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Close to people's heart

Humahuaca, infinity within reach

Argentina - Encounters – Accompanied – 15 days / 14 nights

• Authentic encounters with local population ;
• Enjoy the Kolla culture ;
• 2 and a half day trekking from the Altiplano desert to the subtropical forest ;

Nature : box black box black box black box black box withe -  Culture : box black box black box black box withe box withe

Encounters : box black box black box black box black box black


Starting from $ 2699 USD*

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A perfect compromise between culture, outdoor activities and breath-taking landscapes. A human adventure to discover the Kolla culture. Participate directly in agricultural tasks, cooking traditional meals or handcraft work. An outstanding diversity of landscapes across three different ecosystems:
The Humahuaca Valley and its coloured mountains, speckled with giant cacti and small quaint villages, declared World Heritage (UNESCO, 2002).
The Puna, a dry high plateau in the Andes, a land of salt lakes where only few animals like vicunas, lamas or chinchillas can survive.
Finally, the Yungas, high subtropical forest, protected as a Biosphere reserve (UNESCO), home to an exceptional biodiversity.


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Arrival by international flight
After landing in Buenos Aires, our driver will take you to your hotel, located in the city centre. You will have a guided visit of the most picturesque areas: El Caminito and San Telmo, at the origins of Tango, then the ancient harbour, heart of the city. At night, take a walk in Puerto Madero area, an old harbour that has been reconverted into a business area.

  • Transport : private transfer - 45 min + public transport
  • Accommodation: hotel**
  • Included meals: none
  • English speaking tour leader

Flight Buenos Aires > Salta
Transfer to the National Airport Aeroparque for your flight to Salta. You are met there by your guide and transferred to your hotel. After lunch, a guided tour of this marvellous city nicknamed La Linda, meaning the Beautiful. Salta boasts well preserved colonial architecture and two colourful churches, the pink Cathedral and the red and gold San Francisco Church. Another fascinating attraction is the Museum of High Altitude Archaeology which houses the well preserved mummies of three children found on the summit of Volcano Llullaillaco. The museum will offer you an insight into the pre-columbine culture of the Andes.
The rest of the day is yours.

  • Transport : private transfer - 1h
  • Accommodation: hotel**
  • Included meals : breakfast, lunch
  • Entrance to the museum included
  • English speaking tour leader

Start the day discovering the Lerma Valley and its fields of tobacco before entering the Seashell's Valley, where you will see rocks that wind and water erosion shaped into peculiar figures. Stop at Cafayate to have lunch and visit a famous local winery. El Cafayate is a touristic village famous for its high-altitude vineyards. Finally, join your host families, small farmers in the area. These people decided to join together into cooperatives to share and promote local products.

  • Transport : private van - 2h30
  • Accommodation: host family
  • Included meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • English speaking tour leader

Continue your acclimatization with a visit of the small village of Cachi. From Cafayate the road is extremely scenic, especially in the Arrows Valley, where the wind shaped the mountains into spiky arrows. Once you reach Cachi at midday, we recommend you to visit its peaceful square and its white church made of cactus wood. In the afternoon, discover the National Park of Cardones and take a walk among thousands of these unusually large native cacti. Then, from 11 880ft (3620m) you will descend the “Cuesta del Obispo” to reach the fertile valley just south of Salta, where you will arrive at the end of the afternoon.  

  • Transport : private van - 6h
  • Accommodation: hotel**
  • Included meals: breakfast, lunch.
  • English speaking tour leader

Going up along the Valle del Toro, follow the rails of the Train to the Clouds. On the road, visit the ruins of Santa Rosa de Tastil before reaching San Antonio de los Cobres. After lunch ascend all the way up to the Alto Chorrillo pass (14960ft - 4560 m) before descending across an incredible landscape of volcanoes and salt lakes. The Devil's Desert is certainly the most breath-taking part, with its colour and geological madness. In Tolar Grande, you are met by your host family.

