Wine. By the glass, or by the cone?

Days: 362 (22 June 2015)

Total distance travelled: 80,323.76 kilometres (49,890.53 miles)

Another early morning, another group tour.

Collected again for the second morning running, it was amusing to see a handful of familiar faces from the previous days northern excursion to Quebrada de Humahuaca (where we’d originally been told we’d be visiting today).

Thankfully today was not to be a double up, and pretty soon we were hurtling south… okay, possibly not so fast, but at least headed in the right direction for the Quebrada de Cafayate.

It wasn’t long before this sun filled morning was presenting us with a rugged red landscape, certainly more scenic than the previous days, albeit lacking in the vast array of mineral colour within the mountainous terrain.

The rugged landscape of the Quebrada de Cafayate

The rugged landscape of the Quebrada de Cafayate

It felt like we’d barely settled into our small seats, when our bus ground to a halt and we were all piling out.

We in fact had two stops here along the side of the road, seriously within walking distance of each other (yet for some reason we had to board the bus again to reach the other).

Both were essentially natural chimneys carved by water and wind out of the solid rock, the first the Garganta del Diablo (Devils Throat), the second known only as the Amphitheatre (fitting, with a local busker inside showing off its natural acoustics).

Wonders of nature! The Garganta del Diablo (left) & The Amphitheatre (right)

Wonders of nature! The Garganta del Diablo (left) & The Amphitheatre (right)

They were both pretty impressive, but signs advising visitors to climb no further up the potentially unstable rock face did little to deter some dickheads who proceeded to do just that!

Still shaking our heads in wonder, we were soon back aboard and trundling down another short stretch of road.

Our destination, a small roadside lookout known as Tres Cruces.

Our next stop, not so curiously dubbed Tress Cruces...

Our next stop, not so curiously dubbed Tres Cruces

Stunning valley views

Stunning valley views

A second seriously brief roadside stop allowed us to take in the beautiful surrounding views, before we were again to be found winding our way deeper into, and ever closer to the floor of this picturesque valley.

Our next stop was by a shack I can only liken to a tacky souvenir hut, but with a little charm.

A cracked and now disused former highway sat across the way like something out of a George Miller Mad Max scene, which in our barren, red earth surrounds was very believable.

Some unshorn Llama wandered about, which for a fee you could feed by hand, their mouths eager to lap the corn kernels off tourists palms… or if your own mouth was in need of action, you could purchase some of their local whisky.

Not as prevalent as Quebrada de Humahuaca, but still full of colour

Not as obvious as Quebrada de Humahuaca, but still full of colour

We were interested in neither, so instead took some time out to admire some of the colourful landscape and an inquisitive Llama before we continued along to a winery just outside of the Cafayate town itself.

Farewell to the dry valley (left) & Hello to a dry red (right)

Farewell to the dry valley (left) & Hello to a dry red (right)

Here, a staff member was cleverly selling empanadas (we indulged in some) as by now stomachs were rumbling.

There was also the small matter of sampling some of their product, which proved to be a not bad Torrontes (white) and a rather delicious Malbec (red).

Delicious enough in fact that we grabbed ourselves a bottle… surely we’d find a use for it somewhere in the future!

Soon we found ourselves in the town proper, where the ‘recommended’ restaurant turned out to be an overpriced tourist den, so we opted for cheese and biscuits in the park.

Now Cafayate is well known, if not completely well regarded for taking its fine wines in another direction.

That is, using them as flavours for local ice cream!

That’s correct, to follow on from our Chachapoyas (a small city in Peru) beer ice cream experience, we were now about to indulge in a Malbec version.

Sampling a local Malbec wine (left) & Italian Chocolate and Malbec flavoured ice-cream! (right)

Sampling a local Malbec wine (left) & Italian Chocolate and Malbec flavoured ice-cream! (right)

Now what could be better than just wine? Why wine with chocolate of course, so we paired our Malbec with an Italian Chocolate.

The chocolate flavour was pretty delicious… the wine flavour.

I’d like to say it just wasn’t my thing (which it wasn’t), but instead I’m going to say it was a little bit shit…

Still, at least we can say we tried it!

We thought we’d kill some time checking out a local wine museum, however after learning the entrance fee, we promptly dismissed that plan, and simply wandered the streets, taking in small snippets of funky, artistic work.

Getting arty in Cafayate

Getting arty in Cafayate

A series of street art highlighted the local love of music...

A series of street art highlighted the local love of music…

Quebrada de Cafayate was stunning.

The town of Cafayate and indeed the local wines we sampled, were impressive.

Malbec ice cream however… it was pretty shit!



* We booked a combined Cafayate/Humahuaca tour (over 2 days) with Turismo de la Posada for $570.00 pesos per person.

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8 Responses to Wine. By the glass, or by the cone?

  1. Vyjay Rao says:

    Wine flavoured ice cream! that’s something new for me. I do hope that they leave the ice cream and the wine as separate entities and not try to marry them. Considering it was not a successful one at that 😉

  2. jadk001 says:

    Not all fusions are a good idea it seems…But still, I just know I’m going to have to try it anyway! Thanks for this – Bookmarked for my trip later this year XD

  3. Matthew and Heather says:

    Ha! I was excited to try it until you described the malbec wine flavor. Such an experience you will not soon forget.

  4. Mar Pages says:

    Shame to hear that the wine ice cream wasn’t great, although I would still give it a shot. Love the colourful landscape photos!

  5. backpackways says:

    Just a week ago I was in Cafayate exploring the beauty of the mystical land. As a matter of fact Wine Ice Cream was quite no upto what I imagined.

  6. Wait, what? Did you just say wine flavoured ice cream!?!?! I wouldn’t mind trying that! However, if you said it ain’t so good… well, I’d still try!

  7. Maria says:

    This tour looks like a fun outing. The vistas in your pictures are absolutely stunning! I love the red stone and bright blue skies. So beautiful.

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