively city. Dinner is together this evening.

      Distance: 20 kms (12 miles). Meals: D

      Lodging: Hotel Villa Vicuna.

    2. Day 2: Bicycle to San Salvador de Jujuy

      Highlights: Cycle through cloud forest, views of the Andes

      Today we'll shuttle to the suburbs of Salta to cycle through a cloud forest to the outskirts of San Salvador de Jujuy, capital of the Jujuy Province. Today's ride highlights the contrasts of the area as you pedal in and out of a cloud forest with song birds, ferns and bromeliads before descending back into desert and cactus country. We'll have a picnic lunch at the border between the Salta and Jujuy provinces. San Salvador de Jujuy offers tremendous views of the Andes range which run the length of Argentina.

      Distance: 78 km (42 miles) or ride out from Salta 100 km (62 miles). Meals: B, L

      Lodging: Altos de La Vina

    3. Day 3: Purmamarca

      Highlights: Hike through the Cerro de Siete Colores

      We have a rest day today as we shuttle further north to Purmamarca, the town famous for its mountain of seven colors the "Cerro de Siete Colores." Put on your walking shoes and join us for the 4 km gravel path around the colorful mountain, or extend your hike further into the hills. This small village is also a great place to wander and shop for souvenirs at the traditional market in the square. Potter, painter, and ballad singer Barbarita Cruz was instrumental in preserving traditional pottery methods by offering workshops for both adults and children. You'll also find woolen goods, musical instruments, and traditional food like empanadas, and dulce de leche in numerous forms. We recommend visits to the church and cemetery, the 600+ year old Algarrobo tree, We'll have dinner together this evening.

      Distance: 4 km (2.5 miles) walking with options to go further. Meals B, D.

      Lodging: Hostal Posta de Purmamarca

    4. Day 4: Bicycle to Salina Grande

      Highlights: Cuesta de Lipan, Salina Grande

      Today you have an optional ride up to the great salt flats above Purmamarca. Considered one of the most epic and scenic rides in the region you'll begin in Purmamarca at 2,325 meters (7625 feet), up the Cuesta Lipan to 4170 meters (13678 feet), downhill to the Salt Flats. The ride starts gently and offers stunning views from the first pedal stroke. The van will support the climb so if you decide to take a lift over the pass you can shuttle to the salt flats, or get back on your bike at the top and ride. There is nothing quite like the surreal feeling of walking in this immense basin of salt so we encourage everyone to give it a go! This afternoon we shuttle back to Purmamarca and our hotel.

      Distance Optional: Approx 70 km (43 miles). Meals, B, L.

      Lodging: Hostal Posta de Purmamarca

    5. Day 5: Salta la linda

      Highlights: Guided walk of Salta

      We shuttle back towards Salta today and then mid-morning jump on our bikes and pedal through the hills and back into town. You'll be in Salta in time for lunch so check our list for suggestions. We'll reconvene this afternoon for a guided walk of the city to learn about its pre-columbian history.

      Distance: 30 kms (15 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel Villa Vicuna.

    6. Day 6: Dique Cabra Corral

      Highlights: Lush green valleys and quiet countryside

      Leave the city for the quiet countryside and green valleys south of Salta. As you ride today notice the whitewashed colonial farm houses amid fields of one of the finest types of tobacco in Argentina. Our destination is the lake resort area of Dique Cabra Corral and our hotel tonight has a beautifully situated pool!

      Distance: 86 km (53 miles). Meals: B, L, D

      Lodging: Hotel del Dique

    7. Day 7: Cafayate

      Highlights: spectacular scenery, Quebrada de las Conchas, Cafayate

      We start our day with a shuttle before embarking on what some people consider their "most beautiful ride ever." Decide for yourself as you pedal through the magical Quebrada de las Conchas, passing by geological formations eroded into forms such as the "Devil's Throat," the "Frog," the "Amphitheater," the "Monk," and more. Take your time through the canyon as the late afternoon light creates an explosion of colors over the last 30 km. Our destination is the colonial town of Cafayate, famous for its wines and a base for adventure travel in the area.

      Distance: 80 km (48 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Killa Cafayate

    8. Day 8: Shuttle to Salta

      Highlights: Tour ends - back in Salta

      We'll provide a shuttle back to Salta this morning. Buen viaje!

