Hike through Argentina's gorgeous northern mountains outside of Salta, where you will get a chance to see amazing views, visit Incan ruins, and walk along condor habitats!
This expedition takes you to a refuge nestled in a remote and beautiful part of Argentina’s northern mountains. From here, you have many different options for treks to geographic and historical landmarks. On this tour, you will get amazing views of the Cuesta del Obispo from the top of El Torreón mountain, plus the chance to visit multiple archaeological sites, learn more about the area’s flora and fauna, and take awesome photos!
Day 1 – Trail to La Cuesta del Obispo
You will exit Salta going south, through Cerrillos and El Carril, and then turn west to Chicoana to go through the Yungas jungle. Climbing, you will enter the Quebrada de Escoipe, where you can see cactus, carob trees, and brightly colored red rocks all around. As you enter the valley in La Cuesta del Obispo, you will leave the vehicle and trek to the refugio La Sala. After leaving some of your stuff, you will begin the day’s trek in the mountains!
The trek begins on ancient trails that run from the Calchaqueíes Valleys through the Andean pre-cordillera. After a couple of hours trekking, you will stop for a snack and a tea/coffee right next to a well-preserved Incan ruin! You will then hike to the Mirador del Cóndor (Condor Lookout), from where you can see the surrounding plains and pastureland. This area is a condor habitat and if you’re lucky, you will see some flying around while you’re at the lookout!
After a picnic, you will begin your descent back to the refugio. On the way down, you will stop in some caves that contain ancient Incan paintings! As you arrive at the refugio, you will enjoy an Argentinian-style barbecue (asado) and then settle in to this old mountain lodge under a blanket of stars.
Day 2 – Climb Cerro Torreón
The morning begins with a country breakfast at the lodge. Today’s trek brings you up Cerro Torreón, which has some of the area’s best views of La Cuesta del Obispo. You will stop at the peak for a snack and a rest, as you may now be feeling the altitude (the peak is 3,600 meters or about 11,800 feet). After drinking in the views and relaxing for a while, you will begin the descent to the refugio, where you will have some lunch before returning to Salta.
Pickup time/place: 07:00am at your hotel
Trip duration: 2 days
Hours of hiking: 4-6 hours on the first day and 5-6 hours on the second day (depending on the fitness level of the participants)
Distance hiked during the tour: About 25 km (about 15.5 miles)
Altitude: 2,270 meters (7,450 feet) – 3,600 meters (11, 800 feet)
Level of difficulty: Medium-Hard – this tour is for people who are in good shape and are prepared to hike on mountain trails that are often rocky.
Areas visited: Cuesta del Obispo, Quebrada de Escoipe, Parque Nacional Los Cardones, Cordillera Oriental o Precordillera
Season: This tour is year-round, but may be interrupted by summer rains (~January/February)
Please note that the refugio La Sala was an old, abandoned mountain lodge that the operator of this tour has partially reconstructed. It does not have potable water and accommodations are quite basic. The idea is to spend a couple of nights living like the locals of this area.
This tour requires a minimum of 2 people to run at the normal per person price. You can do the tour solo if you pay 15% on top of the normal price. If another person books for the same day (and you are OK with sharing), then we will return the extra 15%.
After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.