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12 days NW/Salta area and cross to Chile

connecticut
Level Contributor
27 posts
298 reviews
12 days NW/Salta area and cross to Chile

Hello. I am at the beginning of planning a trip which will begin in BA and (I think) end in Santiago. The original plan is to see BA in a couple of days (picking up my college student from study abroad in BA) then fly to Salta. See the area. We like scenic areas and history. Little hikes. Not too interested in wineries. I'm a little worried about 2 women driving as, per reports, roads can be rough and remote. I don't know how to change a flat tire:) Sounds like we would want to see Purmamarca, Tilcara, Maimara, Cachi (Cafayate). Anything else? I had read there is a bus (11 hour journey) from Salta to San Pedro de Atacama. I think we would be able to stop off that bus and stay in Purmamarca and see that area on the way. (Rest of trip would be SPA, then fly out of Santiago home). This is happening at very beginning of December but I have to buy tickets now (for my daughter who is leaving in 3 weeks). I guess the only other alternate plan would be to begin in BA, go to Salta, forget SPA/Chile and do something else in Argentina before leaving out of BA. The time is too short to go to Patagonia on this trip (for me).

Thanks so much for your advice!

8 replies to this topic
Argentina
Level Contributor
3,644 posts
36 reviews
1. Re: 12 days NW/Salta area and cross to Chile

I think I understood...

You need at least 5 days to see all those places you mentioned in the NW of Argentina.

Day 1; Salta - Cachi or Molinos

Day 2; Cachi or Molinos- Cafayate

Day 3; Cafayate - Salta a free cheese tasting or wine tasting

Day 4; Salta - Purmamarca - visiting the salt flats at sunset.

Day 5; Purmamarca - Uquia- Humahuaca - Tilcara - Salta

Or four days if we compress the itinerary a little bit.

If SPA is still an option you can arrange to take the bus in Purmamarca it takes around 8 hours.

Angie/Giena.

connecticut
Level Contributor
27 posts
298 reviews
2. Re: 12 days NW/Salta area and cross to Chile

Angie - thanks so much for your quick reply to my post. I have been reading more since you replied and I see your idea is to do the 2 loops - one from Salta to Cachi/Molinas and to Cafayate and then one from Salta going to Purmamarca, Tilcara,Humahuaca. You indicated this all would be about 5 days. I am wondering 1) if I could get up to Iruya and Yavi with one more day of travel? 2) should I rent a car and drive or use bus or remis service? 3) Should I use Salta as a base and travel from there? I do like to stay overnight in other places - seems like Cafayate, Purmamarca, and maybe Yavi would be good to stay a night? 4) The bus leaving from Purmamarca to SPA - do you know which bus it is? I have found a couple of bus lines and not sure which one to use. They go at different times of the week (3 days) so I'd have to arrange my time to make sure I was ready to leave for SPA on a "bus day". One line leaves at 3:45am - I would hope to see the scenery! Another bus leaves later per another traveler's post (I think about 9am from {Purmamarca) but I can't find that bus line.

Also, you indicated in other posts about driving different routes such as that Rta 68 is easy to drive and Rta 40 is not advisable to drive. What about Rta 9 and Rta 33 (I think this is the one from Salta to Cachi). I heard there is a bus from Salta to Cachi once a day...... The trip will be the very beginning of December so maybe not too much rain for road problems?

Thanks again for your help!

Argentina
Level Contributor
3,644 posts
36 reviews
3. Re: 12 days NW/Salta area and cross to Chile

1) if I could get up to Iruya and Yavi with one more day of travel?

Yes, one more day would let you do see more.

2)should I rent a car and drive or use bus or remis service?

A private driver would be more suitable. A taxi or Remis will finally make you pay expenses that you can not count beforehand. I think you should arrange a private service and have an idea of how much everything will cost form the very beginning.

3) Should I use Salta as a base and travel from there? I do like to stay overnight in other places - seems like Cafayate, Purmamarca, and maybe Yavi would be good to stay a night?

Yes, that is the idea. Staying in Purmamarca - Cafayate and Iruya or Yavi... you can use your time much better and enjoy everything better.

4) The bus leaving from Purmamarca to SPA - do you know which bus it is? Sure!!! I have booked for many of my customer at Pullman or Geminis, depending on the dates you come.

I am not sure if I can include a link... The bus goes through Purmamarca around 10 a.m., and at p.m. you are already in SPA.

December is still ok to drive in the Calchaquies Valleys. Do not worry. The drive is long, but it worths.

I hope I helped. Warm regards,

Angie/Giena

virginia
Level Contributor
801 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: 12 days NW/Salta area and cross to Chile

Hi Angie: I used your services about 10 years ago and really enjoyed. This time hubby and I would like to rent a car in Salta. Can you please tell me what the weather (rain/temps) will be like in February. We plan to do the same itinerary as you have posted. But this time maybe drive into northern Chile or southern Bolivia. Is this feasible with a rental car. Thanks for your help. Eleana

Argentina
Level Contributor
3,644 posts
36 reviews
5. Re: 12 days NW/Salta area and cross to Chile

Hi, Eleana;

I think it is possible t cross to Chile or BOlivia, but I am not sure if the cost of the legal papers to cross the border plus the international insurance are reasonable.

I have crossed to Bolivia with my car a couple of times but even as the owner, I had to make a some papers and checks. I think it would be recommended you contact some of the car rentals and find out the possibilities.

If you need further info pls do not hesitate contacting again.

Warm regards,

Angie

Province of Milan...
Level Contributor
20 posts
6. Re: 12 days NW/Salta area and cross to Chile

Hello Angie,

sorry to intrude, but do you think the road from Cachi to Cafayate is feasible with a normal rented car (like a Chevrolet). I keep hearing different opinions on this..

Thanks a lot!

Argentina
Level Contributor
3,644 posts
36 reviews
7. Re: 12 days NW/Salta area and cross to Chile

Dear Atma; Yes, I have a normal car... I do it al the time. Just check the car you rent has good tyres, and everything will be ok. A bit bumping sometimes, unless the machines has smoothen the roads before, but doable.

Regards,

Angie///Giena

Province of Milan...
Level Contributor
20 posts
8. Re: 12 days NW/Salta area and cross to Chile

Great, thank you Angie!

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