  • Transport : van + 4x4 - 5h
  • Accommodation: host family
  • Included meals : breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • English speaking tour leader

Day 6  – ARIZARO SALT FLATS (3600m)
After breakfast, drive to the lakes of Ojos de Mar, then el Arenal and finally the Salar de Arizaro, considered the biggest salt lake in Argentina. Get up close to the Arita cone, an impressive volcanic formation right in the middle of the salt lake. Its ascent is prohibited as it is considered a holy place for the local populations.
Short visit to the mine before going back to Tolar Grande with your host family.

  • Transport : van + 4x4 - 4h
  • Accommodation: host family
  • Included meals : breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • English speaking tour leader

Starting early in the morning, lunch in San Antonio de los Cobres and then continue on the high plateau to Salinas Grandes; a scenic 200 km² salt lake 3400m high, where polygons of salt align endlessly. Then, driving on dusty roads, you will arrive at the small village of Barrancas protected by massive cliffs.

  • Transport : private van - 6h00
  • Accommodation: host family (basic comfort)
  • Included meals : breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • English speaking tour leader

Day 8 -  THE KOLLA CULTURE (3400m)
You are met by our local guide and taken through some petroglyphs hidden on the cliffs. These pictures from the past tell us the history of local agriculture and Incas invasion. A small walk between the hills, will be a perfect time to learn about local flora. In the afternoon, drive to another village called Alfarcito, where local artisans will teach you to traditionally colour and weave the lama wool.

  • Transport : private van - 3h
  • Accommodation: host family (basic comfort)
  • Included meals : breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • English speaking tour leader

Early start to drive across the high plateau of the Altiplano, where some rare animals as vicuñas, lamas or suri can be spotted. Arrive in Hornaditas at mid-day where you are met by Hector, Clara and their two daughters Gaby and Carolina. Visit the village and participate in typical tasks, such as making bread or goat cheese.

  • Transport : private van - 4h
  • Accommodation: host family (basic comfort)
  • Included meals : breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • English speaking tour leader

Day 10 –  HUMAHUACA VALLEY (2936m)
Spend the morning doing some rural activities as leading the goat to graze, then transfer to your hotel in the village of Humahuaca. In the afternoon visit other villages and beautiful treasures, as the 7 colours valley in Purmamarca or the handcraft workshops in Tilcara. The end of the afternoon is free.

  • Transport : local bus - 2h30
  • Accommodation: hotel***
  • Included meals : breakfast and lunch
  • English speaking tour leader

Leave early in the morning to go to Santa Ana, departure of the Inca trail to the subtropical forest. From Santa Ana, with its dry and mineral landscape, climb down and admire this progressively changing environment, guarded by condors. To finish the day, spend the night at Martina’s house in the village of Valle Colorado.

  • Transport : private 4x4  - 4h
  • Accommodation: host family (basic comfort)
  • Included meals : breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Trekking: 4 - 5h downhill
  • English speaking tour leader

Easy hike between Valle Colorado and Valle Grande to reach the local bus that will take us to San Francisco. The impressive road curving into the forest displays breath-taking views. Arrive in the afternoon and set up for the night in the community hotel.

  • Transport : local bus - 2h
  • Accommodation: community hotel (basic comfort)
  • Included meals : breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Trekking: 2 - 3h easy hike.
  • English speaking tour leader

After breakfast, walk into the Yungas forest to the bottom of the valley to see the river. The toughest of the group may try to reach a natural thermal spring and will be rewarded by the beauty of the place and the warm water coming from deep down the centre of the earth. Leave San Francisco in the afternoon to go to Ledesma where you take a regular bus to Salta.

  • Transport : local bus - 5h30
  • Accommodation: hotel**
  • Included meals : breakfast and lunch
  • Trekking: 6 - 7h.
  • English speaking tour leader

Flight Salta > Buenos Aires
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires, where our driver will take you to your hotel. Free time for you to explore the capital city.

  • Transport : private transfer  - 1h
  • Accommodation: hotel**
  • Included meals : breakfast

Departure of your international flight
Enjoy more free time in Buenos Aires. Three hours before your international flight, a transfer vehicle will pick you up at your hotel to take you to the airport.

