THE VOLCANOES ROUTE
EXPEDITION TO THE GREAT CORONA DEL INCA & THE SIX THOUSANDS, FASCINATING LAKES AND VOLCANOES OF La Rioja and Catamarca HIGHLANDS (8 Days – 7 Nights)
The maximum extreme adventure at 5.500 meters in a surreal scenario in the Andes. A vast Andean region of La Rioja and Catamarca hosts the highest volcanoes in the world and among beautiful lagoons of different colors and a vast and deep crater with a spectacular deep blue lagoon fed by perennial glaciers. An amazing and unique adventure experience in 4 × 4.
Total distance 2,300 km.
Day 1 – La Rioja, Transfer IN.
Reception at the airport or bus terminal and transfer to La Rioja Hotel.
Day 2 – La Rioja – Aimogasta – Tinogasta – Fiambala – Cortaderas.
Excursion Costa Rioja: travelling from La Rioja towards west across the Quebrada de Los Sauces, touring picturesque villages at the foot of the Velasco mountains, including Sanagasta, Agua Blanca, Chuquis, Anillaco and Aimogasta, visiting the main attractions of each place. We continue to Catamarca Province, crossing “The Adobe Route” from Tinogasta to Fiambala, visiting ancient historical monuments, ancient oratories and chapels with altars molded in clay, then heading to the Andes, through the “Quebrada de las Angosturas”, Chaschuil Valley, “Pastos Largos” and La Coipa. In the afternoon, we arrive at the lonely Cortaderas to spend the night at the hotel of the same name.
Day 3 – Cortaderas – Journey to the Six Thousands – Cortaderas.
After breakfast at the hotel we begin an spectacular expedition in 4×4 to the Six Thousands, Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon) and Mount Pissis in the Andean highlands between volcanic peaks called “The Six Thousands” to be over 6.000 m.a.s.l. visiting the Refuge La Coipa, “Aparejos Lagoon”, the “Crossing of Tears”, the highest point of the road at 4.710 m.a.s.l. Then we come down to the edge of the Blue Lagoon, to finally climb and reach the imposing Pissis balcony, with a stunning panorama with the green lagoon, the green lagoon salt flat, the black lagoon, the majestic Mount Pissis of 6.882 meters with its glaciers and the “Quebrada del Valle Ancho”. Picnic at noon and returning in the afternoon to the hotel in Cortaderas.
Day 4 – Cortaderas – Fiambala Hot Springs – Los Sauces – Chilecito.
Leaving the hotel in the morning to visit the Fiambala Hot Springs, you have the chance of taking thermal baths in stone pools of different temperatures, staggered in the mountains and encased between large rocks with a panoramic view of the valley. Free time for lunch. Then returning to the Province of La Rioja, we visit “San Blas de Los Sauces”, The Hualco Pucara ruins, ancient native settlement on the slopes of the Sierra del Velasco, arriving in the afternoon to the city of Chilecito where we spend the night.
Day 5 – Chilecito – Cuesta de Miranda – Villa Union – Jagüé.
Departing from Chilecito to the “Cuesta de Miranda” through the imposing Cerro Famatina with wonderful views where the green, ocher and red mountain colors are combined with blue sky. Arriving to Villa Union for refuelling and lunch. Then we continue to Villa Castelli and Vinchina, driving the routes of the Dakar competition on a spectacular journey through sandy beds of rivers between striking layered and inclined walls in the “Quebrada de los Pozuelos” to finally arrive in the afternoon to the small and ancient village of Jagüe in the pre-andes. Accommodation and dinner.
Day 6 – Jagüe – Brava Lagoon – Corona del Inca – Jagüe.
Early in the morning, we start ascending the Andes through the multicolor “Quebrada del Peñon” to the pass of the lagoon at 4.370 m.a.s.l. where we have the first sight of the Brava Lagoon in the vast Andean highlands surrounded by snow covered volcanic peaks. Driving around the lagoon heading north to Veladero flatland, we cross the sands of a riverbed, the Pumice Stone Field of La Rioja, and the lava rocks canyon, always surrounded by the large volcanoes of Bonete, Veladero and Reclus, among others. At noon we begin the ascend on the Corona del Inca volcano cone arriving at the edge of the deep and large crater at 5.500 m.a.s.l. where as a finishing touch we are introduced to a majestic intense blue lagoon with glaciers at their slopes, combining a setting of incomparable scenic beauty at the foot of the imposing Mount Pissis. After noon we return to Laguna Brava to have a picnic and then back to Jagüe for accommodation and dinner.
Day 7 – Jagüe – La Troya – Villa Union – Talampaya – La Rioja.
Departing from Jagüe on excursion across the impressive “Quebrada de La Troya” on a zigzagging path by the side of the river of the same name, where we observe strange and striking geo-forms product of the erosion over millions of years on various sedimentary strata, arriving to Vinchina we stop to visit the “Diaguitas Stars” and then continue to Villa Union. After refuelling in Villa Union, we pass thru the Talampaya National Park, where the option to do some experience within their Canyons is available. Free time for lunch.
Later we return to the city of La Rioja, arriving in the afternoon to the hotel.
Day 8 – La Rioja, Transfer Out.
At the appropriate time, transfers from hotel to airport in La Rioja.
Extreme weather conditions: In the Andes mountains more specifically in the area of the Volcanoes it is cold even in summer, the temperature ranges from -5 (minus 5 degrees Celsius) and +5 to +8 degrees at noon, with winds of 30-60 and 80 km / hour, it can feels like -15 to -20 degrees (Celsius). The passenger must provide the necessary clothing to add in layers as we climb up with the vehicles, also we recommend a first thermal skin, boots, gloves, neck and head covers.
This tour is not suitable for people under 12 years old or elderly with delicate health conditions. Not recommended for hypertensive or hypotensive passengers. We highly recommend to call your doctor and check if you are good to go over 4.500 m.a.s.l.
The day we climb up to the crater is a long day and we reach high up the 5.530 m.a.s.l., no previous experience is necessary, just a healthy fitness and height support.
IMPORTANT NOTE: THE NATURE LEADS: The final itinerary to make is the sole decision of the company because it is sometimes necessary to make last minute changes according to the climatic conditions in the region, storms, landslides on the slopes and swollen rivers that change the state of the roads and tracks to drive, which also sometimes force to alternate the order of the excursions and accommodation.
The success of the Adventure will depend on the general condition of the people and the climatic conditions in the Andes Cordillera. The full itinerary is guaranteed while stable weather conditions in the high Cordillera remain. Sometimes white wind storms can be unleashed complicating the normal development of the expedition, snow can be accumulated and block access to certain sites forcing us to replace with some other sites in compensation.