The Calchaquí Valleys

are a must on any itinerary in Argentina. Ranging 200 km from the mighty Abra del Acay (5000 m) to Cafayate in Salta, via Colalao del Valle in Tucumán, down to Hualfin in Catamarca province. The historical Ruta 40 runs right through it. Colossal mountains and kaleidoscopic landscapes leaves you with memories for a life time. Inhabited by a number of tribes until first the Inca’s and then the Spaniards showed up, in more recent days many immigrants from mainly Europe and the Middle East made the Calchaquí Valleys their home. Remnants of the rich history can be experienced all along the Valleys. Among the most visited places are La Poma, Cachi, Molinos, Cafayate, Quilmes, Tafi del Valle and Hualfin. These days the region is well known for its high altitude wines. The vineyards are small in size, compared to those near Mendoza and San Juan, but fast growing and they deliver excellent premium wines, mostly from Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The best known wine is a white wine, the Torrontés. Because of the microclimate and the high altitude the Torrontés from Cafayate should not be missed. Look for bodegas like Humanao, Colomé, San Pedro de Yacochuya, Porvenir, Piatelli, El Esteco, Etchart, Amalaya, Nanni, Altos la Cienaga, Posse and El Puesto de Marquez.