History Tours

Inca and Colonial Heritage

We follow old colonial trails packed with history from the time of the Spanish empire and delve into the indigenous roots of Argentina.
The multi-coloured canyon of the Quebrada de Humahuaca north of Salta was gouged out of the landscape with the eruption of the Andes between 12 and 15 million years ago, and it developed into an essential link in the Spanish colonial route between Lima, Peru and Buenos Aires on the Rio de la Plata.
All our trips north pass through here, on the way to the Bolivian border. Our longer 4WD excursions follow the trails of indigenous tribes who crossed from the Andean salt flats in the west to the Cloud Forest in the east.

History Tours

Essential Humahuaca

Combine the highlights of the colourful Quebrada de Humahuaca with the other-wordly Salinas Grandes salt flats in the Argentina Altiplano.

Rich in indigenous culture and colonial history, the old trade route from Buenos Aires to Lima features the Seven Coloured Hill of Purmamarca, and Hornocal's lesser known Fourteen Colours.

A side-trip to appreciate the immensity of the Salinas Grandes salt flats makes this one of the most diverse two day trips available from Salta or San Salvador de Jujuy.

from
US$200 pp

Footsteps of the Conquistadores

A high altitude 4x4 adventure along the old colonial mining route: bringing you into close contact with the Altiplano wildlife of vicuña, flamingoes, and rhea.

This tour combines the must-see highlights of the UNESCO-protected Quebrada de Humahuaca with little-explored sections of the Argentine mountain plateau, close to the border with Bolivia.

from
US$600 pp

Fourteen Colours & Cloud Forest

Hike Argentina’s Inca trail, linking two completely different eco-systems, the dry canyon of Humahuaca and the Cloud Forest of Calilegua.

We take a narrow mountain road which was only finally completed in October 2019, tracing the footsteps of Inca explorers of northwest Argentina from the 15th century.

This trip can be extended to include a visit to the gorgeous mountain town of Iruya and the historic settlement of Yavi on the Bolivian frontier.

from
US$400 pp

Tour highlights

Explore Ancient Ruins

The old Spanish supply route is peppered with history from the past thousand years, including colonial churches fashioned from adobe and cactus-wood, one of the few remaining Spanish forts, and pre-Inca pukaras at Tilcara and Tastil.

The old Spanish supply route is peppered with history from the past thousand years, including colonial churches fashioned from adobe and cactus-wood, one of the few remaining Spanish forts, and pre-Inca pukaras at Tilcara and Tastil.

Argentina’s Inca trail

On our Fourteen Colours and Cloud Forest trip, we hike a well-preserved stretch of the Camino Inca which linked the jungle with the mountain plateau to the north and valleys of the Quebrada de Humahuaca to the west. It’s part of the Inca trail network of routes that once crisscrossed t...

On our Fourteen Colours and Cloud Forest trip, we hike a well-preserved stretch of the Camino Inca which linked the jungle with the mountain plateau to the north and valleys of the Quebrada de Humahuaca to the west. It’s part of the Inca trail network of routes that once crisscrossed the continent.

4x4 Adventure Along Old Spanish Trade Routes

The rugged open spaces of the mountain plateau invite contemplation of our ancestors, who crossed the Andes on foot or on horseback, dug salt in 30C-plus temperatures and carved their way through sub-tropical jungle. Happily, we have air-conditioned 4x4s.

The rugged open spaces of the mountain plateau invite contemplation of our ancestors, who crossed the Andes on foot or on horseback, dug salt in 30C-plus temperatures and carved their way through sub-tropical jungle. Happily, we have air-conditioned 4x4s.

Multi-coloured canyons

The UNESCO-protected site of Quebrada de Humahuaca is famous for the Seven Coloured Hill of Purmamarca, and the Fourteen Colours of Hornocal. Another spectacular valley is Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), part of our high altitude 4x4 Footsteps of the Conquistadores adventure along old Spanish min...

The UNESCO-protected site of Quebrada de Humahuaca is famous for the Seven Coloured Hill of Purmamarca, and the Fourteen Colours of Hornocal. Another spectacular valley is Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), part of our high altitude 4x4 Footsteps of the Conquistadores adventure along old Spanish mining routes.

A word on the history

Northern Argentina has been a hub of historical importance for centuries, in pre-Inca and Inca times, for the Spanish empire, and during the struggle for Independence. It's home to some fine colonial churches and forts, as well as pre-Hispanic ruins dating back to the 11th century.

As you might expect, historical sites in northern Argentina related to the War of Independence 200 years ago are well-preserved and promoted. As Argentines come to value their indigenous culture, pre-Hispanic sites (including Argentina's Inca Trail) are also now much better conserved, and often curated by descendants of the original tribes themselves. All these sites are set against the backdrop of some of the most mesmerisingly beautiful landscapes imaginable.