A landscape that refers to the farthest past on a trip to the center of the earth in Seclantás, the only town in the Salta Valley that is on the other side of the Calchaquí River.
The Acsibi caves are about 20 kilometers from Seclantás, a town in the Calchaquí Valleys, in Salta. You get there by national route 40, entering the Finca Montenieva.
Fido Abán, owner of the estate, and his son René are in charge of taking visitors to the red canyons of Acsibi, located within this private territory about 10 km wide and about 30 long.
It is a place still little known, which almost nobody visits on their first trip to the Valleys. A magical and very different landscape, to which you must dedicate a whole day.
Fido says he was the first of his family to discover the caves when he was eight years old. While the others hunted guanacos in the canyon, he explored the terrain bordering mountains, until he hit upon passages between the rock and reached a small valley of caves.
Very early in the morning, we depart up the mountain in a 4×4 truck. We drive 12 kilometers along the rocky bed of a dry river. When the track disappears, we get off and begin a 5-kilometer hike.
We walk for about two hours through a magnificent red ravine of sandy soil with the most unlikely forms, to finally enter the caves that were once part of the Hacienda de Urbina, when the Malcachiscos Indians washed gold for the Spaniards.
Getting to Acsibi is to time travel. You can see the old and worn tracks where the colony’s carts passed. This area – practically unexplored from the archaeological point of view – is part of the Inca and pre-Inca road system that was used by the Spaniards during the conquest in the connection of the Río de la Plata with Peru.
This fantasy valley of fluctuating forms, shadow and light invites your imagination to play and find the resemblance to the silhouettes. A natural labyrinth with passages between giant rocks and the magical caves that Fido believes were used as ritual sites by the native people of the area. As it is also a place that usually concentrates lightning during thunderstorms, he named them Acsibi; which means something like “the place where the light or either the fire is”, in the Cacán language.
After going through and exploring this ancient and mysterious environment, we take a picnic break before hiking back the same path to the vehicle.
When in the North, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit a place in the Calchaquí Valleys where history is mixed with the geographical beauties of the area, all in a family’s “backyard”.
- Min. 2 – Max. 20 pax.
- Departs at 9 am from Finca Montenieva, returns at 5 pm.
- Altitude at the trekking starting point: 2700 masl. Altitude at Trekking ending point 2900 masl.
- Difficulty: Medium.
- Type of terrain: walk along the river bank, sand and small loose stones terrain, continuous mild ascent for 5.5km. As the river is crossed back and forward in rainy season wet shoes guaranteed.
- Includes: Transportation from/To Finca Montenieva, guide and pic-nic.
- We recommend wearing long sleeves t-shirt or shirt, sun cap or hat and sunscreen.