Calchaqui Valley

Route 40

  • LOCATION: See Here
  • ALTITUDE: Between 1600 meters and 2500 meters above sea level.
  • CLIMATE: Generally the weather is dry and arid, with great breadth heat. The days are sunny and cold nights.
  • EXTENSION: 520 km. aprox.

The Calchaquí Valleys are a system of valleys and mountains that extend across the provinces of Catamarca, Tucuman and Salta, until near the border with Bolivia, which are surrounded by high peaks, as the Nevado de Cachi, with 6,700 meters above sea level.
They were inhabited since pre-Inca times by groups of origin Diaguita or "Calchaquí," a brave indigenous culture which remained one of the last pockets of resistance before the Spanish invasion. The so-called War Calchaquí, began in 1562 organized by military chief, Juan Calchaquí.
For this area passed the Inca Trail and caravans of llamas to or from the "Alto Peru". This shows its importance as a trade route between the Andean towns.

The main towns or cities in Salta territory are the follows:

CACHI: Town pre-existing of the Spanish domination. The population stands at the confluence of rivers Calchaquí and Cachi, and kept old houses on narrow streets lined.

SECLANTAS: It is called the "Cradle of Poncho salteño" because it is a land of experts craftsmen in the looms. It is the ideal place to buy carpets, ponchos, blankets or fabric in general.
Its name derives from the old name of an old nearby river named "Seclantá."
It is located on Route 40, on the banks of the Calchaquí River.
At present, the town revolves around a main street, in houses with galleries and roof covered with cane and mud. It has post office, hospital, craft center, phone booth, warehouses, and is ready to receive tourists.
About 12 km. of the town, is the beautiful and mysterious Lagoon "Brealito", replete with stories and tales of strange lights, UFOs and monsters.

MOLINOS: Town founded in the mid-seventeenth century and which lies at the confluence of rivers Humanao and Luracatao, 2020 meters above sea level.
Its layout is irregular, with adobe houses and roofs of mud, with porches and galleries.
It highlights his Church (National Monument), built in 1639, where lie the mummified remains of the last governor realistic, Nicholas Isasmendi. At present danger of collapse, because of its proximity to the river.
In its environs is the first hatchery of vicunas in semi-captivity, installed in the Province of Salta, the Ruins of Churcal, and the remains of Fort Tacuil, a defense built by the natives against the conquerors.

ANGASTACO: Small town of 2531 inhabitants, located at 1990 meters in a valley crossed by the River of the same name and which empties into the Calchaquí River.
His name translated from the language Kakana mean something like "La Aguada del Alto"
From this village begins the "Quebrada de las Flechas (Arrows)", an allusion to the capricious shapes who took the mountains with many years of erosion from wind and water.
The area cultivated vines, cereals, fruits, spices (Pepper, Comino, Anis), sometimes drawing on the old forms of irrigation. There are also artisan wines (Pateros)
His church is a recent construction and dates between 1976 and 1979, with a beautiful colonial style.

SAN CARLOS: It is an ancient population that originated when the Jesuits established in the so-called "Mision San Carlos."
At other times this population had a economic and trade boom , which became the candidate to become provincial capital.
His church is a historic monument and the museum dates from the eighteenth century.
In its environs there are cave paintings and petroglyphs, located in the San Lucas area.
There is also at the Finca Buena Vista, the only stone mill in operation in the region with this millennial system.

ANIMANA: Small town which means "Place of Heaven" in Kakana language , and that has become famous for its "patero" wine production. Its economy revolves mainly around this industry, fabrics and pottery.

CAFAYATE: It is one of the most important cities inside of the Calchaqui Valleys Tour.



The so-called "Round To The Valleys" is a unique ride which runs almost entirely the Calchaquí Valleys through all the towns previously nominated, knowing its attractions, history and monuments.
Starting from Salta to Cachi, passing through the Cuesta del Obispo and the National Park Los Cardones, will arrive at lunchtime, after going through the route No. 40 to hear views of extravagant beauty along the river and knowing Calchaquí historic villages as Molinos, Seclantás, Angastaco, etc..
It follows by the Quebrada de las Flechas, visiting San Carlos and arrived in Cafayate, where spends the night.
During the morning visiting the town and wineries, to undertake the return to Salta capital after lunch, crossing the Quebrada de las Conchas and Lerma´s Valley.

Day 1: Salta - Cuesta del Obispo – P. N. Los Cardones - Cachi - Seclantás - Molinos - Angastaco - San Carlos - Cafayate - NIGHT IN CAFAYATE.
Día 2: Cafayate - Quebrada de las Conchas (Anfiteatro, El Fraile, El Sapo...) - Salta

  • DISTANCE: 520 km.
  • DURATION: 2 days, with night in Cafayate.
  • TIMES: From 07:00 hs. (First Day) to 18:00 hs. (second day).
  • INCLUDE: Transfers, guides and insurance.
  • NOT INCLUDE: Accommodation, Food and drinks.
  • PRICE PER PERSON: View the Tours Price List