There is a terrific Spanish saying ¡Ay que lindo! which means “Oh, how lovely.” We’ve heard this used innumerable times, but whenever we told anyone that we were going to visit Salta, in the northern area of Buenos Aires, this was invariably said and now we know why
We first flew into Salta, the largest city in the northern area near the border of Bolivia. There we rented a 4×4 and headed south to the town of Cafayate, the area’s leading wine city (what a coincidence). The ride to Cafayate was perhaps the best part of the whole trip. After lunch at a questionable restaurant in small town en route, we entered the Quebrada de Conchas a national park with stunning scenery.
Much to our children’s delight, many of the stops along the way involved rock formations that could be climbed up or in, the most impressive of which was El Garganta del Diablo or The Devil’s Throat
There were a variety of different other rock features to stop at along the way making for an incredible drive.
We then arrived in Cafayate (not to be confused with El Calafate) where we stayed at the lovely Grace Cafayate hotel.
The views from the hotel were similarly amazing. Like Napa but with even more dramatic and severe mountains.We had a great dinner in the town square at Terruño (it’s amazing what a difference good service makes) followed by a nice ice cream treat. A big day.
The following day began with a horseback ride through the vineyards followed by a lunch at the spectacular Piatelli vineyards. The wines were great and the views are simply incredible.
Of course, the most fun thing from the kids’ perspective was that we let them ride in the back of the truck, and just because we were in Cafayate didn’t mean we couldn’t play a little whiffle ball (with a stick).
Lunch the next day was as the truly fantastic Casa De Empanadas in Cafayate where we feasted on a variety of empanadas and humida, a corn based treat. The trip back to Salta included a stop along the side of the road where we got a second look at Kate’s lunch and an interesting detour where we realized we had made a wrong turn only after seeing the man with a machete, but we made it back in one piece.
We learned that a tiny boutique hotel is probably not the best place for two kids, but we turned the liability into an asset with a quick bubble bath. We then took a quick tour of the main square and proceeded down Balacarte street. Michele bought some beautiful handcrafted dolls and Jake bought a hat that will either be awesome or extraordinarily shameful once we get back home. We had a nice meal at the local parilla where Ted continued to disgust everyone by eating the grossest thing on the menu (Llama). The next day, after yet another unintentional tour of the slums, we made it safely to the airport and back home to Buenos Aires. We now have three entire weeks without a vacation and we are looking forward to getting into a routine. Ay que lindo!