Jean-Marc Kaufmann

Mountain guide UIAGM

Passionate about the great outdoors

Jean-Marc Kaufmann - Mountain guide
Trekking in Northwestern Argentina in the Yungas from Salta

Dates : Saturday, November 17 to Sunday, December2, 2018


The highlights : A well-preserved and uncrowded region of northwest Argentina

  1. Beautiful and contrasting off the beaten track landscapes.

  2. Fascinating wildlife specific to this region of the world.

  3. Meet with the local population who are descended from pre-Inca civilisations.

  4. The quality of the trip in collaboration with our local partners who are specialists in the region.


Programme : Day 1 (Sat 17/11) Overnight flight from your departure point to Buenos Aires.

  1. Day 2 (Sun 18/11) Arrival in the morning in Buenos Aires. Transfer to the domestic airport to take an internal flight to Salta. Visit the colonial city of Salta 

  2.            in the heart of the mountains. Numerous museums and typical quarters. Free lunch. Dinner and overnight in hotel.

  3. Day 3 (Mon 19/11) Transfer by 4-wheel drive from Salta to the village Aymara of Purmamarca (2324m) at the foot of the "Mountain of 7 Colours". Along 

  4.            the railway line of the "Train of the Clouds" we will visit the pre-Inca site of Santa Rosade Tastil (3200m) and the village of San Antonio de Los 

  5.            Cobres (3774m). The road then takes us to the outskirts of Salinas Grandes, one of the largest salt deserts in Argentina. Col of Lipán (4170m). 

  6.            Arrival at the village of the Terre Sainte, Purmamarca in the Aymara language. Picnic lunch on the way. Night and evening meal in hotel.

  7.            Drive: 5 to 6 hours.

  8. Day 4 (Tue 20/11) From Purmamarca to Ocumazo (2930m). Small walk in the morning to admire the "Mountain of Seven Colours". Then transfer to the 

  9.            Humahuaca Valley. Pucará de Tilcara, prehispanic village of Omaguaca civilization, Humahuaca village located at 2940m, Ocumazo, and we 

  10.            stop for a short walk in the Quebrada de las Señoritas. Finally, we go to Ocumazo where we will stay and dine in the house of local inhabitants. 

  11.            Transfer: 4X4 and 3 hours of walking.

  12. Day 5 (Wed 21/11) From Ocumazo to Tilcara (2465m) Hike over the Quebrada of Humahuaca, where the many petroglyphs testify to human presence 

  13.            dating back more than 10,000 years, then by road to Tilcara. Prepare hiking equipment which will start the next day.

  14.            Dinner and overnight in hotel. Transfer: 4X4 plus 3 hours of walking.

  15. Day 6 (Thu 22/11) From Tilcara to Warai Huasi (3200m) Depart early to reach Casa Colorada (3200m) which is the starting point of a 4-day trek that 

  16.            links the semi-arid environment of the Quebrada to Humahuaca and the Yungas, which are more tropical. The Yungas are classified as 

  17.            Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO because of their extreme biodiversity. We reach the Campo Laguna (4170m) which is the highest point of the 

  18.            crossing. Descend to the refuge of Waira Huasi (3200m). Night and dinner at the refuge. Trek: 8 hours

  19. Day 7 (Fri 23/11) From Warai Huasi to Molulo (3000m) We leave the arid and austere landscapes of the Puna and gradually move to high pastures. We 

  20.            will walk along the slopes and cliffs, accompanied by the silent flight of the many condors inhabiting this part of the Cordillera. Arrival in the 

  21.            community of Molulo (3000m). Dinner and overnight in a refuge. Trek: 5 hours.

  22. Day 8 (Sat 24/11) From Molulo to San Lucas (1960m) We will cross high forests, encounter diverse species and the earth turns a tropical red. Follow the 

  23.            cliff path and then descend towards the hamlet of San Lucas. Dinner and overnight in a refuge. Trek: 8 hours.

  24. Day 9 (Sun 25/11) From San Lucas to Salta. We conclude our trek in an increasingly tropical setting. Following a winding path we pass streams, 

  25.            waterfalls and caves. We take advantage of the crystalline waters of the Rio Valle Grande to cool off before climbing the Peña Alta.  Our hike 

  26.            ends at the summit and we will meet the vehicle that will take us to the village of San Fransisco (1480m). Lunch at the village of San Francisco 

  27.            and continue by car to the town of Libertador General San Martin, crossing Calilegua National Park. After a short visit to this park created to 

  28.            preserve the wet rain forests, we finish our day at Salta. Dinner and overnight in hotel. Trek: 5 hours.

