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Published: September 3rd 2006
We were enjoying our stay in Salta in northern Argentina after the arduous trip from La Paz, but decided we'd better tour more of the area to get a feel for the wonders of the north and how different it is to the rest of Argentina. We rented a car for 4 days and decided to travel on 2 circuits around the area. First, we'd follow the Andean circuit which follows the route of the famous Train to the Clouds (Tren a los Nubes) which we'd planned to take but is no longer running, and then the southern circuit to the Valley of Calchaquies which runs through some beautiful canyons enroute to Cafayate, the northern wine country in Argentina. The entire drive is loaded with suprises in scenery that we hadn't anticipated.
The northern route runs through canyons and high altitude to a remote mining town of San Antonio De los Cobres. We arrived near noon so we decided to have lunch and then keep on driving to travel through the Great Salt Flats and on to the small Andean towns of Pumamarca and Tilcara. The route is remote but the scenery is grand. We arrived in Pumamarca and were
stunned by the scenery of the brilliant reds in the colored hills. Along the road, we came across a private residence built in the most stunning location. Once we arrived in Tilcara, we spent some time finding lodging and came across a very comfortable inn and decided to stay 2 nights which would give us time to visit the local ruins.
From here, we traveled the route south, going past Salta again to the city of Cafayate. Again, we found another comfortable inn for the night before returning the car back to Salta. Once we returned the car to Salta, we spent the night and hired a cab to drive us back to stay in Cafayate for 3 more nights. What a wonderful area. We really enjoyed our stay there, especially under the hospitality of the Killa Inn.
As Cafayate is a smaller town, we decided to hire a cab to drive us the 2 hours to Tucuman where we could catch a bus to the city of Cordoba which is enroute to Buenos Aires. Once the bus pulled into Tucuman, the center of an agricultural area full of cane fields being burned, we decided to keep on moving and
get into Buenos Aires sooner than we had planned.
We made found comfortable lodging at The Art Hotel in Recoleta. It's a comfortable modest hotel, creatively furnished in a safe neighborhood. On Sunday, we visited the neighborhood of San Telmo which has a very lively Sunday market, complete with Tango dancers demonstrating their skills. It was a great day to be out and about. The following days we explored the areas of Palermo, and in Recoleta visiting museums and the well known Recoleta cemetary, resting place for Eva Peron.
From here, we're on our way back to the states, to visit friends in Central Oregon and a trip to Vancouver before driving south of the border for the winter. It's been a great trip!
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