The Acsibi Caves (Cuevas de Acsibi were formed thousands of years ago and are notable for the vivid red hue of their sandstone rock formations. Located in Calchaquíes Valley, the caves are famous for the light that filters through the gaps in their ceiling, which creates an abstract vision of shape and shadow.
The moderate trek to the caves begins near the mouth of a canyon along the River Montenieva. As the trail climbs, the canyon narrows and the trees and cacti begin to disappear. The landscape is dotted with historic landmarks from the Malcachisco Indians who once washed for gold in the area. Hiking tours to the caves, which typically depart from nearby Cachi, allow you to appreciate the geology and history of the caves without having to spend hours planning.
Things to know before you go
- The desert landscapes surrounding the caves are open-air and can feel unforgiving when the sun is at its peak—ensure you wear plenty of sunscreen and a hat.
- Due to the uneven terrain that leads to the natural landmark, Acsibi Caves are not suitable for travelers using wheelchairs or strollers.
- There are no restaurants or cafes at the caves so take plenty of water and a lunch to enjoy at one of the many scenic picnic spots.
How to get there
The Acsibi Caves are located 23 miles (37 kilometers) outside the town of Cachi. You can’t drive directly to the caves but can travel as far as the entrance of Parque Nacional los Cardones.
When to get there
To avoid the worst of Salta’s scorching summer heat, visit the caves in either March/April or September/October, when temperatures are cooler and make the hike to the caves more comfortable.
The nearby town of Cachi is home to attractive colonial architecture and several cultural attractions. Top picks include Iglesia San Jose, an 18th-century church that’s famous for its barrel-vaulted ceiling, and the Museo Arqueologico.
- Los Cardones National Park
- Calchaqui Valley
- Cuesta del Obispo (Bishop’s Slope)
- Toro Gorge (Quebrada del Toro)
- Salado River (Rio Juramento)
- Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo)
- San Lorenzo
- San Bernardo Convent
- Train to the Clouds (Tren a las Nubes)
- Cultural Center of the Americas (Centro Cultural America)
- Historical Museum of the North (Museo Historico del Norte)
- Cathedral of Salta
- San Francisco Church
- San Bernardo Hill (Cerro San Bernardo)
- Shells' Ravine (Quebrada de las Conchas)