≡ Andean Altiplano








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Photo North I

5 days/4 nights

From Salta: Cuesta del Obispo, Piedra del Molino (3,300 meters of altitude), Tin Tin Stretch, Los Cardones National Park, Cachi, Calchaquí valley, "Ruta 40", Puente del Diablo, La Poma, Abra El Acay (4,890 meters), San Antonio de los Cobres, La Polvorilla (Tren a las Nubes) rail bridge, Tuzgle volcano, volcanic bombs, Susques, Salinas Grandes, Laguna de Guayatayoc, Abra Pampa, Laguna de los Pozuelos National Park, Quebrada de Humahuaca, Humahuaca, Tilcara, "Pucará de Tilcara", Purmamarca, "Cerro de los Siete Colores", 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, La Poma

Distance traveled: 300 km in 8 hours

Included: Dinner, Lodging in Hosteria La Poma

From Salta, we will climb the Cuesta del Obispo, a winding road that will take us to the Piedra del Molino, at 3,300 meters of altitude. We descend through the Los Cardones National Park, a fine opportunity to photograph the "cardones": the upright, noble cacti of the Trichocereus genus. These often host birds (telephoto), and, in spring, many flowers sprout (macro). In the Park we will also be able to photograph wild camelids (vicuña and guanaco), foxes, hares, condors, birds of prey (telephoto). We descend to the Calchaquí valley via the Tin Tin Stretch. The Nevado de Cachi (6,380 meters) will be right in front of us. In Cachi (2,200 meters) we stop for lunch and will be able to visit the Archaeological Museum, amongst others. We will ascend the Calchaquí valley by the famous "Ruta 40", towards La Poma, at 3,000 meters. On the way we will view incredible rock formations and a spectacular mountain landscape. We will photograph the Puente del Diablo, the result of recent volcanic activity. At night we will go out to photograph the valley and the stars.

The location of 'El Maray', near the 'Cuesta del Obispo'The 'Cuesta del Obispo', ArgentinaThe 'Cuesta del Obispo', province of Salta, ArgentinaRoad leading to Cachi, in the 'Calchaquí' valley, SaltaThe town of Cachi, ArgentinaThe Pío Pablo Díaz Archaeological museum, in the pueblo of CachiRoad in the upper Calchaquí valley, province of Salta, ArgentinaThe upper Calchaquí valley, province of Salta, ArgentinaThe pueblo of La Poma, in the upper Calchaquí valley, Salta

Day 2:

La Poma -> San Antonio de los Cobres, Susques

Distance traveled: 250 km in 8 hours

Included: Breakfast, Lodging in Hosteria Pastos Chicos

From La Poma we continue climbing the Calchaquí valley until its origin, in the Abra El Acay, at 4,890 meters of altitude. On the way we will photograph camelids (llamas, vicuñas and guanacos), foxes, hares and condors (telephoto). On the Abra El Acay, which divides the Calchaquí valley from the Altiplano, the landscape will change from a large valley to a range of volcanoes, and the Salinas Grandes salt flat on the horizon. We descend to the Altiplanic "pueblo" of San Antonio de los Cobres (3,700 meters), where we stop for lunch. We proceed to Susques (3,600 meters) by the "Ruta 40", which will lead us to the La Polvorilla (Tren a las Nubes) rail bridge. After photographing the bridge, we ascend the Altiplano towards the Tuzgle volcano (5,560 meters). We will be able to photograph the volcano, basaltic flows, huge lava blocks, and other rock formations, as well as the fauna. We will come across two Altiplanic "pueblos", which produce handicrafts and raise animals (llamas, sheep and goats). We arrive at the volcanic bombs field near Susques. These rocks are pieces of lava ejected from a volcano still warm, which were shaped by aerodynamic resistance. At night we drive to the Olaroz Salar to photograph (tripod).

