South of Salta
This 500 km loop offers a large variety of landscapes in the semi-desert NOA region. Before reaching Cafayate, 150 km south of Salta, lies the unique Quebrada de las Conchas, a deep canyon created by the river of the same name, framed by impressive walls of rock displaying a multitude of red hues and sublimated at sunset. Some formations are very spectacular (Garganta del Diablo, el Anfiteatro). Probably the most impressive scenery of NOA!
Quebrada de las Conchas
Continuing to the northwest in the direction of Cachi, a dirt road takes us through the Quebrada de las Flechas (named this way because of the shape of rock formations) along rio Calchaqui and then several charming white villages like Molinos and Seclantas.
Los Cardones National Park
After Cachi, closing the loop towards Salta, we become progressively surrounded by thousands of cactuses called Cardones, several meters high. The road passes through Los Cardones National Park in a 14 km straight line of asphalt, Recta Tin Tin. Further up is the Piedra del Molino pass at an elevation of 3,348 m, the highest point of this loop. Finally down Cuesta del Obispo through numerous hairpin curves, we reach El Carril and then the main road that leads to Salta. The cuesta is very scenic, its name comes from a bishop who walked all the way from Salta to Cachi and had to ascend this mountain.