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In Jujuy, heading towards the border, a landscape in the altitude where life becomes extreme beauty.

At 45 miles from Purnamarca, towards the West, alongside National Route N° 52, on the same road that takes to Jama Border Path, the intriguing Salinas Grandes (=Great Salt Fields) comprise one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Puna, neighboring the amazing Humahuaca’s Ravine. The colors of the hills get lost in the distance. Just a few animals, some llamas or a couple of mules, can be seen from the road. Suddenly, the blinding light of the white desert appears in the horizon. At 11,646 f.a.s.l., the blue of the sky merges with the shiny white of the salt fields. The saltpeter soil draws perfect hexagons. The turquoise blue pools turn into an incredible oasis. The light games, even in cloudy days, invite visitors to play with their cameras. 10,000 years ago, this site was a sweet waters lake, swampy and with large vegetation. Nowadays, it is a salt mirror covering more than 30,000 acres where a particular “Salt Restaurant” together with handicraftsmen await travelers.    

To access to Salinas Grandes from Purmamarca, it is necessary to take the Cuesta de Lipán –a cornice road, completely pavemented and in very good conditions- formed by hundreds of curves with vegetation that gradually disappears. The surrounding landscape calls for a stop at any point of the road to enjoy magnificent panoramic views of the Humahuaca Ravine, the Nevado del Chañi Mount  -limit of the ravine with the salt fields- and even the Andean Range. The highest point of the route is at Abra de Potrerillos where a monolith indicates the altitude: 13,681 f.a.s.l., an obliged point to get off the car and take a photo. 


The tour to Salinas Grandes can be hired at the provincial capital, San Salvador de Jujuy, and it includes other regional attractions like Purmamarca.

 

IMPORTANT: In order to enjoy this experience in the altitude without inconvenients, it is recommended to take enough water for the whole day –remember that oxygen can be missing at certain spots. For your visit to the Salt Field, do not forget sun glasses, hat, sunblock, long trousers and warm clothes. The sun “burns” but the wind blows really strongly and low temperatures generally dominate this white dessert.

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