11 Best Things To Do In Cafayate (Argentina’s Wine Region)

Cafayate has been blessed by its natural landscape and is arguably the best-known wine region other than Mendoza in Argentina. Expect warm weather, beautiful countryside and days spent wine tasting. Here are the best things to do in Cafayate.


The Best Things To Do In Cafayate

1. Visit Every Bodega In Town

  • Cost: $5-10 for a wine tasting
  • Duration: Allow half an hour for each tasting

Cafayate is the wine-producing region in the northwest of Argentina and is one of the world’s highest suitable locations for growing grapes.


It’s second only to Mendoza as one of the best wine-producing regions in the country.


The combination of high-elevation, great year-round weather and fertile soil produce incredible malbecs and torrontés.


Cafayate is a must for wine lovers. There are lots of bodegas in town to try out but the three best that are cheap and easy to visit are:


lush vineyards in Cafayate, Argentina

2. Tour Piattelli Vineyard

  • Cost: $10-15 depending on the wine tasting selection you choose
  • Duration: 1 hour for the tour and tasting but leave some time after to sit at on the terrace too

Piattelli vineyard is a 30-minute walk from town or a 10-minute bike ride.


The grounds are beautiful, set higher up in the Cafayate valley among the rolling hills of lush green vineyards.


The estate is just as beautiful, with a huge building that includes a restaurant, bar, museum, and terrace.


The tour will take you around the grounds and give you a bit of background on the region and how wine is made here. Then you will stop for a tasting of some of Piattelli’s best wines.


Once you’ve finished, you should have worked up an appetite.


Sit yourself out on the restaurant terrace overlooking the vineyards and enjoy some great food, more wine and incredible views.

Vineyards of Cafayate (Argentina)

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3. Visit Quebrada De Las Conchas

  • Cost: Free
  • Duration: 30 minutes to an hour spent there
  • How To Get There: 15 minutes by car or taxi, there is probably a local bus as well but we can’t find information on this so best to ask your accommodation for help. Better if you’ve rented your own car as you can spend as long as you want there.

The surrounding countryside of Cafayate is filled with strange and beautiful rock formations.


The orange and red rocks of Quebrada de las Conchas (Valley of Shells) are a short journey from town and well worth a half-day trip.


The canyon is lined with curiously shaped rocks that look like the shells you find on the beach.


This can be combined with the other stops below if you want to go exploring for a whole day and have your own car, but if not, you can take local transport or rent a bike.


In our opinion, this would be a nice bike ride if you can manage it. The landscapes around Cafayate are spectacular.


It should take 45 minutes to an hour by bicycle (20km) and you can rent them in town from shops in the main square (try Majo Viajes).

The north of Argentina is full of incredible scenery from beautiful waterfalls to stage rock formations. They even have their own Rainbow Mountain which rivals the one in Peru. Be sure to check it out if you are visiting the north:



Joe and a friend hiking in Cafayate, Argentina

4. Journey Along Route 66 To Garganta Del Diablo

  • Cost: Free
  • Duration: 30 minutes spent at each stop
  • How To Get There: 45 minutes by car or taxi. Easier to visit if you’ve rented your own car.

Continuing along from Quebrada de las Conchas, Route 66 has several more natural wonders to visit.


If you decide to drive this way to Cafayate from Salta, then you can stop at these places on the way instead. 


Garganta Del Diablo (The Devils Throat) is a narrow ravine that looks like something out of an Indiana Jones movie.


This natural rock formation is millions of years old and a great place to stop for some snaps.


Another great stop is El Ampitheatro.


This is a large circular rock formation resembling an amphitheatre. The walls reach up to 20m in height, and the shape creates beautiful acoustics. If you are lucky you may catch a performance by local musicians who travel here to play.

TOP TIP: If you have your own car then making this journey to the two places mentioned above along with Quebrada de las Conchas is well worth it, either for a day trip or on your way to or from Salta. But don’t go out of your way if you don’t have your own transport as the journey would be too long and complicated. I use Discover Cars to find the cheapest rentals.

Also, try to visit on a weekday to get these places to yourself, the crowds can get big at the weekends.

For more articles like this on other great countries in South America and why you should visit them, head to the posts below:



Mountains in Cafayate, Argentina
pathways in the Mountains in Cafayate, Argentina

5. Hike To Cascadas Del Rio Colorado

  • Cost: Guides charge $10 per person for a 3-hour trek
  • Duration: Half day
  • How To Get There: 15 minutes by taxi to the trail entrance then a 5.5km hike

For some outdoor adventure, head out to these beautiful waterfalls set among the red rocks and desert greenery. 


Swimming in the plunge pools is a great way to cool off in the summer heat.


