Salta and Jujuy, Argentina

Through the Highlands of Deep Argentina

very coarse salt
Workers load blocks of salt onto a truck in Salinas Grandes.
salty life
Saline foreman displays a handful of the raw material he keeps for days on end.
Remote Faith
Small chapel lost in the immensity of the Puna, the vast Andean plateau of the provinces of Salta and Jujuy.
Crossing muds
Traffic sign warns of crossing camelids on a road in the high interior of Jujuy.
geological sculpture
One of the many "cerros de las siete colores" that adorn the Andean plateau in northwestern Argentina.
The village of Purmamarca is set against one of the hills of Siete Colores in northwestern Argentina.
In honor of the deceased
Roadside sanctuary in honor of Defunta Correa, a religious character adored by Argentines.
In the Solitude of the Hills
Pastora in traditional dress, on her way to La Quiaca.
night jump
Geometric pattern of Salta marked by the city's night lighting.
Faith Garrida
The church of São Francisco, highlighted by its bright façade, in the post-colonial city of Salta.
on the way into the night
Passengers arrive in a cabin on the San Bernardo cable car in Salta.
"La Aunt Dominga"
Road bar-restaurant in the interior of the province of Salta.
Steep grazing
Pastora leads sheep on a parched hillside next to provincial road 40.
western argentine
Ocher backdrop of the Quebrada de Cafayate.
of alert
A lama intrigued in the highlands of the Andean Puna.
Provincial Route 40
Landmark away on the edge of a mountain road on the way to Santa Victoria.
salt floor
Soil pattern of Salinas Grandes, in the high interior of the province of Salta.
desert but little
Cactuses and vineyards in a semi-desert area near Cafayate.
Hidden Valley
One of the greenest scenery in the Valles Calchaquies, on the way to Cachi.
A tour through the provinces of Salta and Jujuy takes us to discover a country with no sign of the pampas. Vanished in the Andean vastness, these ends of the Northwest of Argentina have also been lost in time.

“Wonderful, don't you think? It's no coincidence that they call it "La Linda!"

Roberto – a native who leads guided tours of the historic center of Salta – brags like this when he realizes that we photograph every corner with renewed interest. “Buenos Aires could be the capital, Córdoba has all its old Missions, but you can't find a South American Andalusia there like we have here”.

A simple walk through the historic center reveals the building of the council (the old building), the cathedral and several houses from the time of the viceroys, with their majestic facades and balconies.

In the streets, one can feel the weight of the religiosity imposed by the churches. From time to time, groups of nuns pass by on their way to the convents.

Faith Garrida

>São Francisco church, highlighted by its bright façade, in the post-colonial city of Salta.

Beyond the homonymous capital, the province of Salta is a patchwork of landscape. It comprises a panoply of environments, reliefs and climates difficult to find in other parts of Argentina.

from the savanna chaco (the area closest to Paraguay) to the Andean plateaus, deserts and oases, mountains covered by lush jungle and arid mountain ranges succeed one another.

As in the neighboring southern province, Mendoza, in the extreme west of the region, the remote snowy peaks exceed 6.000 meters in altitude.

National Argentina 68 In. From Salta to Cafayate

From Salta towards the south, the national 68 winds through increasingly dry and reddish valleys and gorges.

They remind us of the scenarios of Indian West and US Cowboy. As soon as we arrived in Cafayate, colonial Argentina claims and regains its leading role.

western argentine

Ocher backdrop of the Quebrada de Cafayate.

These days, Cafayate is home to a dedicated population of silver, fabric and fur artisans but is best known for its reputable production of torrontés, a fruity white wine that is said to accompany, in perfection, the beloved empanadas in Salta.

We found them from time to time in bars lost in the vast road that we continued to travel.

Aunt Dominga

Road bar-restaurant in the interior of the province of Salta.

National Route 40. Valles Calchaquies towards the Quebrada del Toro

The next morning, we left for Ruta Nacional 40. Gradually, we got closer to the Andes. The Valles Calchaquíes open onto the gravel road in Chicoana and extend along the Cuesta del Obispo.

Unveiled alienated rural hamlets surrounded by hillside pastures where cattle feed in a dizzying way.

And through deep agricultural fields, filled with small farms painted in shades of green and yellow.

Hidden Valley

One of the greenest scenery in the Valles Calchaquies, on the way to Cachi.

Shortly thereafter, we passed through Cachi. Always gaining altitude, we enter Los Cardones National Park.

