Abra del Acay Challenge

This 6 day mountain-bike voyage runs along one of the highest route of America , the same route of which runs through the Calchaqui Valleys and the Puna of Salta in the North East of Argentina. The journey involves a climb up the Cuesta del Obispo in order to get to the small village of Cachi. The path continues along the famous National Route 40, behind villages such as Payogasta and La Poma, continuing with an ascension of more than 2000 meters in order to arrive at the highest point, the Abra de Acay located 4895m above sea level. What goes up must come down, so after a tough climb we will head down-hill to San Antonio de los Cobres ending up in Salta City via the spectacular Quebrada del Toro (Bull Gorge).

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Cost: 1870 usd

  • Duration: 6 dias-5 noches
  • Difficulty Level: Advanced
  • Recorrido Total: 400 kms
  • Category: NON-COMPETITIVE sports experience

This 6 day mountain-bike voyage runs along one of the highest route of America , the same route of which runs through the Calchaqui Valleys and the Puna of Salta in the North East of Argentina. The journey involves a climb up the Cuesta del Obispo in order to get to the small village of Cachi. The path continues along the famous National Route 40, behind villages such as Payogasta and La Poma, continuing with an ascension of more than 2000 meters in order to arrive at the highest point, the Abra de Acay located 4895m above sea level. What goes up must come down, so after a tough climb we will head down-hill to San Antonio de los Cobres ending up in Salta City via the spectacular Quebrada del Toro (Bull Gorge).


Leaving Salta City in a 4x4 pick-up truck, we will take the National Route 68 southwest to Route 33, passing the village of Chicoana, to Los Laureles with its 48km of asphalt road. There we will prepare our bikes to cycle through the Quebrada de Escoipe (gorge), with its subtropical luscious jungle scenery, a contrast to the pre-puna, dry and desolate landscapes. On arrival at El Maray, we will set up camp and later cook and eat outside in the campsite. Distance on bike: 40km on asphalt road + 1km on gravel road in total (separate points) in good condition.
Altitude travelled on bike: a 2300 msnm.

We will start by ascending the Cuesta del Obispo with beautiful panoramic views and possible sightings of condors, until we reach the Piedra del Molino, where we will start the descent to Cachi through the Parque Nacional Los Cardones (National Park). Night spent in hotel.
Distance on bike: 60 km on asphalt road + 20km on gravel road (Cuesta del Obispo)
Altitude travelled on bike: Leaving at 2300m (m.a.s.l.), we will travel up to 3475m (m.a.s.l.) before descending to 2200m (m.a.s.l.).

Leaving Cachi and heading North taking the famous National Route 40 through the Calchaqui Valleys, we will visit the archaeological remains of a tampu??(que es tampu?) known as the Incan graneries/barns. (???) We will follow the route until El Puente del Diablo (The Devil’s Bridge), a natural formation containing stalagmites and stalactites. We will also visit the Volcanes Gemelos (Twin Volcanoes) before arriving at La Poma. Night in hotel.
Distance on bike: 20 km on asphalt road + 48km on gravel road.
Altitude travelled on bike: Leaving at 2200m (m.a.s.l.), we will travel up to 2500m (m.a.s.l.).

We will continue our journey along the National Route 40, heading northwest, and ascending through the Calchaqui River, passing by spice farms, and arriving at the Puesto Negra Muerta. Night in a campsite and cooking outside.
Distance on bike: 33 km on gravel road and crossing the riverbed at various points. (depending on the time of year it may or may not have water)
Altitude travelled on bike: rregular. Leaving at 2500m (m.a.s.l.), we will travel up to 3600m (m.a.s.l.).

The hardest day of the journey, ascending to the Abra del Acay, the highest point in South America, located at 4895m (m.a.s.l.). Upon reaching the top we will be rewarded with unimaginable panoramic views of Salta’s high plateau. We will descend this beautiful region cycling to San Antonio de los Cobres. Night in hotel.
Distance on bike: 78 km de ruta sin pavimento.
Altitude reached on bike: Leaving at 3600m (m.a.s.l.), we will travel up to 4895m (m.a.s.l.) before descending to 3700m (m.a.s.l.).

We will travel in a 4x4 along the National Route 51 southeast to Abra Blanca, a point located 30km from San Antonio de los Cobres. There we will prepare the bikes for an intense journey from the high plateau region, passing the pre-puna and a small part of the jungle to the Valle de Lerma (Lerma Valley). There we will find the village of Campo Quijano where our vehicle will be awaiting us to return to your hotel in Salta. Our route will pass by the famous train known as the Tren a las Nubes (Train to the Clouds). We will end the trip with a delicious barbeque in Campo Quijano before heading back to Salta.
Distance on bike: 776 km on asphalt road + 20km on gravel road.
Altitude reached on bike: Leaving at 4080m (m.a.s.l.), we will descend to 1500m (m.a.s.l.).
End of Services.

The tour includes:
  • Transporte de pasajero (Toyota hilux 4x4)habilitada.
  • Insurance.
  • Professional bike guide.
  • Chofer.
  • Daily snacks (water, gatorade, dried and fresh fruits, cold meats). Picnic Equipment (tables, chairs, cutlery etc.)
  • Bikes, helmets, water, tools. Communication Equipment - VHF base and handys.
RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT TO BRING:
Sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, cycling clothes/gear, fleece, short wind-proof coat, warm jumper, gloves, polar-neck, sports bandana, cycling leggings (short and long), synthetic and warm socks, trainers, changes of clothes., lip balm, sunglasses, cycling clothes/gear, fleece, short wind-proof coat, warm jumper, gloves, polar-neck, sports bandana, cycling leggings (short and long), synthetic and warm socks, trainers, changes of clothes.

Difficulty: This 6 day journey on mountain bike has a difficulty level classified ADVANCED: a high fitness level is required (cycling an average of 60km a day at high altitude), and a low technical level. The tracks cycled vary between asphalt and gravel, with tough gradients. (The different activities have been classified in 3 categories according to physical exertion demanded and the technical level that they imply: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced).
Meals included: Breakfast x2 (campsite) - lunch x7 - dinner x2 (campsite). Price/quote valid until 01/07.



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