Northwest Argentina

Bike Packing Tour inspired by Years of Experience

In March 2022, ConnecTour member Rick McFerrin will restart the 13-day bicycle tour of northwestern Argentina he has held for a number of years. Beginning in the city of Salta, Argentina’s most stunning colonial city you will cycle on lesser-traveled paved roads winding through canyons, a cluster of vineyards, Andes mountain landscapes, and wild rivers.

Discover Argentina

Trip Essentials

Day-to-Day Itinerary

The adventure begins just by traveling to the city of Salta, Argentina.  Most flights are routed through Buenos Aires, but in recent years, there have been other more direct flights into Salta from major airports in South America. We have been booking travel to Argentina for many years and can help coordinate your flights.

The trip starts in Salta and ends in San Miguel de Tucuman. Depending on your timing, you may want to visit Buenos Aires or other parts of Argentina or South America before or after the scheduled bike trip. We can give you some suggested places to visit and help with your plans.

​We will meet in Salta, Argentina (SLA) on Sunday, February 27. Plan to arrive by mid-afternoon on Sunday.  If you are arriving Salta before February 27 and would like us to coordinate a place for you to stay in Salta (at your own expense) let us know.

We will have two nights in Salta. This will give you time on Monday, February 28 to recover from the flight and to get acclimated to Argentina. Our first day on the bikes is Tuesday, March 1.

Notes

  • We can help coordinate your travel plans
  • The group meeting point in Salta will be detailed in your trip registration package
  • Pre-trip information sessions will be scheduled prior to your departure
  • We are staying the first two nights in a Boutique wine hotel near the city center of Salta. After a long day of travel, you can enjoy a shower, food, and refreshments
  • Group dinner in Salta
  • Private rooms available for an additional cost
  • Wifi | Pool | Lounge

We will spend the first part of the day getting your bike and gear set up and fitted for the trip. In the afternoon there will be time for sightseeing in Salta. Salta is the capital city of the province. It is situated in one of the most fertile and scenic areas of this region. The Colonial architecture of the city is some of the best in the country.

Notes

  • We will provide you with pannier bags before your trip departure or once you get to your destination. You can pack your personal gear directly into the pannier bags for travel or pack in a duffle bag or suitcase and repack your bags once you get to you Salta.
  • There is no support vehicle on this trip. However, if you have things you want for your travels after the bike trip, you can leave a bag in Salta with our local guide and he will bring it to Tucuman for the end of the trip.
  • Lodging: Salta Boutique Hotel
  • Group dinner in Salta
  • Private rooms available for an additional cost
  • Wifi | Pool | Lounge

The route out of Salta is on highway 68 through beautiful countryside and small traditional villages with colonial main squares. We will stay at a B&B near the town of Colonel Moldes. We can relax in the hammocks or poolside at the end of our first-day riding. There is an optional extra ride down to the Cabra Coral reservoir for anyone interested. 

​Notes

  • We will stay at a B&B country estate near the town of Colonel Moldes.
  • Lodging: La Posada de Juan, Dique Cabra Corral – 1 night
  • Group dinner at La Posada de Juan
  • Private rooms available for additional cost
  • Wifi | Pool | Lounge

The biking route on this day will be gradually climbing with rolling hills. It will be a shorter day than the first. The road will be fairly quiet today as we head toward the Quebrada de Conches. Toward the end of the day, the road will follow a beautiful river called the Rio del las Conchas. The scenery includes lots of red rocks, tall mountains, and blue sky. Alemania is an artisan village in an abandoned railroad town along the river. We will stop at an artisan cheese farm where you can taste homemade cheese.

Notes

  • Lodging: Posta de las Cabras, Ruta nacional Nº68 – KM 88, Talapampa,  Salta, Argentina – 1 night
  • Group dinner at Posta de las Cabras
  • Pool | Lounge

Bike from Alemania to Cafayate. Wake up and watch the sun light up the mountain sides before reaching the river valley. Visit local artisans in Alemania and then start the gradual climb through the Quebrada de Cafayate. Cafayate is our destination. The town, located in the center of the Calchaquí Valleys, is surrounded by rivers, sand dunes and vineyards.

Notes

  • Lodging: El Hospedaje, Salta 13, Cafayate, Salta, Argentina – 2 nights
  • Group dinner in Cafayate
  • Private rooms available for additional cost
  • Pool | Lounge | WiFi

Enjoy the day off the bikes. Spend the day exploring Cafayate. Check out Cafayate and local attractions: wineries, shopping, artisans, golf or waterfall hiking.

​Notes

  • Lodging: El Hospedaje, Salta 13, Cafayate, Salta, Argentina
  • Private rooms available for additional cost
  • Dinner on your own
  • Pool | Lounge | WiFi

It is a very pleasant ride from Cafayate to Albarossa Winery especially after a rest day. Along the way, there will be an option to visit the ruins of Quilmes, archaeological site in the Calchaquí Valley. The site was the largest pre-Columbian settlement in the country, occupying about 30 hectares. The area dates back to ca 850 AD and was inhabited by the Quilmes people; it is believed that about 5,000 people lived here during its heights.