We can see their thresholds clearly demarcated by a profusion of cacti with different shapes that the native population is used to imagining as guards of hills, herds of vicuñas, guanacos, pumas, wild cats and other species with eccentric local names.

of alert

A lama intrigued in the highlands of the Andean Puna.

To the north, the even wider Quebrada del Toro dominates the map. According to the prevailing belief, the ex-libris of the province of Salta received its name for having been, for many years, a route for muleteers heading for Chile.

And because the cowboys used these low, green areas of the valley to fatten up the animals they were driving.

But the theory is contested by a minority faction that defends that the word toro has an indigenous origin (probably Aymara) and means “muddy water”.

On the Train Route to Las Nubes

Whatever the correct explanation, the most popular way to discover the region is to hop aboard the Tren a Las Nubes. As we explored these stops, however, the train remained disabled for an urgent renovation.

when everything goes on rails, the composition departs from Gare General Belgrano, in Salta. It advances along 217km, along a winding path that penetrates the mountains and visits some more small ones people Andeans with great historical significance.

After reaching the Saltine plateau, the Tren de las Nubes stops at San Antonio de los Cobres. Even by car, this village appears to us as a surreal vision of adobe and tin lost in the inhospitable immensity.

San Antonio de los Cobres grew up as an outpost on the mule caravan circuits that linked Peru to Argentina. And, later, the country from the pampas to Chile's nitrate mines, the same chemical compound that fertilized Portuguese agricultural soil for decades.

These days, San Antonio is the penultimate station before the La Polvorilla viaduct, which we find at an altitude of 4220 meters.

salt floor

Soil pattern of Salinas Grandes, in the high interior of the province of Salta.

The Endless Salt Flats of the Andean Highlands

From there, we continue along the makeshift dirt, gravel and sand roads of the Andean puña, alongside herds of wild mules, chased by gusts of wind and other barometric whims.

After a few dozen more kilometers, we glimpse the real mirage of Salinas Grandes. Confirm a set of salt pans flat and visually endless in which only the distant activity of some workers loading a truck seems to break the white uniformity of the scenery.

very coarse salt

Workers load blocks of salt onto a truck in Salinas Grandes.

We left the demarcated trail. On a crunchy surface, we reach its surroundings just as the truck is about to depart. We stayed in conversation with the indigenous farm guard.

He soon confesses to us the loneliness his job has voted him into: “Friends, weeks go by when I see nothing but salt… From time to time, desperate coyotes appear around, attracted by the smell of that I'm cooking. Sometimes, not even that…"

salty life

Saline foreman displays a handful of the raw material he keeps for days on end.

Finally, in Lands of Jujuy. The Quebrada de Humahuaca

With the Chilean border announcing itself one last time, we reversed to the east. When we enter Jujuy territory, we are ordered to stop two law enforcement officers waiting by the roadside. “We have an urgent case to solve in Humahuaca, we need them to take us there”, shoots guard Rodriguez uncomfortably.

We start by hesitating. Surrendered to the sympathetic expression of the second policeman and the lack of viable alternatives, we ended up giving in without resistance.


The village of Purmamarca is set against one of the hills of Siete Colores in northwestern Argentina.

The distrust having been overcome, for more than two hours, the conversation unfolded happily. It touches on diverse themes with obvious highlights for Argentine and Portuguese football and for the often problematic state of finances in both nations.

As it flows, the dialogue also allows us to realize that that forced ride was actually due to the long Argentine crisis. In particular, the lack of funds from the police stations in the north of the country to ensure transport for their agents.

Still on the way to the Bolivian border, we started to explore the Pampa Azul. There, for their almost urban dimension, Abra Pampa, Trés Cruces, Casabindo and La Quiaca stand out.

In honor of the deceased

Roadside sanctuary in honor of Defunta Correa, a religious character adored by Argentines.

La Quiaca. Argentina's Northwest Threshold

We pay minimal attention to the first three. Argentina's northern boundary status and the suspected profile of Quiaca arouses our curiosity.

There we explore the local market, installed, for convenience, just a few hundred meters from customs.

Until nightfall, we watched with delight the smuggling and dubious deals of Bolivian and Argentinean visitors. Between casual conversations, we turn down irresistible profit offers.

The next day, we return to National Route 9 back to Jujuy and Salta, always through the Andean ends of South America.

night jump

Geometric pattern of Salta marked by the city's night lighting.

