Category Archives: Culture + Nature + Discovery

Train to the Clouds and beyond

The most amazing tourist train in the world that takes you to the clouds, at 4200 meters high. A classic and a must when visiting Salta!


Much has been told about the famous Tren a las Nubes, but not many know the story of its name. Although one may think that it was given due to the magnificent ascending tour, according to Luis Borelli, an Argentinean journalist and writer, the name was given after a steam cloud that was captured on film by two cameraman that traveled on board in the 60s, before the train was a tourist attraction.

The story goes that while stopping at La Polvorilla viaduct, the train discharged steam which remained under the wheels floating in the air as a cloud just for a moment, because of the low temperatures of the region. Hence: the train to the clouds, a very graphic image kept for posterity that would make anyone wonder about the veracity of its name.

It doesn’t matter if the name comes from steam or from the clouds themselves that seem to be closer and closer as the train goes up in the sky. Since 1972 it has been running, taking tourists from all over the world.

Today the train provides comfortable seats, broad windows to enjoy the landscape along the way, and conditioned temperature. There are restrooms, speakers and screens on board.

There are two options to choose from when planning your excursion:

BUS + TRAIN + BUS: This option includes a bus trip from the city of Salta, going across the National Route 51 and passing by the towns of Campo Quijano and Gobernador Solá up to El Alfarcito. At this stop, you will be provided with a rural breakfast with local fresh products, all handmade by the local communities from the area. Then, the bus trip will continue along the Quebrada de las Cuevas and the Muñano plain towards San Antonio de los Cobres.

At this town, you will be taken to the train station where you will finally go on board the Train to the Clouds that will take you on an hour ride to the La Polvorilla viaduct, an imposing work of engineering from the last century, at 4200 masl.

After 30 minutes, the train returns to San Antonio de los Cobres where you will take the bus back to Salta. On the way, a last stop will be done at Santa Rosa de Tastil where you may visit the historic museum and handicrafts fair to meet and support the local artisans.

ONLY TRAIN: For those who prefer a shorter tour, you may go straight to the San Antonio de los Cobres station and take the Train to the Clouds for the one hour ride (22 km) to the La Polvorilla viaduct and back. This option does not include San Antonio de los Cobres in/out transfers.

No matter which option you choose, it is advisable to book your tickets in advance. Below you will find the train´s operation days for 2018:

If you would like to ride the Train to the Clouds, please contact your Kallpa Executive and ask for available dates.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Passengers must show their passport and printed ticket voucher.
  • It is advisable to bring warm clothes, to have a light dinner and good rest the night before to make the most of this fantastic experience in Salta.

BUS + TRAIN + BUS:

  • The bus service leaves at 7:05 hs from Salta city bus terminal and arrives at 12 hs to San Antonio de los Cobres station to board the train. The bus back to Salta leaves San Antonio at 16:15 hs.
  • Transfers from/to Salta city terminal are not included.

ONLY TRAIN:

  • Passengers should be at San Antonio de los Cobres station at 11:45 hs or before. The train leaves at 12 hs.
  • Transfers from/to Salta city are not included.
  • Distance from Salta to San Antonio is 160 km. Approx. 3 hs car ride.
  • Train ride total distance: 44 km.

 

Patagonian adventure race

If you need motivation to get in shape, what about a race through the Andes?


On a combined effort and hospitality, Argentina and Chile provide the main set of El Cruce, Columbia’s patagonian adventure race where the main goal is to cross the Andes in the summer.

More than 100 km divided in 3 stages, every year the route changes thanks to the many crossings between both countries, providing each time unique and amazing landscapes.

With great effort, runners get through mountains and volcanoes, snowy summits, woods, lakes, valleys and rocky areas. But not only the many different kinds of terrains to run on make the challenge: the climate may vary a lot. Despite the summer time that could provide a shining sun and a mild temperature, runners may face adverse climatic circumstances that can include cold, snow, intense winds and heavy rains.

There’s no need to say that the physical demand for runners willing to take part on this extreme race is enormous and requires intense prior training. It’s a race for those who love adventure and are willing to face three days running and living in the middle of the mountains, enduring all the difficulties that this implies.

But what is earned is so much more! The effort and dedication of time, energy and resources demanded by this race generate intense emotions and unforgettable memories for all the brave runners. As Columbia says: “Not anyone can run it, but the ones who do will never forget it”.

If you’re interested in more information about El Cruce race and would like to adventure yourself in this experience, contact us!

AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL EXPERIENCE IN PATAGONIA

Nativo is the name for this voyage through man’s past in these remote corners. An experience that invites us to walk the steps of our ancestors and discover the traces they left for posterity.


Through the Nativo experience, we will re-discover the stories of the first expeditions in Patagonia and of those brave men who ventured themselves into the unknown. We will explore the cliffs and the coasts of Lago Argentino in search of evidence of contact between these pioneers and the natives, to then immerse completely in the Tehuelche world.