      Meals: B

      ***Extend this bicycle tour by 4 days and join us to Bicycling Northern Argentina Plus! the Ruins of Quilmes.***

    • Highlights

      Ruins of Tilcara--the Pucará, Salta, goat cheese tasting, Purmamarca's Cerro de Siete Colores, the Mountain of Seven Colors, UNESCO World Heritage Site Quebrada de Humahuaca, Geological formations at Quebrada de las Conchas, Colorful deserts, Incan ruins, Rides through lush green valleys, quiet villages, and wine country
    • Includes

      Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; Shuttle to and from Salta airport; 8 days, 7 nights accommodation; 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners with wine. Guided tour in Salta plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

      Argentina
    • Begin/End

      Salta / Shuttle back to Salta
    • Arrive/Depart

      Salta Int'l Airport (SLA). There is a reciprocity entry fee for entering Argentina through an international airport; Canada and Australia passport holders are required to register and pay the fee online prior to arrival.
    • Total Distance

      383 - 463 km (236 - 286 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      Average for 6 riding days 64 - 77 km (40 - 48 miles)
    • Rating

      301-401 Some climbing every day including the option to climb 6000 feet on Day 4. Some high elevations and strong winds are possible. Varying road surface quality.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes
    Sep 9-16, 2017 USD$3695 USD$600 Book it
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    Nov 4-11, 2017 USD$3695 USD$600 Book it
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    Apr 7-14, 2018 USD$3695 USD$600 Save $200, per person, when you book by August 1st. Book it
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    Sep 8-15, 2018 USD$3695 USD$600 Save $200, per person, when you book by August 1st. Book it
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    Nov 3-10, 2018 USD$3695 USD$600 Save $200, per person, when you book by August 1st. Book it
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    * We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

  • Stories

    • Wonderful, wonderful food including meals that were at the homes of local residents. Consistently good lodging. Excellent, friendly, helpful and knowledgeable guides. Much beautiful scenery.

      David S., Appleton, WI
    • Incredibly well-planned and supported in an exceptionally beautiful locale. My favorite things: The camaraderie of the group, interacting with the friendly, encouraging and knowledgeable support staff and the home-cooked meals eaten at the homes of ordinary local people.

      John T., Portland, OR
    • We went to a small winery on our day off in Cafayate. The guides drove us out in the van and after the tour we had lunch on the porch. It was a sunny day and the view was of the vineyards with the mountains behind us and in the distance. Was perfect Argentinean moment.

      Marion M., Toronto, Canada
    • Loved the trip up to the salt flat. Best bike days were the ride up through the cloud forest en route to Salta and the gorgeous canyon ride to Cafayate.

      Carolyn D., Concord, NH
    • The scenery, the roads, the weather, the food and of course the guides. Michele aka Butter Ball - was a delight and Javier aka Lover Boy was the most pleasant and knowledgeable guide I've experienced. The whole trip was great biking and most relaxing. What else can I say. Perfection!!

      Carol S., Ketchum, ID
    • Just a note to say THANK YOU. We had the absolute best time -- what a wonderful trip itinerary, and our guides, Michele and Javier, were FANTASTIC. They were not only loads of fun, they were always there for us, always wanting to do more, always explaining everything about the trip, the country, the history, the food...Carol and I are brewing up another trip with you -- hopefully next year in Italy.

      Carol H., Bellevue, ID
    • I loved the whole trip. The rides through the colorful canyons was almost like being home, just not so many people. The change of scenery from reds and oranges and desert like to green lush tropic like vegetation was great.

      Carolyn M., Centerville, UT
    • Another great ExperiencePlus tour!

      Harold M., Centerville, UT
    • The tour leaders were amazing. Each offered different skills and personality. Javier is a real asset with his language and history skills.

      Rich H., Cheyenne, WY
    • Everything was perfect. The guides, scenery, hotels, other cyclists and our friend, Doug, became a bike vacation convert!

      Jean A., Seattle, WA
    • I'm back home and not quite over my trip after almost a week. Loved Argentina and wanted to let you know how impressed I was with ExperiencePlus!. We had excellent guides who were efficient, fun and interesting. The country was vast and gorgeous, often feeling bigger than anything that we have in our West. Our week came off without a glitch and I would do it all again. Thank you for your help and support. I was the only one in the group who had not ridden many times with your organization and that says it all.

      Doug W., Tiburon, CA

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