Argentina Eclipse: Salta Region
Witness a total solar eclipse in Argentina and visit the beautiful region of
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely / Moderate
Group Size Small Group
Experiencing a total solar eclipse is a truly special experience. As the moon moves between the sun and the earth, the sky darkens, birds and animals become agitated and the heart palpitates in anticipation. It can be a very moving experience and one which is enriched by experiencing it in an exotic destination, such as the north west of Argentina. On 2 July 2019 a total solar eclipse will draw a path through the sky over parts of Argentina. Combine this astronomical event with a visit to one of Argentina’s most scenic and lesser known regions.
* All breakfasts and 2 lunches
* All accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Airport transfers (at designated times)
- Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
- Total eclipse at Jachal
- Visit one of the most important archaeological sites in Argentina, Shincal de Quimivil
- Drive along exquisitely picturesque roads passing colorful gorges
- Free time to explore Buenos Aires, a beautiful and cosmopolitan capital
- Travel by minibus and 2 internal flights
- Group normally 6‐16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
- 6 nights comfortable hotels and 5 nights standard hotels
- Some long journeys
Start Buenos Aires; afternoon at leisure
Those on the group flight will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel in Buenos Aires. Those on land only arrangements should make their own way to the start hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to choose one of the many excellent restaurants, most serving legendary Argentine steaks!*Comfortable Hotel*
Half day walking city tour
Our local leader will meet us today for a briefing and take us on a short walking tour of the city, discovering its wealth of history and culture. In this walking tour the tour leader will show you the main sites and landmarks Buenos Aires can offer. The highlights of this tour are the famous Recoleta cemetery where Eva Peron (Evita) is buried, the Colon Theatre and San Martin Square. Afterwards you will have the rest of the day at leisure to explore more of this fascinating city. Tonight we recommend visiting one of the excellent tango shows in the old quarter of San Telmo. Please ask your tour leader and they will help you to arrange it.*Comfortable Hotel*
Fly to Salta; afternoon city walking tour.
After breakfast we take a short transfer to the domestic airport and board our flight to Salta. On arrival we make our way to the hotel and have some free time to eat lunch in one of many delicious restaurants in the city. In the afternoon we have a walking city tour that will visit the city highlights, including the old town hall, cathedral, the magnificent Franciscan convent and learn about the heroes and stories about the most beautiful town in Argentina.*Comfortable Hotel*
Transfer to Cachi; afternoon at leisure
After breakfast we head south from Salta through the Obispo slope – an amazing feat of road engineering – to the route’s highest point (3348 metres above sea level), known as the Piedra Del Molino. From here we drive through the Los Cardones National Park, which is famous for its giant cacti (cardones) which dot the hillside, ranging in colour from dark green to deep red. Today’s driving time is approx. 4-5 hours with plenty of stops to take photos. Or arrival in Cachi we will check in to our hotel and have the rest of the day at leisure. *Standard Hotel*
Cachi to Cafayate
Today we drive to the sleepy town of Cafayate. We follow the National Route 40 through the spectacular Calchaquies Valley. We will stop off at the Valley of the Arrows and see where the rock strata has been forced upwards to look like arrowheads. As the sun sets, the mountains change colour, making this long driving day really worth while before we arrive at our hotel in Cafayate. Today’s driving time is approx. 6 hrs.*Comfortable Hotel*
Transfer to Belen via the Ruins of Quilmes
After breakfast we will begin our drive towards Belen. En route we will make a stop at the ruins of Quilmes, where we will have a guided tour. These are Calchaquí native ruins, a tribe who once lived amongst the Calchaquí mountain range. After the visit we will continue to our final destination, Belen. Today’s driving time is approx. 5 hrs.*Standard Hotel*
Half day guided tour of Shincal; drive to Villa Union
After breakfast we take a short transfer (approx. 30 minutes) to the impressive Shincal de Quimvil site. It is said to be the most important archaeological site in northern Argentina. Declared a national historical monument, various researchers discovered this site was an important administrative centre occupied by the Inca Empire between 1471 and 1536. After our visit we will continue on to Villa Union. We break up the journey with a few stops to take pictures of the dramatic desert landscape and the contrasting Andean mountains. Today’s driving time is approx. 6 hours.*Standard Hotel*
Full day exploring Ischigualasto National Park.
