Visit to San Antonio de los Cobres: A visit to San Antonio de los Cobres is more than a trip to a charming old mining town in Argentina’s far northwest – it’s a journey of discovery that takes in some of the eeriest landscapes in the country. This full day tour features attractions as varied as massive railway viaducts, giant cacti, remote villages, majestic mountains and archaeological museums.
Depart Salta along the route parallel to the famous ‘Train to the Clouds’ railway. Once you reach Quebrada del Toro (Gorge of the Bull), the scenery will begin to change from dense vegetation, becoming more arid and dotted with cardones, the tallest cactus species of all, which has been known to grow to almost 20 metres. See the imposing viaducts and bridges of the ‘Train to the Clouds’ such as El Toro, Alisal and Chorrillo.
Pass through small mountain villages such as El Candado, El Gólgota and Alfarcito, where white colonial-era churches and old adobe buildings house small farming communities. Arrive at Santa Rosa de Tastil and visit the village’s archaeological museum and the ancient pre-Incan ruins, where housing and streets can still be clearly seen. Continue through Finca La Encrucijada, to ascend the face of Muñano Cliff and arrive at Abra Blanca, at more than 4,000 metres above sea level, where the air is so thin that the locals have the largest lung capacity in the world. Finally, stop at the small mining town of San Antonio de los Cobres, and visit the Polvorilla Viaduct, an incredible rickety steel structure rising 63 metres above the valley floor.
Meeting/pick-up point: Collection from hotels.
Start/opening time: 7am.
Languages: English, Spanish, French and German.