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16-day trek in Salta, northwestern Argentina

Explore the pre-Colombian history of Argentina with IFMGA-certified guide Jean-Marc in the stunning northern region of Salta.

Mountain RangeAndes
Duration16 days
Offer periodJun, Jul, Aug, Sep
Skill LevelIntermediate
Fitness LevelFit
Type of tripGroup

Highlights

  • Trek along the foothills of the Andes, across pre-Columbian valleys.

  • Experience the stunning contrasting landscapes of Salta.

  • View the wildlife that is unique to the region.

Description

In the northwest region of the Lerma Valley, at the foothills of the Andes mountains, lies the city of Salta, rich in history and pre-Colombian culture.

Trek along this well-preserved and uncrowded corner of Latin America for 16 days, and witness its beautiful and contrasting landscapes.

Flanked by high summits and sub-tropical valleys, the majestic setting of northwest Argentina makes an exceptional trek to explore the pre-Incan territory.

We will pass through the southern Yungas region, which borders Bolivia and Chile, which is home to a UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve due to its rich biodiversity.

We will find eagles, condors and vicunas, pumas prowling along jaguars, the Andean deer of the tarucas, bears and monkeys, otters and alligators.

The abundance of wildlife mixes with the pre-Columbian white-housed villages that home very friendly locals.

Lovers of the grapevine will relish in the region renown for its gastronomy and wines. It is home to the second largest vineyard in Argentina. At the end of our 16-day trek we will visit a “bodega” where we can taste some local wines.

Experience the sumptuous forests, and the white salt flats that contrast with the clear blue sky. Or see the green-coated canyons that blend with the dirt-coloured earth. And witness the surreal colours of the geological formations that guard the crystal-clear waters.

The level for this trip is moderate, due to our route being completely off the beaten path. In addition, participants are expected to have a good level of fitness given the length of the trek. 

Reserve your place now to experience the deep cultural history of northwest Argentina, and trek through the pre-Columbian Andean villages on this unforgettable 16-day trek.

Accommodation

In Buenos Aires, a 4-star hotel in double rooms. During the journey the accommodation is in comfortable 2- or 3-star hotels in double rooms, according to the hotel available in the different villages. During the 4-day trek accommodation is in refuges.

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Photos


Itinerary

Day 1: Flight to Buenos Aires

Overnight flight from your departure point to Buenos Aires.

Day 2: Flight to Salta

Transfer to the domestic airport to take a flight to Salta. Visit the colonial city of Salta in the heart of the mountains.

Day 3: Mountain of 7 Colours and Salinas Grandes

Transfer by 4-wheel drive from Salta to the village of Aymara of Purmamarca (2,324m) at the foot of the Mountain of 7 Colours. We will visit the pre-Incan site of Santa Rosade Tastil (3,200m) and the village of San Antonio de Los Cobres (3,774m). Then we move to the outskirts of Salinas Grandes, one of the largest salt deserts in Argentina, Col of Lipán (4,170m).
Arrival at the village of the Terre Sainte, home to the Aymara language.

Day 4: From Purmamarca to Ocumazo

From Purmamarca to Ocumazo (2,930m). Small walk in the morning to admire the Mountain of 7 Colours. Then transfer to the Humahuaca Valley. Pucará de Tilcara, prehispanic village of the Omaguaca civilization, Humahuaca village (2,940m), Ocumazo, and then a short walk in the Quebrada de las Señoritas. Finally, we go to Ocumazo where we will stay and dine in the house of local inhabitants.

Day 5: From Ocumazo to Tilcara

We hike over the Quebrada of Humahuaca, where the many petroglyphs testify to human presence dating back more than 10,000 years. Then by road to Tilcara. Prepare hiking equipment which will start the next day.

Day 6: From Tilcara to Warai Huasi

We depart early to reach Casa Colorada (3,200m) which is the starting point of a 4-day trek that links the semi-arid environment of the Quebrada to Humahuaca and the Yungas, which are more tropical. We reach the Campo Laguna (4,170m) which is the highest point of the crossing. Then we descend to the refuge of Waira Huasi (3,200m).

