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
Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, Wildlife, lions
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.
Mount Lamjung Kailas Himal, Nepal, altitude sickness, mountain prevent treat, travel
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 2th - Chame a Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
Itamaraty Palace Staircase, Brasilia, Utopia, Brazil
Architecture & Design
Brasilia, Brazil

Brasília: from Utopia to the Capital and Political Arena of Brazil

Since the days of the Marquis of Pombal, there has been talk of transferring the capital to the interior. Today, the chimera city continues to look surreal but dictates the rules of Brazilian development.

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
Saida Ksar Ouled Soltane, festival of the ksour, tataouine, tunisia
Ceremonies and Festivities
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.
scarlet summer

Valencia to Xativa, Spain (España)

Across Iberia

Leaving aside the modernity of Valencia, we explore the natural and historical settings that the "community" shares with the Mediterranean. The more we travel, the more its bright life seduces us.

Beverage Machines, Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Tombola, street bingo-Campeche, Mexico
Campeche, Mexico

200 Years of Playing with Luck

At the end of the XNUMXth century, the peasants surrendered to a game introduced to cool the fever of cash cards. Today, played almost only for Abuelites, lottery little more than a fun place.

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
Martian Scenery of the White Desert, Egypt
White Desert, Egypt

The Egyptian Shortcut to Mars

At a time when conquering the solar system's neighbor has become an obsession, an eastern section of the Sahara Desert is home to a vast related landscape. Instead of the estimated 150 to 300 days to reach Mars, we took off from Cairo and, in just over three hours, we took our first steps into the Oasis of Bahariya. All around, almost everything makes us feel about the longed-for Red Planet.
China's occupation of Tibet, Roof of the World, The occupying forces
Lhasa, Tibet

The Sino-Demolition of the Roof of the World

Any debate about sovereignty is incidental and a waste of time. Anyone who wants to be dazzled by the purity, affability and exoticism of Tibetan culture should visit the territory as soon as possible. The Han civilizational greed that moves China will soon bury millenary Tibet.
sunlight photography, sun, lights
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 2)

One Sun, So Many Lights

Most travel photos are taken in sunlight. Sunlight and weather form a capricious interaction. Learn how to predict, detect and use at its best.
holy bookcase
Tsfat (Safed), Israel

When the Kabbalah is a Victim of Itself

In the 50s, Tsfat brought together the artistic life of the young Israeli nation and regained its secular mystique. But famous converts like Madonna have come to disturb the most elemental Kabbalist discretion.
Gran Canaria, island, Canary Islands, Spain, La Tejeda
Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

Grand Canary Islands

It is only the third largest island in the archipelago. It so impressed European navigators and settlers that they got used to treating it as the supreme.
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.
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.
Motorcyclist in Sela Gorge, Arunachal Pradesh, India
Guwahati a Saddle Pass, India

A Worldly Journey to the Sacred Canyon of Sela

For 25 hours, we traveled the NH13, one of the highest and most dangerous roads in India. We traveled from the Brahmaputra river basin to the disputed Himalayas of the province of Arunachal Pradesh. In this article, we describe the stretch up to 4170 m of altitude of the Sela Pass that pointed us to the Tibetan Buddhist city of Tawang.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Merida cable car, Renovation, Venezuela, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel
Natural Parks
Mérida, Venezuela

The Vertiginous Renovation of the World's Highest Cable Car

Underway from 2010, the rebuilding of the Mérida cable car was carried out in the Sierra Nevada by intrepid workers who suffered firsthand the magnitude of the work.
Kiomizudera, Kyoto, a Millennial Japan almost lost
UNESCO World Heritage
Kyoto, Japan

An Almost Lost Millennial Japan

Kyoto was on the US atomic bomb target list and it was more than a whim of fate that preserved it. Saved by an American Secretary of War in love with its historical and cultural richness and oriental sumptuousness, the city was replaced at the last minute by Nagasaki in the atrocious sacrifice of the second nuclear cataclysm.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Montezuma and Malpais, Costa Rica's best beaches, Catarata
Montezuma, Costa Rica

Back to the Tropical Arms of Montezuma

It's been 18 years since we were dazzled by this one of Costa Rica's blessed coastlines. Just two months ago, we found him again. As cozy as we had known it.
Miyajima Island, Shinto and Buddhism, Japan, Gateway to a Holy Island
Miyajima, Japan

Shintoism and Buddhism with the Tide

Visitors to the Tori of Itsukushima admire one of the three most revered scenery in Japan. On the island of Miyajima, Japanese religiosity blends with Nature and is renewed with the flow of the Seto Inland Sea.
Back in the sun. San Francisco Cable Cars, Life Ups and Downs
On Rails
San Francisco, USA

San Francisco Cable Cars: A Life of Highs and Lows

A macabre wagon accident inspired the San Francisco cable car saga. Today, these relics work as a charm operation in the city of fog, but they also have their risks.
Ijen Volcano, Slaves of Sulfur, Java, Indonesia
Ijen volcano, Indonesia

The Ijen Volcano Sulphur Slaves

Hundreds of Javanese surrender to the Ijen volcano where they are consumed by poisonous gases and loads that deform their shoulders. Each turn earns them less than €30 but everyone is grateful for their martyrdom.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Boat and helmsman, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.