In search of the perfect town. Cafayate, Argentina

July 26, 2010 at 8:55 pm 1 comment

Picture the postcard perfect town. It’s small right? Maybe two main streets with a beautiful central plaza, populated by trees but not so many to obstruct views. The buildings are painted in vibrant colours – mustard yellow, aquamarine blue and ruby red. Polished wooden signs burned with the names of cafés and restaurants swing on their hinges in a gentle afternoon breeze. Around the plaza young South American couples enjoy the last few rays of evening sunshine whilst sipping glasses of wine sourced as locally as 300m down the road. Reds, whites and rosés famed internationally for the unique characteristics their altitude gives them. But it’s not all wines and lazy afternoons in the sun – the perfect town has plenty of daytrip options. A waterfall down the road. A stunning location in the midst of a breathtaking sandstone landscape.

As it turns out, the postcard perfect town is a real place somewhere between Túcuman and Salta in the northwest of Argentina. The exact spot that backpackers and romantics come to South America searching for is dusty little corner of the world called Cafayate where Gary and I had the good fortune to spend a few days.

For the most part we joined intertwined lovers and laughing families on the plaza for hot coffees, delicious milanese (breaded steak) sandwiches and of course, the spectacular mountain backdrop. When we weren’t eating we were exploring nearby wineries, many of which were within a block or two of the town centre. We tried scrumptuous Rosés, famous white Torrontés, peppery Cabernets and of course this being Argentina, the odd Malbec. Our favourite was a Rosé from Nanni which we decided after much deliberation to splash out on. A girl needs a €4.50 bottle of wine every now and then.

All good things must come to an end though and after a few days of pure indulgence we had to bid adieu to the gang of dogs we had collected – dalmations, alsations, terriers and all sorts – and board a bus to Salta where we would be heading back to Chile to visit San Pedro de Atacama, a small town situated in the driest desert in the world. In all fairness it was probably about time that we dried out a little. Life can’t all be red wine and red meat after all…

There are more pictures from Cafayate available in the gallery

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Entry filed under: Travel. Tags: , , , , , .

Coffees in Córdoba, Argentina Snowboarding in the world’s driest desert. San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

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