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
unmissable roads

Great Routes, Great Trips

With pompous names or mere road codes, certain roads run through really sublime scenarios. From Road 66 to the Great Ocean Road, they are all unmissable adventures behind the wheel.
Mendoza, Argentina

Journey through Mendoza, the Great Argentine Winemaking Province

In the XNUMXth century, Spanish missionaries realized that the area was designed for the production of the “Blood of Christ”. Today, the province of Mendoza is at the center of the largest winemaking region in Latin America.
Atacama Desert, Chile

Life on the Edges of the Atacama Desert

When you least expect it, the driest place in the world reveals new extraterrestrial scenarios on a frontier between the inhospitable and the welcoming, the sterile and the fertile that the natives are used to crossing.
Ushuaia, Argentina

The Last of the Southern Cities

The capital of Tierra del Fuego marks the southern threshold of civilization. From Ushuaia depart numerous incursions to the frozen continent. None of these play and run adventures compares to life in the final city.
Beagle Channel, Argentina

Darwin and the Beagle Channel: on the Theory of the Evolution Route

In 1833, Charles Darwin sailed aboard the "Beagle" through the channels of Tierra del Fuego. His passage through these southern confines shaped the revolutionary theory he formulated of the Earth and its species
San Ignacio Mini, Argentina

The Impossible Jesuit Missions of San Ignacio Mini

In the century. In the XNUMXth century, the Jesuits expanded a religious domain in the heart of South America by converting the Guarani Indians into Jesuit missions. But the Iberian Crowns ruined the tropical utopia of the Society of Jesus.
Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

The Resisting Glacier

Warming is supposedly global, but not everywhere. In Patagonia, some rivers of ice resist. From time to time, the advance of the Perito Moreno causes landslides that bring Argentina to a halt.
El Chalten, Argentina

The Granite Appeal of Patagonia

Two stone mountains have created a border dispute between Argentina and Chile. But these countries are not the only suitors. The Fitz Roy and Torre hills have long attracted die-hard climbers
Colónia Pellegrini, Argentina

When the Meat is Weak

The unmistakable flavor of Argentine beef is well known. But this wealth is more vulnerable than you think. The threat of foot-and-mouth disease, in particular, keeps authorities and growers afloat.
Mendoza, Argentina

From One Side to the Other of the Andes

Departing from Mendoza city, the N7 route gets lost in vineyards, rises to the foot of Mount Aconcagua and crosses the Andes to Chile. Few cross-border stretches reveal the magnificence of this forced ascent
Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

On the world map, south of the famous brazilian wetland, a little-known flooded region appears, but almost as vast and rich in biodiversity. the Guarani expression Y bera defines it as “shining waters”. The adjective fits more than its strong luminance.
Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a High camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
Music Theater and Exhibition Hall, Tbilisi, Georgia
Architecture & Design
Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia still Perfumed by the Rose Revolution

In 2003, a popular political uprising made the sphere of power in Georgia tilt from East to West. Since then, the capital Tbilisi has not renounced its centuries of Soviet history, nor the revolutionary assumption of integrating into Europe. When we visit, we are dazzled by the fascinating mix of their past lives.
Totems, Botko Village, Malekula, Vanuatu
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

Until the early XNUMXth century, man-eaters still feasted on the Vanuatu archipelago. In the village of Botko we find out why European settlers were so afraid of the island of Malekula.
Indigenous Crowned
Ceremonies and Festivities
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

Behind the Venezuela Andes. Fiesta Time.

In 1619, the authorities of Mérida dictated the settlement of the surrounding territory. The order resulted in 19 remote villages that we found dedicated to commemorations with caretos and local pauliteiros.
Whale Hunting with Bubbles, Juneau the Little Capital of Great Alaska
Juneau, Alaska

The Little Capital of Greater Alaska

From June to August, Juneau disappears behind cruise ships that dock at its dockside. Even so, it is in this small capital that the fate of the 49th American state is decided.

