Cafayate Argentina: a completely hidden gem in Argentina’s northern province that should be included on everyone’s Argentina trip… trust me. This 3 day Cafayate itinerary will take you through some incredible natural formations in the Quebrada de Las Conchas, some waterfall hikes in the hills, and, of course, wine.
Cafayate may be overshadowed by Mendoza, but is actually a fantastic and prolific Argentina wine region. Cafayate produces strong flavored high altitude wine, and while they still produce Malbec, they’re known for a sweet-smelling yet dry-tasting white varietal called Torrontes.
Do you want to know the best part? The wineries here are all within a few kilometers of town. Hell, there are four wineries within walking distance of the town itself. This means – you guessed it – riding bikes between the wineries. Well, maybe you didn’t guess it, but now you know. There are 5-6 wineries within 2-6km of the main town, and most people rent bikes to make their way between them.
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Some wineries require a reservation, but for most, you can just show up and possibly wait until the next hour for the next tasting, taste a few wines for free on the spot, or to see if anyone else will show up. Because there are four wineries in town and a good 4-6 within biking distance, I have split them up over two days in this Cafayate itinerary. I don’t want you to die, now.
You can read more about getting to Cafayate from Salta in my Guide to Northern Argentina, but this 3-day itinerary to Cafayate Argentina will give you three full days to adventure. You can really do these days in any order you like – it’s up to you!
Hey! I have TONS of Salta+ Jujuy Content. Check out some other articles:
- Complete Guide to Northern Argentina
- Salta Road Trip of Route 51
- Riding the Tren a Las Nubes – The Train to the Clouds
- Humahuaca Gorge Road Trip + What to See
And Other Argentina Content:
- Places to Visit in Argentina (You Didn’t Know Existed)
- Complete Argentina Bucket List: Things to Do in Argentina
- Guide to Buenos Aires
- Northern Patagonia Itinerary
- Southern Patagonia Itinerary
- Mendoza Wine Tasting
- Iguazu Falls Guide
Where to Stay in Cafayate Argentina
First off, I HAVE to tell you guys about the incredible hotel I stayed at, called the Viñas De Cafayate Wine Resort. This place is just outside of town, and has an absolutely gorgeous property and field overlooking the city, valley, and surrounding mountains. The natural beauty of Cafayate is mind-blowing, and this property compliments it perfectly.
Set out over a few buildings, each room at Cafayate Wine Resort has a patio overlooking some of the mountain, vineyards, or the pool. It has beautiful and simple architecture and offers a peaceful setting to relax and enjoy the landscape.
I loved my stay here so much, and was really amazed to find that the rooms can start at under $100USD. It’s got all the amenities of a resort but at a super affordable price – I honestly found it so hard to leave this amazing place to go out and explore the region!
They have a full-service restaurant as well, which I made a point to try as I do at any hotel restaurant I stay at. The service was professional and quick, the presentation was carefully prepared, and the food was delicious. This hotel would honestly be one of my happy places I return to in my mind – it’s just that tranquil.
On a Budget?
There are also plenty of hostels in Cafayate with dorms from $5-$6. I recommend Ruta 40 Hostel because they’re right in the center and were amazingly helpful giving me advice and renting me a bike for multiple days! Rusty K hostel is also well-rated.
Day 1 Itinerary Cafayate Argentina: Waterfall Hike + Explore Town
Today could be long or short, depending on how far you want to hike and how much shopping you want to do in town. You’ll start with a hike to a waterfall, and end up in town for an explore, some shopping, and a nice dinner.
Cafayate Waterfall Hike
The Rio Colorado waterfall hike is not too far from town, and is a super popular activity to do here. Crazy I know, there’s more to do than drink wine!
It’s about 6km out of the main town, and 3km from the Cafayate Wine Resort along the same road. You can get there via taxi or bike, jut be prepared for the uphills! Soooo, er… maybe taxi today because you’ll be biking tomorrow.
When you get to the entrance to the park, there will almost always be hiking guides waiting around to lead you on this 4 hour challenging hike. But remember, you can do as much or as little as you like! There are mixed reviews about whether these guides are actually necessary or not, but if you want to be safe they will cost about 35-45 pesos per person to guide you through the hike.
