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Abenteuerreisen nach Patagonia Argentina Chile naturreisen

Puna desert Experience in Northwestern Argentina

Altiplano Salt Flats Salta Argentina Duration of journey: 5 days, 4 nights

Visiting: Salta, one of the most arid areas of the world: Salta city, Quebrada del Toro, San Antonio de los Cobres, Desierto del Laberinto, Tolar Grande, Ojos de Mar, Dunas, Laguna Santa Maria, Salar de Arizaro, Cono de Arita, Oasis Antofalla, Antofagasta de la Sierra, El Peñón, Campo Piedra Pómez, Laguna Grande, Hualfin, Quilmes, Cafayate, Quebrada de las Conchas

patagonia Includes: all meals(no drinks), Accommodation, Private tour in 4WD with guide/driver. Fruits and water on board, Medical insurance during the tour service, Insurance for trekking activities,Travelling equipment: (satellite phone, radio, first aid kit, etc.) Logistic support, mechanic assistance and 24hs emergency line.


travel adventure south america multisport adventureitinerary

Day 1: : Salta | Quebrada del Toro | San Antonio de los Cobres | Desierto del Laberinto | Tolar Grande

100 km asphalt, 250 km gravel road. Maximum altitude 4500 masl. Altitude at arrival 3.650 masl

Calchaquies Valleys - Salta Argentina road tripThe Toro's Gorge is a 95 km narrow Andean valley of tectonic origin connecting Salta and the green Lerma Valley (1200 masl), with the desert plateau called Puna (over 4000 masl). The Incas first and then the Spaniards, used to travel through the area around this once unknown territory of Argentina, simply called Tucma. San Antonio de los Cobres is now the capital of the Argentine Puna, a poor Village, yet colorful. It is the last contact with civilization before jumping to the deserts of the remote Puna. Chorrillos Pass, an Andean "Abra" will be the highest step of the day, there we will learn the meaning of the word "Apacheta" and its significance for the Andean culture. The Labyrinth is a Desert of Fossil Dunes of about 10 million years old, consisting of thousands of small peaks of clay and gypsum, the only evidence of sea invasion in a region where most of the mountains are of volcanic origin. The crossing of the Labyrinth will be a discovery for lovers of photography and deserts. Tolar Grande is a semi-abandoned village built along the railway that once upon a time reached the Pacific Coast of Chile through Socompa Pass. The town is located at the edge of one of the world's largest salt flats, the Arizaro and from the heart of the Andean Range it offers an incredible view of the surrounding volcanoes of over 6000 meters high.

Included services:
Accommodation in Refugio Afapuna of Tolar Grande. It is a Refuge well managed by the local community
with two dorms (men and ladies) and restrooms with hot showers.
It is well heated during winter or cold summer nights.
Optional accommodation with a local family in a private bedroom with shared bathroom.
Private tour in 4WD with guide/driver.
Full Board (Lunch in Restaurant of San Antonio de los Cobres and Dinner in the Comedor of Tolar Grande).
Fruits and beverages on board.



Day 2: Tolar Grande | Ojos de Mar | Dunas | Laguna Santa Maria | Tolar Grande

Altiplano volcanoe fumes - Argentina160 km gravel road. Maximum altitude 4.100 m asl. Altitude at arrival 3.650 m asl

The surroundings of Tolar Grande offer the chance of great small hikes. The best one is the hike to a hidden sand dune. From the summit of the dune the traveler will be rewarded by a 360° view over the area, from the Sacred Macon Mountain to the Llullaillaco Volcano, where the National Geographic discovered in 1999 at 6.735 meters asl an Inca Treasure including the body of 3 Inca children perfectly kept by ice and dryness. Just a few miles in the south of the town, a little salt flat is characterized by Blue-Green water holes, called Ojos de Mar, where the shapes of the volcanoes are reflected in the morning. In the afternoon we will visit Laguna Santa Maria, with its yellow Ichu grass fields with the typical vegetation of the Puna and a Little community of flamingoes. Special sunset in the town of Tolar Grande.

Included services:
Accommodation in Refugio Afapuna of Tolar Grande or with a local family in a private bedroom with
shared bathroom.
Private tour in 4WD with guide/driver. Full Board (Lunch and Dinner in the Comedor of Tolar Grande).
Fruits and beverages on board.


