Colours of Vallecito

Trip Highlights

Description

A voyage of discovery into the untouched landscape between the Valles Calchaquies and the Quebrada del Toro, only accessible on foot, horse, or donkey.

This challenging hike covers 48 km over 3 days, rising to 3,558m altitude.

It follows the old trade route between the fertile valleys of the Calchaquies and Lerma and the mountain plateau.

You won't forget the experience of being far from the hubbub of modern life, in touch with the inner tranquility of times past.

Tour info

Duration
5 days
Group Size
1 to 4
Price starts at
$630
Languages
English, Spanish
Meeting Point

To be discussed upon booking

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Dropoff location

To be discussed upon booking

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Why take this tour?

We travel south from Salta through the Parque Nacional de los Cardones into the Valles Calchaquies. We will have time for a couple of hours hiking along the way, and could even visit a vineyard in the world's highest-altitude wine region.

Overnight and acclimatization in Cachi (2,300m altitude), a restful, scenic town protected by a 6,300m mountain range.

On our first day of full hiking, we follow a riverbed upstream, hitting the 3,000m altitude mark before a picnic lunch. Then it’s a tough climb to a peak of 3,558m, our highest altitude along the whole walk, to be rewarded by some stunning views of the snow-topped mountains of Cachi, Palermo, and San Miguel: and the multi-colored canyon of Vallecito. We arrive at Patahuasi for our overnight stop in the adobe brick home of Juan and Nilda. They will cook us dinner before the night’s entertainment: marveling at the stunning starscape in this corner of the wilderness.

distance 16km: hiking time 6 to 8 hrs: highest altitude 3,558m: overnight altitude 3,531m

The following day we descend gently into Vallecito canyon: a little-visited spot of great natural beauty between the Valles Calchaquies and the gorge of the Quebrada del Toro. We can visit the primary school where a teacher and a cook live most of the year dedicated to a handful of pupils. The landscape over the next few kilometers, as we continue our descent along the river bed, was transformed by a mudslide during the rainy season of summer 2016. A 10-meter deep channel was gouged out in the course of a few hours: an example of the dramatic erosion which constantly changes the landscape in this area. Overnight in the adobe home of Beto and Elda.

distance 13km: hiking time 4 to 5 hrs: highest altitude 3,531m (start): overnight altitude 2,690m

An early morning start to walk out of the valley, climbing to a peak of 3,276m, with great views of snow-topped mountains and the Parque Nacional de Los Cardones. We get a birds’ eye view of Payogasta valley before descending for lunch: empanadas and cold Salta beer. From here we can visit the Inca ruins of Potrero before returning to Salta. Or, with a few extra days, we can continue by vehicle south into the Valles Calchaquies wine region or north towards La Poma and the Altiplano mountain plateau.

distance 17km: hiking time 6 to 8 hrs: highest altitude 3,276m

overall distance: 48 km over 3 days

highest altitude: 3,558m

maximum distance per day: 18km

grade of difficulty: 4/5

Included

  • English-speaking Driver/Guide accompanied by Local Spanish-speaking Guide

  • Food

  • Accommodation

  • Water

Excluded

  • Sun Protection

  • Hiking Clothes

Things to know

Your Budget

Argentina has a parallel economy in which the official rate of the dollar is roughly half its real value. What that means is you need to leave your bank cards for emergencies and bring US$ or euros in cash which we can change into pesos for your everyday expenses. You’ll find Salta city is a lo...

Argentina has a parallel economy in which the official rate of the dollar is roughly half its real value. What that means is you need to leave your bank cards for emergencies and bring US$ or euros in cash which we can change into pesos for your everyday expenses. You’ll find Salta city is a lot cheaper than Buenos Aires, and your holiday in Argentina is even better value once we take you on the road on one of our trips. Read our guide to the "Blue Dollar" here.

Pricing

Headline price based on four people travelling together in one of our 4x4s with an English-speaking driver/guide.

Below are our DAILY rates PER PERSON excluding food and accommodation: valid to end 2023.

One person - US$350
Two people - US$200
Three people- US$150
Four people (one vehicle) - US$125
Four people (two vehicles) - US$200

Headline price based on four people travelling together in one of our 4x4s with an English-speaking driver/guide.

Below are our DAILY rates PER PERSON excluding food and accommodation: valid to end 2023.

One person - US$350
Two people - US$200
Three people- US$150
Four people (one vehicle) - US$125
Four people (two vehicles) - US$200

Group Size

We operate with comfortable 4x4s which can accommodate up to four people, but if you’re travelling with a larger group, please contact us and we will see what we can arrange.

We operate with comfortable 4x4s which can accommodate up to four people, but if you’re travelling with a larger group, please contact us and we will see what we can arrange.

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