The following morning, I set out with my companions to embark on the exhilarating Trek to the Clouds! This trek was developed based on the famous “train to the clouds” that used to run through the high Andes connecting Salta (Argentina) and Chile. This 48 KM trek follows segments of an Inca Trail that had long been forgotten. We began at the foot of Cerro El Gólgota in Ingeniero Maury and ended four days later in Quebrada de San Lorenzo, right next to the city of Salta.
We began in a dry and arid climate, with staggering peaks washed with rich colors of crimson red, orange and dandelion yellow. During the final segment we entered the verdant rainforests of Salta’s Yunga. All along the route, we were in contact with the nature and local culture of this incredibly special area of Salta.
Winding up along the Quebrada del Toro, our first ascent was surrounded by massive cardones (giant cacti), with each turn revealing new snowy peaks glittering on the horizon of the high-desertscape. We continued on to the archaeological site of “Sillón del Inca” (Inca Seat), ruins that once belonged to the southern part of the Inca empire. Here we had the exceptional opportunity to camp in this massive ruin site. Surrounded solely by the almost-lifelike cacti, Incan ruins, and Milky Way, this was a site to behold.
Waking up, still in utter disbelief that we were the only humans around for miles in such an awe-inspiring place, we continued the trip visiting and staying with local inhabitants of the next valleys over.
Living in small villages over 10,000 ft high, our hosts, who breed livestock and work the fields for a living, opened their homes to us and shared their life stories. For the last two nights we camped in our local hosts’ humble fields and cooked together with them while sharing wine, stories and jokes.
Our final day, coming out of the Yungas, Salta’s rainforest, we were surprised at the trailhead with fresh empanadas and ice-cold refreshments. We celebrated our success and sadly said good-bye to our incredible guides.
Salta and its magical landscape did anything but disappoint. This hidden gem of rich culture, landscapes and adventure should not go unnoticed!
NOTE: Read more about the Trekking To The Clouds itinerary here. This trek can be offered as a 4-day, 3-day or 2-day trek. The up-coming set group departures for the 4-day trek are as follows:
GROUP DEPARTURE DATES 2017:
GROUP DEPARTURE DATES 2018:
Private departures available upon request (2 person minimum)
READ THE OTHER PARTS OF MY SALTA ADVENTURE HERE:
- Exploring Salta: Argentina’s Undiscovered Land of Adventure and Wine PART 1
- Exploring Salta: Argentina’s Undiscovered Land of Adventure and Wine PART 2
- Gastronomic Delights and Mummies in Salta, Argentina
Want to explore Salta on your next adventure? Check out these itineraries:
- 5-Day Northwest Argentina: Culture, Food and Mountains
- 5-Day Northwest Argentina: Wine and Canyons
- 4-Day Northwest Argentina: Trekking to the Clouds
Don’t see what you want? Want to customize your experience? Contact us!
Your friendly Argentina expert,