Day 7: From Warai Huasi to Molulo

We leave the arid and austere landscapes of the Puna and gradually move to high pastures. We will walk along the slopes and cliffs, accompanied by the silent flight of the many condors inhabiting this part of the Cordillera. Then we arrive in the community of Molulo (3,000m).

Day 8: From Molulo to San Lucas

We will cross high forests, encounter diverse species as the earth turns a tropical red. We the follow the cliff path and then descend towards the hamlet of San Lucas.

Day 9: From San Lucas to Salta

We conclude our trek in an increasingly tropical setting. Following a winding path we pass streams, waterfalls and caves. We take advantage of the crystalline waters of the Rio Valle Grande to cool off before climbing the Peña Alta.  Our hike ends at the summit and we will meet the vehicle that will take us to the village of San Fransisco (1,480m). We then continue by car to the town of Libertador General San Martin, crossing Calilegua National Park. After a short visit to this park created to preserve the wet rain forests, we finish our day at Salta.

Day 10: From Salta to Cachi

We depart by minibus to the small colonial village of Cachi (2,200m). The route is punctuated by spectacular landscapes: the Piedra del Molino pass (3,600m); the Quebrada de Escoipe; a large enclosed gorge; the mountains of the Cuesta del Obispo; and the regional park of Los Cardones. Cachi is a peaceful Indian village with whitewashed low houses and the church of San José which dates from the eighteenth century. We will visit the small archaeological museum with beautiful collections of pre-Incan and Incan ceramics. We then take a 6-km excursion from the village towards Cachi Adentro. We will explore the most beautiful landscapes of Cachi, walking 2 to 3 hours towards the snow-capped peaks.

Day 11: From Cachi to Molinos

Departure from Cachi to the Acsibi valley where we will begin our trek to the Acsibi Gorge: a trek in a desert of colourful rocks with surprising shapes. In the late afternoon we reach Molinos where we will spend the night.

Day 12: From Molinos to Cafayate

Departure by minibus to the south. On the way we will visit a famous bodega for wine tasting. We will then cross the Quebrada de las Flechas, a desert composed of thousands of quartz arrows. We cross white dunes as we approach Cafayate, a city famous for its wine industry and an international reputation for the quality of its grape varieties. We will discover the alleys and the central square of the village.

Day 13: From Cafayate to Salta

Visit Cafayate and then a 3-4 hour hike in Quebrada de las Conchas, a 70km-long gorge with sandstone walls carved by the elements and time in spectacular colours. Then a drive to Salta.

Day 14: From Salta to Buenos Aires

Morning flight from Salta to Buenos Aires, which we will visit.

Day 15: Final day in Buenos Aires

Visit Buenos Aires, free lunch then afternoon transfer to the airport.

Day 16: Arrive home

Arrive at your final destination.


About the guide

guide profile img

UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain Guide

- The passion of virgin areas -
Climbing, mountaineering, trekking, off-piste skiing, ski touring, heliskiing, I have used all the resources available in the mountain to explore the Alps in France, Italy, Switzerland, and also Nepal, Peru and Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Alaska, Canada, Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco and Turkey, Norway, Greenland and Spitsbergen…
Currently, with the enthusiasm of being a guide, I traverse the world’s mountains and I share my passion with those whom I call “clients” but after many years of common adventures have become my friends.


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Prices per person

Group of 1

EUR 4588 each

Group of 2

EUR 4588 each

Group of 3

EUR 4588 each

Group of 4

EUR 4588 each

Group of 5

EUR 4588 each

Group of 6

EUR 4588 each

Group of 7

EUR 4588 each

Group of 8

EUR 4588 each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

• Guiding fee

• Accommodation

• Transport during the trip

• Luggage transfer during the trip

• Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Price details

• This is the price for a group tour of between 6 to 12 people.


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