After an extremely long journey and late arrival in Cafayate, we decided on the perfect way to take our minds off the fatigue. The Cascadas de Rio Colorado are 5km southwest of the small town of Cafayate, in northwest Argentina. More widely known for its winemaking, the town actually nestles in a stunning part of the country surrounded by multi-coloured rock formations and fertile river gorges.
We took a guided tour to the waterfalls, booked from the main square in town. We were taken out to the foothills and we were soon hiking and scrambling our way up the steep sided valley.
The advice on taking a guide was divided, but given the terrain and modest price we went for it and did not regret it. We were taken to areas that we would have blown straight past were we on our own.
This waterfall required 10 minutes of shimmying and clambering to arrive at its base, all in our usual long-femured fashion of course.
We were both relieved to be out of buses and hectic towns, further confirming our 'country mouse' as opposed to 'town mouse' status.
The final waterfall we visited was perfect for swimming, and in 35 degree heat we did not need much encouragement.
While the Rio Colorado boasts seven waterfalls in relatively close succession, we saw only four of them in an afternoon. I believe more comprehensive tours are available, but at that point we couldn't care less, the day had been awesome.
As the heat came out of the day we descended back to the starting point via a different valley so as to complete the circuit. This gave us an expansive view out to the Quebrada de las Conchas and surrounding mountains.
The desert-like terrain surrounding the gorge was distinct and beautiful. There are communities who live in these hills as small-holders. The children travel down to schools in town for a week at a time. A tough but beautiful environment to live in.