Cafayate is a small town with a population of about 12 thousand people that is in the mountains at an altitude of 1600m. The town is noteworthy for two things in particular. The first is its proximity to the strange rock formations of the Quebrada de Cafayate and the other is its vineyards. The altitude, soil and micro-climate make the area around Cafayate perfect for wine cultivation.
Cafayate feels like a small town. It is easy to walk everywhere. Around the main plaza are a series of restaurants and tourist souvenir shops. On the outskirts of town and in the nearby countryside are a number of Bodegas, many of which are open to the public. It has become a popular tourist activity to hire a mountain bike and head off for the day to visit some wineries and sample the local vintages. Care of course should be taken not to get too drunk if you are in charge of a bicycle.
The other major tourist attraction is the series of surreal mountains and rock formations in the Quebrada de Cafayate. To get there you can catch a bus from the bus terminal. Any bus heading to Salta can drop you off. Or take a taxi. The most famous spot in the Quebrada is the Devil’s Throat Gorge or Garganta del Diablo. It is a narrow gorge that opens out to a high barrel of pink mountain. Garganta del Diablo is 50 kms from Cafayate. It is possible to rent a mountain bike for the day and put it on an Indio bus and get dropped off at the Garganta del Diablo and cycle back to Cafayate, stopping off on the way to see the numerous other weird and fantastic mountain sights. Bring sun block and plenty of water. Despite being a fantastic day trip it is surprising how few other tourists you meet.
Cafayate has a good variety of accommodation options from cheap hostels with guest use kitchen such as Rusty K Hostel to more expensive hotels.
The town is pleasant enough to stroll around but has nothing of very great significance to look at. Cafayate like Amaicha del Valle and Tafi del Vallehttp://argentinatraveldestinations.blogspot.com/2010/04/tafi-del-valle.html make great stop over points for those coming from Bolivia or going to Bolivia overland.