  29. Day 10 (Mon 26/11) From Salta to Cachi (2200m) Depart by minibus to the small colonial village of Cachi (2200m). The route is punctuated by 

  30.             spectacular landscapes: the Piedra del Molino pass (3600m), the Quebrada de Escoipe, a large enclosed gorge where the verdant forests 

  31.             contrast with the ochre coloured earth, the mountains of the Cuesta del Obispo and the regional park of Los Cardones, arid land bristling with 

  32.             cactus chandelier.  Cachi is a peaceful Indian village with whitewashed low houses and the church of San José which dates from the eighteenth 

  33.             century. We will visit the small archaeological museum with beautiful collections of pre-Inca and Inca ceramics. We take our vehicle for a small 

  34.             excursion of 6km from the village towards Cachi Adentro. We will explore the most beautiful landscapes of Cachi walking 2 to 3 hours towards 

  35.             the snow-capped peaks. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

  36. Day 11 (Tue 27/11) From Cachi to Molinos (2220m) Departure from Cachi to the Acsibi valley where we will begin our trek to the Acsibi Gorge.  A trek in 

  37.             a desert of colourful rocks with surprising shapes - nature rivals the architecture of human constructions. In the late afternoon we reach Molinos 

  38.             where we will spend the night. Dinner and overnight in hotel.  Trek: 5 hours.

  39. Day 12 (Wed 28/11) From Molinos to Cafayate (1683m) Departure by minibus to the south. On the way we will visit a famous Bodega for a wine tasting. 

  40.              We will then cross the Quebrada de las Flechas, a desert composed of thousands of quartz arrows. We cross white dunes as we approach 

  41.              Cafayate, a city famous for its wine industry and an international reputation for the quality of its grape varieties. We will discover the alleys and 

  42.              the central square of the village. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

  43. Day 13 (Thu 29/11) From Cafayate to Salta. Visit Cafayate and then a 3 to 4 hour hike in Quebrada de las Conchas, a 70 km long gorge with sandstone 

  44.              walls carved by the elements and time in spectacular colours. Drive to Salta. Dinner and overnight in hotel.

  45. Day 14 (Fri 30/11) Morning flight from Salta to Buenos Aires. Visit Buenos Aires. Free lunch and dinner. Overnight in hotel.

  46. Day 15 (Sat 01/12) Visit Buenos Aires, free lunch then afternoon transfer to the airport. Overnight flight to France.

  47. Day 16 (Sun 02/12) Arrive at your final destination.


Other dates possible : For a group composed of 6 to 12 people minimum we can offer you an other date for this program.


Best time of year : All year around


Number of days away : 16


Number of days hiking : 8 days / between 3 hours and 8 hours walking for the longest days.


Levels : Physical: be in very good shape.

              Technique: It is a moderate level hike within reach of those with a good fitness level / 3 to 8 of gentle walking per day.


Number of participants : 6 to 12 people.


Guides : A French guide UIAGM assisted by a local English speaking  guide + muleteers for the trek of 4 days.


Accommodation : Hotel 4 * in Buenos Aires in double rooms.

                                During the journey the accommodation is in comfortable 2 or 3* hotels in double rooms, according to the hotel available in the different villages.

                                During the 4-day trek accommodation is in refuges.


Formalities : You need a passport that is valid for more than 6 months.


Equipment to be carried : All hikes are carried out with a day backpack.

                                            Luggage bags are transported by vehicles and mules for the 4-day trek.


Local transport : Domestic flights + Minibuses or 4-wheel-drive vehicles are used for all transfers during the trip.




PRICE : € 4450 per person / Return airfare from Buenos Aires to Salta included.

              + Airfare from your departure point to Buenos Aires not included.

              + Single room supplement for the nights we stay in hotels. Consult us.

              On the day we prepared this trip the tickets from Paris to Buenos Aires were approximately 850 €.

A fantastic journey on foot to encounter Argentina’s pre-Columbian history


Between the high summits, arid deserts and sub-tropical valleys, in a natural setting of majestic beauty, this two-week trip to Northwest Argentina in the heart of the Andes, is an expedition into pre-Inca territory.


Part of the trek will be in the southern Yungas region - on the border of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina - which has been classified a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO because of its extreme biodiversity.


This is a trek of moderate difficulty, completely off the beaten path, which takes us through magnificent and varied landscapes - exuberant subtropical forests, salt flats where the white plains contrast with the blue sky, mysterious canyons where the green vegetation contrasts with the ochre coloured earth, geological formations in surreal colours, arid deserts dotted with candelabra cactus, mountain pastures and jungles, rivers with crystal clear waters.


Wildlife is abundant in these diverse environments - majestic condors, eagles, vicunas, pumas, jaguars, tarucas (the Andean deer), spectacled bear, capuchin monkeys, giant otters and alligators.


We will pass through villages with their white houses and completely preserved pre-Columbian culture. It will be a special opportunity to meet some of the very friendly local population.


This region is renowned for its great gastronomy and wines. The second largest vineyard in Argentina is located here.  Towards the end of our trip, we will visit a "bodega" where we can taste some of the local wines.


Trekking in Northwestern Argentina in the Yungas from Salta
Trekking in Northwestern Argentina in the Yungas from Salta
Trekking in Northwestern Argentina in the Yungas from Salta
Trekking in Northwestern Argentina in the Yungas from Salta
Trekking in Northwestern Argentina in the Yungas from Salta
Trekking in Northwestern Argentina in the Yungas from Salta

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  2. Contact - Information

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  4. Jean-Marc Kaufmann

  5. Mountain guide UIAGM

  6. Phone : +33 6 19 33 99 66

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