From Cafayate to Cachi along Route 40

The constantly zigzagging road stretches around these very strange rock formations and several old towns that add up an extra attraction to the journey.

The stretch of National Route 40 that joins the traditional towns of Cafayate and Cachi boasts the Calchaquí Valleys and dazzles travelers with its imposing views full of color.

Before setting out from Cafayate, we knew an incredible natural circuit and some districts with a history lay ahead. The latter date back from the times in which the Spanish settled down in northern Argentina and were later on joined by the Jesuit missions, which established churches and buildings that still remain.

Animaná, San Carlos, Angastaco, Molinos and Seclantás are the outstanding hamlets on this worthy winding road, featuring parts made of gravel, sand and dirt. As we found these dormant settlements, we caught a glimpse of their architecture with details such as roofed galleries. We entered their narrow cobbled streets to discover their essence, their churches and the contrast of their green plantations in the wild arid environment. We let ourselves be tempted by regional jams and craft wines sold by the locals at every corner.

  • Cafayate


  • Imposing views full of color

    Imposing views full of color

  • The stretch of National Route 40

    The stretch of National Route 40

  • Natural wonders

    Natural wonders

  • Cachi


All along the twenty kilometers that lie between San Carlos and Angastaco, we enjoyed the rock outcrops with a strange slant known as Quebrada de las Flechas to both sides of the road. We were impressed by the way the movements of the ground and the erosion of the winds shaped the mountains made of sandstone of changing hues into a strange scene that ranges from gray to reddish ocher tones.

Inside the gorges, the rock walls seemed to invade us. We stopped the car at certain points to take photographs of those natural wonders. Almost non-existent vegetation and a scarce number of animals give evidence of the dry environment. We just spotted a scared grey fox that ran away from us.

As we got past Seclantás, where the best cloth-making artisans live, the families showed us the traditional red and black ponchos from the province, as well as other woven items, hung in their yards next to the loom. This skill has been passed onto them by their elders.

Cachi welcomed us with its typical quiet mood, cobbled streets and adobe houses. We left the road behind with the elements that inspired Armando Tejada Gómez, Cesar Isella and “Cuchi” Leguizamón. There must be a good reason for that.

Autor Mónica Pons Fotografo Jorge González


Activities and tours in Cafayate

Hotels and accommodations in Cafayate

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