This short trek leads from the arid foothills of the Puna --the second highest plateau on earth, after the Tibetan-- towards the rainforest of the Yungas, which is a UNESCO world biosphere reserve. We will observe archeological sites and observe how the local communities live. We begin at an elevation of approximately 6500ft and move up to 9,500. We will be supported by mules, which will carry all our group gear, supplies and everything else we need to live and travel through these changing environments. This route provides a moderate physical challenge, an astonishing bio-diversity and a unique cultural experience.
April 15 through July 30th
This trek is suitable for both, the novice and experienced trekker. We will have mules support, which means, participants will only carry a day pack and bring a duffle to be carried by the mules.
All ground transportation to and from airport to lodges, lodging in exclusive bed & breakfast and camping, all expedition meals and road lunches, meals in Los Lapachos, packing mules and burros, group gear: tents, first aid kits, communication devices, technical gear when needed (GPS, etc) and kitchen gear. The participant-guide ratio will be 5:1, depending on the group size, usually groups of up to 10 individuals.
International and domestic flights, personal hiking and camping gear, meals in restaurants of Tilcara or in transit.
Flight from BA to Jujuy Airport. Rendezvous with guides. Transfer from Airport to Rincón de Fuego Lodge in Tilcara, at the heart of the Humahuaca valley. Personal gear check by the guides. Time to relax and learn about the history of the valley and this charming town. Free time to enjoy some musical show, so see some art and to try the delicious high Puna meals in one of the restaurants in town.
Rincón de Fuego, Tilcara, (2,400m)
8am Breakfast. Pack personal gear & leave to Purmamarca town. Day hike around the Coloradas hills. After getting our empanadas lunch, we will continue our van ride to one of the biggest salt lakes of the Puna. We will enjoy picnic lunch on the road. We will be back in Tilcara late afternoon. This schedule will allow us to adapt effectively to the high altitude.
Hike up to the highest point in the traverse
Camp 1 Huaira Huasi 3,200m
7 am Breakfast. We will load our mules, pack our daypacks and get ready for departure. We'll be dropped off at Casa Colorada to start our trek (3,000m). Once there, we will make sure we have everything and we will say good bye to our driver. We will start our hike carrying only what we need for the day: snacks, water, camera and extra layers. We will have the possibility to encounter condor, guanacos, llamas and alpacas, while passing through the Zucho pass (4,100mts) and we´ll drop towards the eastern side of the range. We will camp by a small peasant's outpost. We'll enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding contrasted colors.
Camp 2 Molulo
8 AM Field breakfast. Break down camp, pack and get ready. We will hike along an astonishing ridge towards Molulo (a few houses around a little school) and enjoy a picnic in Lagunilla Colorada. We'll set up camp beneath a small hut. Enjoy a surprise dinner!
Camp 3 San Lucas
8 am Field breakfast. Break down camp, pack and get ready. We will start our hike towards the village of San Lucas. We will start experiencing a dramatic change in the scenery, moving from the dry and mountainous terrain of the Puna into the wetter environment of the cloud rainforest of the Yungas.
Los Lapachos guest house
8 am Field breakfast. Break down camp, pack and get ready. We will hike through a very unique canyon where the red sandstone shines amongst the green of ferns and incredible trees. We will finish our hike in Peña Alta, were we will get picked up on a mountain road. After a brief ride, we will stop by the Calilegua National Park. We will continue our drive back to Finca Los Lapachos. Los Lapachos is an 1870´s finca that belongs to the Leach family, pioneers of the sugar cane in Argentina's Northwest. Enjoy the deserved showers! Dinner with Caroline at the main house.
Enjoy the transition to the big city
Los Lapachos or elsewhere
Late breakfast. Enjoy the swimming pool, get a horse ride or check out the manual harvesting. Free time to visit the finca. Time to relax. Argentinean grill lunch. Transfer to airport or just stay one more day in this enjoyable setting! END OF OUR SERVICES
Our guides will assist all members of the group in all outdoor living and travel skills, with a minimum impact techniques approach. We will help you get comfortable in different conditions. This program includes a strong emphasis in natural history and cultural aspects of this area, the past, present and future of people living in this area. The participants will have to carry a backpack of 20 lbs approximately.
This expedition will evolve during the dry season in this area of the world. Generally speaking, the climate remains dry, with cool to warm days and cold to very cold nights. The participants will be briefed on how to prevent environmental injuries like hypothermia or sun burns.
Each participant is responsible for their own health as well as for the other’s health. We will stress the importance of hydration from day one in Tilcara. The guides will carry full first aid kits as well as communication devices that will be necessary in case of emergency. Safety is always a premier goal of ours.