Fourteen Colours & Cloud Forest

Trip Highlights

Description

Hike Argentina’s Inca trail, linking two completely different eco-systems, the dry canyon of Humahuaca and the Cloud Forest of Calilegua.

We take a narrow mountain road which was only finally completed in October 2019, tracing the footsteps of Inca explorers of northwest Argentina from the 15th century.

This trip can be extended to include a visit to the gorgeous mountain town of Iruya and the historic settlement of Yavi on the Bolivian frontier.

Tour info

Duration
4+ days
Group Size
1 to 4
Price starts at
400 USD pp
Languages
English, Spanish
Meeting Point

To be discussed upon booking

Dropoff location

To be discussed upon booking

Why take this tour?

We head north from Salta to San Salvador de Jujuy, following the old mountain road between these two historic cities, before climbing into the Quebrada de Humahuaca. This is the old Spanish supply route from Buenos Aires to Lima, and it's peppered with history from the past 1,000 years. The Inca adapted a 10th century indigenous hill settlement at Tilcara, in the middle of the Quebrada, and when the Spanish arrived they built churches, including Uquia’s San Francisco which has some rare and startling artwork. And a Spanish fort at Hornillos has been converted into a museum dedicated to the War of Independence, much of which was fought up and down the Quebrada de Humahuaca two centuries ago.

 

We explore the multi-coloured canyon of the Quebrada de Humahuaca, famous for the Seven Coloured Hill of Purmamarca, and cross the 4,200m peak of the Cuesta de Lipan to take in the spectacular Salinas Grandes salt flats on the road west to Chile. Then we climb out of the canyon to the Serrania de Hornocal, where a viewpoint at 4,350m altitude offers a spectacular view of the Hill of Fourteen Colours in the perfect afternoon light. Then we follow a winding mountain road to the predominantly indigenous adobe village of Santa Ana.

 

This is the gateway to the Yungas of Calilegua Cloud Forest (“Yungas” means “Warm valley” in Quechua). After the dry, desert-like cactus-peppered landscape of Humahuaca canyon, now we gradually descend 2,000m altitude into the lush, sub-tropical vegetation of the Cloud Forest, taking photos of the extraordinary change in scenery along the way.

 

For hikers, there is a stretch of the Inca trail here which is easily accessible and outstanding for its excellent condition. (Outside Peru, Argentina has the most identifiable remains of Inca trail in South America, with 119km.) There are also some great hiking trails in Calilegua Cloud Forest, home to 3,000 different varieties of plant, 300 different types of birds and 100 different species of mammal.

 

NEW CIRCUIT: available April to December (outside rainy season)

 

This trip can be combined with EXPEDITION to the CLOUD FOREST for more hiking

Included

  • Local Tour Guide

  • Own Private Vehicle

Excluded

  • Food

  • Water

  • Accommodation

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.

Covid-19

Our tour company conforms to national guidelines on Covid-19. Social distancing of 1.5m is recommended, and the use of protective hand masks is mandatory in enclosed public areas. Within our vehicles (normally 4x4 pick-ups), we will provide masks and sanitizer, and temperature checks for travelle...

Our tour company conforms to national guidelines on Covid-19. Social distancing of 1.5m is recommended, and the use of protective hand masks is mandatory in enclosed public areas. Within our vehicles (normally 4x4 pick-ups), we will provide masks and sanitizer, and temperature checks for travellers during our trips. Transportation vehicles and all equipment are regularly sanitized between use.

Accommodation & Food

Double rooms at the privately owned B&Bs and small hotels we work with start from US$50 per night. You can eat well in some of the simple rustic places we use where you will be rubbing shoulders with the locals for less than US$10 per person. And splashing out on a three-course meal with wine...

Double rooms at the privately owned B&Bs and small hotels we work with start from US$50 per night. You can eat well in some of the simple rustic places we use where you will be rubbing shoulders with the locals for less than US$10 per person. And splashing out on a three-course meal with wine in a smart restaurant is unlikely to set you back more than US$50 for a couple.

Pricing

Below are our daily rates for Argentina holidays, all with your own private vehicle and English-speaking guide. Prices are per person excluding food and accommodation:

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

Below are our daily rates for Argentina holidays, all with your own private vehicle and English-speaking guide. Prices are per person excluding food and accommodation:

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

Prices are per person and valid until 31 December 2022

Contact us for discounts on trips during May and June.

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.

Inquire about this trip now