The elevated pueblo of Cafayate, Argentina—725 mi/1,165 km northwest of Buenos Aires and popular with Argentine tourists as well as an increasing number of international visitors—is set in the middle of a wine-producing region. In Cafayate, visitors can tour the archaeological museum or the wine museum (though we developed a deeper appreciation of viniculture tasting wines at one of the local vineyards). Fruity, semidry Torrontes is a local specialty and definitely worth a tasting or two. The town's name means "water box" in the Quechua language.
There are a couple of attractions near town, and each merits a half-day excursion. One is La Quebrada de Cafayate, a group of strange red sandstone formations eroded by wind and water. On the way to visit this natural wonder, note the giant cacti dotting the landscape. Also near Cafayate are the extensive ruins of a Quilmes Indian city (the Indians themselves were overcome in 1667). Plan to spend two to three days in Cafayate.
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