In the morning we will head past Talampaya National Park and visit its neighbour Ischigualasto Provincial Park, also known as Moon Valley. The highlight of this tour is climbing up the Cerro Morado, for really incredible panoramic views of the park. Hopefully we’ll see condors soaring overhead too! In the afternoon we head back to our hotel in Villa Union.*Standard Hotel*
After breakfast we have a short transfer before arriving at the spectacular Talampaya National Park. We spend most of the day exploring the highlight of the park, which is the Talampaya Canyon. This is a 150 metre high wall, where you can find many petroglyphs (rock carvings) as well as fossils which prove that dinosaurs lived here millions of years ago. We also cross a part of the park which can only be done in a vehicle accompanied by a national park guide. In the afternoon we drive (approx. 2 hours) towards Jachal, where we will witness the eclipse. As tonight we will arrive late back at our hotel, we will have some free time to eat in town.A total solar eclipse is one of the most spectacular celestial events visible from Earth and can, for many people, be quite an emotional experience. We head out to our viewing spot as the eclipse takes place between 16:26 and 18:47 with totality commencing at 17:40 and ending at 17:42. Don’t forget your eclipse glasses (which we will send to you before the trip).After the eclipse we will drive (approx. 2 hours) back to our hotel for the night.*Standard Hotel*
Fly back to Buenos Aires; afternoon at leisure.
Depending upon the flight time, we may have some free time at the hotel this morning before we transfer (approx. 3-5 hours) to San Juan airport. We fly back to Buenos Aires and usually arrive in time to explore more of this fascinating city.*Comfortable Hotel*
Free day at leisure to take part in optional excursions in and around Buenos Aires.
This is a free day to either spend exploring Buenos Aires or you can also book an optional tour to spend a day in the countryside. We recommend the full day trip to visit an estancia ’working ranch’ in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. At the estancia you will have the opportunity to go horseriding, watch a game of Polo or even have a Polo lesson. Please ask your tour leader, and they will help you to arrange it.*Comfortable Hotel*
End Buenos Aires.
Depending on the time of your flight you may have another chance to see more of cosmopolitan Buenos Aires. Those on group flights will leave today for the flight back to London.
In Buenos Aires, Salta and Cafayate we stay in comfortable hotels which are ideally located for sightseeing.
Accommodation in the more rural destinations of Cachi, Belen and Villa Union is more basic but provides all the amenities that we require.
Most of the properties feature swimming pools.
All breakfasts and 2 lunches included.
Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet-style and are included. There are 2 packed lunches included. These will consist of a sandwich or empanada, fruit, cereal bar or chocolate bar and a bottle of water or juice.
There is a variety of good, quality food on offer in local restaurants. In each location where we stay there are numerous evening meal options to cater for different tastes. The group leader will be able to make recommendations and often everyone will eat together, however you can choose to dine wherever you prefer in the evenings. Please advise us at the time of booking if you have any special dietary requirements. Vegetarians are catered for throughout the trip, but please ensure that you advise us before you travel so that we can make the necessary arrangements on your behalf.
Argentine steak is famous around the world and you will not be disappointed, especially if you combine it with locally produced Malbec.
We suggest that you allow about US$20 per meal (excluding alcohol) to eat at restaurants throughout the trip.
This trip is a one-off departure to coincide with the total solar eclipse of July 2019. We have two internal flights on this trip, but there are still 4 long drives. The longest transfers are from Salta to Cachi on Day 4, Cachi to Cafayate on Day 5, Cafayate to Belen on Day 6 and Belen to Villa Union on Day 7. These transfers are approx. 5-6 hours including stops to take pictures.
On day 6 we visit the Quilmes ruins and to walk around the site, it will take approximately 1 hour. Including walking up the hill to get a great panoramic view of the site.
The weather in San Juan is fairly constant year round so while there are good chances of clear skies for the eclipse we cannot guarantee that there will not be some cloud cover.
Please note there is another eclipse trip available, which includes Mendoza instead of the Salta region. Although there will be an overlap with this group in Buenos Aires and Villa Union, both groups will each have a separate tour leader.