Check the All Trails page here for more information.


Make sure you bring sunscreen, a good pair of hiking boots and your swimming gear. You will be able to swim in the pools once you reach the waterfalls.

TOP TIP: This is a hike where you should book a guide. You can find most of the guides waiting at the trail entrance or you can book one in town.  The trail isn’t marked and there are river crossings, crevices, slippery rocks, and a surprising amount of climbing.

The red mountains of Cafayate, Argentina

6. Wander Around Plaza Central

Cafayate is a small town centred around a main plaza.


You can explore it easily in the morning or afternoon.


Most of the action will be in the main square, Plaza 25 de Febrero, where you can find artisan stalls, musicians in the small park and restaurants with outdoor seating filled with locals.


A couple of popular things to check out include:


  • Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary – the main church set on the square.
  • Mercado Artesanal – small giftshop with local crafts.
  • Wine Ice Cream – several ice cream shops advertising wine flavoured ice cream. I didn’t enjoy it but try everything once!
  • Centro de Informacion Turistica – the tourist information centre to get some local. knowledge. You can ask about local buses to places like Quebrada de las Conchas here.
  • Majo Viajes – place to rent bikes.

If you want to combine a trip to Chile alongside Argentina, then there are several ways to do this with a simple border crossing. The three itineraries in the post below can help you cross the borders a 3 different points in Argentina to see Chile:



7. Enjoy Top Quality Steak And Wine On A Budget

You need to experience two things whilst in Argentina that the country is known for –  steak and wine.


Finding a great steakhouse in Argentina is easy, and you know you will be getting grass-fed, pasture-raised beef.


One of the best restaurants in town is the restaurant in Bodega Nanni.


I also had a great steak at ‘Pacha Cocina de Autor’ just off the main square.


Each restaurant has a selection of wines from the Salta province as well as the rest of the country.


Just ask the waiter for recommendations as they usually know what’s best.

Eating steak and drinking wine are two of 10 great reasons why I think you should visit Argentina. For the other 8, head to the post below:



8. Snack On Empanadas

If you haven’t tried one already, a salteña is the Salta provinces version of an empanada.


They are savoury pastries filled with beef, pork or chicken mixed in a sweet, slightly spicy sauce.


They are perfect for an afternoon snack if you are feeling peckish.


Try the aptly named ‘La Casa de las Empanadas’ for a wide selection so you can snack to your heart’s content.




9. Museum Of The Vine And Wine

  • Cost: 150 pesos ($1.63)
  • Duration: Half day
  • How To Get There: 15 minutes by taxi to the trail entrance.

Cafayate has been blessed by its natural landscape and is known as one of the best regions for growing grapes in the world due to its climate. 


The town sits at 1700m above sea level and is arguably the best-known wine region other than Mendoza in Argentina.


The region’s winemaking traditions are covered by this modern interactive museum exhibit where you can get detailed descriptions of everything to do with vines, grapes, wines, and how the atmospheric conditions in the region and soil influence the flavours.


They also have a shop at the end with a huge selection of wines from the Bodegas in town if you want to purchase some yourself.



Wine in North Argenina

10. Drive Through The 'Canyon Of Arrows'

If you’ve been using my other guides to North Argentina, then you know I love to recommend exploring the region by renting your own car.


There are so many beautiful landscapes and viewpoints outside of the cities and towns, that it doesn’t make sense to book tours to all of them.


Renting a car for a few days gives you the freedom to explore and stop wherever you want.


The most unique stop along Route 40 which runs through Cafayate is Quebrada de las Flechas – or the Canyon of Arrows.


This winding road cuts through 150ft rocks jutting out at steep angles on either side.

Travelling through the north-west is one of the highlights of a trip to Argentina. But there’s so much more to see in this incredible country.


To see how to combine the north-west into a three-week or one-month itinerary that also covers the rest of country, head to one of the posts below:



Joe and friend sitting on a car in Cafayate, Argentina

11. Stop For A Night In Cachi

If you take Route 33 north, you’ll reach the town of Cachi.


There isn’t a lot to do here apart from eat good food, visit a bodega to try some regional wines, and marvel at the beautiful countryside.


I stayed at Hosteria Cachi for two nights. They have a swimming pool, buffet breakfast and the grounds are set up on a hill giving you panaroamic views of the Andes Mountains and the Calchaquí river.


There are also two popular stops along route 33 to check out – Cuesta Del Obispo and the Tin Tin Straight Line.


The ‘Tin Tin Straight Line’, a 20km almost perfectly straight road that follows an ancient route built by the Inca.


