Andes off road

4x4 Puna Northwest Argentina

Welcome Tours + Expeditions Andesoffroad Services + Accommodation The region Andesoffroad contact Interesting links

7 DAYS La Rioja - La Rioja

The highest volcano, the widest crater, the longest salt flat, thousands of pink flamingos, emerald green lagoons, red mountains, white gleaming salt deserts und much more provides this adventure-filled off road tour into the landscape of superlatives and contrasts.

DAY 1 | La Rioja - Fiambalá
Departing from La Rioja we head northwards on paved roads. Passing by olive groves and vineyards we enter the province of Catamarca, continuing through age-old adobe houses and churches as part of the attractive Adobe Route. After arriving in Fiambalá (1,570 masl) we can visit its invigorating thermal waters, which come down from the mountain to plunge into natural pools set between high granite walls. Overnight accommodation in a comfortable hostería.

DAY 2 | Balcony Mount Pissis | Green Lagoon
Spectacular and demanding drive off the beaten track, steadily snaking up into the paradisiacal Andean world of 19 sixtyhundreds. Carrying names like Blue, Black and Green because of their intense colour, we pass by shimmering lagoons. At an altitude of 4,200 m a natural balcony offers a breathtaking view of untouched nature and of Mount Pissis, rising as the highest volcano of the world. It is a glacier-covered massif with five summits and 6,882 (IGN) meters in height, one of the remotest mountains in Argentina. As the track leads down along Black Lagoon and even deeper into the wilderness we reach the glowing Green Lagoon, which resembles an enormous blue-bordered emerald. Doubling back down we return to Fiambalá, where we overnight in the hostería again.

DAY 3 | Fiambalá - Pumice Stone Field - Antofagasta de la Sierra
An exciting journey of magnificent settings and adventurous off road passages: A path meandering along a riverbed in a scenic gorge, a steep road zigzagging up a mountainside with fantastic vistas, and an almost invisible track crossing an ocean of sand and white-grey looming dunes. Immersed in this fascinating volcanic landscape lies the enormous, moon-like Pumice Stone Field, its pastel coloured formations eroded into unusual shapes. By exploring it we feel as visiting another planet. After arrival at Antofagasta de la Sierra (3,440 masl), a green oasis sitting in an expansive and arid plain dotted with black volcanoes and lava-flows, we spend the night in a roomy guesthouse.

DAY 4 | Crater Galán Volcano
Yet another challenging off road adventure into wild beauty. Catching sight of gracious suris and flocks of vicuñas we reach Laguna Grande (Big Lagoon), populated by thousands of pink flamingos and skirted by a white salted shore and a remarkable mountain scenery. Continuing on we gradually ascend to an altitude of 4,800 m to gain the crater rim of the Galán volcano (5,912 m), the widest caldera of the world (36 km). After a steep descent we explore the volcano's interior, revealing a turquoise lagoon and bubbling hot springs. Returning the same way we again spend the night at Antofagasta de la Sierra.

DAY 5 | AdlSierra - Salar Hombre Muerto - Antofalla
North of Antofagasta a detour brings us to 4,000 m altitude, where high red cliff walls feature rock paintings of an indigenous past. Heading back down and after another stretch through the quite extreme nature of the Andean Puna, we approach the gleaming Salar del Hombre Muerto (Dead Man's salt flat), the second largest salt desert in Argentina. At its shore we take a look around the isolated, abandoned gold mine Incahuasi, and continue our way, back and over the mountains until reaching the striking viewpoint of Salar Antofalla, at 4,400 masl. Here the path zigzags down and we traverse the salt flat to arrive at the remote hamlet of Antofalla (3,500 masl), lying at the foot of the huge namesake volcano (6.409 masl). Simple accommodation in cosy lodging.

DAY 6 | Antofalla - Arizaro|Antofalla - Antofagasta de la Sierra
In the morning, a roundtrip northwards takes us to the largest salt flat in Argentina, Salar de Arizaro, framing a looming sharp cone named Cono de Arita, and back along the northern shore of Salar Antofalla through an otherworldly landscape featuring grey, red and blue mountains. In the afternoon, we drive on more lonely tracks along Salar Antofalla to the south, discovering some hidden gems: the astonishing circular lagoons, known as "Eyes of the Field"; and the copper-green oasis of Botijuela, where the curious bottle-shaped cone of an extinguished geyser stands out. After traversing the salar the road climbs up to 4,400 m and brings us through the impressive Quebrada del Diablo (Devil's Gorge). In a two more hours drive we will be reaching Antofagasta de la Sierra, and spending the night in the Hostería.

DAY 7 | AdlSierra - Belén - La Rioja
Driving south we gradually leave the volcanic environment, enjoying gorgeous panoramas of Andean giants, gleaming salt pans and huge sand dunes while descending along Cuesta de Randolfo. From the peaceful valley of Belén we rapidly reach the city of La Rioja. End of tour.

SIXTYHUNDREDS | alternative peinado volcano

DAY 2 | Balcony Mount Pissis - Las Grutas (Paso San Francisco)
As described above (DAY 2). After heading back down we follow a serpentine road up to Paso San Francisco, driving amid fascinating backdrop to Las Grutas, near the Chilean border. Overnight in rustic dorm accommodation (4,000 m).

DAY 3 | Las Grutas - Peinado Volcano - Antofagasta de la Sierra
A demanding but outstandingly beautiful, pure Andes off road journey. Slowly driving up into a spectacular volcanic region, it goes through limestone gorges, heavy sand valleys and volcanic rocks, feasting the eyes on dramatic orange, white and black-coloured peaks framing two lagoons, an olive green and a turquoise. After skirting the Peinado volcano (5,741 m) the track abruptly descends, joins the Peinado's dazzling green-blue lagoon and turns into an almost invisible sandy path, leading to Salar Antofalla and through otherworldly, solitary desertscapes to Antofagasta de la Sierra (3,440 masl). Overnight stay in a roomy hostería.





:: Best time to travel: March - Mai | October - December
:: Daily program subject to wheather and road conditions
:: This tour can be carried out as GUIDED SELF DRIVE TOUR also
:: Itinerary can be customized to your requirements
:: Reservations at least 6 weeks in advance

:: terrestrial transfers with experienced driver and/or guiding fully equipped 4WD
:: coordination, logistic, technical and mechanical assistance
:: bilingual guide / accompaniment (English/German/Spanish)
:: accommodation in local guesthouses based on double room and breakfast
:: refreshments and snacks, 1x pic-nic
:: local guides support
:: access to national parks / tolls
:: meals, alcoholic beverages / additional drinks
:: during guided self drive tour, vehicle, fuel, street tolls
:: individual activities + expenses
:: medical expenses/insurance
:: tips
Pissis Balcony
    Blue Lagoon Pissis
steep zigzag road
Pumice stone field
Laguna Diamante
4x4 Antofalla
    Arizaro salt flat | Arita
Antofagasta de la Sierra
    Off road Peinado Volcano
    Peinado volcano + Lagoon
north argentina | puna andes north | puna andes north full
andes route 40 | extreme andes | in the sky | hidden puna