We will start our journey in Salta city, we will go over Quebrada del Toro gorge (Train to the Clouds way) until we get to San Antonio de Los Cobres village at midday for some lunch. Before getting there, we will visit the Indian ruins of Santa Rosa de Tastil. After lunch, we will keep going into the central part of The Andes: The Altiplano or Puna de Atacama, getting at 4.560m above sea level on the road. We will start to see the first salt flats of the trip; first, Salar de Pocitos, then, Salar del Diablo after crossing a red desert named Devil Desert. The landscape resembles that of Mars planet, and we will be there right on sunset time for great pictures. We will spend the night in Tolar Grande village, at a hotel or refuge, depending on availability.
Tolar Grande is located near the biggest salt flat in Argentina: Salar de Arizaro. On this day, we will cross over the salt flat on a one hour driving to south direction. Once we get to the end of the salt flat, we will see the famous 'Cono de Arita' hill. It looks like a perfect pyramid on the salt flat surface. From there, we will drive a mining path over the mountains to visit an abandoned mining camp 'La Casualidad' (The Chance). It used to operate as a sulfur mine but it was closed at the beginning of the 80īs and now it is an authentic ghost town. Believe it or not. We will drive from the ghost town on an old paved road to another ghost spot: a train station called 'Caipe', and finally, unpaved road again to get back to Tolar Grande and spend another night there.
Very early in the morning, we will start our trip back to San Antonio de Los Cobres where we will stop on the foothill of the small volcano at 4500m above sea level and will start a hike to the crater on the summit located at 4960m above sea level. This trek will demand us 3 hours (in total up & down), then we will get to the truck again, stop in San Antonio de Los Cobres to have some lunch and keep going down to Salta city. Estimated time of arrival in Salta: 7:00 or 8:00 PM.