Desert high plateau at more than 3,000 meters height, located in Catamarca, a province in the Argentine Northwest, about 1.500 km away from the city of Buenos Aires.
The Andean landscape is of a magnificent beauty, with peaks and volcanos above 6,000 meters, immense deserts and salt lakes, lagoons with countless flamingos, peculiar rock formations, pumice stone fields, dunes and gorges, meadows and grasslands.
Its climate is arid and extreme, with less than 200 mm of annual rainfall, and a daily thermic amplitude of more than 30° C. The height and resulting low atmospheric pressure produces a physical discomfort among non-accustomed visitors. The altitude sickness is called "apunamiento" or "soroche".
The village of Antofagasta de la Sierra, an oasis located at more than 3.300 m of height, with a population of 660 inhabitants, is the capital of the Department of the same name and point of departure for different itineraries. It can be reached by normal car via the Provincial Route Nr 43 which is an improved unpaved road. The areas beyond this route can only be accessed with 4 x 4 vehicles.
© Photos: Kathy Binder
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