Traveling North of Salta and
Train to the Clouds Excursion
The touring possibilities north of Salta are nearly limitless, with scenes of one of a kind landscape and active wildlife around every corner. While the earth is mostly dry and desertic, its layers are multicolored and distinct, providing visitors with a modern-day look at ages of slow rock formation and accumulation. Additionally, many small villages and communities, showcasing the region's local culture and flavor in a most-authentic way, spot the land north of Salta.
Please note that "The Train to the Clouds" is not currently running tours, due to restoration efforts. As such, we suggest that travelers explore this fascinating landscape aboard one of many 4x4 expeditions covering the same terrain. In a Safari vehicle along "The Road to The Top," you will appreciate many of the same vistas as you may have aboard the train, as well as have the opportunity for more frequent stops and adventures along the way.
The Train to the Clouds
Departing from the Salta Railway Station, the Train to the Clouds excursion allows visitors to simultaneously experience innovative feats in engineering and unbelievable natural landscapes. This full day trip departs at fixed intervals in the morning throughout the week, and zig zags through a rail system wrought with bridges, tunnels, and viaducts built between 1921 and 1948.
As the trip begins, visitors experience the Lerma valley in all of its beauty, passing through its three distinct climate zones, including mountainous subtropical, semi-desertic, and desert regions. The train's first stop arrives quickly, at the Campo Quijamo located 1,520 meters above sea level. Subsequently, the journey moves higher and higher into the mountains, passing through stations at El Alisal, Corrillos, Ingeniero Mauri, and Gobernador Sola.
Now above the level of the clouds, the train will continue to wind through the colorful terrain, tinted by iron, copper, sulfur, and lime deposits. Fifteen hours after departure the reds of the earth are complimented by the expansive blue sky, and arrival at the La Polvorilla viaduct marks the end of the rails. Travelers are greeted by native vendors, offering ponchos, marmalades, and other local goods.
Because the train is such a unique excursion, it is immensely popular among tourists to Salta. As such, travelers are encouraged to book their trips about a week in advance through the La Veloz del Norte Enterprise that manages the trip.
The Road to the Top:
Another way to explore the Puna is from the highest roads in the Americas, traveling mainly along National Route 68 and National Route 51. On this 4x4 journey, you'll pass through a spattering of tiny settlements and cross the majestic tracks of the Train to the Clouds. You will also likely encounter the playful wildlife inhabiting the terrain, including llamas, vicunas, and chinchillas. Ending at the Acay Dale, located 4,897 meters above sea level, visitors are often found in awe of the vast blue sky expands before them.
Aboard specially built safari 4x4s, travelers have the ability to explore three distinct touring circuits north of Salta in a single day. First, you will journey along the path of the Train to the Clouds, visiting both Bull's Gorge, Quebrada del Toro, and San Antonio de low Cobres. Secondly, you will follow National Route 40 all the way to the majestic Salt lakes of Jujuy. Finally, on your return downhill trip, you will take yet another path through Lipan and afternoon filled with stunning views.
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