The Train in the overcast of Salta (Argentina)

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Postcard of Salta in 1999 por wallygrom.

The Train to the Clouds, the third in height in Latin America and the fourth worldwide, through soaring mountains of the Andes between spectacular scenery.

The tour:

Part of the city of Salta, is to 1187 meters above sea level, and ends at the viaduct’s Polvorilla in Puna, and the largest portion expected, because this is where the train seems to climb to heaven. The characteristics of this viaduct are remarkable: it measures 224 meters long and 70 tall, weighs no less than 1600 tons, is curved and without handrails.

Being a long journey, many more attractions that make it receives 30,000 visitors per year. The train was quiet domestic scenes by Puno, who often crossed at 2500 feet above sea level.

After stops paths in each of the picturesque villages along the roads where it is used by the inhabitants of those places to offer through its colorful stalls, crafts, costumes and to purchase local products as souvenirs of the trip interesting. The entire circuit is 434 km, the train reaches the highest point of its travel on the viaduct “La Bomba” at 4000 meters above sea level. To finally arrive at the San Antonio Brass, the capital of the department of “Los Andes”, located beside the famous “Hill Velvet.

Continuing the journey and leaving behind “Mina Concordia leads the viaduct” La Polvorilla “. Since this is, without doubt, the best attraction of the trip. Sometimes clouds are under the viaduct. Phenomenon to which it is named: “Train to the Clouds”. Incredible scenery of mountains, plateaus, rivers and streams flow from the train windows, forming a changing natural landscape during the journey the famous pies are served Salta, sample delicious regional cuisine.


Starting the trip from the city of Salta: (1,187 m)

Campo Quijano: Town known as the Portal of the Andes and gives the name to the fourth station. Traditionally, the villagers greet the train when it blows his horn.  

El Alisal: (1,800 m) His name is due to the presence of the picturesque trees that are seen as alder landscape. The train makes the first zigzag, gaining height through a step backwards.

Chorrillos: The train makes the second zigzag to gain altitude on its way up.

Puerta de Tastil: Named after the ruins of Santa Rosa de Tastil, one of the largest in the province that are within a few miles.

San Antonio de los Cobre: (3,775 m), ancient town located along the river of the same name. Also it is accessed from Salta city on National Route No. 51. The town is named for being in the vicinity of the famous Sierra Copper, rich in this mineral; this place offers all its splendor of legend and mineral wealth. They are available at her very best outfits woven in wool and alpaca, llama and vicuna.  

Mina Concordia: The locomotive is detached from the cars to settle the final, pushing cars up the viaduct and to be able to return later to Salta.

Viaduct The Polvorilla: (4,200 meters) engineering feat that describes an arc that sit on the railroad tracks, 224 meters in length and 63 meters high curve. The train comes with the machine back to make a return. It is recommended to walk slowly when the train stops allowing passengers to fall due to the altitude and lack of oxygen.

Argentina - Viaducto de la Polvorilla por eduiturri.

Recommended Points:

Quebrada del Toro:

At just 24 kilometers west of Salta city, along National Route 54 and nestled at the foot of the mountain, you reach Campo Quijano, a town that combines natural and cultural attractions are very representative of Salta feel that invites enjoy the natural beauty of their different places and corners. This is anticipating the picturesque village gaucho of the saddle, and their farms to have a picnic and rest, the unrivaled green House and freshness of the mirror The mounds, where not only can practice nautical sports, you can also enjoy their facilities and have a family day enjoying the typical foods of the area. A road dotted with Ceibal and gullies leading to the Rio Blanco summer village, colonial architecture dating back to 1914, to the side rail of the spectacular scale work, in which every week the train passes through the roof. In the month of April is performed Pachamama Festival and in November marks the day of Tradition, and selling skills Gauchas local food and crafts.

The Train in the overcast

Santa Rosa de Tastil:

Passing the town of Campo Quijano, also known as El Portal de los Andes, which precedes the impressive Quebrada del Toro, the path leads to Santa Rosa de Tastil, one of the pre-Incan sites of the region’s most important belief that, with more than 2000 people, ruins and museums for lovers of archeology. You can also visit a camp of rock carvings with pre-Columbian representations of life and the solar calendar, lunar and Venusian Andean communities. Santa Rosa de Tastil celebrates the day of Santa Rosa de Lima, a religious festival with misachicos and where does the “Dance Ritual Suri.” Some artistic manifestations of the Andean culture are preserved in 4,800 blocks of stone. These magical sense religious representations were made between 900 and 1,500 in the hills near the village preincaico which also shelter housing over 400 stone buildings with winding streets that converge at the center of one of the slopes. The pictures on the carved stones representing the various cults that offered to Andean gods. Just trying to give messages to their gods by asking suppliants and fertility and abundance to land. Flames (camels) are the most common reasons found in the engraved stones of Santa Rosa de Tastil. Other rock art motifs are cats, snakes, Suris (rheas), meandering geometric figures (zigzag). On the rocks also made representations of human figures and masks. The most important petroglyph is the “Dancer of Tastil” which is in the Anthropological Museum in Salta, behind the monument to the Guemes Salta. In the hills of Tastil, however, is another equally valuable: “The Calendar”, a circular pattern with symbols that have not yet been deciphered.

Museum Santa Rosa de Tastil:

The archaeological site of Santa Rosa de Tastil has a museum. On the national route 51, road to Chile, and a hundred meters from the site is the site museum “Santa Rosa de Tastil” which tells the story of the Andean culture that lived in that area. In the only room that has the museum, research, excavations, grading and restoration. Ceramics, textiles and metals were found funerary and religious use of lithic material except (arrowheads and grinding tools). There, you can also see a sample of tissue from the area. The textile industry stands out as one of the most important agro-pastoral people outside the axis of trade between the regions Puno and adjacent valleys.

Salta in Argentina

San Antonio de los Cobre:

It rises in the highlands is the San Antonio Brass, with his church, his new school and hostel, and the workers of the mines, pipelines and any other industry in the area. The train stops and craftspeople to sell their local products. The fabric is the main source of women’s work in the area. It is an ancient custom which is passed from generation to generation. Here is the legendary barracán weaves a thick fabric made from llama or sheep that is characterized by the intermingling of natural colors that prevail in white, black and brown. The cabin was used for the manufacture of suits, jackets and ruanas (a kind of shawl) and capped. In recent years some local designers, regional, national and international have used it to make their clothes and have presented in fashion shows. In San Antonio most of the women weave sweaters, vests, socks, gloves, hats, ruanas and blankets, among other clothing, with wool or flame. To manufacture generally used three types of techniques: the loom for ruanas and blankets, the two needles for sweaters and vests, and five needles for gloves and socks. Many are “old looms” cactus (wood typical of the area) and others learned more modern techniques that reduce their hours of effort, but neither wants to abandon the habit of knitting with wooden needles tola (tall shrub that serves as fuel ) because “do not hurt your hands” to be flexible.

hugovicentefotos 141 por America Inca 2008 fotos: Hugo Vicente.

From San Antonio, you can continue to Jujuy, on the RN40 towards the North. It will pass through the white landscape of Salinas Grandes, and then return through Purmamarca. (Jujuy). This route can be done in private car or on cruises or safaris depart regularly every week.

Bon voyage!

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  5. Traveling by train to Machu Picchu and Titicaca Lake

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