Discover Argentina

Bike Trip inspired by years of experience

I was initially drawn to northern Argentina when Tanya and I cycled there on our 2-year bike trip around the world from 1998-2000. We have been going back almost every year since then. It is definitely one of my favorite places to travel by bicycle – great riding, wonderful people, awesome food and wine, and beautiful landscapes. It is incredible. Join the ride!

1/8

CAD$2,950

13
days
Feb 27-Mar 11, 2022
 
TRIP OVERVIEW

Trip START Date | Salta, Argentina,  Sunday, February 27, 2022

Trip END Date | San Miguel de Tucuman, Friday, March 11, 2022

466km | 290mi

 

Trip Cost: CAD$2,950 | 13 days/12nights

PRICE INCLUDES
  • 12 nights accommodation (no camping)

  • All group meals (drinks on your own)

  • 7 days biking

  • Sightseeing (rest days) in Salta, Cafayate, Tafi de Valle, and Yerba Buena

  • Use of bicycles and packs

  • Travel coordination to/from Argentina

The cost of the trip is based on shared rooms. Private rooms are available in most places we stay for an additional cost. However, room options are somewhat limited and based on our group size and other factors.

"My wife and I are avid cycle tourists and we have had the pleasure of joining Rick on two separate international bike tours; one in Argentina and one in Norway.  Both experiences were exceptional.   Rick provided all of the professional guiding experience, support and technical knowledge that we needed to have safe yet adventurous trips.  We expected this professionalism and we were not disappointed.  But what set Rick’s tours apart from other tours we’ve been on were Rick’s local contacts and the amazing experiences we had with them.  Through Rick, we’ve been greeted by the mayor of Tromso, Norway, stayed overnight in a soccer stadium run by a true Viking, played guitar with a larger-than-life baritone Argentinian, camped under the stars in an Andes mountain trout farm, and stayed in countless friends’ homes throughout Norway and Argentina.  And the new friendships that developed from these experiences have endured, giving us the opportunity to return for visits in the future.  Rick opens doors through his unique enthusiasm for biking and his calm and supportive approach to people and friends.  If you have the opportunity to travel somewhere with Rick, I highly recommend you take it."       
Tom Evans: Calgary, Alberta 2018
TRIP DESCRIPTION

Visit Argentina in its purest form, unyoked from the rituals of mass tourism. Spend two weeks experiencing the cuisine, culture and breathtaking scenery of northern Argentina from the seat of a bike.

Beginning in the city of Salta, Argentina’s most stunning colonial city you will cycle on lesser-traveled paved roads winding through canyons, a cluster of vineyards, Andes mountain landscapes, and wild rivers.

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE
  • Exploring Spanish tradition and culture in the local art and architecture.

  • Going back in time among the ruins of indigenous villages dating back to the time of the Conquest and Colonization.

  • Visiting local artisans.

  • Practicing your Spanish while shopping for regional delicacies.


This route has been developed over the past 19 years and it keeps getting better. We stay in boutique hotels and guesthouses and we bike to a new destination every day except rest days. This route offers opportunities to go on winery tours, play golf, go hiking or canyoning or just sit by a pool and relax after a good day of biking.

 

Rick and his team will take care of all the details including the bicycles and gear, guides and safety, local activities, route planning, food and snacks, accommodations as well as helping you with getting to and from Argentina.

MORE ABOUT THE BIKING

Traveling by bicycle can be challenging. This trip is for you if you are relatively fit and are comfortable with riding undulating terrain with some bigger hills. You like to ride your bike on vacation, but not every day. You can ride an average of 40mi/65km and up to 55mi/90km on a long day.

We have a variety of bikes for this bike packing tour. The basic idea is to have a go-anywhere bike where simplicity, durability, and efficiency is preferred. We use basic hardtail or fully rigid hybrid touring bikes and mountain bikes. For the most part, we are biking on lesser-traveled paved roads. There are some potions of the route on gravel and dirt. Our trips are a blend of bike packing and classic bike touring. You will have a sense of freedom by carrying your own gear on a multi-day self-supported adventure, with the objective to see the sights along the route at a leisurely pace.

 

Carrying your gear

We use ARKEL XM-45 bikepacking panniers.  The XM-45’s offer ample heel clearance which is essential for adventure bikes and mountain bikes. The XM-45’s are essentially top-loading bags (as opposed to front-loading on typical touring panniers). Open the hood and stuff all your things in the huge main compartment, you will be amazed how much those bags will gobble up. Although the carrying volume is considerable, the XM-45’s have a profile much slimmer than regular touring bags.

Note from Rick: I let everybody set their own pace. I give directions every morning for check-in points along the way and let people go at their own speed. Most of the time the groups end up riding together for the most part. Faster riders can enjoy riding fast, slower riders can enjoy riding slower. I usually end up in the rear and take in the sights and enjoy the ride. I guess my average speed might be around 10 to 15 mph. For me, it is more about total time on the bike for the day.

