This trip can be booked by groups of 4-16. You choose the dates!
Custom trips also available. Call or email for details.
7 days/ 6 nights
Moderate with some hills. Average elevation gains 500-750m per day.
Land cost (current year):
US$3450 pp *(8 pax)
Single Supplement: US$850
Bike Rental: US$180
*6-7 pax-add $400pp
*4-5 pax-add $800pp
Argentina is a remarkable country with outstanding scenery and a rich indigenous culture, especially in the northwest of the country where amazing food and excellent wines await. Our itinerary starts from Tucuman, easily reached from Buenos Aires. We will visit Tafi de Valle, the wine capital of Cafayate, charming Salta, and the dreamscape lands of Pumarmarca. We stay in luxurious hotels, and dine in restaurants that will be unforgettable. Cycling on paved roads, we will engage with locals in a way that only travel by bicycle allows. This will be an adventure unlike any other.
Only Great Explorations:
Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences.
Incredible hotel properties with a variety of distinctive unique estancias, and inns.
A ride you will never forget: each of the rides will be memorable, through vineyards, valleys and along the coast.
Order off the menu at restaurants you won't find in guidebooks.
We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises.
Straight Talk: Because of the distance we cover on this trip, and the fact that not all roads are suitable to bike, we have strategic shuttles, sometimes to the start of the ride, or from the end of the ride to the hotel. The drives are often through gorgeous scenery and allow to reach must-see destinations. Our vehicles are typically Mercedes Sprinter vans on this trip.
Our trip starts from San Miguel de Tucuman, which can be reached from Buenos Aires on a morning flight of Day 1 (depart 7:35 arrive 9:35). Staying in Tucuman the night before the trip start is an option, but not necessary.
DAY 1 - Tucuman to Tafi del Valle:
We meet this morning at Tucuman city and shuttle to the start point of our first ride in the Tucumán countryside. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the way, and then ride the remaining distance to our home for tonight, Estancia Las Carreras. Built in 1778 by the Jesuits, the estate is a remnant of a time when these missionaries came to share their beliefs and culture with the indigenous populations. Visit the estancia’s cheese factory, in operation since the 18th century. Tonight we savor regional dishes made with fresh local ingredientsat the Estancia.
Biking Distance: up to 40 mi/65 km
Terrain: flat to start and then uphill! shuttle avaialable
Lodging at Estancia Las Carreras / Meals: L, D
DAY 2 - Tafi del Valle to Cafayate:
Waking this morning we shuttle through the Calchaqui Valleys. As we ascend to El Infiernillo high pass we observe transitional areas between the high altitude pastures and the arid deserts. Cycle downhill through endless cactus plains, to the indigenous community of Amaicha del Valle. Lunch today is at the local winery Rio de Arena. Our afternoon ride takes us by pre-Columbian archeological sites, and leads us on a rolling route into the town of Cafayate, regarded as the capital of Northern Argentina’s wine regions. We make our way to the elegant Patios de Cafayate Wine Resort, set at the grounds of El Esteco Winery. Relax by the pool, or opt for one of the spa treatments at the lodge before dinner.
Lodging at Patios de Cafayate Wine Lodge / Meals: B, L, D
Biking distance: 40 mi/65 km
Terrain: morning ride is mostly downhill, afternoon ride is on rolling hills, on paved (secondary roads)
DAY 3 - Cafayate:
Morning bike ride into town to admire the labor of artisans that have contributed to make Cafayate an authentic Art & Crafts village. We sample delicious empanadas (meat pies) and stop for a wine tasting of superb Torrontes and Malbecs at El Porvenir winery. Later on, we cycle to Finca Las Nubes State, at the small, family owned Mounier Winery. The scenery is sensational; soak it all in while you enjoy lunch and impressive views of the Calchaqui valleys. Return to our lodge for a relaxed evening at leisure or walk into town and experience the lively cafes around the village´s main square.
Lodging at Patios de Cafayate Wine Lodge / Meals: B, L
Biking distance: 15 mi/24 km
Terrain: mostly flat with some rolling hills, on paved (secondary roads)
DAY 4 - Cafayate to Salta:
Morning cycling to the entrance of Quebrada de Cafayate, where we walk through fantastic rock formations. Afterwards transfer to Salta and the exclusive Legado Mitico Hotel. In the afternoon we walk the colonial and historical district of Salta that reveals the striking red-and-gold baroque San Francisco Church, built in 1625, and the café terrace-lined Plaza 9 de Julio, which is dominated by the light pink Salta Cathedral and features the MAAM high altitude archaeological museum (Museo de Arqueologia de Alta Montana de Salta). The museum is dedicated to the “The Children of Llullaillaco”, the impressive mummified bodies of three Inca children found at the peak of Mount Llullaillaco, at 22,080’ the highest known burial site in the world. Evening at your leisure to continue exploring Salta’s colonial architecture, museums, markets and rousing folk music and culture.
Lodging at Legado Mitico Boutique Hotel / Meals: B
Biking distance: 21 mi/34 km OR 40 mi/65 km
Terrain: rolling hills, on paved roads
DAY 5 - Salta to Purmamarca:
This morning embark on a scenic drive north, and into the Junga (subtropical cloud forest) where we cycle an exhilarating route, experiencing the sights and sounds of the jungle filled with a great variety of native birds.This is an amazing contrast with the desert landscape of the high Andean plateaus that is to come. Lunch at a local restaurant venue followed by the drive to our lodge. The valley of Quebrada de Humahuaca was declared a World Heritage site and the scenery here is spectacular. We will spend the night in the colorful and traditional town of Purmamarca, blissfully tranquil.
Lodging at Manantial del Silencio / Meals: B, L, D
Biking distance: 21 mi/34 km
Terrain: mostly downhill, on paved (secondary roads)
DAY 6 - Purmamarca to Salines Grandes:
This morning we will drive up to Cuesta de Lipán (4170 m/13,680 ft.), a mountain pass on the road to Chile and Bolivia. From the highest point of the pass we’ll start cycling, descending to Salinas Grandes, an ocean of salt flats perfect for exploring on bike. We will enjoy a picnic lunch and the surreal landscape of the high Andean plateaus before returning to our lodge in Purmamarca.
Lodging at Manantial del Silencio / Meals: B, L
Biking distance: 21 mi/34 km or 24 mi/40 km
Terrain: downhill and flat, 75% on paved roads – 25% on the salt flats
DAY 7 - Purmamarca to Salta:
We set out on foot with our local guide through town and into the seven colored hills during early morning, when light is best for photography. Afterwards we drive back to Salta airport to board connecting flights to Buenos Aires.
Map of the Area
Buenos Aires is most delightful in spring and autumn (October/ November and April/May), quite hot and humid in January and February. The weather is good almost all year round in Salta and the north west in general. Winter (June to August) is sunny, with bright clear days but chilly nights. Summer (December to February) is hot - impossibly so at times - with frequent torrential downpours. The most popular time to cycle would be March, April and October, November.
What's Included in the Cost of Your Trip?
- Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
- 6 nights lodging as per itinerary
- All breakfasts, 5 lunches, and all 3 dinners
- Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
- Detailed map and route instructions
- All baggage transportation
- All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)
Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1.800.242.1825