Puna Experience

An iconic journey that will overwhelm your senses

Flecha abajo blanco

“That’s what it’s all about, meeting people who make you see things you don’t see, who teach you to look with different eyes.”

Mario Benedetti.

What we are going to

experience on this journey,

day by day

Option 1 / four days program

Option 2 / five days program

¿What does the journey include?

Testimonios
Ritornati da un viaggio nella puna argentina ....tutto meraviglioso anche grazie allo staff Socompa!!! Agenzia consigliatissima!!! Alla prox.... Rene Jordan
Testimonios
WOW! We had an really great trip with Socompa in the Argentine PUNA region. Johan
Testimonios
Fantástico y emocionante viaje! ¡Ocho días inmersos en la naturaleza con paisajes maravillosos! Mónica
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Please send us an e-mail to info@socompa.com or fill the form

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Puna Exp / Day 1

Salta | Quebrada del Toro | San Antonio de los Cobres | Desierto del Laberinto | Tolar Grande 

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Duration

Estimated driving time: 6 hours.

S

Distance

100 km / 62 ml asphalt road. 250 km / 155 ml dirt and gravel road.

Altitud

Maximum 4.500 m. / 14.764 f.  Altitude in Tolar Grande 3.500 m. / 11.483 f.

Meals Included​

Lunch.

The Quebrada del Toro, located just 30 kilometers from the city of Salta, is a natural elevator that connects the green Valle de Lerma with the desert plateau called Puna. In 95 kilometers, the Quebrada rises from 1,200 meters in the Salteño Valley to 4,000 meters in the Abra Blanca Pass, the entry point to the Puna. Crossing the Quebrada between archaeological ruins and traces of the Inca Trail, we will arrive at San Antonio de los Cobres, the Capital of the Puna, the last trace of civilization and arrival point for many tourists. After crossing the Salar de Pocitos, which is in its final geological stage, a three-hour route begins between wild and unknown nature. The Labyrinth Desert is a Fossil Dune Desert, it is ten million years old and has thousands of spikes of clay and gypsum crystals. Today it is possible to cross this natural wonder, something essential for photography lovers. Tolar Grande is located on the edge of a gigantic depression; the Salar de Arizaro, one of the largest salt flats in the world and from this small railway town built in the 40’s, the traveler will have a unique view of the western end of the Cordillera with the blue sky over Volcanoes of more than 6000 meters Tall.

Puna Exp / Day 2

Tolar Grande | Cono de Arita | Oasis de Antofallita & Antofalla | Vega Colorada | Quebrada del Calalaste | Antofagasta de la Sierra | El Peñón.

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Duration

Estimated driving time: 7 hours.

S

Distance

340 km / 211 ml dirt road and salt.

Altitude

Maximum 4,500 m. / 14.764 f. Altitude in El Peñón 3,400 m. / 11.155 f.

Meals Included​

Breakfast and Lunch.

When crossing the Arizaro we will be imitating the ancient muleteers who used to use this road in the 18th and 19th centuries, they were shepherds who guided caravans of animals to Chile. The word Arizaro means “Vulture Cemetery”, it comes from that period when many animals perished when crossing the salt flat and became nutritious food for the local vultures. The Cono de Arita, a black volcanic pyramid that stands mysteriously in the middle of the white Salar de Arizaro, will be one of the wonders of the day. Antofalla is an important and spectacular example of a Puna Oasis. In the middle of a high desert there is a green valley, thanks to a natural spring with Alamos, Molles and Sauces. Antofalla, along with Antofagasta de la Sierra and Santa Rosa de los Pastos Grandes, were key stations for the caravans of llamas that connected this part of the Andes with the Atacama Desert.

Puna Exp / Day 3

El Peñón | Volcán & Laguna Carachi Pampa | Campo de Piedra Pomez | Dunas Blancas

S

Duration

Estimated driving time: 4.30 hours.

S

Distanse

130 km / 80 ml traces of sand, earth and salt.

Altitude

Maximum 4.200 m. / 13.780 f.  Altitude in El Peñón 3.400 m. / 11.155 f.

Meals Included

Breakfast and lunch.

Our adventure begins today on the edge of the Campo de Piedra Pómez, upon reaching the Carachi Pampa basin, on its margins is a Volcano of the same name, surrounded by fields of black lava and a lagoon, where the Andean flamingo, and the James (or puna flamingo) can be found. During the dry season a small salt lake forms around the lagoon. Later, our trip will continue to the Campo de Piedra Pómez Natural Reserve, a strange and dazzling landscape carved into the rock that gives rise to its name: La Piedra Pómez. Of purely igneous origin, it was produced from a massive explosion of the volcanic layer, this explosion was so powerful that, if it could have been seen, it would be similar to the mushroom cloud produced by a nuclear bomb. This cloud spread the ashes and debris in large areas and in different directions, which crystallized due to the effects of temperature, giving shape to these wonderful rocks with special characteristics and with countless holes produced by the escape of gases during the cooling stage. . This strange landscape of white labyrinths and climbing sand dunes is located a few kilometers to the west, on a track where the road continues through sand that we could describe as an explorer’s dream, an adventure by land. Return to the hotel, just in time to enjoy the stunning sunset views from the town.

