≡ Andean Altiplano








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West International 1

7 days/6 nights

Salta, Cuesta del Obispo, Piedra del Molino (3,300 meters of altitude), Los Cardones National Park, Tin Tin Stretch, Cachi (2,200 meters), La Poma (3,000 meters), Abra El Acay (4,890 meters), San Antonio de los Cobres, La Polvorilla ("Tren a las Nubes") rail bridge, Paso de Sico (Argentina-Chile border), Miscanti and Miñiques lagoons, San Pedro de Atacama (2,400 meters), El Tatio geysers, Atacama Salar, Salt Cordillera, Moon Valley, Paso de Jama (Chile-Argentina border), Susques (3,600 meters), Salinas Grandes salt flat, "Cuesta de Lipán", Purmamarca (2,324 meters), "Cerro de los Siete Colores", "Paseo los Colorados", Salta.

Optional: Welcome [-]


Included: Lodging in Hotel Salta

After our transfer from the airport to the hotel, we hold a briefing session, where we will discuss the most important aspects of our trip. During the remaining part of the day we will do a city tour: we will visit the San Bernardo hill, the monument to Güemes, and walk around the city center (Plaza 9 de Julio). Next morning, after breakfast, our adventure trip begins.

The 'Cabildo', a colonial building, on the Plaza 9 de JulioChurch in Salta, province of Salta, Argentina

Day 1:

Salta -> Cachi

Distance traveled: 200 km in 6 hours

Included: Lunch, Lodging in Hotel El Cortijo

From Salta we ascend to Cachi by the fantastic Cuesta del Obispo, getting to 3,300 meters of altitude, at the Piedra del Molino. From this point we descend via the Parque Nacional los Cardones, with its uncountable cactus of the Trichocereus genus, passing through the Tin Tin Stretch. Nearing Cachi we will be able to view the Nevado de Cachi (6,550 meters).

In Cachi [-]:

» Pío Pablo Díaz Archaeological Museum

A good opportunity to see the area's history

The location of 'El Maray', near the 'Cuesta del Obispo'The 'Cuesta del Obispo', province of Salta, ArgentinaThe Tin Tin Stretch, province of Salta, ArgentinaRoad leading to Cachi, in the 'Calchaquí' valleyThe town of Cachi, on the Andean Altiplano, ArgentinaThe Pío Pablo Díaz Archaeological museum, "pueblo" of Cachi

Day 2:

Cachi -> San Antonio de los Cobres

Distance traveled: 200 km in 6 hours

Included: Breakfast,Lunch, Lodging in Hosteria de las Nubes

We will ascend the Calchaquí valley until its origin, the Abra El Acay, at 4,890 meters of altitude, when the Altiplano will unfold ahead of us. We may see vicuñas, guanacos, foxes, condors. We descend to the altiplanic town of San Antonio de los Cobres, at 3,700 metros.

Landscape of the upper 'Valle CalchaquíThe upper Calchaquí valley, province of Salta, ArgentinaRoad from 'Abra El Acay' to La Poma, SaltaIn the Abra El Acay, province of SaltaVicuñas (Lama vicugna), province of Salta, ArgentinaAndean Condor (Vultur gryphus), gliding around the Abra El AcayThe Altiplano as viewed from the Abra El Acay (4,890 m altitude)

Day 3:

San Antonio de los Cobres -> Paso de Sico, San Pedro de Atacama (Chile)

Distance traveled: 450 km in 10 hours

Included: Breakfast,Lunch, Lodging in Cabañas de Don Tomás

Leaving San Antonio de los Cobres, we will drive up to 4,500 meters of altitude, then descend to the Cauchari Salar. We proceed to the Paso de Sico, Argentina-Chile border. After immigration and customs procedures, we enter Chile. We will visit the Miscanti and Miniques Altiplanic lagoons. We will pass through the "pueblos" of Socaire and Toconao (2,485 meters), when we arrive at the Atacama Salar (2,400 meters), the second largest in the world. In San Pedro de Atacama we do immigration and customs, proceeding after to the hotel.