  • Transport  : private transfer - 45min
  • Included meals : breakfast

End of your adventure in Argentina's northwest…

This program is only given as an indication. Transhumans reserve the right, directly or through its local partners, to replace transportation, accommodation, itinerary, as well as dates and departure times, without the participants being able to claim any compensation.

Dates and Prices

PRICE 2016 (in USD per person)

N° of participants  4 to 5   6 to 7  8 or more
 Price per person ($)  3269  2869  2699

The price includes:

  • Domestic flights : Buenos Aires > Salta > Buenos Aires ;
  • Ground transfers as mentioned in the program ;
  • Accompanying English speaking member of our team on the first day in Buenos Aires ;
  • Accompanying English speaking tour leader day 2 to day 13 in Salta ;
  • Entrance to the MAAM museum in Salta ;
  • A winery tour in Cafayate ;
  • Entrance to the Pukara in Tilcara ;
  • Visit to the petroglyphs in Barrancas ;
  • 1 night in hotel***, 5 nights in hotel**, 7 nights with host family, 1 night in family run hotel - double room ;
  • 1 english speaking tour leader throughout the duration of the trip ;
  • All the meals as mentioned in the programme ;
  • A road book with all the information necessary for the smooth running of your stay ;

The price does not include:

  • International flights ;
  • Entrances to the parks ;
  • The single occupancy supplement : $ 315 (no single room available with the host family) ;
  • Drinks and personal expenses ;
  • The comprehensive insurance and repatriation assistance.

... and more generally all that is not mentioned in « the price includes » section.

Some important facts

  • National flights are included ;
  • Transfers to/from airport/hotel/airport are included ;
  • Accommodation is included and selected based on quality and hygiene ;
  • Local partners are fairly compensated ;
  • 3% of the price of your trip goes directly to support a local educational project for cultural and environmental development .

Practical Information


Accompanying English and Spanish speaking guides
The day of your arrival, you will be received by an English speaking member of our staff. He/she will hand you a road book and will also accompany you around the capital, giving you the basic practical information about the country or countries you are visiting.
Throughout your stay in the Salta region, you will be accompanied by an English speaking tour leader.

When to visit the North of Argentina ?
In the Northwest, precipitations tend to concentrate from December to February: short-lived but intense bursts of rainfall usually occur in this period. Parts of this geographical area have record levels of sunshine as the Valley of Calchaquies or Humahuaca Valley. The altitude is a key factor in temperature variation. For example, at 3000m in winter time it is possible to have temperatures of around -15 ° C.

Local Transportation
Travelling by bus is the most popular and cheapest way to discover the country. Classes range from Semi-Cama to Cama Suite with wider seats which are reclining to a horizontal position almost like being in bed. Distances are long and it takes more than 20 hour bus ride from Buenos Aires to Salta. Bus lines connect major cities together. The buses run at an average speed of 80 km/h. For long distances, the plane remains the most convenient mean of transportation.
NOTE : TransHumans offers the option of booking for you the international flight ticket; we will seek and book for you the best deals. Price may vary depending on the time of purchase but can vary between $1000 and $1600.

PASSPORT & VISA : A valid passport is sufficient for most European and US citizens; a tourist visa will be issued at entry to the territory. However, U.S. citizen tourists must pay a US$160 reciprocity fee prior to arrival in Argentina. If the stay exceeds the three months, it will be necessary to apply for a visa at the Embassy in your country. Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.
REMINDER : Make copies of all your important documents (passport, flight tickets, insurance, and credit card). Leave one copy of each at home and pack one with you.



Clothing : 
Given the great variation in temperature between day and night it is necessary to pack both light and warm clothes.Wearing layers of clothes can be a good idea to easily adapt to the weather conditions. Typical layers include: t-shirt, sweater, fleece, wind/water proof layer. We highly recommend lightweight, quick-drying technical clothing.   
Remember to take cap and sunglasses (minimum lens category 3)!