WHY ARGENTINA?

Rick says this is one of his favorite places to bicycle travel. Don't you want to know why? It's no secret that Rick likes to ride his bike, enjoy good company, eat steak and drink wine.

DAY-to-DAY SCHEDULE (Click on selected days to expand for more detail)

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Day 1
| Getting to Argentina

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Travel to Salta Argentina

The adventure begins just by traveling to the city of Salta, Argentina.  Most flights are routed through Buenos Aires, but in recent years, there have been other more direct flights into Salta from major airports in South America. I have been booking travel to Argentina for many years and can help coordinate your flights.

 

The trip starts in Salta and ends in San Miguel de Tucuman. Depending on your timing, you may want to visit Buenos Aires or other parts of Argentina or South America before or after the scheduled bike trip. Rick and his team have been leading this bike trip almost every year since 2003 and can give you some suggested places to visit and help with your plans.

We will meet in Salta, Argentina (SLA) on Sunday, February 28. Plan to arrive by mid-afternoon on Sunday.  If you are arriving Salta before February 28 and would like me to coordinate a place for you to stay in Salta (at your own expense) let me know. I can book a room for you at the same hotel we are staying as a group.

 

We will have two nights in Salta. This will give you time on Monday, March 1 to recover from the flight and to get acclimated to Argentina. Our first day on the bikes is Tuesday, March 2.

Notes

  • OnaVelo can help coordinate your travel plans

  • The group meeting point in Salta will be detailed in your trip registration package

  • Pre-trip information sessions will be scheduled prior to your departure

  • We are staying the first two nights in a Boutique wine hotel near the city center of Salta. After a long day of travel, you can enjoy a shower, food, and refreshments

  • Lodging: Delvino Boutique Hotel, Ameghino 555, Salta – 2 nights

  • Group dinner in Salta

  • Private rooms available for an additional cost

  • Wifi | Pool | Lounge

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| Getting Ready Salta City Tour

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Day 2

 Preparing bikes and visiting Salta

We will spend the first part of the day getting your bike and gear set up and fitted for the trip. In the afternoon there will be time for sightseeing in Salta. Salta is the capital city of the province. It is situated in one of the most fertile and scenic areas of this region. The Colonial architecture of the city is some of the best in the country.

Notes

  • OnaVelo will provide you with pannier bags before your trip departure or once you get to your destination. You can pack your personal gear directly into the pannier bags for travel or pack in a duffle bag or suitcase and repack your bags once you get to you Salta.

  • There is no support vehicle on this trip. However, if you have things you want for your travels after the bike trip, you can leave a bag in Salta with our local guide and he will bring it to Tucuman for the end of the trip.

  • Lodging: Delvino Boutique Hotel, Ameghino 555, Salta

  • Group dinner in Salta

  • Private rooms available for an additional cost

  • Wifi | Pool | Lounge

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Day 3
| Salta to Colonel Moldes

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70km / 43 mi | Moderate with a few hills

The route out of Salta is on highway 68 through beautiful countryside and small traditional villages with colonial main squares. We will stay at a B&B near the town of Colonel Moldes. We can relax in the hammocks or poolside at the end of our first-day riding. There is an optional extra ride down to the Cabra Coral reservoir for anyone interested. 

Notes

  • We will stay at a B&B country estate near the town of Colonel Moldes.

  • Lodging: La Posada de Juan, Dique Cabra Corral, Salta – 1 night

  • Group dinner at La Posada de Juan

  • Private rooms available for additional cost

  • Wifi | Pool | Lounge

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| Colonel Moldes to Alemania

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Day 4

42km / 26mi | Moderate with a few hills

The biking route on this day will be gradually climbing with rolling hills. It will be a shorter day than the first. The road will be fairly quiet today as we head toward the Quebrada de Conches. Toward the end of the day, the road will follow a beautiful river called the Rio del las Conchas. The scenery includes lots of red rocks, tall mountains, and blue sky. Alemania is an artisan village in an abandoned railroad town along the river. We will stop at an artisan cheese farm where you can taste homemade cheese.

Notes

  • Lodging: Posta de las Cabras, Ruta nacional Nº68 - KM 88, Talapampa,  Salta, Argentina – 1 night

  • Group dinner at Posta de las Cabras

  • Pool | Lounge

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Day 5
| Alemania to Cafayate

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88km / 54mi | Moderate to tough with steady climbs and a few downhills

Bike from Alemania to Cafayate. Wake up and watch the sun light up the mountain sides before reaching the river valley. Visit local artisans in Alemania and then start the gradual climb through the Quebrada de Cafayate. Cafayate is our destination. The town, located in the center of the Calchaquí Valleys, is surrounded by rivers, sand dunes and vineyards.

