Heading from 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 where we will stop 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 4560m 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 looks alike 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 during 1 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 slat 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.
We will return to San Antonio de Los Cobres but we will drive a different road. This time, we will visit another salt flat: Pastos Grandes. Set in a wonderful location, this salt flat is near a huge snow caped volcano named 'Quewar', and we will get to the highest altitude of the whole trip: 4750m above sea level. Before getting to San Antonio, we can go and visit the famous bridge of the Train to the Clouds if you want to do it. Of course, we would be lucky if the train was crossing the bridge just when we arrive there, but it is only possible if the Train to the Clouds is operating on the same day. After 1 hour driving up to the north of San Antonio de Los Cobres, we will get to our last salt flat and maybe the most famous one because we get there on a paved road and everybody can visit this place by a regular car. Salinas Grandes is in Jujuy province. Then, we will drive down to Purmamarca village and then we will get to Tilcara where we will spend the night.
On the last day, we will visit all the Humahuaca gorge area (World heritage declared by UNESCO). We will start to see many tourists walking around because it is one of the most popular destinations of regular tourism in the north of Argentina. We will visit Humahuaca, Tilcara and Purmamarca, and we will get back to Salta city on a road with lush vegetation, making a strong contrast after many days of deserts and salt flats.