Puna Exp / Day 4

El Peñón | Hualfin | Santa María | Cafayate | Quebrada de las Conchas | Salta

S

Duration

Estimated driving time: 7 hours.

S

Distanse

440 km / 273 ml of asphalt. 50 km / 31 ml of gravel.

Altitude

Maximum 4,100 m. / 13.452 f. Altitude in Salta 1,200 m.​ / 3.837 f.

Meals Included​

Breakfast and Lunch.

This day would usually be listed as a transfer, but the Northwest still holds plenty of surprises. The paved route that we will follow from El Peñón meets Route 40 after 150 kilometers from Paja Brava and a desert canyon with rich vegetation in its center. In the afternoon, with the best light of day, we will cross the Quebrada de las Conchas with 55 km of impressive rock formations, 40 million years old with geological formations such as Yacoraite or Las Pirguas, of central importance. Salta and its green Valle de Lerma will welcome the traveler after a unique 4-day experience in another world.

Puna Experince / Day 1

5 Days program

Salta | Quebrada del Toro | San Antonio de los Cobres | Santa Rosa
de Pastos Grandes | Desierto del Laberinto | Tolar Grande 

S

Duration

Estimated driving time: 6 hours.

S

Distance

100 km / 62 ml asphalt road. 250 km / 155 ml dirt and gravel road.

Altitud

Maximum 4.500 m. / 14.764 f.  Altitude in Tolar Grande 3.500 m. / 11.483 f.

Meals Included​

Lunch.

The Quebrada del Toro, located just 30 kilometers from the city of Salta, is a natural elevator that connects the green Valle de Lerma with the desert plateau called Puna. In 95 kilometers, the Quebrada rises from 1,200 meters in the Salteño Valley to 4,000 meters in the Abra Blanca Pass, the entry point to the Puna. Crossing the Quebrada between archaeological ruins and traces of the Inca Trail, we will arrive at San Antonio de los Cobres, the Capital of the Puna, the last trace of civilization and arrival point for many tourists. After crossing the Salar de Pocitos, which is in its final geological stage, a three-hour route begins between wild and unknown nature. The Labyrinth Desert is a Fossil Dune Desert, it is ten million years old and has thousands of spikes of clay and gypsum crystals. Today it is possible to cross this natural wonder, something essential for photography lovers. Tolar Grande is located on the edge of a gigantic depression; the Salar de Arizaro, one of the largest salt flats in the world and from this small railway town built in the 40’s, the traveler will have a unique view of the western end of the Cordillera with the blue sky over Volcanoes of more than 6000 meters Tall.

Puna Exp / Day 2A

5 Days program

Tolar grande | Caipe | Salar Río Grande | Mina Casualidad (Mina Julia).

S

Duration

Estimated driving time: 7 hours.

S

Distance

130 km / 80 ml asphalt. 180 km / 111 ml dirt road and salt. 

Altitude

Maximum 5,200 m. / 17,062 f. Altitude in Tolar Grande 3,500 m. / 11,483 f. 

Meals Included​

Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Mina Casualidad was once a mining town located in one of the most remote and incredible places on Earth; right on the border with Chile surrounded by the highest volcanoes on the planet, between mountains of sulfur, salt flats and with a cobalt blue sky at 4,200 meters of altitude.

Around 3,000 people lived there. The miners worked at an altitude of 5,200 meters while their families and administrative staff resided in the city of Mina Casualidad.

The mine was closed and abandoned in the 70’s by decision of the military junta that was in charge of the government at that time. Today it is a ghost town. Caipe is the old railway station of the Mine, part of the Ramal C-14 built with the purpose of transporting the minerals processed in the Mine to Salta. From the abandoned station, there is a great panoramic view of the Salar de Arizaro. At sunset, travel back to Tolar Grande with the lights of the sunset.

Puna Exp / Day 2B

5 Days program

Tolar Grande | Ojos de Mar | Dunas Escondidas | Tolar Grande | Caipe

S

Duration

Estimated driving time: 2 hours.

S

Distance

140 km / 87 ml dirt road. 

Altitude

Maximum 4,000 m. / 13,124 f. Altitude in Tolar Grande 3,500 m. / 11,483 f.

Meals Included​

Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

In the morning we will visit the Ojos del Mar, wells of blue marine water where the silhouette of the volcanoes are reflected in the morning light.
As happens very often when traveling in the Northwest of Argentina, the narrow valley offers us different landscapes depending on the time of day we travel.

The surroundings of Tolar Grande also offer the opportunity to go on wonderful walks. The best of them is in the sand dunes in the middle of the desert. From the height of the dune you will be rewarded with a 360-degree view over the entire area, from the sacred mountain of Macon to the Llullaillaco volcano. This is where in 1999 at 6,735 meters an Inca treasure was found including the frozen bodies of three children in perfect condition given the cold and dry weather conditions at the top of the volcano. It is also a perfect place for meditation.