Day 3: Tolar Grande | Salar de Arizaro | Cono de Arita | Oasis Antofalla | Antofagasta de la Sierra | El Peñón
180 km gravel road. Maximum altitude 4.600 masl. Altitude at arrival 3.400 masl
Dessert Argentina northwestTo cross the Arizaro Salt Flat means to imitate the old passage that the old Arrieros (shepherds who led caravans of animals to Chile) did in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Arizaro means Vultures Cemetery, it comes from the period in which many animals (cows and horses) died during the crossing of the salt flat, and finally became good and unlimited nutrition for the vultures. Antofalla is an important and spectacular example of an Oasis of the Puna. In the middle of a high desert, there is a green valley, thanks to the natural spring water, with Alamos, Molles and Sauces. Antofalla, along with Antofagasta de la Sierra and Santa Rosa de los Pastos Grandes, were important stations for Llamas Caravans that connected this area of the Andes to Atacama. Antofalla Oasis is located right on the edge of the longest salt flat in the world. In Antofalla still lives a small community of 60 people, all are shepherds. From Antofalla it is possible to observe a thin mountain path walking up through the orange chain towards the south, that is our next destination, just after crossing the multicolor mirror of the Salar de Antofalla. Beyond the 4200 meters with wide views on the Antofalla Volcano (6400 meters) is located a green field (Vega Colorada) with llamas, rheas, wild donkeys and vicunas. The valley is rich in water with small rivers flowing towards the south. A few shepherds are still working in the land and live in adobe houses. Calalaste Valley, just a few kilometers from Vega Colorada, is one of the most populated places of vicunas, Andean camelids. In the spring and summer it is quite normal to see groups of hundreds of vicunas feeding and drinking in this narrow valley. Antofagasta de la Sierra is the largest Oasis in this area of the Andes that connects to San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), a town with more than 2000 inhabitants, who still preserve old traditions. Antofagasta means "the place where the sun shines" and is surrounded by hundreds of volcanic peaks. By sunset we will reach the Little Oasis of El Peñón where we will spend the night in a nice Hostería.

Included services:
Accommodation in Hosteria de Altura El Peñón.
Private tour in 4WD with guide/driver.
Full Board (Pic Nic and Dinner in Hosteria)
Fruits and beverages on board.



Day 4: : El Peñón | Campo Piedra Pómez | Laguna Grande | El Peñón
130 km earth, pumice stone and salt track. Maximum altitude 4.600 masl. Altitude at arrival 3.400 masl

Program from October to April (austral summer):
Valley of Dreams - Salta ArgentinaIn the morning: Visit to Campo de Piedra Pómez, a strange and stunning landscape carved into the rock that gives rise to its name: The Pumice, of purely igneous origin and is produced from a massive explosion of the volcanic stratum. This explosion was so powerful that if one could have seen it, it would be similar to the mushroom cloud produced by a bomb. This cloud has spread the ashes and debris in large areas and in different directions that were crystallized by the effects of the temperature and gave life to these wonderful rocks with special features, with plenty of holes produced by the escape of gases during the chilling stage. This degassing phenomenon made the rock very easy to carve by the winds of the Puna, arid and harsh winds that move freely through the region where they become the best and most prominent Andean rock sculptors.
In the afternoon: Visit to Laguna Grande reserve, a place of unique beauty that keeps fragile treasures of the environment. It is a saline lake that sits at an altitude of 4150 m, path to the crater of the volcano Galan, the largest in the world. During winter, the water freezes completely, but when spring arrives, it becomes the largest gathering center of the Puna flamingo birds, also called Small Parina (Phoenicpterus jamesi), with more than 19,000 birds (25% of the known total population). It is also a place for summer congregation for the Andean flamingo (Phoenicpterus andinus) and it is a common nesting site of Southern flamenco (Phoenicopterus chilensis). We will Visit Laguna Grande, respecting it as an Andean sanctuary and appreciating species of exotic birds in their natural habitat, taking into account that we will be privileged spectators of such majesty.

