El Torreón Expedition

Expedition at Torreón Mountain

This exclusive tour is based on the idea of settling a base camp on a mountain shelter in the middle of some of the most impressive surroundings. Starting there, different hiking circuits cover areas with a huge geographical and historical value.

A unique opportunity to enjoy some of the most important sights in Northwestern Argentina such as the Cuesta del Obispo from the top of the Torréon Hill. Enjoy this tour with your five senses as you visit archaeological sites, watch and learn about local wildlife and immerse yourself in the nature.

First day, getting to Cuesta del Obispo

Departing Salta towards the South, we will cross little villages such as Cerrillos and El Carril before turning west towards Chicoana. This is where the yungas (high altitude rainforests) start to be dominant as we climb and reach the Escoipe gorge, where giant cacti, carob trees, red and rocky landscapes and multicolor crops are found. Before finishing climbing the Cuesta del Obispo, we will cross the Valle Encantado (Enchanted Valley) and delight ourselves with some of the best views in the tour. Once we leave it behind, we will get off the vehicle and prepare the gear before walking to the shelter (la Sala).

First activity: Hiking to the Condor viewpoint

Our walk through old Inca roads allows us to get a real feel of the immensity of the area as we gain altitude and is a perfect place for enjoying the views of the Calchaquí Valley and the pre Andes.
After a couple of hours, a small snack with tea or coffee is served next to some wonderfully preserved Inca ruins. This is a perfect spot to see enormous rock formations from above.
As we continue walking, we arrive at the Condor viewpoint, a 3000 meters above sea level plain covered with meadows and seasonal flowers, a beautiful view during summer days. This is an important place for the condor and, if we are lucky, we may even see some flying above our heads. We will enjoy a picnic here before starting our descent.
As we walk down in the middle of the mountains, we will visit some cave paintings of huge archaeological value. After around an hour, we will arrive in the shelter again where a typical Argentinian asado will be waiting for us; the perfect banquet under the stars in an old colonial house in the mountains.

Day two: Climbing the Torreón hill

Our second morning begins with a typical ‘criollo’ breakfast before we start climbing the Torreón hill in between clouds and condors, where we can enjoy the view of the Cuesta del Obispo like nowhere else as we move up. After a small snack to recover strength, we will head for the top at 3600 meters above sea level. Once we reach this point, we will feel the air in our faces, the peace of standing above the clouds and embracing the immensity with our senses.
After our time at the top, we will descend to the shelter for the final lunch before returning to Salta.

Technical information

Departure time: Everyday at 7am (pickup from your hotel)
Tour length: two days
Walking hours: Day 1 -> between 4 and 6 hours | Day 2 -> between 5 and 6 hours (depending on the passenger’s physical condition)
Total hiking distance: approximately 25 kilometers
Altitude: from 2270 to 3600 meters above sea level
Positive slope: +800 meters
Negative slope: -1590 meters
Difficulty: Medium / high. It is required to be physically fit and have basic skills for mountain hiking.
Region: Cuesta del Obispo / Escoipe Gorge / Los Cardones National Park / Cordillera Oriental or Pre Andes.
This tour includes: Transportation, hiking poles, snacks, lunch (picnic), dinner (asado), bilingual guide, insurance, accommodation in mountain shelter.
Availability: all year round, except during the rainy season (ask for specific dates)
Price: Look for the price here.

What to bring?

  • Hiking shoes or boots;
  • Trousers (if possible, detachable);
  • Jacket (even during summer);
  • Fleece coat;
  • 50lts. Backpack containing: 5 liters of water, raincoat, bug repellent and sunscreen;
  • Hat and sunglasses;
  • Sleeping bag +-8°;
  • Personal hygiene elements.

IMPORTANT

The mountain shelter referred as ‘La Sala’ is an old house which was practically abandoned and is in the process of being restored. It does not have running water and the rooms, toilet and living room are precarious. The idea of using this house is to experience the locals way of living.

We also have a 1 day option in this same area where we make a quick visit to the shelter. For more info about this Day Trekking Trip, visit this page