Notes

  • Lodging: El Hospedaje, Salta 13, Cafayate, Salta, Argentina – 2 nights

  • Group dinner in Cafayate

  • Private rooms available for additional cost

  • Pool | Lounge | WiFi

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Day 6
| Rest day in Cafayate

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Enjoy the day off the bikes

Spend the day exploring Cafayate. Check out Cafayate and local attractions: wineries, shopping, artisans, golf or waterfall hiking.

Notes

  • Lodging: El Hospedaje, Salta 13, Cafayate, Salta, Argentina

  • Private rooms available for additional cost

  • Dinner on your own

  • Pool | Lounge | WiFi

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| Cafayate to Santa Maria

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Day 7

77km / 41mi | Fairly flat with a few small inclines as we ride up the valley

It is a very pleasant ride from Cafayate to Santa Maria especially after a rest day. Along the way, there will be an option to visit the ruins of Quilmes, an archaeological site in the Calchaquí Valleys, Tucumán Province, Argentina. The site was the largest pre-Columbian settlement in the country, occupying about 30 hectares. The area dates back to ca 850 AD and was inhabited by the Quilmes people; it is believed that about 5,000 people lived here during its heights.

Notes

  • Lodging: Santa Maria

  • Group dinner in Santa Maria

  • Private rooms available for an additional cost

  • Lounge | WiFi

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Day 8
| Santa Maria to Salas

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30km / 19mi | A steady climb for most of the day

Today we will be the first day of the slow accent up toward the summit of Infernillo. There will be some gravel at the end of the ride to get to our B&B. We can visit a local museum in the morning that is focused on all the aspects of the local culture. It is made up of two geology and anthropology rooms, and other two rooms where tapestries, paintings, and sculptures are displayed. Lunch will be in Amaicha before our ride up to Salas where we will stay in a B&B for the night and enjoy a traditional Argentine BBQ and an option to visit some nearby ruins.

Notes

  • Lodging:  Salas, local B&B: Martina and Fernando

  • Group dinner at Salas

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| Salas to Tafi de Valle

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Day 9

43km / 26mi | Difficult with a long climb to the summit and then a 20km / 12mi decent into Tafi de Valle

The first part of the day will be climbing to the summit at 3,040 m (10,000 feet). Because the pass is surrounded by mountains, the pass looks deceivingly low. It is not all up hill as there are a few spots where the road descends and then climbs again. We may arrive in Tafí de Valle by mid-afternoon and have time to check out the craft shops and local attractions. We will stay at a home stay.

Notes

  • Lodging: Home-stay -  Agustin Remis - 2 nights (pictured at right)

  • Group dinner at home-stay

  • Private rooms available at your own in expense in town if desired

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| Rest day to explore Tafi de Valle

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Day 10

Exploring

This lovely hill town, set in a green valley with fabulous vistas of the surrounding mountains, is where Tucumán folk traditionally head to take refuge from the summer heat. Tafí makes a fine spot to hang out for a rest day; it offers crisp mountain air, hiking options, memorable estancias, and a laid-back scene. There are many options for you to relax or go fishing, horseback riding, visit a cheese farm or explore on your own.

Notes

  • Lodging: Home-stay - Agustin Remis

  • Dinner on your own

  • Private rooms available at your own in expense in town if desired

  • WiFi in town

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| Tafi de Valle to Yerba Buena

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Day 11

116km / 72mi | Mostly downhill for the first part of the day then flat

Bike from Tafí del Valle to Yerba Buena. This is one of the most incredible downhill rides (about 55km / 34mi of downhill). We will descend from Tafí del Valle into the lush, low-lying areas near the City of San Miguel de Tucuman. The landscape will change from high alpine desert to lush green, forested areas. This will be our longest day of riding but well worth the effort. We will pass by some sugar cane processing plants, lemon orchards and other farms. We will travel on a quiet road that skirts the base of the mountain range we descended the day before. Tonight we will stay in Yerba Buena at a guest house owned by an adventure cyclist who biked the world for more than four years. It will be one of our last nights in Argentina so we will probably want to go out to eat and enjoy the Argentine cuisine.

Notes

  • Lodging: Casa Calchaqui, Yerba Buena, San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina. 2-nights

  • Group dinner in Yerba Buena

  • Private rooms available for additional cost

  • Lounge | WiFi | Small pool

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| Yerba Buena

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Day 12

Packing and getting ready for our flight back home or onward travel

We will finish the trip in a town called Yerba Buena. It is a suburb of San Miguel de Tucuman. Two nights in Yerba Buena is included in the trip, however, some people choose to depart on Thursday, March 5 to travel other parts of Argentina or return home.

Notes

  • Lodging: Casa Calchaqui, Yerba Buena, San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina.

  • Dinner on your own

  • Private rooms available for additional cost

  • Lounge | WiFi | Small pool

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Day 13
| Yerba Buena

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End of trip

For some of the group, this will be their departure day back home. Others will stay in Argentina for a few more days or weeks. Rick and our local hosts can help you with additional travel plans to Buenos Aires or other places of interest.

Notes

  • OnaVelo can help coordinate your travel plans

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