Argentina: Vision & Vine, 3 - 13 Mar, 2020
A 14-Day Photographic Journey with Jeremy Woodhouse
Northwest Argentina is a highly photogenic and pristine region consisting of the provinces of Catamarca, Jujuy, Salta, Santiago del Estero and Tucumán.
The highlight of this exclusive Northwest Argentinian photography adventure is its incredible landscape diversity consisting of five distinct biomes: the sub-Andean humid sierras of the east, fertile valleys, and the canyons, the high mountains of the Andes and the Altiplano or Puna. The mountain ranges of this little known region tucked into the eastern Andes, slope and unfold dramatically from west to east. Each rolling range is unique and every valley in between has its characteristic settings, vegetation, traditions and cultural expressions.
This is subtropical South America, a land as rich in culture as it is beautiful, with high plateaus designed by volcanoes, salt flats, dry desert valleys with multi-colored mountains and cactus forests. The highest vineyards in the world thrive here and yield grapes that will become full-bodied red wines. The temperate green valleys, where cattle and farming sustain life, have led to the existence of a strong gaucho culture that you will experience and photograph up close! For this exclusive tour, you will sample all the special dishes of the region: empanadas, Locro Vallisto, Andean potato soup, asado, budin de pan con dulce de leche and much more, all paired with the fine altitude wine of the region.
This exclusive journey will cover all these regional flavors, provide an insight to local culture and unveil and release the photographers’ eye and sacred spirit deep inside each of us.
Pre-Tour: Tue, 3 Mar–Arrival
O/N Villa Vicuña Hotel, Salta
Located on Calle Caseros, this hotel is in the heart of Salta. Just two blocks from the main square and the historic center
Day 1: Wed, 4 Mar–Salta to Cafayate
Morning departure from Villa Vicuna (pre-night hotel). Head south paralleling the Andes and go from the temperate Valle de Lerma to the higher and drier Calchaquí Valley. Stop for lunch at a goat farm, just after the small village of Talapampa. Leave the green agriculture fields behind and dive into red mountains.
O/N Los Patios Boutique Hotel and Spa, Cafayate (B,L,D)
A country mansion with elegant dark wood furniture and red- tiled oors and river views. The hotel rooms overlook the courtyards, gardens, vineyards and mountains surrounding the Valley Calchaquí. Amenities include hairdryer, minibar, and Wi-Fi. There is an outdoor pool and the restaurant serves qality cuisine
Day 2: Thu, 5 Mar–Cafayate/La Punilla/Piatelli Vineyards
Begin the morning with a sunrise hike to La Punilla to capture the first light over the Calchaquí Valley, the mountains that embrace the Cafayate area.
Explore the Piatelli vineyards and enjoy a traditional lunch in their delightful restaurant. In late afternoon, visit the tiny village of Cafayate, its wine museum and lively plaza.
O/N Los Patios Boutique Hotel and Spa, Cafayate (B,L)
Day 3: Fri, 6 Mar–Cafayate/Los Medanos/Estancia Chimpa/Cafayate
At sunrise we will be at the sand dunes of Los Medanos: a long series of dunes of immaculate sand, a result of the erosion of limestone deposits and containing mica particles that make it stand out in the sun. The wind constantly sculpts the contours of the dunes into endless little waves. Then we head back for a morning breakfast and some time to rest
For lunch, we will experience a multi-course asado (Argentinian BBQ) in Estancia Chimpa followed by folkoric surprises.
In the late afternoon, when the light is perfect, hike in La Yesera to photograph this magnificent ancient canyon with colors, shapes, textures & formations that tell millions of years of the geologic history of this ancient lake that was uplifted and transformed by the Andes.
Before dinner, stroll through the village of Cafayate where you can purchase traditional handicrafts or simply enjoy a lovely stroll around the lively main plaza, the hub of life in every Argentinian village.
O/N Los Patios Boutique Hotel and Spa, Cafayate (B,L,D)
Day 4: Sat, 7 Mar–Cafayate/Cachi
After breakfast we drive north along the famous National Route 40, the backbone of the Calchaquí Valley. Route 40 is one of the longest roads in the world and is the longest continuous road in Argentina which stretches from north to south along the Andes, from Bolivia to the Magellan Straight. Route 40 is also the highest wine route in the world with both traditional and modern wineries throughout the region. Enjoy the early morning light as it paints La Quebrada de Las Flechas (Gorge of Arrows), a geological masterpiece formed 15-20 million years ago when the Andes morphed the seabed into granite and quartz.
