The Calchaqui Valley in northwestern Argentina is one of the country’s most spectacular natural wonders—an often overlooked gem replete with picturesque vistas, ancient ruins, friendly locals and good local wine to wash it all down at the end of the day.
Perhaps the most famous attraction in the Calchaqui Valley is Cafayate, an up-and-coming wine region famous for growing Argentina’s native grape, torrontés. Cachi, a small village on Ruta 40, serves as a popular base for exploring the archaeological sites and smaller valleys within the northern portion of the Calchaqui Valley. In the Tucumán segment of the valley, you’ll find the Ruins of Quilmes, the archaeological remains of one of Argentina’s largest pre-Colombian settlements.
The best roads for exploring the Calchaqui Valley are Provincial Route 33 and National Routes 40 and 68.