Program from May to September (austral winter):

Valley of Dreams - Salta ArgentinaVisit to Campo de Piedra Pómez, a strange and stunning landscape carved into the rock that gives rise to its name: The Pumice, of purely igneous origin and is produced from a massive explosion of the volcanic stratum. This explosion was so powerful that if one could have seen it, it would be similar to the mushroom cloud produced by a bomb. This cloud has spread the ashes and debris in large areas and in different directions that were crystallized by the effects of the temperature and gave life to these wonderful rocks with special features, with plenty of holes produced by the escape of gases during the chilling stage. This degassing phenomenon made the rock very easy to carve by the winds of the Puna, arid and harsh winds that move freely through the region where they become the best and most prominent Andean rock sculptors. This strange landscape of white labyrinths and climbing dunes is located a few miles to the west, on a track that we will pass, where the path continues through some sand that could be described as the dream of the explorer and overlanding adventurers. On the way, we will pass very close to a young volcano: the Carachi Pampa entirely painted in black by the spill of basaltic lava in ancient geological times.

Included services:
Accommodation in Hostería de Altura El Peñón.
Private tour in 4WD with guide/driver.
Fruits and water on board.
Meals included: B | L |D



Day 5: El Peñón | Hualfin | Quilmes | Cafayate | Quebrada de las Conchas | Salta
National park los cardones - Salta Argentina440 km asphalt road, 50 km gravel road. Maximum altitude 4.100 masl. Altitude at arrival 1.100 masl This day would usually be classified as a transfer, but ... the Northwest still has many surprises. The paved road we will follow from El Peñón meets Route 40 after 150 miles of Paja Brava, Laguna Blanca and a desert canyon with rich vegetation in the center. The pre-Inca ruins of Quilmes are considered the best preserved in Argentina, with a particular story, given that the Quilmes fought against the Spanish and were then deported to the south, where now stands the city of Quilmes. In the afternoon, with the best light of the day, we will cross the Conchas' Gorge with 55 km of breathtaking rock formations. Salta and the green Lerma Valley will welcome the traveler after a unique 5 day-experience in another world.

Included services:
Accommodation not included.
Private tour in 4WD with guide/driver.
Fruits and water on board.
Meals included: B
End of our services.

Important note: The Itinerary is subject to weather conditions in the region to be visited, for this reason last minute changes may take place in order to ensure a safe trip.

ABOUT THE PUNA
The Puna is a very special environment and is characterized by its high altitude (3500 masl), reduction of oxygen in the air, high atmospheric pressure, high sun level, wind, etc. All of these conditions make it necessary to take special measures in comparison with other regions. Aspects such as having a short period of rest in the city of Salta in advance to the departure and taking assets for proper moisturizing.

Price: contact us!

patagonia Includes: all included: meals(no beverages) and accommodations

Not Included: 6th overnight stay in Salta city, drinks and beverages, tips to the guides and extras.

TRIP DETAILS OUR SERVICES ALSO INCLUDE
• The most remarkable costumer service assistance.
• A unique and special adventure in Northern Argentina.
• 4WD drive transportation especially prepared for the area.
• National Authority Passenger's Transportation Permit (CNRT).
• Medical insurance during the tour service.
• Insurance for trekking activities.
• Travelling equipment: satellite phone, radio, first aid kit, etc.
• Logistic support, mechanic assistance and 24hs emergency line.


GENERAL CONDITIONS

1. All services were quoted as per the itinerary above described.
2. The accommodation does not include early check in or late check out.
3. The itinerary proposed can be modified according to changes in flight schedules or weather conditions in the area to be visited.
4. The rate does not include air fares.
5. Extras and tips of any kind are not included in the rate.
6. Beverages are not included in the meals of the itinerary.
7. The rate is subject to modification due to changes in the policies of our suppliers or due to unforeseen circumstances.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION

All passengers must fill in the Health Form and it is required for them to provide information about health conditions and/or any other relevant information regarding health. The form must be sent through e-mail before the departure date.


What to take when Traveling in the Puna?
Sun block and sun glasses (protection against UV). All year round.
Hat. All year round.
Gloves (made of wool or similar material). All year round.
Winter clothes (winter clothes must be reinforced: winter jacket, sweatshirts, polar long-sleeve shirt, scarf, etc.). All year round.
Windproof Jacket (it's important because the area is windy). All year round.
Warm socks (made of wool or cotton). All year round. Trekking shoes (comfortable). All year round.
Moisturizing cream or lotion. All year round.
Thermal underwear is advisable (for layering). In winter.

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Patagonia Road
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