MTB Downhill Cuesta del Obispo
It´s a cold morning in the city of Salta. The sky is cloudy, yet it doesn’t look like it will rain. After a nice breakfast, we hop into the van and start our two hour trip to Piedra del Molino, where we will stop, grab the bikes and start descending the famous and impressive Cuesta del Obispo.
This beautiful road is located halfway between Salta and Cachi, going through some of the most prominent landscapes in the region and the country.
We leave the Lerma Valley behind driving on National Route 68 crossing some pretty, little towns such as Cerrillos, La Merced and El Carril, where we turn westwards through Provincial Route 33. This is where we note how the surroundings start to change drastically, one of the most characteristic aspects of the province. Driving right next to the Chicoana/Escoipe river, it all starts becoming greener and full of millions of years old rocks, a beautiful location used during the production of “La Guerra Gaucha”, a movie from the 1940’s depicting the Independence Wars back in the 19th century. As we keep climbing towards our destination, the landscape stars turning more and more arid until we reach El Maray (our last stop before ascending the Cuesta del Obispo itself), a very nice place to taste some great empanadas and even buy some handmade souvenirs!
According to history, some bishop from Tucuman spent an uncomfortable night in the middle of the road in 1622 during his long trip to Cachi and we still honor him in the present day by calling the road The Bishop’s Slope. This route starts at approximately at 1700 meters above sea level and reaches 3340 at Piedra del Molino in only 20 kilometers full of twists and curves, so prepare to feel a bit dizzy!
After completing this set of turns, we reach the highest point between Salta and Cachi where an authentic granite millstone was left there decades ago by some merchant who had some problems with his wagon on his way to Cachi and decided to never come back for it.
From this point, it is possible to continue crossing Los Cardones National Park (through an old, 19 kilometer straight Inca road called Recta del Tin Tin) to get to a town called Payogasta before reaching Cachi. This is completely doable if you have a car, however, a good option is to hire a full day guided tour in Salta if you don’t feel like driving and are looking for the extra information only a guide can provide.
However, we came here to ride our bikes, remember? After going through the security measures and making sure all the equipment is ready, we start cycling downhill, enjoying unique views, the wind blowing in our faces and feeling like we are floating over the pavement. There are some stops on the way to enjoy the landscape, eat a snack, take some pictures and catch a breath before some more pedaling. The support vehicle is always by our side making sure everything is fine and ready to take us safe and sound back to Salta after a day of speed, adrenaline and beautiful mountains!
Difficulty Level: Medium. For people with good physical condition ready to withstand a sharp drop.
Region: Lerma´s Valley / Cordillera Oriental / Cuesta del Obispo (bishop).
Departure times: From April to November. The rest of the months, the departures will be conditioned by the weather.
Price: See the Tours Price List
Includes: Transports in vehicle, equipment (including bicycles, helmets, reflective vests, etc.) Lunch (Type Pic Nic), sweet and salty snacks, mineral water, bilingual guides and Insurances.