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North of Salta

On the road again to the North of Salta

Jan 22, 2019 comment(s)

After a long journey from Patagonia to northern Argentina, we arrived in Salta, also called “la Linda”, the beautiful. This region is known for being pretty and diversified so we rented a car to explore it independently.

Purmamarca and the mountain with 7 colours

We left Salta on 22nd January morning to the Lagunas of Yala. To access it, an unsealed road for 10 km. When we arrived, it was a bit cloudy but the place is cute and quiet. We met mostly cows!

We hit the road again and stopped at Tumbaya, a very small village. From Yala, landscapes radically changed. Mountains are now arid and there are cactus everywhere!

We reached Purmamarca, which is on the road to Chile. Before arriving, we could start seing mountains with so many different colours.

After settling in the camping, we walked the Paseo de los Colorados, a 3 km path around the colourful mountain. It is fascinating, we could see purple, grey, orange, red, yellow, green, blue and much more! Photos are not as good as the reality...

Salinas grandes, our first salar

The following day, we drove with two Argentinian hitchhikers towards to biggest salar of Argentina. This was a rehearsal before Bolivia :)

The road, again, is stunning and we did many stops. We even met with lamas! One of them was huge. To access the salar, we drove up to 4170 m high! It is the first time we are that high but didn’t have any symptoms, probably because it was very short.

Arriving at the salar, we were super excited! It is the first time we walk on a salar, it is a bit like snow. We also went close to pools filled with turquoise water, gorgeous!


We decided to stay 2 nights in Tilcara, village less touristic than Purmamarca and very authentic! On the main square, they sell warm clothes for freezing days. It is also here that we tasted local food specialty: lama stew, humitas (steamed corn and cheese paste), tamales (polenta ball stuffed with jerk), quinoa crepe.

We also went to Pucara de Juella, a very old fort on a hill. We were the only ones surrounded by cactus, incredible walk!


For the last day of our Northern trip, we drove to Humahuaca. The city is located hundreds kilometres away from Bolivia. On the road, we passed through the Tropic of Capricorn!

We also stopped by Uquia, where we did a very nice walk through a desert landscape, to las Senoritas mount. Really amazing!

Finally, with a lot of hesitation, we decided to take the road to El Hornocal with our small rental car. It was super steep. We drove slowly to finally arrive at the top, 4350 meters high. The view from there was simply majestic. However, it was a bit short due to the rain joining us. We stayed a bit in the car to continue enjoying the view.

This sets the end of our trip North of Salta. Tomorrow we have a long drive to the South.