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Cafayate, Argentina - Fantastic Day Tour to Quebrada de las Conchas

Argentina travel blog by Mark Berman - April 2014   » View Photoset (93 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
Cafayate is one of the special places to visit in northern Argentina, a place to get to know it's streets and to explore the amazing ravine / gorge - Quebrada
Argentina Photo - 2 poems, wall mural in central Cafayate, boy walks past.
2 poems, wall mural in central Cafayate, boy walks past.
de las Conchas. Cafayate has existed since around 1840 and was mainly developed in the decades after around the wine industry.

Lovely Town

The town itself is absolutely lovely indeed (I don't use the word lovely very often at all). There are many arts and crafts shops, colorful wall murals in the streets around the main plaza, a wine museum (Museo de la Vid y el Vino) and the cathedral (Nuestra Senora del Rosario) beside the main plaza. Around the outer streets of the town are vineyards. The tourist information office is located at the main plaza. The plaza itself is quite beautiful and large and has many trees with yellow leaves and a couple of monuments. One of the monuments is of a wooden man depicting a worker carrying grapes, the other is of General Jose de San Martin.

Streets of Charm

Cafayate is one of those towns where the locals ride around on bicycles a lot, unlike other towns I have been to with motorbikes constantly buzzing around the place. That's good! The streets are quite charming with flowers in flowerpots and lamps above the sidewalk in places. Colonial arquitecture is scattered around town (arched windows with wooden shutters etc). On one of the back streets I came across a man selling llama meat in the form of hams and salamis, he also had some cheeses. I came across an awesome 3D wall mural that had peoples faces cast into it and created to depict the carnival. I walked past one of Cafayate's first buildings - the hospital (1875), an historical building of pink. Exploring the other end of town I visited a plaza with monument of one of Argentina's
Argentina Photo - The pink Cafayate hospital built in 1875, one of the first buildings in town.
The pink Cafayate hospital built in 1875, one of the first buildings in town.
war heroes Gral. Martin Miguel de Guemes, there's a fountain and cactus plants here also.

Tour to Quebrada de las Conchas

So now it was the afternoon of the tour to the gorge. I booked a tour with Ipuna Tours. We headed out into the rocky wilderness by road stopping at various places along the way. We firstly explored on foot various rock
Argentina Photo - A piece of art behind the wooden cart at Cafayate museum, worker carries grapes.
A piece of art behind the wooden cart at Cafayate museum, worker carries grapes.
formations then we continued on to see the Castles (Los Castillos) which are 3 tall rock forms side by side. Next we went to see the Obelisco, a huge rock 26 meters high. The next location we went to required a lot of walking, a place with very rough terrain where we climbed hills, saw amazing red rock ridges and enjoyed the fantastic views. The natural amphitheater (El Anfiteatro) was the next stopping point, the echo and acoustics were just fantastic. Bring a guitar, bongo drum or flute to this place! We had a quick look at a waterfall called Garganta del Diablo but there was no water, they said you need to see it in January or February. The last thing we did was check out the views from the lookout - Mirador Tres Cruces, unfortunately we just missed the sunset. And that was the tour. Let me be honest, the tour was great, lots of fun exploring and walking in a group situation. Make sure you take some food and plenty of water. However, I really believe the photos I took out of the front seat on the top deck of the bus when I came to Cafayate from Salta capture the Quebrada de las Conchas terrain so much better! Take a look.

