THREE ARGENTINE PUNAS
THREE ARGENTINE PUNAS
7 DAYS - 4X4 VEHICLE - WALKING - NATURE - PHOTOGRAPHY
Every day spent in the Argentine Puna is completely different to the previous one, our itinerary takes you from North to South and in the way you can witness the transition from the wet Puna in Jujuy province to the dry Puna in Catamarca province. As a side note, the farther away you go from the Bolivian border in the North, the less population we find to the South.
This magical region is steeped in beauty, tradition, and silence awaiting for the traveler who dares to discover it. Descendants of ancestral civilizations still walk the narrow and dusty streets in villages forgotten by time. The Northwest of Argentina remains one of the best kept secrets in the country and largely out of the tourist trail. Those travelers who have explored and discovered the Puna using our services, went back home amazed and fascinated at the unimaginable variety of landscapes and Traditions. Any journey to the heart of the Argentine Puna requires three fundamental things: some serious logistics work, top-notch service and attentive guides to our adventurers’ needs.
Day 1 – Salta / Purmamarca / Tilcara. Camino de Cornisa, Cerro de los 7 Colores, Camino de los Colorados, Tilcara. Elevation 2450m.
Day 2 – Tilcara / San Antonio de los Cobres / Tolar Grande – Cuesta de Lipan, Salinas Grandes, Abra de Chorrillos, Pocitos salt flat, Los Colorados, Laberintos, Desierto del Diablo, 7 Curvas, Tolar Grande. Elevation 3450m.
Day 3 – Tolar Grande / Mina Casualidad / Tolar Grande – Salar de Arizaro, Mina Casualidad, Mina Julia (providing it isn’t snowing), Estación Caipe, Tolar Grande. 3450m.
Day 4 – Tolar Grande / Antofallita / Antofagasta de la Sierra – Arizaro salt flat, Cono de Arita, Antofallita, Antofalla salt flat , Vega Colorada, Calalaste, Antofagasta de la Sierra. Elevation 3400m.
Day 5 . Antofagasta de la Sierra / Piedra Pomez field / Antofagasta – Laguna Colorada, Volcán Carachi Pampa, Piedra Pomez field, White Dunes, Optional hike to Antofagasta Volcano. Antofagasta de la Sierra. 3400 msnm.
Day 6 – Antofagsta de la Sierra / Cafayate – Duna y Cuesta de Randolfo, Hualfin, Quilmes archeological site, Cafayate. 1650m.
Day 7 – Cafayate / Salta – Visit to a winery, walk at La Yesera formation, Quebrada de Cafayate, Salta. 1200m.
DETAILS OF OUR SERVICES
Guides – Our guides are professionals with years of experience, skills and deep understanding and knowledge of this region. They were handpicked and carefully selected among the best. They have excellent people skills and a true commitment to share and pass on our culture. They are very sensible and great at generating unforgettable memories.
Transportation – all our programs make use of 4×4 vehicles. The vehicles are properly licensed and approved by CNRT (National Transport Regulating Commitee) and properly insured. Any of our vehicles can seat up to 4 travelers plus a guide who is also the driver. On board we have a satellite phone for emergencies, a VHF radio, an oxigen tuve and mask and a first aid kit.
Accomodations – The region and every village or town have different categories of places to stay. Equipa Tu Aventura will always proceed to book reservations according to guests preferences and availability at every destination.
Meals – Generaly we eat our meals at restaurants or simple dinners in towns or villages where they offer these services and we will have picnics or packed lunches in remote areas without such facilities. Our picnics are delicious and boast plenty of variety, amazing panoramic views, great Argentine wines and moka coffee. Evenings with an apperitive drink are our specialty. If you are vegetarian, vegan, celiac or have any allergies or dietary restrictions, please let us know in advance so we can make all necessary arrangements.
Walking – Often times, the most beautiful places are away from a road. That’s why our itineraries always feature some walking. The walks have different levels of difficulty according to our travelers preferences and/or physical condition so they can make the best out of these experiences.
What is the price of this trip?
TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST VISIT TO ARGENTINA
1. Economy / Inflation – Argentina is a country with great fluctuations in its economy, at least as far as its currency. With double digit inflation and surprise devaluations, the Central Bank has a tight grip on the foreign exchange rate. The official rate is fixed at an under market value so there is a big difference between the black market dollar exchanged on the streets(called Blue Dollar) and the official rate. Many foreign visitors carry U$D or Euros in cash to Exchange on the black market where they get a much higher rate than in banks or exchange bureaus.
2. Culture – Argentina has the largest cultural scene in South America. Its film industry is vibrant and over the years many local films made successful runs at prestigious awards. Our advice to visitors is to watch a few emblematic films before travelling to Argentina to better understand the country’s history, the local idiosyncrasy and its cultural diversity. Buenos Aires, the country’s capital, is one of the top cultural metropolis in the western world worth a 2 or 3 days stop over to fully enjoy its cafes, night life, theaters, Milonga and Tango dance halls, libraries and museums.
3. Security – The Argentine people is kind and generally a good host to foreign visitors. Through the first half of the 20th century Argentina saw several waves of immigration mostly from Europe. Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Britain, were the origin countries with the biggest numbers of arrivals but many people also came from Eastern Europe, Siria and Lebanon. These new “Argentines” contributed to make our gene pool and cultural diversity even bigger. European visitors will find it very easy to blend in our cities. You will come across very few “Argentinos” that speak a second language, but many will go out of their way despite the language barrier to try to help you in any way or just to talk to you. We are always curious as to where are you visiting from. Argentina is a safe country to travel, but you need to pay attention and not be foolish as you would in any other country in the world.
WHAT TO DO AND WHAT NOT TO DO IN THE PUNA
The Puna or Altiplano is a high altitude plateau at an average elevation of 3500m where our bodies need time to adapt and adjust to the higher altitude and the lower pressure. 90% of our guests do very well in these conditions but the rest must drink more than the usual amount of water to keep hydrated, walk at a slower pace, not undertake strenuous physical activities and drink coca tea during the first few days of the tour to get acclimatized. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before embarking on this trip if you never travelled to places in high elevation before.
In the Puna and in many other places in the northwest of Argentina, local people are kind and welcoming but many people are also shy and very reserved. So you should never take a picture of them or their animals without asking them first. Usually after you try to talk to them and they get to know you better there will be pictures with nice smiles from our new friends.
In many tour destinations around the world visitors engage in bargaining to lower the asking price of let’s say handicraft. In Argentina due to very high inflation, profit margins are small and uncertain, that’s the main reason our artisans don’t bargain. Prices are already very low at dollar or Euro value so out of respect please do not bargain.