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Realistic Driving Times in Salta area

Mexico City, Mexico
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Realistic Driving Times in Salta area

We are planning a trip for April 2014, and will spend about 8-10 days driving ourselves around the Salta area. I'm interested in what realistic driving times (i.e., with stops and a 5 year old) are for the following:

Salta - Purmamarca

Purmamarca - Salt Flats

Purmararca - Humahuaca

Salta - Molinos (via Cachi)

Molinos - Cafayate

Cafayate - Salta

Thanks!

Lunenburg, Canada
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for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Iguazu National Park
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1. Re: Realistic Driving Times in Salta area

¡Hola Mexico!

Paved roads in the Salta region and Jujuy province are kept in excellent condition. In rural areas, we had no trouble maintaining 100 km/h.

Route 33 from Salta to Cachi and the segment of Route 40 from Cachi to Molinos was gravel road when we were there. You won't be able to maintain more than about 50 km/h if it's still that way, and in many places you'd have to slow down even more. Perhaps a local writer may have an update on its condition.

I notice how a couple of routes didn't seem to make your list, so I'll add them. These roads are all paved and in excellent condition:

- On Route 40, keep going south from Cafayate. It will take you into far western Tucuman province. (NOT Route 9, which is the unscenic main artery between Salta and the big city of San Miguel de Tucuman). North of Cafayate, Route 68 passes amid the splendid rock formations of Las Conchas. Then, south of the town, you enter an arid valley between two mountain ranges. The air is clear, too dry for mosquitoes, and you'll find a scattering of little-visited wineries. We overnighted at the wine chateau of Altalaluna, in Tolombon near the Tucuman provincial boundary. Continuing south is the Inca city of Quilmes, Argentina's answer to Machu Picchu but easily accessible from Route 40. Then the highway climbs to Tafi del Valle, Lake El Mollar, and La Angostura pass, 3 km high. Down the other side, you wind through the deep gorge of Los Sosa River. We were thrilled!

- Speaking of high mountain roads, the highway from Purmamarca, Route 52, continues west across the Altiplano and into Chile. If you have the proper car papers, you could drive to San Pedro de Atacama, the adobe town at the base of the Altiplano on the Chilean side. This road is high, almost five kilometers, or double the altitude of Mexico City, but it's well-paved and the main artery between northern Argentina and Chile. If you go, see whether oxygen is available. My wife got altitude sickness. I, however, took four Aspirin and managed to drive all the way with no discomfort, and I have a heart condition. In Mexico, I'm sure you have high altitude roads too, but on Route 27 over the Chilean Altiplano the highway stays above an altitude of 4,700 meters over more than 110 kilometers. Lhasa, Tibet, is only 3,650 by contrast!

Happy travels!

David

Edited: 31 August 2013, 15:49
Argentina
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2. Re: Realistic Driving Times in Salta area

If you want to know about driving times, I hope to be helpful. This is My driving time, and I expect yours not to be less for you to enjoy and contemplate the scenery...

Salta - Purmamarca 2,5 hours stopping in the way for pictures...

Purmamarca - Salt Flats 1hour 15 minutes three and something hours the two ways. I prefer to drive in the lae afternoon, around 5 o´clock to return for dinner...

Purmararca - Humahuaca Stopping at Uquia for half an hour maybe 1,5 hours... Uquia is a must if you want t see the andian Cuzco Art in the church and the church itself...

Salta - Molinos (via Cachi) well, I usually stay in cachi but... I usually take 4 hours to Cachi and form there... 1 more hour, maybe.... I would recommend you to stay in Cachi, so the next day you will be able to start in the morning see the artisans around Seclantas and maybe have lunch at Colomé as I usually do.

Molinos - Cafayate I usually take 5 or 6 hours form Cachi... (not counting the time in Colomé)

Cafayate - Salta not less than 4 hours stopping in for pictures...}HUmahuaca Tilcara 1 hour... Tilcara _ Salta 2,5 hours....

But this is just a rough schedule ...

Warm regards,

Angie/Giena

Mexico City, Mexico
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3. Re: Realistic Driving Times in Salta area

Thank you! That is very helpful.

Argentina
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4. Re: Realistic Driving Times in Salta area

Very welcome!

Have a great time in the NW!!!

Warm regards,

Angie/Giena

Riga, Latvia
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5. Re: Realistic Driving Times in Salta area

Giena, a question - the times you indicated are inclusive of stops for picture taking etc., or "net" driving times? I'm a bit confused about Salta-Cahi route - tried estimating net driving times through google maps and through ruta0.com - the results are greatly different. Google maps says Salta-Cachi is 5:27, ruta0 says it is 2:22h. Which, to your mind, is more correct? Thanks!

Argentina
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6. Re: Realistic Driving Times in Salta area

I contmeplate some stops for pictures... Not a lunch or... long hikes...

Salta - Cachi I said Four hours... with at least five to 10 shots on the way... I have done that drive before... at least 500 times...

Cachi - Cafayate with stops for pictures only...5 hours. If you stop for luch you have to add the time you spend.. if you go to Colomé add one more hour...

Angie/Giena

7. Re: Realistic Driving Times in Salta area

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