     

View all photos in the Cafayate Photoset


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Distances & times (if available) from Cafayate (Argentina) to:


Map location: Cafayate, Argentina. It's a pretty little town indeed but the real attraction is the amazing gorge called
 A : Salta to Cafayate - Argentina 78 kms 78 kms straight distance | 1hr 48mins 1hr 48mins by car (111 kms) | 2hrs 9mins 2hrs 9mins by bus (111 kms) (111 kms)
 B : Salta - Argentina 149 kms 149 kms straight distance | 2hrs 46mins 2hrs 46mins by car (193 kms) | 3hrs 19mins 3hrs 19mins by bus (193 kms) (193 kms)
 C : Jujuy - Argentina 216 kms 216 kms straight distance | 4hrs 24mins 4hrs 24mins by car (319 kms) | 5hrs 16mins 5hrs 16mins by bus (319 kms) (319 kms)
 D : Salta to Paso de Jama (Chile Border) - Argentina 211 kms 211 kms straight distance | 5hrs 4mins 5hrs 4mins by car (344 kms) | 6hrs 4mins 6hrs 4mins by bus (344 kms) (344 kms)
 E : La Quiaca to Jujuy - Argentina 324 kms 324 kms straight distance | 5hrs 49mins 5hrs 49mins by car (435 kms) | 6hrs 58mins 6hrs 58mins by bus (435 kms) (435 kms)
 F : Bermejo & Aguas Blancas Border - Bolivia 405 kms 405 kms straight distance | 6hrs 41mins 6hrs 41mins by car (506 kms) | 8hrs 1min 8hrs 1min by bus (506 kms) (506 kms)
 G : Paso de Jama to San Pedro to Calama - Chile 334 kms 334 kms straight distance | 7hrs 31mins 7hrs 31mins by car (509 kms) | 9hrs 1min 9hrs 1min by bus (509 kms) (509 kms)
 H : La Quiaca & Bolivian Border - Argentina 442 kms 442 kms straight distance | 7hrs 39mins 7hrs 39mins by car (591 kms) | 9hrs 10mins 9hrs 10mins by bus (591 kms) (591 kms)
 I : Villazon & Argentinian Border - Bolivia 444 kms 444 kms straight distance | 7hrs 54mins 7hrs 54mins by car (595 kms) | 9hrs 28mins 9hrs 28mins by bus (595 kms) (595 kms)
 J : San Pedro de Atacama - Chile 416 kms 416 kms straight distance | 9hrs 14mins 9hrs 14mins by car (668 kms) | 11hrs 4mins 11hrs 4mins by bus (668 kms) (668 kms)
 K : Tupiza - Bolivia 514 kms 514 kms straight distance | 9hrs 17mins 9hrs 17mins by car (686 kms) | 11hrs 8mins 11hrs 8mins by bus (686 kms) (686 kms)
 L : Tarija - Bolivia 520 kms 520 kms straight distance | 9hrs 53mins 9hrs 53mins by car (705 kms) | 11hrs 51mins 11hrs 51mins by bus (705 kms) (705 kms)
 M : Calama - Chile 501 kms 501 kms straight distance | 10hrs 28mins 10hrs 28mins by car (768 kms) | 12hrs 33mins 12hrs 33mins by bus (768 kms) (768 kms)
 N : Tupiza via Atocha to Uyuni - Bolivia 571 kms 571 kms straight distance | 11hrs 58mins 11hrs 58mins by car (787 kms) | 14hrs 21mins 14hrs 21mins by bus (787 kms) (787 kms)
 O : Antofagasta - Chile 528 kms 528 kms straight distance | 12hrs 52mins 12hrs 52mins by car (992 kms) | 15hrs 26mins 15hrs 26mins by bus (992 kms) (992 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Cafayate, Argentina:

Cafayate Backpackers Hostel, Cafayate, Argentina - Large Photo
Cafayate Backpackers Hostel, Cafayate, Argentina (April 2014 - 2 nights) - I would love to give this hostel a great review but it is slightly difficult when there is a big problem with this place. That being, that there is no member of staff here at night to control what is going on. People partied all night outside our dorm keeping everybody awake until around 4am. It makes the tour the next day a little harder when you have not slept well. Actually the owner is not around much in the day either, makes booking a tour with her more difficult - I just walked into town and booked one there. If you are using the kitchen, be prepared to have to move each time somebody walks through, it is very thin. She's a nice lady, but I'm sorry you can't have drunk guests keeping the whole place awake all night with guitars and loud talking.

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