Trekking from Iruya to Nazareno - Salta

One of the most wonderful trekking routes in the northwest region of Argentina

  • Start Date : 2024-Sep-17
    End Date: 2024-Sep-21
  • Hora Inicio: 7 am
    Hora Fin: 10 am
  • Meeting Point:Iruya - previous day
    End: La Quiaca, Jujuy
  • Duration:5 days + 1 night
    Availability: 5 spots
Trekking from Iruya to Nazareno - Salta


Quebradas, cerros y Colla rivers - One of the 10 most important trekkings in Argentina #top10treksofargentina

As hundreds of years ago, as the Incas did, we will try to unite these small villages of Colla origin, which are capriciously nestled in ravines and hills. The task is not easy, but the contrast between the blue sky and the rainbow the colors of the imposing mountains fill our senses, they invite us to continue, step by step, through those narrow paths, through those deep ravines, wading through those torrential rivers.
At sunset, in the heights, share some mates with some other old settler, listening carefully to his story, enjoying its warmth but without losing sight of those high peaks that watch over us, with that blanket of clouds that shelters them when the evening approaches.

Next dates (2023):
  • May 16
  • 19th of June
  • July 24
  • August 28
  • September 25th
  • 30th of October



What we present here is the planned route for the crossing, but the exact route, the duration of each stage of the march and the choice of alternative itineraries are subject to different factors such as weather conditions and group evaluation by the guide.

Day 1: This day you have to be in the town of Iruya to spend the night there, to have the meeting with the guides and be ready to start the next day. After noon. We advise you on how to travel to Iruya.

NOTE: Ask for the week prior to this date, that we will be doing the other great Calilegua-Tilcara trek; possibility of joining the two routes.

Day 2 Iruya-Chiyayoc: With the first rays of light, breakfast, armed with loads and, with backpacks on our shoulders, we went for a walk on our first day. Gentle and short descent to the Iruya river ravine. From here a steep climb awaits us to the pass of San Juan (from where the view is incomparable). After a light lunch, we went down to the ravine to face our last ascent: to Chiyayoc, a small town scattered on the side of a large hill, along a small valley, at 3000 meters above sea level. Intense day of 9 hours of walking. Night in beds.

  • Initial Height: 2700 masl
  • Final height: 3160 masl
  • Duration of activity approx: 9 hours
  • Distance: 23km

Day 3 Chiyayoc-Rodeo Colorado: We have breakfast with the warmth of the first rays of the sun, we set off heading north. We start a slow and continuous ascent, until the "open" from where we descend by a "multicolor" path to another small town: Rodío. Lunch at La Loma. In the afternoon we continue to Rodeo Colorado at 2,950 meters above sea level. Overnight in cabins.

  • Initial Height: 3160 masl
  • Final height: 2950 masl
  • Duration of activity approx: 7 hours
  • Distance: 20km

Day 4 Rodeo Colorado-Molinos: Free morning to explore the town. We can wake up with the school bells. A day of ups and downs, stalls with residents who greet us as we pass, rushing streams and huge stone walls. Our day culminates in another small town, Comunidad de Molinos. Capriciously founded on a ridge with a beautiful view of the Nazareno River valley. Long day of 8 hours of walking. Night with sleeping bag in room.

  • Initial Height: 2950 masl
  • Final height: 3200 masl
  • Duration of activity approx: 8 hours
  • Distance: 15km

Day 5 Molinos-Nazareno: We wake up early, have a light breakfast, prepare the equipment and assemble the loads. The trail winds and descends into a huge valley, then begins many river crossings. In the afternoon, we arrive at the end of our journey, at the picturesque town of Nazareno (3000 masl). After settling in a simple shelter in the community, we went out to explore the town and look for a place to have a tasty meal of homemade food. Extensive day of more than 8 hours of walking. night in bed

  • Initial Height: 3200 masl
  • Final altitude: 3060 masl
  • Duration of activity approx: 8 hours
  • Distance: 22 km

Day 6 Nazareno-La Quiaca: Very early in the morning, our charter transport picks us up and takes us to La Quiaca. There are 100 kilometers of film, steps at 5000 meters high, winding roads, llamas and vicuñas everywhere... At approximately 9 am we arrive at La Quiaca. End of our journey. Here you can hire a bus service that takes you to Jujuy or Salta, which depart permanently.

