4WD excursion to Tafí River

A 4WD tour takes us down to visit Tafí del Valle along roads inaccessible for normal road cars.

Tafí del Valle is located 107 kilometers from San Miguel de Tucumán along the route to the Calchaquí Valleys. We arrived at noon and what struck us most about this town were their wide avenues lined with a variety of handicrafts stores and restaurants. Many visitors enjoyed their lunch and were seduced by the typical smell of locro in the air which invaded the served tables.

We came upon Daniel Carrazano and we shared excellent typical empanadas from Tucumán, which are the best in Tafi, according to him. He suggested that we should make a 4WD tour together with a group of visitors who were ready to live this awesome experience: we would get around the outskirts of Tafí on a specially conditioned vehicle.

A Search for Origins

As we chatted about this and that, he talked a little bit about the origins of the Calchaquí Valleys and the Inca culture influence on Indians from Tafi. They efficiently worked the soil by means of irrigation terraces. Quinoa, a cereal of high nutritional value, was the main item in their diet and they turned this grain into flour by grinding their seeds into a stone mortar.

  • Located 107 kilometers from San Miguel de Tucumán

    Located 107 kilometers from San Miguel de Tucumán

  • Route to the Calchaquí Valleys

    Route to the Calchaquí Valleys

  • Tafí del Valle

    Tafí del Valle

  • A break

    A break

  • On a Mercedes Benz Unimog

    On a Mercedes Benz Unimog

  • Ready to go

    Ready to go

  • A colorful cemetery

    A colorful cemetery

They built underground houses to keep the heat inside them, made pottery and used metal tipped arrows. They were warlike Indians and faced Spaniards with those tools to keep them away from their lands.

At Full Engine Power

Our conversation was interrupted by the arrival of two vehicles that parked on Peron Avenue in front of us: a Mercedes Benz Unimog and a Land Rover Defender were available for us to begin this experience.

We got on the Unimog and it was so high that we had to climb a small ladder. It had several arrays of seats, a roof to protect us from the intense sun and only one window that goes all round the vehicle. As we gradually left behind the downtown streets, we took an unpaved road. We went past a bridge over La Banda River and a partial view of the outskirts showed us a great number of huge residences on pretty hillocks. The stylish residences of this summer village display great and healthy gardens.

At the beginning, we drove along the road running parallel to the Tafí River. We crossed our first creek and immediately we got shaken around as if we were dancing malambo. As we drove on huge and extremely white stones, we shook from right to left and up and down. We were told to hold tight to the handrail and enjoy the trip. We saw a sort of mist, the city far away and, then, Daniel talked about the alpapuyo: a cloud which day after day comes into the valley and cloaks the area in its thickness. Other anecdotes added a touch of informality to the tour as well.

Cobbled Road

We moved shakily ahead on a river without much water. We went on across a muddy section and, as the four-wheel drive juddered along the unpaved road, a brown wave enveloped the vehicle; however, luckily everything came out right in the end without any stain. Afterwards, we climbed a sharp slope like a wall without any inconvenience.

We returned along the river and it was the right time to take a dive. Water splashed those people who were watching through the windows. It was such a jolt within the river bed that the driver finally managed to drench us. Later on, laughter and comments came from all of us who took part of this fantastic game. These vehicles are incredibly strong and passengers feel vertigo due to the impact of each wheel on the bodywork, but none of us came to feel fear.

We stopped at a colorful cemetery, almost a happy site, which left us speechless. Again, we got on the vehicles and drove on stony roads until we met the civilization, two hours later.

Tea Time

Once the adventure came to an end, we accepted a pending invitation to taste handmade cakes, chocolate and honey at the tea house called “El Blanquito”. We were received by Dorita and Eduardo Sabaté, who had settled on that place some years before. Their specialties delight both visitors and locals within a spectacular environment.

Salón de Té El Blanquito
307 Route, 62nd kilometer marker
Te (03867) 421-559

Autor Mónica Pons Fotografo Eduardo Epifanio

Contact of the excursion or tour

La Cumbre

Av. Pres. Perón 120 (4137) Tafí del Valle, Tucumán

Tel: +54 3867-421768 Cel: +54 381-6040998

Tour typeTour type: Adventure Travel

DifficultyDifficulty: Low

Bear in mindBear in mind: Other similar recommended outings are a visit to estancia de Las Carreras to see the cheese manufacture process. It can be combined with horseback riding, biking, paragliding or extreme mountain biking activities downhill. A pottery workshop or natural quartz deposits can be visited and visitors can also enjoy a half-an-hour hike amidst the peace and silence of this environment. Afterwards, there is a 4WD activity on the river. The tour ends at the countryside named Molino, where visitors can rest, have a cup of coffee with handmade jam before they start the way back.


Activities and tours in Tafí del Valle

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