Cuesta del Obispo, or Bishop’s Slope, is a long winding road ending at the top of a hill at La Piedra del Molino (the Millstone) nearly 11,000 feet above sea level.


The mountain offers a perfect viewpoint overlooking the Enchanted Valley, and some great shots of the road carved out of the mountainside.


You can combine a road trip along Route 33 with Route 40 as they are both on the way to/from Salta.  

To see how Cafayate and Route 33 fit into a wider north Argentina  itinerary, check out our post below:



Joe and Alex from Shall We Go Home Travel, walking down a highway in North Argentina
North Argentina Itinerary: Cuesta Del Obispo, Salta (Argentina)

How Many Days Do You Need In Cafayate?

2 days is the perfect amount of time to spend in Cafayate.


You can wander around the town on your first day, exploring the main plaza and tasting wines at all the different bodegas.


On your second day you can book a tour of Piattelli vineyard or go exploring any of the natural waterfalls or rock formations outside of town.


Extend your trip to 3 or 4 days if you really are a wine fanatic and want to relax in this laidback town, hit all the bodegas and enjoy the beautiful countryside.

Cafayate 2-Day Itinerary

Day 1



  • Explore the main plaza
  • Visit the wine museum
  • Lunch – Bodega Nanni



  • Wine Tasting at Bodega Nanni, Domingo Hermanos and El Transito
  • Dinner – Pacha Cocina De Autor
  • Drinks on the main square

Day 2



  • Visit Quebrada de las Conchas
  • Lunch – Bad Brothers Wine Experience



  • Piattelli Vineyard Tour
  • Dinner – Piattelli Vineyard

Are you struggling to work out how many days you need in Argentina overall? Head to the post below to see a selection of itineraries that can help you:



vineyard in Cafayate, Argentina

The Best Restaurants In Cafayate

For the best restaurants and places to eat, try to avoid the main square and head out into the side streets for cheaper and better fare.


  • Restaurant de Bodega Nanni – one of the best restaurants in town, set in a beautiful garden behind the bodega
  • Bad Brothers Wine Experience – another great venue with indoor and outdoor dining. Sit outside and enjoy a wide selection of wines in the cacti garden.
  • Pacha Cocina de Autor – we had one of our best steaks here.
  • Piattelli Vineyard – terraced garden overlooking the vineyards and some of the best food in town.
  • El Gallito – the local favourite for grilled meat, steaks etc.

The Best Places To Stay In Cafayate

  • Hostal del Suri – Hostal del Suri offers simple and cosy accommodation in Cafayate, only 2 blocks from the Main Square and surrounded by many wineries. We stayed here and liked it. The garden is lovely in the mornings for sitting and relaxing whilst eating breakfast. Rooms only have electric fans though so look at booking somewhere with aircon if going in the summer.
  • Hosteria Tia Florita – 150 yards from the Main Square and 900 yards from Cafayate vineyards. Free private parking is available on site. Every room at this hotel features hot and cold air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a wardrobe. The best part is the pool which is needed for cooling off in the hot Argentinian summers.
  • Hostal Andino – Featuring an outdoor pool and a garden, Hostal Andino offers rooms and bungalows, only 350 yards from the main square. Great views from the top balcony which also has a hot tub.
Cafayate, Argentina,

How To Get To Cafayate From Salta

The closest city to Cafayate is Salta. The two best ways of getting there are by bus or car.


  • Bus: The journey takes 3 hours and 45 minutes by bus and costs around $7. I always use to check times and book all our tickets in Argentina.

If you don’t have the time to stay overnight, then check out this highly rated day tour from Salta:

Do You Need A Car For Cafayate?

The roads to and from Cafayate are beautiful to drive and perfect for a road trip.


I highly recommend renting a car to visit Cafayate and the other towns along this route like Cachi.


However, you’ll need to pick up a car in one of the bigger cities like Jujuy or Salta as there aren’t any rental agencies in Humahuaca.


The incredible landscapes and scenery in the region, means having a car is a fantastic way to explore this part of Argentina.


However, it isn’t essential as you can always take local buses. But you won’t have the option to stop when you see something awesome!

things to do in Cafayate, Argentina

When Is The Best Time To Visit Cafayate?

The best time to visit Cafayate for great weather is in the summer (December to February) with average temperatures of around 30°C.


However, summer is also the busiest time and there will be more Argentinian tourists here on their summer holidays.


Therefore, I recommend visiting in the shoulder seasons if you can.


The best time to visit for less crowds but enjoyable weather is the spring (September to November) or in the autumn (March to April) .


There will be less tourists and prices for restaurants, hotels and tours are usually cheaper.

For more great towns to visit in the north of Argentina, try the suggestions below which are all north of the city of Salta:


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