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Home > Activity > Argentina’s Puna Plains

Argentina’s Puna Plains




A private tour to experience the sensuous charm of Buenos Aires, the spectacular Iguazu falls and of Argentina’s northwest for a journey well off the beaten track, through the remote high plains.

HighlivesPrice: From £3450 per person

This 14-day experience combines two classic Argentinian highlights with a fascinating journey deep into a barely-visited area, little known outside the region- the Puna, or Andean high plains.

Like Bolivia's salt flats to the north, the Puna is a remote lunar-like landscape of deserts, volcanoes and icy lakes. HighLives invites you to explore striking scenery in a private 4X4 vehicle, taking in labyrinthine rock formations, dramatic mountain horizons, lakes flocked with flamingos, ghostly half-abandoned mining settlements and forgotten railway stations.

Stay in comfortable lodges, hike across dunes into the unknown, explore tiny oases and have lunch with a family in an isolated community of shepherds.

Return to civilisation for a relaxing stop among the vineyards in Argentina's second-biggest wine-growing region and sample some of the world's finest bottles. Explore the country's indigenous roots, spectacular gorges and get a taste of its varied agricultural produce at elegant country houses.

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Itinerary

  • Day 1: Buenos Aires | Arrival
    Arrival in the heart of this elegant and vibrant city.
  • Day 2: Buenos Aires | City Tour
    A 4-hour tour of the elegant turn-of-the-century districts that earned Buenos Aires its status as the Paris of South America. Then, a more relaxing journey, first by train then boat, through the waterways of the outlying districts. Evening dinner and live Tango show.
  • Day 3: Buenos Aires | Iguazú
    Private transfer to/from airports with an English speaking guide.
  • Day 4: Iguazú
    A relaxed walking tour exploring both the Argentinian and Brazilian areas of one of the most spectacular sites on the continent, with plenty of opportunities to witness the majesty of the falls themselves and the subtropical rainforest in the surrounding national park.
  • Day 5: Iguazú | Salta | Arrival
    Private transfer to/from airports for arrival at Salta. Gentle tour of this green and pleasant city, including a visit to the High Altitude Archaeological Museum. Here on display are three child mummies, whose recently discovered and superbly preserved remains serve as a striking and horrific introduction to the Inca culture that once dominated this and the rest of the Andean region.
  • Day 6: Salta | Quebrada de Humahuaca | Tilcara
    Journey towards one of the last remaining heartlands of indigenous American culture in Argentina through spectacular rock formations and gorges including Seven Colours Hill. 320km paved road. Maximum altitude 3.900 mt ASL. Altitude at final destination 2300 mts ASL.
  • Day 7: Tilcara | Purmamarca | Salinas Grandes | San Antonio de los Cobres | Desierto del Laberinto | Tolar Grande
    Leaving paved roads behind, enter the Puna wilderness across white desert, labyrinthine fossil dunes and the highest point of the journey. Cross the Salar de Arizaro, one of the biggest salt flats in the world, to the tiny old railway village of Tolar Grande and its panoramic views of the huge volcanoes beyond. 310km gravel road, 65km paved road. Maximum altitude 4.500m. Altitude at final destination 3.500m.
  • Day 8: Tolar Grande | Mina Casualidad | Mina Julia | Tolar Grande
    Continue towards the Chilean border to the remote former mining settlement of Mina Casualidad, and Caipe, the the old railway station. Or an alternative option of a morning hike to the hidden dune near Tolar Grande. 130km paved road and 120km gravel & salt road. Maximum altitude 4,500m. Altitude at final destination 3,500m.
  • Day 9: Tolar Grande |Salar de Arizaro | Cono de Arita |Antofalla | El Peñón
    Cross the Arizaro salt lake to the tiny shepherd community of Antofalla for lunch with a local family. The oasis provides opportunities to see llamas, suris (Andean ostrich), wild donkeys and vicuñas. 60km paved road and 280km gravel & salt road. Maximum altitude 4,500m. altitude at final destination 3,400m.
  • Day 10: El Peñón | Campo de Piedra Pómez | Laguna Grande (only in spring & summer) | El Peñón
    Visit Campo de Piedra Pómez, a strange and stunning rocky landscape created by a massive volcanic explosion. On spring/summer afternoons (Oct-April) visit the salt lake of Laguna Grande, which in spring becomes home to more than 19,000 Puna flamingoes. 130km sand, salt and rocky road. Maximum altitude 4,500m. Altitude at final destination 3,400m
  • Day 11: El Peñón | Hualfin | Santa María | Ruinas de Quilmes |Cafayate
    Descending after three days on the high plateau, the paved road from El Peñón meets Route 40 via a 150km stretch of long yellow fields, white lagoons and a deserted narrow canyon rich with vegetation. At Santa Maria you will experience a real Argentine asado, or barbecue, before heading into the wine country of Cafayate. 440km paved road, 50km gravel road. Maximum altitude 4,500m. Altitude at final destination 1,100m.
  • Day 12: Cafayate | Quebrada de las Conchas | Quebrada de las Flechas |Molinos
    Travel the famous Route 40 highway through desert scenery, small ranches, vineyards and giant colourful mountains, before an afternoon rest and overnight stay at the colonial Hotel Hacienda de Molinos. 100km paved road. 130km gravel road. Altitude at final destination: 2,020m.
  • Day 13: Molinos |Cuesta del Obispo |Salta
    Travel up and over the mountains then through the green fields of the Lerma Valley; cross tobacco plantations and visit to Finca Las Margaritas to learn more about Salta’s agricultural life. Arrive at Salta in the afternoon. 130km paved road. 35km gravel. Altitude at final destination: 1,160m.
  • Day 14: Salta | Buenos Aires
    Private transfer to the airport of Salta. In Buenos Aires, transfer from the domestic to the international airport (approx. 90 mins) for flight home.
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