Introduction

This dusty mining town is on the puna (Andean highlands) 168km west of Salta, and sits more than 2600m above it. It’s suffered since the deterioration of the region’s mining industry and associated railway, but is an example of a typical highland settlement, with adobe houses, near-deserted streets and a serious temperature drop after sundown. It’s worth stopping in to experience this facet of Andean life. You can head north from here to the Quebrada de Humahuaca via the Salinas Grandes and Purmamarca, though most come for the day, direct from Salta, via the Tren a las Nubes tour.