Eat dinner with a local family
Explore desert, salt flats, ancient ruins, a hidden oasis, small water wells, and much more!
FREE, short trek in Tolar across the viaduct - which is an amazing, unique experience
ONLINE BOOKING IS CURRENTLY NOT AVAILABLE ON FINDLOCALTRIPS.COM FOR TOURS IN ARGENTINA, ALL OTHER TOURS ARE AVAILABLE TO BOOK HERE ONLINE. PLEASE CONTACT THE OPERATOR DIRECTLY TO RESERVE YOUR TOUR AND MENTION FINDLOCALTRIPS.COM SENDING THEM A LINK TO THIS PAGE TO ENSURE YOU GET THE BEST PRICE AS SHOWN HERE.
All year round
Hotel and hostel pick-up
Hotel and hostel drop-off
ONLINE BOOKING NOT AVAILABLE
Day 1: Salta - Campo Quijano - "El Toro" Viaduct - Zigzag Chorrillos - Tastil Ruins - San Antonio de los Cobres - Laberinto Desert - Arizaro Salt Flats - Tolar Grande
We will pick you up between 6:30 and 07:00 am. We will travel through the Quebrada del Toro, San Antonio de los Cobres, Pocitos, and Tolar Grande, which is known as "the heart of the Puna". We will visit the beautiful village of Campo Quijano - "Portal de los Andes", and from there we will follow almost all of the famous 'Train to the Clouds' route. You’ll see the "El Toro" Viaduct, which you’ll get to trek - walking across the viaduct is a unique experience - and Zig-Zag Chorrillos.
After, you will be able to enter the ruins of Tastil, a pre-Inca site. We will cross Abra Blanca, a high Andean mountain pass (4089m altitude). From here you can have the best view of the high mountains of the Acay Dale, and the first sight of the Puna, the plateau which is at 3,550m elevation, and extends from the centre of Bolivia to northern Chile and Argentina.
We will arrive to the mining town of San Antonio de los Cobres, and have lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we will continue our tour by route 51, passing through the Abra de Chorrillos (4,500m), which is the highest point of the Ramal C-14 (Train to the Clouds).
After Pocitos, we will explore a diverse and unique world, taking you through the Laberinto Desert, which is made of clay, pink earth and gypsum crystals. We will observe the Arizaro Salt Flats, and take in one of the most breath-taking views of the "Cordillera Andina" mountains. After, we will arrive in Tolar Grande, and stay in a comfortable and cozy refuge called Afapuna (belonging to the Municipality of Tolar Grande). You’ll have dinner with a local family.
Accommodation: Afapuna Refuge (dorms with private bathroom).
Day 2: Tolar Grande - Arizaro Salt Flats - Cono and Arita Mines - Hermit of the Puna - Tolar Grande
You will spend this day exploring the second largest salt flats in the world, and the hidden oasis behind the Red Mountains. We will depart from Tolar Grande at 8:30 am after breakfast. Our route will take us through the Arizaro Salt Flats (which measure 1600km-sq) in order to visit Cono and Arita Mines. Once we get to the Oasis, there’ll be time for a break, when you can rest and have lunch. After, we will start a short trek to the hermit of the Puna. We will return to Tolar Grande around sunset, and have dinner at the hotel.
Accommodation: Afapuna Refuge (dorms with private bathroom).
Day 3: Tolar Grande - Ojos de Mar - Laberinto Desert - Pocitos - San Antonio de los Cobres - Tastil Ruins - Salta
You will wake up and have a very early breakfast in Tolar Grande. Before leaving, we’ll go on two excursions; one climbing a hidden dune in a small desert, and the other going to a spectacular viewpoint, looking out over the heart of the Andes. This is an ideal place to meditate, and be immersed in the colours and silence of the Puna.
Following this, we will stop to see the wonderful Ojos de Mar: blue and green water wells in the middle of the white salt flats. We will then return to the Laberinto Desert, where you can walk in the silence of this incredible, arid landscape, located in the Andes. There’ll be time in Pocitos for a break, before going back to the small town of San Antonio de los Cobres. You’ll have lunch in a restaurant. In the afternoon, we will make the return trip, along the majestic Quebrada del Toro (Toro Gorge), and visiting the ruins of Tastil (pre-Inca), before returning to Salta.
Note: Tour given in English. Minimum of 2 passengers for this tour.