Road sign, on the Andean Altiplano (high plateau)The Cauchari Salar, on the Andean Altiplano, ArgentinaThe Miscanti Lagoon, on the Andean Altiplano, ChileThe Miniques Lagoon, Chile, on the Andean AltiplanoSunset in the Atacama Salar (salt flat), in the Atacama DesertThe church of San Pedro de Atacama (Atacama Desert), Chile

Day 4:

San Pedro de Atacama

Distance traveled: 400 km in 9 hours

Included: Breakfast, Lodging in Cabañas de Don Tomás

We leave at dawn for the geysers El Tatio, at 4,500 meters of altitude. The reason for such an early departure is because at sunrise the geysers are at their most beautiful, due to the maximum difference between the temperatures of the water and the environment. After a swim in the thermal pool and a pic-nic, we return to San Pedro de Atacama. The afternoon is free; we recommend strolling around town, enjoying its adobe architecture and ample offer of handicrafts. At the end of the day we will visit the Father Le Paige Archaeological Museum.

Dawn in the geysers El Tatio, Chile, on the Andean AltiplanoThe Andes: El Tatio geysers, early morning, ChileThe El Tatio geysers, Chile, on the Andean AltiplanoFacade in San Pedro de Atacama (Atacama Desert), ChileSan Pedro de Atacama, ChileInterior of a restaurant, San Pedro de Atacama, ChileThe town of San Pedro de Atacama (Atacama Desert), ChileThe town of San Pedro de Atacama (Atacama Desert), Chile

Day 5:

San Pedro de Atacama

Distance traveled: 200 km in 7 hours

Included: Breakfast, Lodging in Cabañas de Don Tomás

In the morning we will visit the Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos, an excellent point for bird watching (three species of flamingoes, ducks), in the middle of the Atacama Salar. In the afternoon we will visit the Salt Cordillera, a paleo-salar. After we proceed to the Valley of the Moon, walking among sedimentary rocks in exquisite shapes. At the end of the day we may appreciate a beautiful panorama of the valley, with the Licancabur volcano (6,000 meters of altitude) crowning the landscape, bathed in the setting sun's light.

Flamingoes, Atacama Salar, Chile, the Andes CordilleraFlamingo, Salar de Atacama, Chile, on the Andean AltiplanoThe Salt Cordillera, in the Atacama Desert, ChileThe Moon Valley, in the Atacama Desert, ChileRock formation in the Moon Valley, in the Atacama Desert, ChileTourists, near San Pedro de Atacama, ChileLate afternoon in the Moon Valley, in the Atacama Desert, Chile

Day 6:

San Pedro de Atacama -> Paso de Jama, Susques (Argentina)

Distance traveled: 450 km in 9 hours

Included: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner, Lodging in Hosteria Pastos Chicos

Leaving San Pedro de Atacama, after immigration and customs, we drive up to the Altiplano, crossing a completely volcanic landscape, with lava flows, salt flats, lagoons, vicuñas and condors. Arriving at the Paso de Jama, Chile-Argentina border, we will do immigration and customs. We proceed to the Altiplanic "pueblo" of Susques (3,600 meters of altitude), passing by the Olaroz Salar.

Lagoon and salar, volcano, Chile, in the Andean AltiplanoThe Olaroz Salar, on the Altiplano of the province of JujuyThe church of Susques, on the Altiplano of the province of Jujuy

Day 7:

Susques -> Salinas Grandes, Purmamarca, Salta

Distance traveled: 450 km in 9 hours

Included: Breakfast

From Susques, we drive along the Altiplano to the Salinas Grandes salt flats. We descend the Altiplano via the Cuesta de Lipán, arriving at the picturesque "pueblo" of Purmamarca. After lunch we enjoy the famous rock formations, such as the Cerro de los Siete Colores and the Paseo Los Colorados. We end the day in Salta.

The "Salinas Grandes" salt flat, province of JujuyThe Salinas Grandes salt flat, on the Altiplano of JujuyThe road down 'Cuesta de Lipán', province of Jujuy, ArgentinaThe town of Purmamarca, province of Jujuy, ArgentinaThe area known as 'Los Colorados', near the town of PurmamarcaChurch in the town of Purmamarca, Jujuy, Argentina

Optional: Last night [-]


Included: Lodging in Hotel Salta

We drop off the group in the hotel and the rest of the day is free. The following morning, with adequate time, we transfer the group to the airport and our services end.

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