The Puna: Best of the Northwest / Package


What’s included

• Accommodation: 6 nights Salta (1) - Purmamarca (1) - Abra Pampa (1) - Cusi Cusi (1) - Santa Catalina (2)

• Tours: Salta: City tour with MAAM (Archaeological Museum of High Mountain) Jujuy: Puna.

• Meals: 6 breakfast, 6 lunches and 4 dinners.


Day 1


Arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, visit the city of Salta that awaits for us to explore its cobbled streets, abundant churches and colonial buildings. During the tour, we will visit the MAAM (Archaeological Museum of High Mountain), in charge of spreading and preserving one of the most relevant archaeological discovering of the latest decades, the mummies of the “Children of Llullaillaco”.

Maximum altitude: 1.152 MASL (3.380 ft).

Day 2

Salta / Purmamarca.


Departure towards the Humahuaca Gorge, UNESCO’s Mankind’s Cultural and Natural Heritage, to share an experience of Community Tourism during which we will be both guests and actors. According to the availability of the seasonal crop, we will unveil different secrets of the Northern Andean gastronomy, alongside a local chef who will receive us at his own farm at the Cuesta de Lipán foothills to participate in a cooking lesson or to simply chat away the afternoon in the company of this very special local character. We will prepare and share some tea, blended with herbs that are native to the Gorge and the Puna, along homemade rolls and pastries that she will have taught us to prepare while letting us know of her story and that of the community she represents. Accommodation in Purmamarca. Total distance travelled: 156 km (98 miles) Travel time: 3 hours

Maximum Altitude: 2.300 MASL (7.545 ft)

Day 3

Purmamarca / Abra Pampa.


In due time, we start our transfer to Maimara, a tiny town in the Humahuaca Gorge, famous for its cemetery, the Painter’s Palette formation on a nearby hillside, and the altitude wineries. We will visit Fernando DuPont’s winery, at 2.500 masl (8.200 feet above sea level), where we will enjoy lunch. In the afternoon, visit to the Sierras of Hornocal, also known as the mountain of 14 colors. Totally worth a visit! Afterwards, we will continue to Abra Pampa to spend the night.

Total distance travelled: 202 km (126 miles)

Travel time: 6-7 hours.

Maximum Altitude: 3.507 MASL (11.500 ft)

Day 4

Abra Pampa/ Cusi Cusi.


In the morning, a short drive will take us to Cochinoca, a town once located on the Inca trail that passed by this place. We will walk by and learn about the history of this town, which in the 17th century had 600 to 800 inhabitants, used to possess 5 churches and was an important mining hub, but which over time lost its relevance. Moving on along Route 71, we will pass by the Peñas de Ascalte ravines, formations of volcanic origin that resemble animal shapes. After partaking in lunch at a local house, we will continue towards Cusi Cusi, another small town, with less than 250 inhabitants devoted to sheep, lamas and donkeys breeding, small-scale mining, handicraft production, and most recently the production of quinoa. A short walk in the town will allow us to learn about its history and the everyday life of these people. Accommodation in Cusi-Cusi.

Total distance travelled: 154 km (97 miles)

Travel time: 6 hours

Maximum Altitude: 3.800 MASL (12.400 ft)

Day 5

Cusi Cusi / Santa Catalina.


Some 5 kilometers from Cusi-Cusi is the so-called Moon Valley or Mars Valley, a site of volcanic rocks and scoria, with 100-meters (330 feet) high colorful rock walls where white, grey, and various shades of red are protagonists. At this point, those willing for activity will have the chance to descend towards the bottom of the valley (1-hour walk). In the afternoon, we continue along the mythical National Route 40 to Santa Catalina, passing by tiny towns such us Paicone, Misa Rumi, San Juan de Oros, Timón Cruz, Oratorio, among others. In Paicone, it is interesting to see the “sounding stones”, igneous rocks which on being hit toll like a bell. The scientific name of these rocks is phonolite rockstone and they are very rare in the world. However, the most notable sight in the area is that of the surrounding mountain slopes that seem to be huge yellow, white, crime and purple claws. We will afterwards continue to Santa Catalina for the night.

Total distance travelled: 103 km (6 miles)

Travel time: 3/4 hours.

Maximum Altitude: 3.636 MASL (11.930 ft).

Day 6

Santa Catalina.


In the morning, we will visit El Angosto, the most northern town in Argentina. It is located at 3.581 meters (11.750 ft), lain over the slope of the 4.000-meter-high (13.200 ft) Mt. Branqui, on which summit we find the boundary marker of the frontier with Bolivia. After lunch, we will visit the Mirador del Morrito lookout, a hill of barely 10 meters with a dry lagoon on its summit and some pre-Hispanic rupestrian art.

Total distance travelled: 90 km (56 miles)

Travel time: 3/4 hours

Maximum Altitude: 3.800 MASL (12.470 ft).

Day 7

Santa Catalina/ Jujuy.


L Early departure towards La Quiaca passing by Casira, a wellknown town due to the excellence of its pottery. After a short visit to La Quiaca, we will continue to Yavi, declared National Historic Town due to its general architecture, its church and the famous Marquis’ House, seat of the only marquisate ever existing in Argentine. Continuation to the city of Jujuy or Salta.

Total distance travelled: 202 km (126 miles)

Travel time: 6-7 hours

Maximum Altitude: 3.507 MASL (11.480 ft).