Over seventy species of Cacti clothe the mind-boggling landscapes of Northwestern Argentina, ranging from three hundred year old Trichocereus pasacana cacti growing 3m tall, to the improbably tiny Blossfeldia liliputana. The extraordinary growth forms of these cacti are many and varied and so are the often magnificent blooms. Tall white-hairy Cleistocactus hyalacanthus has stunning tubular pink flowers whilst the impressive orange-yellow blooms of Lobivia aurea dwarf the plant itself. We’ll see Saguaro-like Trichocereus terscheckii, and exquisite Parodia mesembrina, the globular ball of spines overtopped by brilliant yellow blooms. Soehrensia formosa is a study of brilliance, its scarlet blooms obvious from afar, and we’ll see the extraordinary Rebutia senilis, a beauty whose squat little body is garlanded with magnificent blooms of red, yellow or orange.
The Quebrada de Humahuaca, an ancient Inca Roadthat connects Boliviaand Argentina, takes us through some of the most spectacular scenery in South America. 5000m high volcanoes tower over us as we explore the biologically diverse Yungas Cloudforest en route to the unique high altitude deserts of the Altiplano. Andean, Chilean and Puna Flamingos glean shrimps among Giant Coots and Giant Grebes as we watch herds of Vicuña graze with Darwin’s Rheas in this sublime wilderness. The magnificent Andean Condor will be seen on an almost daily basis, and other marvellous birds include Blue-crowned Trogon and some beautiful Hummingbirds such as the colourful Red-tailed Comet, Blue-capped Puffleg and the magnificent Giant Hummingbird. Hieroglyph engraved menhirs sit among dry Chacoforest where the arching columns of Echinopsis grandiflora serve as a vase for the red flowers and Rebutia jujuyana is encircled with jubilant orange blooms. We’ll find plenty of evidence of the Inca’s Empire of the Sun and other cultural wonders include picturesque Purmamarca, nestling at the foot of the Mountain of Seven Colours, its church adorned with Cactus woodwork!
Cacti. Also Birds, Landscapes and Culture.
Willy Smith, Ian Green
No more than three or four miles in any one day, and always at a slow pace, ideally suited to photography.
Included in the Price
All flights. All transport, accommodation and meals inArgentina. Services of your leaders. Please note: drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature, including insurance, are not included.
1 leader up to 7 people, two leaders up to 10 people and three leaders up to a maximum group size of 15.
There are two night stops at most locations and so there are eight hotels used during the tour. All the hotels are of a very good standard and all rooms have en suite showers/WCs. Many of these hotels are set in beautiful grounds and several have spas attached.
UK direct return flights are from London Heathrow to Buenos Aires. There are internal flights on to Cordoba and back from Salta to Buenos Aires. Add-ons are available from various UK airports*. Other indirect routes from regional UK Airports* are available.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
The atmosphere is dry and clear. Temperatures vary from chilly at higher locations and on some early mornings, to mostly warm and very pleasant, to occasionally quite hot in the middle of the day. Very little rain is expected.
How to Book
Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form or contact us and we will send one to you. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. This will contain up-to-date health information. Cacti and bird checklists are available.