Walking through the gorge, you’ll see massive rocks that have eroded over the eons into tall peaks and bizarre shapes. Lunch is at a family farmhouse, Finca del Carmine, overlooking a spectacular valley. Drive through a section of this road called Route of the Artisans and stop at the quiet village of Seclantás, the spiritual home of the Salta poncho. Stop at the home of Señor Tero who wove a poncho worn by Pope John Paul II.
Geological formations, unending mountains, adobe buildings and colonial churches are all part of today’s spectacular photography. By day’s end, arrive at Hotel La Merced del Alto, a welcomed luxury oasis in the midst of a spectacular cactus desert.
O/N Hotel La Merced del Alto (B,D)
Set in the Calchaqui valleys, just 2km from the historic town of Cachi. The hotel has breathtaking views of the surrounding hills, rivers, and streams. Enjoy an outdoor swimming pool, terrace, restaurant and wine cellar, and full spa
Day 5: Sun, 8 Mar–Cachi
We start off with an early morning hike to an Inca settlement at base of the Cachi Massif, a snow-capped mountain towering 19,000 feet above sea level. From its summits, water rushes down creating a distinct micro-climate resulting in a rich farming culture dating back to pre-Inca times. Learn about the Inca’s sophisticated irrigation systems that are still evident in the terraced hillsides covered in cactus. Set your camera to its highest speeds to capture the abundant hummingbirds that feed on cactus owers.
Enjoy a gourmet lunch at Bodega Isasmendi, a family run winery, then continue our exploration of the village of Cachi.
This area of Salta is an arid yet fertile land, hospitable to a range of vegetable and legume crops and best known for colorful peppers. Here we get our lenses close to the earth, photograph the native plants, lichen covered rocks, colorful hummingbirds and learn from the hard-working agricultores (farmers) who till the soil and carefully nurture crops.
A delightful place for history and nature lovers, Cachi offers an array of architectural structures from pristine white buildings of colonial aristocracy to modest adobe houses. Walk the quiet streets and absorb the slow pace of village life. Highlights of this village includes the Cachi Church and the Cachi Archeological Museum. Discover the remains of native civilizations before the days of Columbus. The town of Cachi, with simple whitewashed village walls framed by brilliant mountains, is a perfect location to photograph architectural details and colorful landscapes.
After dinner, gather for a special session on night photography and to capture the moon rising over the Cachi mountains.
O/N Hotel La Merced del Alto (B,L,D)
Day 6: Mon, 9 Mar–Cachi/Purmamarca
Travel from the high dry valley down to a temperate landscape. First, explore the myriad of contrasting colors in the “Valle Encantado” (Enchanted Valley), with its astounding erosion-sculpted rock formations, and the National Park Los Cardones. Located in the central western Salta Province, Los Cardones National Park was established in 1996 to protect the high-elevation vegetation of the colorful sierras and dry gorges that characterize this area. It is crossed by ancient Inca trail the straight line of Tin-Tin.
From Valle Encantado descend down the Cuesta del Obispo, a winding road of many micro-climates that connects high and dry climates with a mountain forest. This is a great spot to view and photograph soaring Andean Condors, considered a symbol of power and health by many Andean cultures. With a wing span of over nine feet, if these birds get close enough, you will also hear the rustle of their magnficent wings!
Picnic along the river and then a drive to Purmamarca in the Jujuy region, located in the extreme northwest of the country, at the borders with Chile and Bolivia. Hotel El Manantial del Silencio (The Silent Spring) is tucked away at the foot of Purmamarca’s multicolored mountains. This destination is as much about landscapes as it is about people and culture. This is the gateway from Argentina into the Altiplano, a region with its unique ways and culture that encompass southern Peru, western Bolivia and the Northwest tip of Argentina.
O/N La Comarca, Purmamarca (B,L,D)
Day 7: Tue, 10 Mar–Purmamarca
In the morning, walk through the Pucará de Tilcara, a pre-Inca forti cation or located on
a hill just outside the small town of Tilcara, in the province of Jujuy. The location was strategically chosen to be easily defensible and to provide good views over a long stretch of the Quebrada de Humahuaca. The Pucará de Tilcara was declared a National Monument in 2000. It has been partially rebuilt, and is the only publicly accessible archaeological site in the Quebrada de Humahuaca.