The hike will take you up through canyons and into the mountains, with stunning scenes of the Cafayate Valley throughout.
Explore the Town of Cafayate Argentina
All finished with your hike? Head back to your accom, freshen up, and head into town! Cafayate is a very small and manageable town, all centered around one main square. It would be impossible to get lost, so have a wander around!
Here are the best sights in Cafayate Town:
On the north side of the main square, you’ll find a little Artisanal Market where you can buy tons of local crafts, homemade wines, coca leaves, hand-woven baskets, and more.
WINE MUSEUM! (Museo de la Vid y el Vino)
You HAVE to go here. It’s slightly cheesy but incredibly well-done, with floor-to-ceiling screen exhibits, tons of wine quotes, info/history of wine in this region/around the world, and all sorts of artifacts. It’s pretty cool. Oh, and in the gift shop, you can get/sample wines from most of the bodegas in the area if there are some you can’t get to yourself!
A private collection of archaeological artifacts from the area – especially interesting given the rich and ancient history of the region.
Main Square + Church (Plaza 20 de Febrero + Catedral Nuestra Senora del Rosario)
The main square is always buzzing and is a great place to hang out. The main church is also beautiful.
You’ll see signs for alfajores, a traditional and absolutely scrumptious Argentinian cookie, everywhere. Try some for yourself if you haven’t yet!
WINE ICE CREAM
Yep, you heard that correctly. They have WINE ICE CREAM here. And yes, it is alcoholic. They had a red and a white when I was there, and you best believe I tried them both. Helados Miranda started the trend, and many creameries in the area soon followed suit. But, if you want to original, head there.
You can always save some of these sights for another day if you don’t have enough time!
Once it’s dinner time, I recommend visiting Bad Brothers Wine Experience for a tapas style dinner and wine tasting. You have to get your tolerance up for tomorrow, right? 😉 Bad Brothers has a menu of smaller plates (rec. 2 per person) and you can also get different sized samples of their own brands of wine. This is definitely a treat yo-self type of night, but it was recommended to me by my hotel in Salta so I had a bit of a splurge.
On more of a budget? I feel you. There are tons of cheaper restaurants around, and if you want to get even cheaper you can head to a restaurant a little outside of the main square or grab some street food.
Bodega El Esteco
Day 2 Itinerary Cafayate Argentina: Rent a Bike + LOTS of Wine
Alright guys, buckle up and hold onto your hats because today you are going WINE TASTING VIA BIKE. I mean, where else in the world can you do that? Okay, maybe Australia, but like, this is awesome.
I don’t want you to think it’s all fun and games, however. You must remember there are definitely some hills and you are at altitude… but also remember that you can do anything you put your mind to! Hands in…3…2…1…. BREAK!
I rented my bike from Ruta 40 Hostel in the main square, and there are other places around that will all hover around the same price.
Pro Tips: Start early so you have time to see everything you want! Also, check the timing of the wineries you want to go to.
I first want to let you know that this route is the largest possible amount of wineries you can bike to (with one goat farm for cheese tasting), and that I DONT RECOMMEND GOING TO ALL OF THEM. I don’t think you could physically make it to all of them via bike. It’s tough biking at altitude, and obviously far too much to drink. But depending on your ability level and alcohol tolerance, make your own schedule as you see fit.
Not a bike rider? you can also rent a car. (but that’s kinda cheating 😛 )
Bodega Vasija Secreta
So these are the Bodegas within the closest proximity to Cafayate. For scale, note that Finca Las Nubes and Domingo Milona are each a 6km ride out of the center of town. Chances are you won’t want to do both of those, or you can tack Finca Las Nubes onto the end of your waterfall hike on day 1 (it’s right next door). Below I will give a small description of each so you can plan your day!
Domingo Molina – I didn’t make it here, but apparently it has an awesome view and a cactus farm.
Piatelli – This is a must. The property is stunning and they give tours and a hefty tasting each hour for about 180 pesos (or more for their premium line).
Bodega El Esteco – They have tastings and winery tours at specific times also for 180 pesos. Check online, or the front gate should be able to tell you timings when you ride by.
