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Observing the spectacular geological formations at Quebrada de las Conchas
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Watching the antics of Burrowing Parakeets in the Monte Desert
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Contrasting the Yungas cloud forest with the dry salt flats of Salinas Grandes
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Searching for endemic birds in Los Cardones National Park
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Sipping local wine in the wine country of the Calchaquí Valley

Northwest Argentina

Oct 30 - Nov 10, 2024

12 days | Argentina | Quest Nature Tours

NEWLY RELEASED!
 
Land of Stark Contrasts and Unexpected Marvels
 
Northwestern Argentina is a land of superlatives and stark contrasts. To visit this spectacular region is to experience nature on a truly grand scale. Mountain rivers brimming with whitewater course down rugged gorges through moss-festooned Yungas cloud forests where endemic birds, reptiles, and amphibians abound. On the leeward side of the various Andean mountain ranges we traverse, dry air gives way to high-altitude deserts dotted with towering cacti and other hardy succulents. Guanacos graze atop windswept ridges, while Andean Condors patrol overhead in the nearly cloudless skies. The imposing salt flats of Salinas Grandes are a sea of white that seems to go on forever, challenging our sense of scale. The vineyards in the famed Calchaquí Valley in the province of Salta extend for kilometres and bear the fruits that are used to make local wines.

We begin by visiting the humid forests on the eastern slope of the Andes, with a focus on the biodiverse Quebrada Los Sosa (gorge) and the various endemic birds that live here. Crossing to the leeward side of the Sierras de Córdoba mountains brings us into a dry environment of expansive desert en route to the Calchaquí Valley, the wine capital of Northwest Argentina and one of the world’s highest wine regions. A highlight here is the multicoloured Quebrada de Las Conchas, where we have arranged a special meeting with a local geologist. More regionally endemic birds await in Los Cardones National Park, an arid landscape that contrasts sharply with the humid Yungas forest at Calilegua National Park on the rain-facing side of the mountains. Farther north at Purmamarca, we ascend to over 4,000 metres above sea level before visiting the sweeping Salinas Grandes salt flats on our descent.

Amid our explorations of such markedly different natural landscapes, we have planned several visits to Indigenous ruins, mountain villages, and cities with rich colonial architecture, giving us a sense of how people have endured and continue to endure in Argentina’s northwestern reaches.

You can extend your Argentinian adventure with a post-trip visit to Iguazú Falls and the surrounding Atlantic forest ecosystem. This extension is based at the luxurious Belmond Hotel das Cataratas on the Brazilian side of the falls.
Quest Nature Tours Worldwide Explorers Club
Tour Cost (per person):
US$6595 includes taxes and gratuities
Group Size:
10 - 14 participants

What’s included: Airport transfers on tour start and end dates; accommodations based on double occupancy in hotels listed or similar; ground transportation in a comfortable bus driven by a professional driver; all activities as described in the detailed itinerary; entrance fees; meals as specified in itinerary; gratuities for guides, driver, and included meals;
services of your Tour Leader Josh Vandermeulen; english-speaking local guide

[Josh] was amazing! He knew all the bird calls and identification of the wildlife we saw, from insects to birds to mammals. He made sure everybody had a chance to view." - Quest traveller

Itinerary at a Glance

DayActivity
1Arrive in Tucumán / Quebrada Los Sosa
2Quebrada Los Sosa and Tafí del Valle
3To Cafayate / Quilmes ruins
4Cafayate / Quebrada de Las Conchas
5To Cachí
6To San Lorenzo via Los Cardones National Park
7Reserva del Huaico in San Lorenzo
8To Libertador San Martín via Calilegua National Park
9To Purmamarca
10Purmamarca / Salinas Grandes
11El Bordo de las Lanzas / Salta
12Depart Salta
Download Itinerary

Your Tour Leader

Josh Vandermeulen is a professional Field Biologist and is an active and well-known member of Ontario’s naturalist community. He regularly travels the province in pursuit of his two core interests, field herpetology and ornithology.

Email Us

Or call 1-800-387-1483 with any questions or to reserve your spot!

Quest Nature Tours Worldwide Explorers Club
Tour Cost (per person):
US$6595 includes taxes and gratuities
Group Size:
10 - 14 participants

What’s included: Airport transfers on tour start and end dates; accommodations based on double occupancy in hotels listed or similar; ground transportation in a comfortable bus driven by a professional driver; all activities as described in the detailed itinerary; entrance fees; meals as specified in itinerary; gratuities for guides, driver, and included meals;
services of your Tour Leader Josh Vandermeulen; english-speaking local guide

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Northwest Argentina

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