Dwelling in the upper Calchaquí valley, province of SaltaMountains of the 'Abra El Acay', province of Salta, ArgentinaPhotographing in the Abra El Acay, SaltaAndean Condor (Vultur gryphus), gliding around the Abra El AcayThe Altiplanic town of San Antonio de los Cobres, SaltaSign describing the La Polvorilla rail bridge, Salta provinceThe La Polvorilla rail bridge, Salta provinceTourists near the Tuzgle volcano, province of JujuyThe Andean Altiplano, province of Jujuy, ArgentinaVisitors in the field of volcanic bombsNight on the Olaroz Salar, province of Jujuy

Day 3:

Susques -> Salinas Grandes, Laguna de Guayatayoc, Abra Pampa

Distance traveled: 200 km in 8 hours

Included: Breakfast,Lunch, Lodging in Hotel Rincón Suizo

From Susques we head to the Salinas Grandes, a huge salt flat where kitchen salt is extracted. Besides the landscape, we will be able to photograph details of the salt's surface (macro). We proceed to the Guayatayoc Lagoon. In spite of its name, it is a vast plain covered mostly with pasture, which attracts the Altiplanic fauna: the wild camelids (vicuña and guanaco), foxes, as well as the domesticated fauna (llamas, sheep, goats and donkeys). On the lower part of the Lagoon there is water, and here we will be able too photograph the Altiplanic birds: flamingos, Andean gulls and geese, ducks, amongst others (telephoto). We head to the Altiplanic "pueblo" of Abra Pampa, where we spend the night. We will photograph the sunset and night (tripod) of the Altiplano around Abra Pampa.

The "Salinas Grandes" salt flat, province of JujuyPhotographing on the Salinas Grandes salt flat, on the AltiplanoVisitor on the Salinas Grandes salt flat, in the AltiplanoThe "Laguna de Guayatayoc", on the Andean Altiplano, JujuyVicuñas (Lama vicugna), on the Guayatayoc LagoonVicuñas, Lama vicugna, "Laguna Guayatayoc", Andean AltiplanoThe "Laguna de Guayatayoc", flamingoes, Andean Altiplano, JujuyDust devil, on the Andean Altiplano, province of JujuyRoad on the Andean Altiplano, province of Jujuy, ArgentinaThe altiplanic town of Abra Pampa, province of Jujuy

Day 4:

Abra Pampa -> Laguna de los Pozuelos, Humahuaca

Distance traveled: 300 km in 8 hours

Included: Breakfast,Lunch, Lodging in Hosteria Solar de la Quebrada

We leave before sunrise for the Laguna de los Pozuelos National Park (3,600 meters of altitude). The Lagoon hosts a multitude of fauna: wild camelids (vicuñas and guanacos), foxes, birds (flamingos, Andean gulls, Andean geese, ducks, condors). We will spend the morning photographing the fauna (telephoto). In the afternoon we head for the town of Humahuaca (2,939 meters), in the Quebrada de Humahuaca, declared a Mankind Heritage site by UNESCO. We will photograph the sunset (tripod) from a location with a privileged view of the Quebrada and of rock formations that resemble a painter's palette.

The Andean Altiplano, ArgentinaFlamingoes on Laguna Pozuelos, Jujuy, Andean AltiplanoHighway sign, province of Jujuy, ArgentinaVicuñas (Lama vicugna), on the "Laguna de Pozuelos", JujuyVicuñas (Lama vicugna), on the "Laguna de Pozuelos", JujuyVicuñas, Lama vicugna, "Laguna de Pozuelos", Andean AltiplanoVicuña, Lama vicugna, "Laguna de Pozuelos", Andean AltiplanoLlama calves, Lama glama, "Laguna de Pozuelos"Andean gull (Larus serranus), on the "Laguna de Pozuelos"Sedimentary rocks, "Quebrada de Humahuaca" valley, JujuyThe town of Humahuaca, province of Jujuy, ArgentinaThe Monument to Independence, Humahuaca, province of Jujuy

Day 5:

Humahuaca -> Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta

Distance traveled: 350 km in 8 hours

Included: Breakfast

We continue descending the Quebrada de Humahuaca towards Salta, photographing incredible rock formations. We will cross the Tropic of Capricorn (23º 26´ S) near Uquia (2,818 meters of altitude). We will visit the town of Tilcara (2,465 meters) to photograph its archaeological site - the "Pucará de Tilcara". We stop for lunch in Purmamarca (2,192 meters), after photographing its surroundings, such as the "Cerro de los Siete Colores".

The pre-Inca ruins of Tilcara, province of Jujuy, ArgentinaThe town of Maimara, "Quebrada de Humahuaca", JujuyChurch in the town of Purmamarca, Jujuy, ArgentinaRocks near the town of Purmamarca, province of JujuyRocks around the town of Purmamarca, Jujuy, ArgentinaBuildings on the historic center of Salta (Plaza 9 de Julio)The cathedral of the city of Salta, 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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