Vasija Secreta – Free tastings of 2-3 wines in the wine bar, you can explore the winery on your own, and cheap empanadas and glasses from the restaurant. I believe this is the oldest winery and they have the artifacts to show it.
Cafayate Goats – You can take a tour of the goat farm (in Spanish) or just have a free cheese tasting. You’ll most likely end up buying a cheese; it’s SO good (and a great mid-wine tasting break).
Finca Quara – This is the cheap wine that’s apparently in every convenience store in Argentina, but I heard they have nicer varietals at the Bodega and a lovely view. I didn’t get to go because they close at four and I started my day too late!
Finca Las Nubes – Also a must – This bodega has a grassy hill overlooking the city where you can chill out and watch the sunset. It’s an absolute trek to get here by bike, though, so you might want to think about taxiing here another day or going after your hike. They also have great lunch from what I hear -bookings required.
Good luck, guys! 😛 Again, try to get an early start, pace yourself, and carefully consider the 6km bodegas because it WILL be tough. And make sure you check the closing times – Finca Las Nubes closed at 5 when I went.
If you’re still walking straight lines at the end of this, Cafayate Wine Resort is an awesome place to watch the sun go down, if you’re staying there. It has a restaurant too. If not, again, there are lots of options in town.
Tasting at Bodega Dos Hermanos
Courtyard at Bodega Nanni
Day 3 Itinerary Cafayate Argentina: Wineries in Town + Quebrada de Las Conchas
Wakey wakey, sunshine, it’s time for more wine! Haven’t you ever heard of ‘hair of the dog?’ If you’re feeling the slightest bit rough after yesterday, don’t worry – you have a few more bodegas to visit this morning. Don’t fret, though, they’re all within walking distance of the center of town!
After a few more wineries, it’ll be time for an awesome adventure through the colorful and intricate formations of the Quebrada de Las Conchas. But, since the sun hits this region better in the afternoon, the tours here don’t leave until 2pm, giving you ample time to make the most of Cafayate by trying more wine.
Morning: Wineries in Cafayate Town
There are four wineries in Cafayate town, one of which you will have to make a reservation for. These are all within a few blocks of one another and you can pick and choose where you’d like to go.
The option of a tour (50 pesos – Spanish) or a free tasting of Malbec and Torrontes
Beautiful winery with a courtyard restaurant – I got a Malbec risotto here that was incredible. 50 pesos for a tasting of 4 wines, walk-in.
Bodega El Transito
One block from Bodega Nanni you will find Bodega El Transito, which offers walk-in 50 peso tastings of 4 wines at their bar.
Bodega El Porvenir
This requires a reservation, so try to call up a day in advance. For 180 pesos you will get a winery tour and a full tasting of quite a few wines.
Afternoon – Quebrada de Las Conchas
You might need a nice and filling lunch to soak up all your morning wine by the time rolls around to visit the Quebrada de Las Conchas! I’m sure the time varies throughout the year, but for me, the time was 2pm for the magic hours of sunlight hitting the colorful rocks.
Although I took and recommend a tour, there are multiple ways to visit the Quebrada de Las Conchas:
- By Bike. Many people rent bikes and jump on the FlechaBus to Salta, and get off at the Garganta del Diablo. They then brave the 50km ride back to Cafayate, stopping many times on the way to enjoy the colorful formations. Do me a favor, if you choose this option DON’T go wine tasting in the morning and maybe start earlier. K thanks.
- By Car. If you are doing a Salta Road Trip, you can visit the Quebrada de Las Conchas by car on the way to or from Cafayate.
- By Tour. From most of the tour agencies in town, you can book a group van tour through all the stops of the Quebrada de Las Conchas, ending at the Garganta del Diablo (the Devil’s throat, a HUGE canyon in the side of a cliff) for sunset. I recommend this as the easiest and most hassle-free way to see it.
Want to book in advance?
- You can book this half-day Quebrada de Las Conchas hiking tour from Cafayate here
- Or, you can book a guided biking tour of the Quebrada, which drives you in a group van and cuts the 50km in half to 25km, dropping you back off at your accommodation.
What to see in the Quebrada de Las Conchas (More Photos!)
El Amfiteatro – The Amphitheater
Garganta Del Diablo
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