As we were on the four hour bus ride on Route 68 from Salta to Cafayate for $12 USD, our eyes were wide open the entire trip. From desert valleys to ginormous red rocks to beautiful vineyards, this was one of the most scenic bus rides between cities we have seen. As we got off the Fletcha Bus we walked a little less than a mile to our hostel called Hostal del Suri. This was a very small hostel but had a lot of heart as it was owned and run by a very modest, kind man. It was $10 each per night and we spent a total of three nights there. After dropping off our backpacks we were excited to head out to find somewhere for lunch. We found one of the last few restaurants open as it was almost siesta time (nap time) for the city and we ordered a typical dish of rice, meat and salad for a few dollars.
This place is best described as a little town in a big desert. After 20 minutes of walking around the little plaza and the outskirts we realized we already saw the town. This place is known for all the wineries and bodegas and the many wine tour options that are fairly inexpensive. As the afternoon was fading we headed over to a bodega called Nanni’s and did a tour (all in Spanish) that concluded with four wine tastings for 50 pesos each. (less than $4 USD). Later, that evening in the hostel we met this girl that did a tour that she booked through our hostel that stops at all the little landmarks along the way from Cafayate to Salta. It was 370 pesos per person ($21 USD) for the tour but she said it was stunning and five hours long so that was good enough to convince us to do it! We woke up the following day and had a slow morning of reading and soaking in the sun until 2pm when the tour was to begin. We got picked up by one guy with another couple doing the tour in a white pickup truck and we were ready to see all the different locations up close! We went to all of these amazing desert locations that we saw on the drive to Cafayate but we got to walk around the surroundings of them and really explore up close. We did an estimated 8 stops in total to all to see the different landscapes of red rocks and cacti and of course the famous amphitheater between the canyons. When we were in the rock shaped amphitheater there was a man playing the guitar strumming away that sounded like we were at a private concert in there. Everything about the tour was incredible including the sunset that seemed to have lasted the whole drive back.
As we arrived back into the hostel that evening the same girl that recommended the tour we did today gave us another recommendation on what to do tomorrow. A few miles outside the town there is this great trekking area that takes you to seven different waterfalls! It is called Cascadas del rio colorado and along the hike the waterfalls will get bigger and better until the end. As we arrived there, many men were waiting to give us a tour to the falls. We wanted to attempt to do it ourselves but were told that some of them are impossible to get to without a guide since there are no maps. We decided to get a guide that charged us 40 pesos per waterfall and he couldn't reach the seventh waterfall which is the biggest because of the difficulty to get there during this time of year so we went to six that cost $13 USD total. Out of everything we did in Cafayate this by far was my favorite activity. Fernando our tour guide didn't speak any english but we were able to practice our spanish and he helped us so much around some of the slippery rocks around the falls. I had to keep pausing to look around at the canyons full of goats, cactus and streams running along by our feet. I felt the magic of this place the entire two and a half hours we were there.
Our next destination was to the incredible Iguazu Falls but unforunately, we couldn't get there from Cafayate. It was back up to Salta we went for one night until the following morning when it was time for our day long adventure to see the biggest waterfall system in the world.
5) Rainbow Mountain, Cusco, Sacred Valley
6) Machu Pichu
1) Copacabana and Isla Del Sol
2) La Paz
1) San Pedro De Atacama
4) La Serena
5) Puerto Iquazu
6) Buenos Aires