Mountain Trekking in Iruya

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Trip Highlights

Description

This high-altitude trek through the multi-coloured hills around Iruya takes us into the heart of local communities untouched by the modern world.

We visit small settlements in the mountains surrounding the tiny hill town of Iruya, close to the Bolivian border. Following trails used for centuries by the locals, we stay with local indigenous families in tiny hamlets only accessible on foot. This trip is combined with a visit to the must see attractions sites of the UNESCO-protected Quebrada de Humahuaca, like the Seven Coloured hill of Purmamarca and the 14 Colours of Hornocal.

Tour info

Duration
5 days
Group Size
1 to 4
Price starts at
$745
Languages
English, Spanish
Meeting Point

We can pick you up direct from Salta airport or from your chosen hotel in the city.

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Why take this tour?

Our expedition begins with a night of acclimatization in Tilcara, at 2,500m: and a chance to explore the highlights of the Quebrada de Humahuaca, famous for the Cerro de Siete Colores (Seven Coloured Hill) at Purmamarca and the Painter’s Palette of Maimara. This is also an opportunity to sample the nightlife at one of Tilcara’s celebrated folk music peñas before heading off into the rural tranquility of the mountains.

We'll head north from the Quebrada de Humahuaca, following a track that crosses rivers and climbs a mountainside, rising to a peak of 4,000m at Abra del Condor. We'll spend the night in Iruya, a remote, predominantly indigenous town perched picturesquely in the cleft of a canyon at 2,800m.

The next day, we'll head into the hills, following a steep zigzagging path to the plain of Panti Pampa at 3,168m altitude: along the way, there are plenty of opportunities to stop for a breather and sample the must-see views of the valley. After a picnic lunch, we'll follow a narrow mountain track to San Juan: here we stay with a local family, cooking dinner for us in their traditional adobe home.

distance 10km: hiking time 5 to 6 hours: highest altitude 3,168m: overnight altitude 2,900m

After our night with the locals, and waking up in the splendid peace of the mountains, we head further up the valley for a tough zigzagging uphill climb, to reach an altitude of 3,500m. The hillside is scattered with lava rock from long-ago volcanic eruptions. From a stunning vantage point at the top, we can watch for condors, swooping low if we're lucky, before the descent to San Isidro past the traditionally irrigated crop fields.

distance 6km: hiking time 5 to 6 hours: highest altitude 3,505m: overnight altitude 2,850m

Finally, after scaling the mountains, we will enjoy the gentle relief of descent along the riverbed, where you can see the spectacular rock formations of the gorge. We return to Iruya tired but transformed by the natural wonder of this remote part of northwest Argentina. From here we can return to Salta or continue north towards the Bolivian border.

distance 8km: hiking time 3 to 4 hours: highest altitude 2,903m

overall distance: 24 km over two and a half days

highest altitude: 3,505m

maximum distance per day: 10km

grade of difficulty: 3/5

Included

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

  • All meals and accommodation during hike

  • Own private vehicle (days 1, 2 & 5)

Excluded

  • Sun Protection

  • Hiking equipment

  • Meals on days 1 & 2

Things to know

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 2024.

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 2024.

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

The guide price on this trip is based on four people travelling: please contact us if there are fewer or more people in your group and we will do our best to accommodate you.

The guide price on this trip is based on four people travelling: please contact us if there are fewer or more people in your group and we will do our best to accommodate you.

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