Salta Road Trip, Part 4

“In the desert you become a discoverer. You discover your soul, which had been submerged in vain pursuits, which had been lost in the coils and toils of modern life.” Ameen Rihani

The last part of our road trip took us north of Salta towards the Chilean and Bolivian borders. While we were still in the desert, we now had the added excitement of salt flats, llamas and their relatives (guanacos and others) grazing by the side of the road and unexpected heights (ca. 4100m/13000 ft).

Purmamarca was extremely hot, colorful and touristy, but just outside of the town the colors of the desert were vivid shades of red. From there we drove up and over a pass at 4100m and then down again to the salt flats. The colors changed to shades of beige, yellow, brown and then to white and blue.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you the desert is boring.


After a somewhat dodgy night in a hotel with the only good feature being the absolute darkness and quietness of the desert, we spontaneously checked into Hotel El Manatial del Silencio with an open fireplace, delicious food and a resident llama I was about to pet until he stood up, towered over me and gave me a LOOK. I refrained but I still would have liked to have given him a hug.




5 Replies to “Salta Road Trip, Part 4”

  1. Meradeth says: Reply

    I think I might have still hugged that llama, and probably would have been spit on for my efforts haha! Such lovely colors, and I really want to browse in that market in the second photo.

  2. What an austere landscape at the top of the plateau with the salt flats. Great photos with such a variety from an open-air market, multiple desert scenes and a luxurious hotel.

  3. Your photos are like reading a serial story of Argentina! I love watching it unfold..

  4. Aunt Gail says: Reply

    More wonderful photos of such an intriguing landscape. Loved the slinking “snake” of a road in the middle of that austere desert and the salt flats with puddles of bright azure water! I wondered what all the colorful things were in the marketplace, rugs or throws? But the luxurious hotel is where I’d like to rest my head after a long day of exploration!

  5. purmamarca_14: my favorite, love the lines, color. I want your trips!

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