We have lunch in Tolar Grande and then we have time to relax at the Hotel.

In the afternoon we continue our trip to Caipe, the old railway station of the Mine, part of the Ramal C-14 built with the purpose of transporting the minerals processed in the Mine to Salta. From the abandoned station, there is a great panoramic view of the Salar de Arizaro.

At sunset, travel back to Tolar Grande with the lights of the sunset. Sunset over a hill outside Tolar Grande.

Puna Exp / Day 3

Tolar Grande | Cono de Arita | Oasis de Antofallita & Antofalla | Vega Colorada | Quebrada del Calalaste | Antofagasta de la Sierra | El Peñón.

S

Duration

Estimated driving time: 7 hours.

S

Distance

340 km / 211 ml dirt road and salt.

Altitude

Maximum 4,500 m. / 14.764 f. Altitude in El Peñón 3,400 m. / 11.155 f.

Meals Included​

Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

When crossing the Arizaro we will be imitating the ancient muleteers who used to use this road in the 18th and 19th centuries, they were shepherds who guided caravans of animals to Chile. The word Arizaro means “Vulture Cemetery”, it comes from that period when many animals perished when crossing the salt flat and became nutritious food for the local vultures. The Cono de Arita, a black volcanic pyramid that stands mysteriously in the middle of the white Salar de Arizaro, will be one of the wonders of the day. Antofalla is an important and spectacular example of a Puna Oasis. In the middle of a high desert there is a green valley, thanks to a natural spring with Alamos, Molles and Sauces. Antofalla, along with Antofagasta de la Sierra and Santa Rosa de los Pastos Grandes, were key stations for the caravans of llamas that connected this part of the Andes with the Atacama Desert.

Puna Experience / Day 4

5 Days program

El Peñon | Laguna Pabellón | Laguna Grande & Diamante | Fumarolas | El Peñón

S

Duration

Estimated driving time: 7 hours.

S

Distanse

180 km / 111 ml footprints of sand, earth and salt. 

Altitude

Maximum 4,200 m. / 13,780 f. Altitude in El Peñón 3,400 m. / 11,155 f.

Meals Included​

Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Our adventure begins today at the edge of the Pumice Stone Field. Upon reaching the Carachi Pampa basin, on its margins, there is a Volcano of the same name, surrounded by fields of black lava and a lagoon, where the Andean flamingo and the James (or highland flamingo) can be found.

During the dry season a small salt lake forms around the lagoon.

Later, our trip will continue to the Campo de Piedra Pómez Natural Reserve, a strange and dazzling landscape carved into the rock that gives rise to its name: the Pumice Stone.

Of purely igneous origin, it was produced from a massive explosion of the volcanic stratum. This explosion was so powerful that, if it could have been seen, it would be similar to a mushroom cloud produced by a nuclear bomb. This cloud spread the ashes and debris in large areas and in different directions, which crystallized due to the effects of temperature, giving shape to these wonderful rocks with special characteristics and with countless holes produced by the escape of gases during the stage of cooling.

This strange landscape of white labyrinths and climbing sand dunes is located a few kilometers to the west, on a trail where the road continues through sand that we could describe as an explorer’s dream, an adventure by land. Return to the hotel just in time to enjoy the stunning sunset views from the town.

Puna Exp / Day 5

5 Days program

El Peñón | Hualfin | Santa María | Cafayate | Quebrada de las Conchas | Salta

S

Duration

Estimated driving time: 7 hours.

S

Distanse

490 km / 304 ml of asphalt. 50 km / 31 ml of gravel.

Altitude

Maximum 4,100 m. / 13.452 f. Altitude in Salta 1,200 m.​ / 3.837 f.

Meals Included​

Breakfast and Lunch.

This day would usually be listed as a transfer, but the Northwest still holds plenty of surprises. The paved route that we will follow from El Peñón meets Route 40 after 150 kilometers from Paja Brava and a desert canyon with rich vegetation in its center. In the afternoon, with the best light of day, we will cross the Quebrada de las Conchas with 55 km of impressive rock formations, 40 million years old with geological formations such as Yacoraite or Las Pirguas, of central importance. Salta and its green Valle de Lerma will welcome the traveler after a unique 4-day experience in another world.

Support 24/7 COMPLETAR DISEÑO

  • Sunscreen and sunglasses (protection against UV rays) All year round!
  • Hat. All year!
  • In winter gloves (wool or similar material).
  • In autumn / winter (May to August), clothing must be reinforced: winter jacket, sweatshirts, long-sleeved fleece shirt, scarf, etc.).
  • Windbreaker (it is important because there is wind in the area). only in winter
  • Waterproof jacket during the summer (mid-December to mid-March)
  • Trekking shoes (comfortable). All year!
  • Moisturizer. All year!