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Trekking al valle del silencio

A 4 days / 3 nights program

There, where the time stood still completly, the kingdom of silence and the condor.
This trekking proposal consists in following pre-colombian trails from the ancient town of Iruya to hidden settlements lost in this precipitous geography of colourful mountains and deep canyons.  
Leaving everything behind, these are places where life is ruled by nature and an ancestral culture. Luis & Maru Aguilar will guide this expedition, an extremely recommended experience for those who do not suffer from vertigo and enjoy walking for long hours (6-7 hours per day) 

Group departures in 2009:











Price per person:U$D 811 (SGL Supp. U$D 77).

Season: Fixed SIB Departures: April to August
Private departures: April to November

Minimum/Maximum: 2 - 12 pax
Level of Difficulty: Demanding


Private transfers for the group, from / to Salta.
Meals as described on the itinerary.
2 nights in Hostería Iruya on DWL base and 1 night in Refugio del Condor (1 big room with truckle beds. Shared facilities).
We include porterage for up to 5 kg of personal gear.

Does not include:

Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
Sleeping bags.
Towels in Refugio del Condor
Flights + Apt taxes.
Gratuities, optional tips for guides and crew.
Extras and personal expenses.



Itinerary +

Day 1

SALTA- IRUYA:Departure from Salta along a winding mountain road, where we will appreciate an exuberant subtropical vegetation including a varied number of ferns, epiphytes, ancient native trees, and multicolored birds. We drive into the historical and fantastic Quebrada de Humahuaca (Humahuaca canyon). We arrive at Humahuaca, where the splendor of the landscape and the presence of aboriginal ruins leave their long lasting tracks in our souls. We resume our trip and, in Iturbe, start our way up toward Abra Condor (Condor Pass - 4000m) where we can feel the pre-puna (the High Andean plateau). In the afternoon we arrive at Iruya, the small village at the top of the mountains and overlooking the valleys. Its population with a strong mixture of the mestizo and the local coya, still keeps its ancient traditions, as well as very particular religious celebrations.

Accommodation at HOSTERIA de IRUYA.  (2750 m)

Day 2

IRUYA. TREKKING. :During this day we hike along the Sierra El Astillero. We will follow narrow paths up the mountain slope, go beside cliffs, cross rivers and streams. Our trail winds, at times up the cracks or passes, or down to the river bed. We walk into a transversal valley, whose inhabitants join the ancestral rituals and costumes with Christian practices. During the hike, we will have the chance to see the vestiges of ancient native civilizations and come across with local people, using this path as part of their everyday life. The landscape, the trail and the beauty of the place grants an overwhelming sight. 

Accommodation in a very comfortable mountain refuge –Refugio CONDOR (3050m)- located in a high cliff with a panoramic view over the valleys. Running water and toilet facilities. (B - Box-Lunch - D)

Approx. hike: 6 h

Maximum altitude during the trek: 3.150 m

Slope:: 800 m


Day 3

TREKKING to IRUYA:Return to Iruya through a different mountain road,  with more photo opportunities and breathtaking sights. Accommodation at Iruya (2750m). (B- Box Lunch)

Approx. hike: 7 h

Maximum altitude during the trek: 3.150 m

Slope:: 700 m

Day 4

IRUYA – GREAT SALT FLATS – ROUTE 40 – PURMAMARCA - SALTA: Morning departure leaving behind the Silent Valleys to drive in one of the highest places on earth – the Puna or High Andean Plateau. We return to the National Route. If we are lucky during our drive we will observe herds of llama and vicuñas to photograph. The multi-hued canyon walls serve as a backdrop for the lively manifestation of indigenous culture. Along the way we will be able to visit several charming villages known for their small churches and other buildings of varied architectural styles.
Visit SALINAS GRANDES (Great Salt Flats) to observe the rudimentary exploitation of the salt. Drive down to Purmamarca through a very panoramic winding road and the highest point in our itinerary: 4170 m at CUESTA de LIPAN (Lipan Slope).
Late evening arrival in Salta. (B- Box Lunch.)


* We strongly recommend an overnight at a local estancia in Salta.

Photo gallery

Humahuaca Gorge – Photo: Lo Gall Humahuaca Gorge – Photo: Lo Gall Arriving at Iruya – Photo: Cesar de Lucca Iruya – Photo: Cesar de Lucca Childrens of the hills – Photo: Cesar de Lucca Luis & Maru Aguilar, The guides – Photo: Lo Gall Panti Pampa- trekking to Iruya Roads to Iruya Condor Refuge – Trekking to Iruya – Photo: Lo Gall Iruya
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