DAY 1: 06:30 - 07:00
Hotel and hostel pick-up
DAY 1: 07:00
Depart to "Campo Quijano"
DAY 1: 07:30
From "Campo Quijano", we will follow the "Train to the Clouds" route; we will walk through the "El Toro" viaduct and Zig-Zag Chorrillos, and visit the Tastil ruins
DAY 1: 10:00
We will walk through Abra Blanca until we arrive to the town of San Antonio de los Cobres
DAY 1: 12:00
DAY 1: 13:30
We will continue to Abra de Chorrillos and Pocitos. In Pocitos, we will go through the "Laberinto" desert and see the Arizaro Salt Flats
DAY 1: 15:00
Arrive in Tolar Grande, spend the night at the Afapuna Refuge
DAY 1: 18:00
Dinner with a local family in Tolar Grande
DAY 2: 7:00
DAY 2: 08:30
Depart from Tolar Grande
DAY 2: 10:00
We will pass by the Arizaro Salt Flats, and visit the Cono and Arita mines
DAY 2: 12:00
Arrive at the oasis, lunch time
DAY 2: 13:00
A short trek to the Puna
DAY 2: 18:00
Return to Tolar Grande, dinner
DAY 3: 08:00
DAY 3: 09:00
We will climb a small dune and go to a viewpoint
DAY 3: 10:00
We will stop at Ojos del Mar, and go back to the "Laberinto" desert
DAY 3: 12:00
In Pocitos we will have a snack, then go to back to San Antonio de los Cobres
DAY 3: 13:00
DAY 3: 18:00
Return to Salta
- Private transportation
- All activities and trekking in Tolar Grande
- All meals as listed in the itinerary at local restaurants
- Spanish and English speaking guide
- Accommodation: Refuge "Afapuna". It has 2 bedrooms (one for men and one for women), with 9 bunk beds in each, 2 bathrooms (men and women) and Satellite Internet service
- Park or museum entrance fee
- Personal expenses
- Comfortable clothes, a jacket and warm layers (nights are really cold)
- Walking/ trekking shoes
- Extra cash
CHILDREN (UP TO 2 YEARS OLD)
In order to obtain this discount, the child must be up to 2 years of age on the date they are due to take the tour.
Cancellation or changes of this tour:
Changes: It is FREE to change the tour date before 6:30 am (Buenos Aires time) 2 days before the tour begins.
Cancellations: If you cancel before 6:30 am (Buenos Aires time) 2 days before the tour begins, a 10% administration fee will apply. After this time, there is a 100% cancellation fee.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to cancel this tour or make any changes.
What time zone is used in Salta?
Local time in Salta is GMT -3, the same as on Argentina's mainland.
What kind of weather can we find in Tolar Grande?
Tolar Grande has a desert climate, with virtually no rainfall during the year. The average annual temperature is 8.9 °C. January is the warmest month, with an average temperature of 20.1 °C at noon. July is the coldest month, with an average temperature of -4.4 °C at night. Salina Tolar Grande has no distinct temperature seasons. The temperature is relatively constant during the year, with temperatures dropping sharply at night. Winter has prolonged freezing periods, with the coldest month most often being July. August is on average the month with most sunshine. Rainfall and other precipitation has no distinct peak month.
What should I bring to the tour?
You should bring comfortable clothes or sportswear, a jacket (nights are really cold), walking/trekking shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, and an umbrella (for rainy season). Don't forget to bring your camera, bottle of water and extra cash for your personal expenses.
Will I get problems with altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness is a real possibility here. If you are arriving directly from the coast, you may need up to a couple of days to acclimatize. Dizziness, shortness of breath, and headaches are common symptoms, but extended bouts of nausea and vomiting are not unheard of amongst those that have rushed their ascent. The locals swear by chewing coca leaves, and although they do relieve the symptoms, it may cause you to fail a drug test. Anyone not already fully acclimatized is advised to pick up some medicine (such as Dramamine) from the pharmacy in Salta before departure. You can also drink tea or coffee to help (but most importantly, drink water to stay hydrated).
Why book with FindLocalTrips.com?
Apart from our low-price guarantee, with us you can be 100% assured that your booking is made. We provide instant email confirmation, and have live spaces and availability for each tour. You are in the capable hands of our team here on the ground, with 20 local experts who speak perfect Spanish and English, always ready with a quick response to any of the questions you might have. Tour operators are experts at operating their tours, and we are the experts at reservations, organisation, and assistance with your plans for these tours.