You will have time to photograph the markets and have lunch before a very special sunset drive to Las Salinas Grandes, a huge expanse of salt that defies perspective and distance. At 3,350 feet, it is one of the highlights of the region. Photograph Vicunas, one of two wild South American camelids which live in the high alpine areas of the Andes; the other being the guanaco. It is a relative of the llama, and is now believed to be the wild ancestor of domesticated alpacas, which are raised for their coats.
The inhabitants of the Argentinian Puna, in the northwest, still proudly maintain numerous ancient traditions. Here they maintain the cult of “Pachamama” giving thanks to Mother Earth who makes the “maize grow and livestock multiply“. The native peoples sing and dance to the rhythm of their folkloric instruments. By day’s end reach Quebrada de Humahuaca, located in the Province of Jujuy. It is a narrow and arid mountainous valley, flanked by the high plateau of the Puna and the eastern wooded areas.
O/N La Comarca, Purmamarca (B)
Day 8: Wed, 11 Mar–Purmamarca/Salta
In the morning stroll around Paseo de Los Colorados (7 colors mountain), one of the most beautiful and famous hikes in Northwest Argentina, then head to Salta. En-route enjoy an outdoor lunch of fresh fish at Dique La Cienaga. Nicknamed Salta la Linda (“Salta the beautiful”), Salta is in the heart in the heart of gaucho country and it has become a major tourist destination due to its old, colonial Spanish architecture, traveler friendly culture, delightful weather and the natural scenery of the valleys westward. Explore the history and culture of Salta.
O/N Hotel Solar de la Plaza, Salta (B,D)
With a colonial, sophisticated and personal style in its 30 rooms, Solar de la Plaza Hotel combines the tradition of a mid-twentieth-century mansion with the elegance of a contemporary high-end hotel building. Solar de la Plaza Hotel is located right in the city center, opposite Güemes square.
Day 9: Thu, 12 Mar–Salta
Today we spend the day exploring the streets of Salta. This tranquil city is an eclectic collection of Spanish colonial, neo colonial, French, Italianate and contemporary style architecture. The hotel is located four blocks away from the main square, which, as in all towns of Spanish origin, is the hub of city life. Attractions in the city proper include the 18th century Cabildo , the neo-classical style Cathedral, and the Plaza 9 de Julio along with San Bernardo hill, and its surroundings. The city’s museums exhibit a wide range of artifacts and art work from the native civilizations that flourished in the area, as well as from the 16th century Spanish conquest and the colonial and post-colonial periods.
Tonight we will enjoy a final dinner together before heading home or onward to our extension to Iguazu Falls.
O/N Hotel Solar de la Plaza, Salta (B,D)
Day 10: Fri, 13 Mar–Salta/Buenos Aires Departure
After breakfast around 9AM, we head to Martin Miguel de Guemes International Airport to for our flight back to Buenos Aires.
You do not need a visa to enter Argentina if you are from one of these countries. You no longer have to pay the reciprocity fee unless you are a Canadian citizen
Arrival & Departure
Arrival & Meeting Place
Fly to Salta on Tue, 3 March, Martin Miguel de Guemes International Airport (SLA). Take a taxi (approx. 35 minutes) to the pre-night hotel, Villa Vicuña. We will be met met by our local guide on the morning of Day 1: Wed, 4 March to begin our photo tour.
Transfer by taxi from Hotel Solar de la Plaza, Salta to Martin Miguel de Guemes International Airport approximately 15-20 minutes and up to $10.
You can expect nice warm weather in Salta during March with perhaps occasional rain, sometimes fog, and every now and then a thunderstorm. The average daytime temperatures vary between 17℃ (63F) and 27℃ (81F).
Things to do in Salta
Cover photo © Ossian Lindholm
Before you pay your deposit, please register for this tour
Tour dates: Month 3 - 13 Mar, 2020
Balance of the Deposit: $750
Full Deposit: $1,000
Single Supplement: $650
Max Group Size: 8
Photographer: Jeremy Woodhouse
Argentina: Iguazu, 13 - 16 Mar, 2020 CANCELLED
Once you have made your flight arrangements, please fill in the form at the link below
Tour Fee Includes
Tour Fee Does not Include
Paying by check
If you would like to pay your deposit and/or balance with a check, please make the check payable to: Pixelchrome, Inc and mail it to:
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McKinney TX 75070
Paying by Wire Transfer
Bank: Wells Fargo Bank, NA
Account #: 4428-000051
Routing #: 121000248
Swift #: WFBIUS6S
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Phone: (972) 439-3416