The adventure starts with a pick-up at the Hotel in Calafate in land rover overland vehicles.  We will be driven to the coasts of Lago Argentino for an interpretation of the ground and the flora, with help from the guides that will instruct us on glaciology and geology. Lago Argentino is the biggest of the Argentinian lakes. Its name was given by Perito Moreno himself, who was amazed by the deep blue color of its water and the pristine white in the peaks of the surrounding mountains.

After exploring the ground along the coasts of the lake, we will move forward to Punta Bonita’s cliff, the second stop in our itinerary. At Punta Bonita, we will appreciate the panoramic views of the lake, the Andes, and the city of Calafate, to then descend for the final lap of the tour.

At this point, we will visit the caves of Punta Walicho. In this outermost place, we will find the rupestrian register of men that came south during the last big glaciation. Punta Walichu is a Patagonian icon, the name comes from a Tehuelche god who was believed to inhabit these caves.  At punta Walicho, we will learn a lot about the hunting customs of this primitive ancestors as well as the perception that they had about themselves and the world around them.

To end an extraordinary day, we will enjoy a delicious meal in the most exotic location: a cave. The table will be already settled for our arrival and the atmosphere is cozy and warm.  The menu consists of a homemade soup entrance, followed by lamb stew or sautéed rice and vegetables for vegetarians and vegans, accompanied with wine or water. For dessert, you can enjoy a delicious chocolate mousse with almond praline.  After this magnificent delight for our palate, we will be driven back to our hotel.

This three-hour tour that will let you grasp al the spirit of Patagonia. It is ideal for those who arrive of for those who leave. There are also two different schedules, you can take it in the morning or in the afternoon, though we recommend taking the night tour if you wish to enjoy the starriest sky that you will ever see.
If you wish more information about this experience, please contact us at Kallpa Tour Operator!


GENERAL INFORMATION:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Pick up from hotels start at: 11:00 am and 06:00 pm
  • Difficulty: Low
  • Feasible all year.
  • Vegetarians menus must be required with anticipation.  

SERVICES INCLUDED:

  • Hotel Pickup and drop-off
  • Lunch/Dinner
  • Entrance fee to archaeological zone
  • Bilingual Guide

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED

  • Tips

Trekking to the clouds season 2018

At Kallpa, we are proud to announce this new shorter, but not less promising, version of the Trekking to the Clouds. An experience that will let you grasp the immensity of Quebrada del Toro and the spirit of an ancient culture.


This version of the Trekking to the Clouds is intended for those looking for a less demanding and shorter journey. The path is the same than our two other versions, but with the difference that we will return after we had reached Sillón del Inca.  The starting point is at the charming village of Ingeniero Maury, from where we will go across the ancient Inca road up to The Observatory, our first stop.

The Observatory is the name given to this peculiar panoramic lookout point where the ancient villagers installed a platform in order to anticipate the presence of visitors. Then the path will take us to the ruins of Sillón del Inca, an archeological site located at the intersection of several roads. The legend tells that it is here where the delegate of the Inca Empire used to control the state movement, the production and to collect taxes.

At this place, so full of history and mystery, we will set up our camp and enjoy dinner next to a warm fire. On the next day, after breakfast, we will start our return to Ingeniero Maury through Mount Golgota, passing by Abra del Caminante, milestone which today’s climbers use to frequent. Once we had reached Ingeniero Maury, the vehicle will be waiting to take us back to the city.

What’s interesting about this version is that it offers the possibility to combine this astonishing experience with another incredible journey, the Train to the Clouds, one of the most popular experiences in the north.  Nevertheless, if you are interested in a more active experience, you can join us for the complete 4 days trekking. More information can be found by clicking HERE or, our three-day trekking, more information can be found by clicking HERE. The fixed confirmed departure dates (minimum 2 travelers required for all versions) for our three itineraries are listed below:

If you wish more information about these experiences, please contact us at Kallpa Tour.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Sillón del Inca Trek
  • Duration: 2 days
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Feasible from January to December
  • 2 pax minimum required for confirmed departures. With 1 pax the single departure can run with 50% surcharge.

SERVICES INCLUDED

  • Local Bus Ticket Salta – Ing. Maury and transfer back to Salta
  • downtown.
  • Camping equipment. (Tent, cooking utensils, heaters, etc.).
  • Bilingual specialized guide (Spanish/English).
  • All meals in the program according to specification (D: breakfast;
  • A: Lunch; B: Box lunch; M: tea; C: dinner).
  • Personal luggage carry: sleeping bag, clothing and insulating
  • carpet up to 7 KG.
  • Camp organization. First AID kit.

NOT INCLUDED

  • Airplane tickets / Personal expenses and tips.
  • Meals not mentioned in the program. Nights in Salta.
  • Sleeping bags.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Medical insurance.
  • Train to the clouds tickets.