-Toiletry bag (biodegradable products are preferred) 
-Small quick-drying towel 
-Sunscreen lotion
-Insect repellent DEET (+ 40% for good protection). Also useful against fleas which can be a nuisance for people with sensitive skin.
-Head torch (with spare batteries and bulbs) 
-Bottle and/or camel bag  
-Pocket knife (checked luggage) 
-Money belt or pouch to safely store your passport, currency, credit cards, personal papers, insurance papers. 
-A copy of your passport. 
-Power Power sockets in Argentina are type C and I; Voltage: 220 V.
Medical Kit : 
-Antidiarrheal medication (i.e.smecta and imodium)
-Plasters, sterile dressings and antiseptics 
-Medicine for pain or fever (such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen) 
-Elastic adhesive bandage 
-Anti-inflammatory ointment or cream
-Water purification tablets 
NOTE : Most of these products are also available in local pharmacies.

Luggage : Please arrange your belongings in two bags : 
-Small backpack (capacity 25/40 litres).This is your hand luggage you will take with you on the plane as well as every day during hikes, excursions and transfers. 
-Large waterproof backpack to check-in (capacity 60 to 90 litres). 
-Large plastic bag to protect from moisture your belongings in your backpacks.

The country does not present any health risks, and the water is potable almost everywhere. No vaccine is mandatory for Argentina, but some are recommended:
-Hepatitis B
For children and those born before 1980: measles, mumps - rubella.

Other risks

Try to avoid contact with insects. Fleas tend to be a nuisance for sensitive skin. Regular insect repellent is also effective against fleas.
Altitude sickness 
Altitude sickness is due to a rapid ascent to higher altitudes and the decreasing level of oxygen available at those altitudes. The symptoms include shortness of breath, irritating dry cough, severe headache, nausea and exhaustion. The first solution is to descend to a lower altitude (at least 500 m).
Proper acclimatization of the body to increasing altitudes is the best way to prevent altitude sickness. Once above 3000 meters it is wise not to increase the altitude at which you sleep by more than 500 meters. Stop a day if the altitude increases by 1000 meters in a day, keep hydrated and avoid drinking alcohol and smoking.
The best way to acclimatize to the altitude is to climb gradually. Given enough time, your body will adapt to the decrease in oxygen at a specific altitude.

Medical Assistance
Medical care is excellent in most tourist areas in Argentina. For more remote areas, in case of urgent medical assistance, contact your Embassy in Buenos Aires. We highly recommend you to contact your insurance as soon as possible.


THE KOLLA PEOPLE - North West Argentina

Neighbors with the Atacamenios, the Kolla people were inhabitants of the North West Argentina, a geographical area corresponding to the South of the Inca Empire. The name Kolla was given to them by the Spanish. It refers to the Quechua word Kollasuyo meaning South Empire. The actual territory of the Kolla stretches across the Bolivian altiplano, the Argentinean pampas, the Atacama Desert and the Yungas. The Kolla tribes traded with remote ethnic groups, and have diverse and varied beliefs and traditions. The language used by these tribes for trade was Quechua. The Kollas believe in the Pachamama that they celebrate every year during the month of August with offerings and religious ceremonies directed to both family and community.

Responsible Tourism


Our Vision & Commitment

Cultural awareness is very important to us. Sensible to the local cultural traditions and beliefs, the beauty of the landscapes and the biodiversity of the ecosystems, we choose to limit the negative impact of our activities on the local environment. In addition to designing trips that aim at preserving the natural, cultural and social resources of the territories in the long term, we also include the concept of “Territorial Compensation”. The idea of Territorial Compensation is to help local people protect and conserve their ecosystem, enhance their cultural heritage and develop sustainable projects for their territory.

Based on this concept of Territorial Compensation, TransHumans donates 3% of the total price of each trip to this cause. The money goes directly into a solidarity fund that finances our ERECA program (Education Relative à l'Environnement et aux Cultures Aborigènes), an environmental and cultural program. Since 2007, we have supported various projects aimed at training and awareness-raising for the local communities.

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