Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned travel photographer, you often need the stimulation of a totally new, different and unique environment to re-energize your photographic vision. One of these places is Northwest Argentina. Dominated by the Andes to the west, vast areas of the provinces of Salta and Jujuy are high-altitude deserts and mountains, but despite these desolate expanses, geology has shaped the landscape into spectacular rock formations and deep canyons.
With the city of Salta as a jumping-off point, you can head south through the Valle Calchaquies. This beautiful valley is semi-desert and home to a great diversity of wildlife and a number of archaeological sites, such as Chicoana and Loma Chata, of ancient indigenous peoples. The valley may appear to be arid; however, the Escolpe Gorge is a refuge of subtropical vegetation and Valle Encantado (Enchanted Valley) is incredibly photogenic.
As you drive south from Salta to Cafayate, you pass through Quebrada de Las Conchas, or Canyon of the Shells, where time, wind and weather has sculpted the red rock into curious shapes and formations. Nearby Quebrada de las Flechas, or Canyon of the Arrows, is also filled with magnificent subject matter for your camera, with its great spires of red rock.
When you arrive in Cafayate, approximately 60 miles south of Salta, you’ve entered the famous Torrontes wine region. The Torrontes grape, originally from Europe, has found the area, with its very low rainfall and many sunny days, perfect for creating a delightful white wine. You have both the opportunity to photograph close-ups of grapes, vines and wine making facilities as well as capture the amazing contrast of a mature vineyard and the surrounding wild and rugged mountains.
Traveling north from Salta, the landscape of Jujuy Province becomes otherworldly. Among the spectacular vistas is the Cerro de los Siete Colores, or Hill of the Seven Colors, that highlights the area around the village of Purmamarca. Because of the ancient sediments of marine life, the workings of geology and the high-altitude sunlight, the Cerro seems to shine and glitter with constantly changing colors. This is a scene that is best photographed during sunrise and sunset when the low sun creates an even more colorful palette on the rocks. From Purmamarca, you can travel into the Andes, arriving at the Salinas Grandes, which is a barren salt plain that stretches in all directions, and at an elevation above 10,000 feet. While in Jujuy Province, you want to take time to visit the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a peaceful valley of quaint towns and villages, with friendly local people that are welcoming and eager to show you their culture and lifestyle.
The most delightful and leisurely tour of Northwest Argentina is Ciclismo Classico’s Argentina Vision & Vine. This 9-day, 8-night trip is the only tour of its kind for photography and wine lovers. Three trips are scheduled for 2015: March 2–10, March 16–24 and November 15–23.
Your host, guide and instructor will be Ossian Lindholm, a native Argentinian, who is known throughout South America for his photography, especially his incredible images of the northwest. Ossian will lead you to locations and sites where few photographers have had the opportunity to shoot. Not only will Ossian keep you busy with your camera – and a wine glass –, but also conduct daily instructional sessions to discuss the day’s images and prepare you for the outstanding visions you’re yet to see and photograph.
Known throughout the world for its bicycle tours, Ciclismo Classico’s Argentina Vision & Vine includes accommodations in some of the region’s finest hotels and meals in its finest restaurants. From Salta, the group will spend the first three days in Cafayate, which will include a visit to the Piatelli Vineyards, and then an intense photographic incursion into Quebrada de las Flechas. The last days of the trip will bring the group to the archeological sites in Tilcara, the Quebrada de Humahuaca and Salinas Grandes.
The Ciclismo Classico Argentina Vision & Vine 2015 welcomes beginner to experienced photographers for what the company rates as an “easy” tour. Guest space is very limited, so please visit the following Web page or call the phone number below today.
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