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
Saida Ksar Ouled Soltane, festival of the ksour, tataouine, tunisia
Tataouine, Tunisia

Festival of the Ksour: Sand Castles That Don't Collapse

The ksour were built as fortifications by the Berbers of North Africa. They resisted Arab invasions and centuries of erosion. Every year, the Festival of the Ksour pays them the due homage.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Devils Marbles, Alice Springs to Darwin, Stuart hwy, Top End Path
Alice Springs to Darwin, Australia

Stuart Road, on its way to Australia's Top End

Do Red Center to the tropical Top End, the Stuart Highway road travels more than 1.500km lonely through Australia. Along this route, the Northern Territory radically changes its look but remains faithful to its rugged soul.
Creel, Chihuahua, Carlos Venzor, collector, museum
Chihuahua a Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico

On Creel's Way

With Chihuahua behind, we point to the southwest and to even higher lands in the north of Mexico. Next to Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, we visited a Mennonite elder. Around Creel, we lived for the first time with the Rarámuri indigenous community of the Serra de Tarahumara.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Maui, Hawaii, Polynesia,
Maui, Hawaii

Maui: The Divine Hawaii That Succumbed to Fire

Maui is a former chief and hero of Hawaiian religious and traditional imagery. In the mythology of this archipelago, the demigod lassos the sun, raises the sky and performs a series of other feats on behalf of humans. Its namesake island, which the natives believe they created in the North Pacific, is itself prodigious.
Cargo Cabo Santa Maria, Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde, Sal, Evoking the Sahara
Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde

Boa Vista Island: Atlantic waves, Dunas do Sara

Boa Vista is not only the Cape Verdean island closest to the African coast and its vast desert. After a few hours of discovery, it convinces us that it is a piece of the Sahara adrift in the North Atlantic.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Winter White
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
silhouette and poem, Cora coralina, Goias Velho, Brazil
Goiás Velho, Brazil

The Life and Work of a Marginal Writer

Born in Goiás, Ana Lins Bretas spent most of her life far from her castrating family and the city. Returning to its origins, it continued to portray the prejudiced mentality of the Brazilian countryside
El Cofete beach from the top of El Islote, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

Fuerteventura's Atlantic Ventura

The Romans knew the Canaries as the lucky islands. Fuerteventura, preserves many of the attributes of that time. Its perfect beaches for the windsurf and the kite-surfing or just for bathing, they justify successive “invasions” by the sun-hungry northern peoples. In the volcanic and rugged interior, the bastion of the island's indigenous and colonial cultures remains. We started to unravel it along its long south.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, Wildlife, lions
Natural Parks
NP Gorongosa, Mozambique

The Wild Heart of Mozambique shows Signs of Life

Gorongosa was home to one of the most exuberant ecosystems in Africa, but from 1980 to 1992 it succumbed to the Civil War waged between FRELIMO and RENAMO. Greg Carr, Voice Mail's millionaire inventor received a message from the Mozambican ambassador to the UN challenging him to support Mozambique. For the good of the country and humanity, Carr pledged to resurrect the stunning national park that the Portuguese colonial government had created there.
Vesikko submarine, Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland
UNESCO World Heritage
Helsinki, Finland

Finland's once Swedish Fortress

Detached in a small archipelago at the entrance to Helsinki, Suomenlinna was built by the Swedish kingdom's political-military designs. For more than a century, the Russia stopped her. Since 1917, the Suomi people have venerated it as the historic bastion of their thorny independence.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Bather, The Baths, Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Virgin Gorda's Divine “Caribbaths”

Discovering the Virgin Islands, we disembark on a tropical and seductive seaside dotted with huge granite boulders. The Baths seem straight out of the Seychelles but they are one of the most exuberant marine scenery in the Caribbean.
Kirkjubour, Streymoy, Faroe Islands
Kirkjubour, streymoy, Faroe Islands

Where the Faroese Christianity Washed Ashore

A mere year into the first millennium, a Viking missionary named Sigmundur Brestisson brought the Christian faith to the Faroe Islands. Kirkjubour became the shelter and episcopal seat of the new religion.
Chepe Express, Chihuahua Al Pacifico Railway
On Rails
Creel to Los Mochis, Mexico

The Barrancas del Cobre & the CHEPE Iron Horse

The Sierra Madre Occidental's relief turned the dream into a construction nightmare that lasted six decades. In 1961, at last, the prodigious Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad was opened. Its 643km cross some of the most dramatic scenery in Mexico.
Tokyo, Japan catteries, customers and sphynx cat
Tokyo, Japan

Disposable Purrs

Tokyo is the largest of the metropolises but, in its tiny apartments, there is no place for pets. Japanese entrepreneurs detected the gap and launched "catteries" in which the feline affections are paid by the hour.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Asian buffalo herd, Maguri Beel, Assam, India
Maguri Bill, India

A Wetland in the Far East of India

The Maguri Bill occupies an amphibious area in the Assamese vicinity of the river Brahmaputra. It is praised as an incredible habitat especially for birds. When we navigate it in gondola mode, we are faced with much (but much) more life than just the asada.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.