The author travelled with Argentinian,
Salta-based travel company Turismo Responsable (www.tures.tur.ar) on a three-day Tolar Grande tour. Prices start from around AR$5,900 (£209).
Salta is the base for most trips into the high puña. There are no international flights to its airport, which is a two-hour flight from Buenos Aires (BA). British Airways (britishairways.com) and Norwegian (norwegian.com) are the only airlines to fly direct from the UK to BA.
Note that most flights into BA land at EZE (Ministro Pistarini International Airport; aka Ezeiza International Airport). Your flight to Salta, however, may depart from AEP (Jorge Newbery Airfield) in Buenos Aires. The distance between the two airports is 44km, and traffic can be pretty heavy along the way, so allow for at least a couple of hours’ transit on top of the usual waiting time set aside for clearing immigration, etc.
Tolar Grande has one simple ‘hotel’, the Hosteria Casa Andina (+54 9 3876 10 5209; no website). Otherwise, there is homestay accommodation to be found in several local houses.
Food & drink
Llama is the most common meat encountered up in the puña, but beef and chicken are often available. All are served with rice or potatoes, or pasta is sometimes available. Vegetarians will find a fairly limited diet, however, especially if you don’t eat eggs.
What to take Sunscreen and sunglasses are
a must. Be sure to take plenty of layers of clothing, as temperatures can often vary wildly. A windproof jacket and scarf (or similar protection against dust and sand) are also useful. Bring your own water bottle, and you may need to take a warm sleeping bag if travelling in winter.