Puna & Salt Flats
The trip starts from Salta (city)
Entering the Quebrada del Toro
Atfer a short time on a dirt road, we reach the paved road to San Antonio de los Cobres, passing through Santa Rosa de Tastil and the "Abra de Muñano".
Tracks and the viaduct of the Tren de las Nubes (Train to the Clouds)
Nowadays, the Tren de las Nubes is one of the biggest touristic attractions of the Salta Province and of the North of Argentina (unfortunately, the train is out of service for the time being).
We cross the canyon via the narrow Route 51, with on our left side the Toro river and on our right side, close to the road, the imposing mountains.
Typical vegetation for the North of Argentina: Cardon
Santa Rosa de Tastil
"Tastil" means sonorous rock. Taking a break here, you will notice how strong the sun is at this altitude, in contrast with the cold dry wind.
The Regional Museum of Tastil was founded in 1997, and is housed in a building more than 200yrs old, originally a horse stable. In here, the museum displays fabrics, pottery, masks, and other aspects of the mataca culture. You will also find a mummy of more than 700 years old.
After the visit to this small village of Tastil, we continue our journey towards San Antonio de los Cobres on the Route 51.
One of the most interesting parts is without a doubt the Abra de Muñano, 3953m high, where you can enjoy the tranquillity and the scenery of this region. While going up this hill, the cardones are disappearing according with the altitude.
San Antonio de los Cobres
This village owes its name to presence of big reserves of cupper in the surroundings.
In the outskirts of the village, symbol to the Puna Salteña, you find small adobe houses with little windows. The explanation of this architecture lies in the climate of San Antonio de los Cobres, which is consistent in its warm afternoons and its cold nights. The houses, being built in adobe, maintain fresh during the day, while in the night giving off the warmth, absorbed during the day. The windows measure approximately 50x50cm, designed in this intelligent way to keep out the strong winds, especially during the cold nights.
Arrival to the village is foreseen at 1pm, the time where will have lunch. Generally the group has lunch together in a place recommended by the guide. Nevertheless, some tourists bring their own lunchbox and use this half hour lunch break to explore the village.
The road to the Puna, wild animals like the Vicuña
At this phase, despite being one of the most inhospitable areas of our trip, we can observe one of the most typical animals of this region: the Vicuña.
Vicuñas are the smallest of the camel types in the North of Argentina, weighing between 40 and 50kg. These animals are very common in this area, whilst no other species can support the meteorological conditions of the Andean highlands.
We can see this animals freely wandering in the middle of this enormous highland plateau. One of the characteristics of these animals is the ability to cope with the climate of extremes in this huge high altitude desert called the Puna: warm and sunny afternoons, as opposed to freezing temperatures at night.
The Great Salt Flats: a salt lake shared between Salta and Jujuy
"This desert has a surface of 212km2 which makes it an ideal place to play with perspectives through the lens of your camera.”
You will also find the “house of salt”, as well as different sculptures out of salt. Craftsmen can be seen making art out of big bricks of this mineral.
The Hill or Cuesta of Lipan
As we work our way up, the landscape is getting more and more spectacular and arid. Climbing to the highest point of our trip, we admire one of the most impressive things at this altitude, the zigzagging trail of the Route 52. Once arrived at this open space, we find craftsmen working with rocks and stones from the area.
Purmamarca and its Mountain of 7 Colours
“It is a place to fall in love with because of its natural beauty, its architecture of precious houses and its narrow streets.”
In this village we make our last break of the trip, which allows you to buy handicrafts around the main plaza. After visiting the village, we return to Salta by highway.
Staying the night in Purmamarca is an option if you choose the Pack4, so the next day we pick you up for an excursion to Humahuaca.
- DISTANCE: 600 Km. aprox.
- DURATION: Full Day(12 hs aprox.)
- TIMES: From 07:00 hs. to 20:30 hs. aprox .
- INCLUDE: Transportation, guides and insurance.
- NOT INCLUDE: Food and beberages.
- PRICE PER PERSON: See the Tour Price List