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Road tripping from Tucuman to the north of Argentina. We got wheels!

The north of Argentina has one of the most beautiful landscapes in all of the country, if not all of South America.  You can drive from thick jungle mountains to giant cactus filled deserts one day and on other days find yourself in cloudforests or standing in front of ancient Andean ruins.  One of the biggest, if not the best, wine countries lie in this region, in Cafayate.  Salta is the major city in this region and it’s filled with animated peñas where you can hear the traditional music sung live, and visit beautiful churches decked out in colonial architecture.

To visit this area, buses go to most places, even if it’s just once a day.  However, it is much more efficient and fun to rent a car.  It’s costly but the freedom you gain is worth the money.  After a few mishaps, we finally got a rental car.  We decided to rent the car in Tucuman because of cost (it’s much cheaper to rent here than other cities in the Northwest).  We could also make a neat little loop from Tucuman all through the northwest and then back to Tucuman. We met a friendly guy in Cabo Polonio who is from France, like Laurent, and we discovered that he was planning to visit the same places that we were, so we agreed to all meet up in Salta for a road trip adventure.

I am very behind (once again) in updating this blog because we spent almost three weeks driving through the Northwest of Argentina.  We spent a lot of long days in the car and when we weren’t in the car, we didn’t have many internet connections.  Now we are currently in Bariloche, the start of Patagonia, and the next two weeks we plan to spend resting Laurent’s knee and updating this blog.  Laurent fell while we were backpacking in Cordoba.  It was a pretty nasty fall because he had the backpack strapped to his back and he slipped on some rocks.  He’s okay but his knees are weak to begin with and since the fall, his knee has been bothering him.  We plan on doing a lot of trekking in Southern Patagonia, so it’s best for us to rest up before we embark on that journey.

For now I’ll leave you with some scenes of the road.  You cannot imagine how quickly the landscape changed.  Surely the most dynamic landscape I have ever come across.  These photos are from only the roads we drove, not the places we visited.  The roads we drove were a destination within themselves.  These next few days I will write many more posts detailing our trip and separate ones for reviews, advice and of course, the foods of the northwest.  For now, I’ll let the photos do the talking.

From Tafi del Valle to Cafayate:

Road from Cafayete to Salta via Quebrada de las Conchas

Parque Nacional Calilegua (a cloudforest) , a close up of the road and to the right look for the specks of color that are actually cars!

Road to Salinas Grandes and beyond

The extraordinary drive to Iruya

raod to Yavi, on the Bolivian border

amazing road to Cachi and through the Parque Nacional los Cardones

Absolutely breathtaking Ruta 40 through Molinos to Cafayate

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