Page 2

(Trip to North-West Argentina - June 23/July 8, 2001)

We flew from Buenos Aires, rented a car in Salta, then drove south towards Cafayate, through the Quebrada das Conchas, which becomes more and more spectacular as we get closer to Cafayate.




Surprising colors, due to the volcanic rocks : one could spend much time in the area, just looking around (and taking pictures)...




Once in a while, a farm. Cattle and vineyards.

The road is hard cover, all the way from Salta to Cafayate : no problem.




Cafayate is one of the best known wine area in Argentina : one should absolutely stop there, and taste the wine - red and white ! Visit the "bodegas" of Michel Torino, Etchart and Vasija Secreta - and take along a few bottles !

The small town is then fairly prosperous. The ASEMBAL hotel is a bit more expensive than its name suggests (phonetically, the name sounds a bit like "ten bucks", in French)... but it is quite confortable, and the food is good !


South of Cafayate (some 30 miles = 50 km), one should go see the indian ruins of Quilmes - one of the most important archeological sites in Argentina - and visit the nearby museum, where are exposed many artifacts found in the ruins. The museum attendant, a very nice young man, will gladly give detailed explanations.


The road that goes from Cafayate to Cachi is mostly dirt, and quite bad (the worst we have had for the whole trip).

Now we enter the Calchaquies Valleys.

Immediately after Las Flechas (picture), stop at the small and quiet village of Angastaco : it would be a very good idea to spend a couple of days there (excellent hotel, and the manager is very friendly)...




In Cachi, we find the cactus...

One should absolutely spend the night at the Hostal Samay Huasi (5 miles = 8 km North of Cachi) - and even spend a couple of days there... Very quiet, and extremely warm welcome (warmer than the shower...)

The new La Paya hotel, just before reaching Cachi, is an old house, recently renovated, in a very beautiful environment, but the manager was a bit too much of a hard seller to our taste...



A few pratical informations
Cont'd... Page 3