Notes

  • Lodging: Albarossa Winery
  • Group dinner at the winery
  • Private rooms available for an additional cost
  • Pool | Lounge | WiFi

Today we will be the first day of the slow accent up toward the summit of Infernillo. There will be some gravel at the end of the ride to get to our B&B. Along the way we will visit the farm and vineyard of our local guide in Las Mojarras near the Santa Maria River. Lunch will be at Santiago’s farm or in Amaicha before our ride up to Salas where we will stay in a B&B for the night and enjoy a traditional Argentine BBQ.

Notes

  • Lodging:  Salas, local B&B: Martina and Fernando, 2 – nights
  • Group dinner at Salas

We are taking an extra day in Salas to allow time to visit Amaiche del Valle and the area around Salas. Amaiche del Valle is one of the oldest indigenous communities in Northwestern Argentina. Today, its residents devote themselves both to ancient activities that were handed down from generation to generation that have bonded them to the land and to develop products like pottery, looms, wine, cheese and alfajores. You can visit the Pachamama Museum that is a monumental stone project that houses geology, anthropology and art exhibits. There are also backcountry hikes in the mountains to explore the ruins of the people who settled this area hundreds of years ago in the pre-Columbian times.

Notes

  • Lodging:  Salas, local B&B: Martina and Fernando
  • Lunch on your own
  • Group dinner at Salas

The first part of the day will be climbing to the summit at 3,040 m (10,000 feet). Because the pass is surrounded by mountains, the pass looks deceivingly low. It is not all up hill as there are a few spots where the road descends and then climbs again. We will arrive in Tafí de Valle by mid-afternoon and have time to check out the craft shops and local attractions. We will stay at a home stay.

​Notes

  • Lodging: Home-stay –  Agustin Remis – 2 nights 
  • Group dinner at home-stay
  • Private rooms available at your own in expense in town if desired
  • WiFi

This lovely hill town, set in a green valley with fabulous vistas of the surrounding mountains, is where people from Tucumán traditionally head to take refuge from the summer heat. Tafí makes a fine spot to hang out for a rest day; it offers crisp mountain air, hiking options, memorable estancias, and a laid-back scene. There are many options for you to relax or go fishing, horseback riding, visit a cheese farm or explore on your own.

​Notes

  • Lodging: Home-stay – Agustin Remis
  • Dinner on your own
  • Private rooms available at your own in expense in town if desired
  • WiFi

Bike from Tafí del Valle to Yerba Buena. This is one of the most incredible downhill rides (about 55km / 34mi of downhill). We will descend from Tafí del Valle into the lush, low-lying areas near the City of San Miguel de Tucuman. The landscape will change from high alpine desert to lush green, forested areas. This will be our longest day of riding but well worth the effort. We will pass by some sugar cane processing plants, lemon orchards and other farms. We will travel on a quiet road that skirts the base of the mountain range we descended the day before. Tonight we will stay in Yerba Buena at a guest house owned by an adventure cyclist who biked the world for more than four years. It will be one of our last nights in Argentina so we will probably want to go out to eat and enjoy the Argentine cuisine.

Notes

  • Lodging: Casa Calchaqui, Yerba Buena, San Miguel de Tucuman
  • Group dinner in Yerba Buena
  • Private rooms available for additional cost
  • Lounge | WiFi | Small pool

For some of the group, this will be their departure day back home. Others will stay in Argentina for a few more days or weeks. Rick and our local hosts can help you with additional travel plans to Buenos Aires or other places of interest.

Notes

  • We can help coordinate your travel plans
Tanya & Rick McFerrin

Travel with a Team of Local Friends and Expert Guides

This trip is all about meaningful connections that have been built over the past 25 years by Rick and Tanya McFerrin. They were initially drawn to northern Argentina when visiting there on a 2-year bike trip around the world from 1998-2000. Soon after their return home, they started leading bike tours in Argentina with small groups. Over the years they have worked with locals to create meaningful experiences and connections for an amazing adventure. Rick has been leading this trip almost every year since 2003 and has said it is one of his favorite places to travel by bicycle – great riding, wonderful people, awesome food and wine, and beautiful landscapes. It is incredible. Join the ride!

This trip is slotted somewhere between the extremes of do-it-yourself bike packing and a high-end, supported bike touring adventure. 

Local friends in Argentina and expert guides will take care of all the details including the bicycles and gear, guides and safety, local activities, route planning, food and snacks, accommodations as well as helping you with getting to and from the destination. For many people, this will be their first bike travel experience. These bike packing tours are designed for people who are relatively fit and enjoy an active travel adventure.

Great People. Amazing Experiences.

Contact us to learn more or register for a ConnecTour Bike Packing Tour

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