Argentina Self-drive: Buenos Aires, Patagonia and the Wine Region
Enjoy the freedom of a self-drive holiday to Argentina, with 12 nights discovering the Latin-fuelled energy of Buenos Aires, sophisticated Salta with its showy architecture, the fertile wine regions of Cafayate and the kaleidoscopic hills of Purmamarca and Humahuaca. You’ll then experience the wonders of Patagonia, including the ever-encroaching mass of the Perito Moreno glacier.
- Take in the spectacular scenery as you drive along Argentina’s wide open roads
- Experience the colourful, cultural clash of Buenos Aires’ many barrios
- Sample full-bodied wines in the vineyards around Cafayate
- View the immense Perito Moreno glacier up close during a stay in Patagonia
- Stroll among the plazas and folk music bars of elegant Salta
Day 1 – Arrive in Buenos Aires
Flying to Buenos Aires, you’ll spend two nights in the city that’s described as the ‘Paris of the South’ for good reason. Its wide, elegant streets are lined with Art Nouveau buildings leading to open plazas, and leafy parks designed for strolling.
Day 2 – Exploring Buenos Aires
Get to know the city’s contrasting barrios on a tour, taking in the magnificent splendour of Recoleta, with its grand cemetery; the colourful houses of La Boca and the colonial cafés and cobblestones of San Telmo. Tonight you’ll be dining in style at a traditional Argentinian tango parlour, where you’ll sample some of the country’s incredible cuisine before watching an electrifying tango show.
Day 3 – Fly to Salta
A short flight to the northwest will deliver you to Salta, famous for its chic colonial buildings and folk music scene. Here you’ll collect your car to begin your self-drive adventure.
Day 4 – Drive to Cachi
Set off from Salta for a scenic drive to Cachi. Your short journey will take you through tiny colonial-style towns set amid tobacco plantations, via mountain-hugging roads that snake past clusters of adobe houses often shrouded in cloud. Dramatic views reach across the velvety mountains and wind-hewn terracotta rocks, as the route take you along the die-straight Tin-Tin Pass, with only giant cacti for company. Explore the beautifully preserved streets of Cachi and pick up some of the town’s weavings to take home with you.
Day 5 – Cafayate Wine Region
Leaving Cachi behind you’ll breeze along Route 40 to Cafayate, where you’ll be staying amid the vineyards of the Calchaqui Valley Wine Region. The altitude and latitude of the region creates a unique terroir; many Torrontes and Malbec wines are produced here and can be enjoyed on tasting tours.
Day 6 – Drive to Purmamarca
Purmamarca is a tiny, postcard-pretty village, famous for its vibrant striated mountains such as the Hill of Seven Colours. The jagged formation is best observed in the morning or evening sunlight and there’s a short circular walk around the hill which will enable you to view the colours in all their glory.
Day 7 – Drive to Humahuaca Gorge
The dramatic Humahuaca Gorge continues the colourful rock theme, known as the Artist’s Palette due to the range of visible hues. Its painterly curves rise up from oasis villages like Maimara and onion and garlic fields. Staying in the town of Humahuaca, you’ll be well-placed for visiting the many surrounding monuments and fortresses.
Day 8 – Return to Salta
Drive back to Salta where you’ll leave your hire car, spending the night in the city before flying to Patagonia the following day.
Day 9 – Fly to El Calafate
You’ll fly to the Patagonian city of El Calafate via Buenos Aires, landing amid the mountain scenery on the banks of Lago Argentino. El Calafate is the jumping off point for tours to El Chalten in the north and the Torres del Paine, and you’ll be well-placed for your tour of the Perito Moreno glacier.
Day 10 – Discover the Perito Moreno glacier
Exploring the icy reaches of Los Glaciares Nation Park is today’s activity, where you’ll get a thrilling insight into the intense majesty of the Perito Moreno glacier, some 30 kilometres long and five kilometres wide. The toothpaste-blue glacier defies climate change by continually advancing, sometimes up to two metres per day, and regularly calves building-sized icebergs from its craggy face.
Day 11 – Exploring Patagonia
Make the most of your stay among some of the world’s most visually arresting natural scenery, exploring the wilds on foot or perhaps saddling up for an adventure on horseback with the gauchos.
Day 12 – Fly to Buenos Aires
After a final day in Patagonia, take an overnight flight to Buenos Aires, where you’ll connect with your return flight back to the UK.
Day 13 – Return flight
Say a fond ‘adios’ to Argentina and fly back to the UK.
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