Day 1: Salta – Los Laureles – El Maray. Night in El Maray (camping).. Los laureles – El Maray. Camp at Parador El Maray.
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). Preparation of bikes and equipment. Departure by bike through the Quebrada de Escoipe, with a landscape of subtropical jungle in transition with the prepuna. Arrival at the El Maray hostel where the camp will be set up. Outdoor kitchen.
– 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.
Maray – Cuesta del Obispo – Cachi. Night in Cachi (hotel).
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.).
Day 3: Cachi – La Poma. Night in La Poma (hotel).
Leaving Cachi and heading North taking the famous National Route 40 through the Calchaqui Valleys, we will visit the archaeological remains of a 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.).
Day 4: La Poma – Negra Muerta. Night in Negra Muerta (camping). Camp in Puesto Negra Muerta.
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.).
Day 5: Negra Muerta – San Antonio de los Cobres. Night in San Antonio de los Cobres (hotel). Night in San Antonio de los Cobres.
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.).
Day 6: San Antonio de los Cobres – Abra Blanca – Campo Quijano – Salta Descent on bicycles to Campo Quijano. Transfer by van to the hotel.
We will travel in a 4×4 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.
Tips on what to wear in any season in NORTH OF ARGENTINA
On the Bike
– Cycling jerseys or athletic shirts
– Cycling shorts
– Cycling shoes (if you bring your own pedals)
– Sneakers (if you don’t bring your own pedals)
– Athletic socks
– Arm/leg warmers
– Lightweight, waterproof, wind-resistant jacket or vest
– Bike gloves
– Bike saddle/cover (if you prefer your own)
Do I Need to Bring Special Cycling Gear?
Cycling shorts are designed to provide extra padding when spending the whole day in the saddle. You’ll be glad to have them—don’t forget the chamois cream!
If you bring your own cycling shoes, you must bring your own pedals. If you’ve never used clip-in pedals before, we don’t recommend using them on tour.
Arm and leg warmers are essential for cooler weather. Wear them with your short-sleeve jersey and shorts for lightweight, easy-to-pack, and effective warmth.
Bike gloves are a preference, but are recommend for long tours. The padding in gloves can ease arm, shoulder, and joint fatigue.