Tour Interest: Cacti and Flora

Tour Type: Overland

Tour Dates: Runs on request

Tour Duration: 15 Days - 14 Nights

Starts/Ends: Starts in Córdoba ends in Salta

Best time to go: November - December

Prices: Based on group size

Cacti of Northwestern Argentina

Tour Map

Outlined Daily Itinerary

Day 1 – Morning meeting with your Trogon Tours’ guide at Córdoba airport. Drive to Villa de Soto. O/N Villa de Soto.

Day 2 – Villa de Soto to San Agustín del Valle Fértil via Los Colorados. O/N San Agustín del Valle Fértil.

Day 3 – Full day exploring Ischigualasto and Moon Valley. O/N San Agustín del Valle Fértil.

Day 4 – Drive to Chilecito, visiting Talampaya National Park on the way. O/N Chilecito.

Day 5 – Full day exploring Carrizal, Rumi Rayán and Cerro Negro. O/N Chilecito.

Day 6 – Chilecito to Amaicha del Valle. O/N Amaicha del Valle.

Day 7 – Full day exploring the Ruins of Quilmes and El Infiernillo. O/N Amaicha del Valle.

Day 8 – Amaicha del Valle to Cabra Corral via Quebrada de las Conchas. O/N Cabra Corral.

Day 9 – Cabra Corral to Cachi. O/N Cachi.

Day 10 – Full day exploring Cachi to Molinos. O/N Cachi.

Day 11 – Drive from Cachi to San Lorenzo. O/N San Lorenzo.

Day 12 – San Lorenzo to Purmamarca via Yungas Cloudforest. O/N Purmamarca.

Day 13 – Full day exploring the high Andes west of Purmamarca. O/N Purmamarca.

Day 14 – Full day exploring the Andes near Iturbe. O/N Purmamarca.

Day 15 – Transfer to Salta airport. Tour conclusion.

 

Tour Highlights

Around 100 species of Argentine cacti. A huge diversity of birds and other animals. Archaeological and cultural Incan and pre-Incan sites. The dry Andes of southern South America, Cordoba Hills, Humahuaca Valley, Yungas cloud forest. Unique photo opportunities for fauna, flora and fantastic landscapes.

 

Tour Features

Northwestern Argentina is a land full of spectacular landscapes and with a vast cultural heritage. These lands were part of the south quarter of the mythical Inca Empire -the so called Qollasuyu. The local native people call themselves Qollas. They are very proud of their heritage, and still preserve many of their traditions, their language and culture. The Andes in this part of Argentina are very dry, but they are crossed by a series of humid valleys, with Humahuaca standing out for its unique setting. Nestled amidst spectacular rock formations of the most incredible and diverse colors, this is the heart of one of the richest cacti flora on Earth.

Characterized by their ability to survive long periods of time without receiving a single drop of water and also for their outstanding flowers, cacti come in a variety of sizes: from tiny Blossfeldias -only 1 cm (less than ½ inch) in diameter when fully grown- to giant Pasacana Tree Cacti reaching up to 10 meters (33 ft.) tall. Blossfeldias, Pasacanas and the highest diversity of cacti species in South America are present here, in northwestern Argentina. During our overland tour through this unique wilderness we will the opportunity to see and photograph a great variety of Argentine cacti, including some near-endemic genera, like Gymnocalycium -the Chin Cacti- and some very beautiful and widespread examples, like Lobivia, Cleistocactus, Tephrocactus, Maihuenia, and others.

Our journey is set to take place during the highest peak of cacti blooming season in northern Argentina. The time spent afield will give us ample opportunities to take good photos of stunning cacti flowers. This is a very comprehensive itinerary designed to enjoy finding and observing as many cacti species as possible, and also to explore northwestern Argentina’s unique birds, mammals, landscapes and culture.

 

Best Time To Go

This tour runs well between April and December. Regardless, cacti blooming season is at its best from mid-October to mid-December, so try planning for this time frame to improve chances of seeing and photographing cacti in flower.

 

What’s Included?

Private transportation for all transfers and excursions. Accommodations on a twin/double basis. Single supplements on request. Full time Trogon Tours’ leader to accompany the group from day 1 on arrival in Córdoba airport to day 15 on departure from Salta airport. Local guides where required by law. All breakfasts, lunches, box-lunches and dinners, from lunch on day 1 to breakfast on day 15 of the tour. No drinks included. Admission fees to all national parks and nature reserves.

 

What’s Not Included?

International and domestic airfares and airport taxes. Tips to guides, drivers, hotel & restaurants personnel, etc. Drinks with your meals. Personal travel and medical insurance. Anything not specified under “What is included?”