Included Services
  • Transfer from Nazareno to La Quiaca.
  • Full board in the mountains (from lunch on Day 2 to breakfast on Day 5)
  • One night accommodation in a simple hostel in Nazareno.
  • nights of accommodation in houses of local people with beds and one with a sleeping bag.
  • Portage with mules-donkeys of the general team (tents, food, kitchen equipment, etc.) and individual (up to 5 kg. Per person).
  • Guided and permanent coordination throughout the journey.
  • General camping logistics (pots, heaters, security elements, orientation)
  • Personal tableware
  • Communication for emergencies with satellite phone
  • Permanent advice and assistance.

Services NOT included
  • Travel to Salta and Iruya
  • Transfer back from La Quiaca
  • Accommodation in Iruya the night before.
  • Meals in cities and towns (Salta, Iruya, Nazareno)
  • Drinks
  • Expenses caused by eventual abandonment of the program

Photo and Video Gallery


Where do you sleep


habitación en una de las casas


Who can participate in the activity?

This trekking is for people who are in good physical condition to withstand an average of 6 to 8 hours of mountain walking, for several days, at an easy but constant rithm, leaving from San Francisco, Calilegua, with a spectacular landscape transition. With a lot of vegetation change, and where we are in full contact with people living in the mountains and with Nature. In only 70km, from the nuboselva, from the Calilegua National Park to the semi-desert, in the Quebrado de Humahuaca.

How is the terraine?

Cliffy trails to large valleys.

Do I need to be trained?

For any mountain activity you need to have a previous physical preparation, or be physically active. In this case we suggest Aerobic training (going for a run two to three times a week, cycling or swimming) and doing a good leg workout (gym, crossfit, AEX training, etc.)

Do I need previous experience?

We recommend  walking at least once before this trekking with a backpack, although no previous experience is required. 

Where do we spend the night?

The idea of ??this trek is to be able to share the experience with local people, in family homes. Overnight takes place in those houses of local people, with basic services. They have mattress beds.

What is the weather like ?

Although the time of the year is optimal for this crossing, in mountain and/ or wild areas temperatures tend to fall at night. There may be the possibility of rain storms, hence the importance of personal equipment. Non of what we detail in the equipment list can be missing.

Are there any breaks to rest?

Stops are given with a frequency and graduation according to the intensity. There are breaks for lunch, snack, and rest.

How old do I have to be to do this activity?

From 13 years old onwards. We also recommend you to contact us before registering or registering a minor just to make sure that his/her experience is the suitable for this trek.

How much does the backpack weigh?

On this tour, having pack animals, you can walk with a small backpack (between 35 and 45 liters) with the things we use during the day (coat, sunscreen, flashlight, water, etc.)

Is there any carrying service?

We have a mule carrying  the general equipment, such as kitchen elements, food, tents, and security elements. They also carry some of your equipment, an approximate of up to 7 kilos per person.

What do we eat?
  • Meals: Milanesa and tomato sandwiches, cold sandwiches, snacks, salads, tapas, etc.
  • Dinners: Vegetable stews with bacon or chorizo ;chicken and vegetable casseroles, pasta with various , barbacue (goat), Chaw Fan, chicken with rice among other meals
  • Breakfasts and snacks: Tea, Coffee, Cappuccino, Mate Cocido, Mate, Milk powder; bread, cookies, jam, honey, dulce de leche; cereals, fruit.

It is necessary to complete the personal / medical file to clarify if someone does not eat some type of food.

Difficulty graduation

Mochila: Peso / Duración de la Jornada.

Exigencia Física

Técnico: Dificultad en el Terreno / Equipo.

Fortaleza Psicológica

Exposición a la Altura

Backpack (M)

This point has to do with the weight that we must carry in our backpacks. Trekkings or crossings where we have pack animals allow us to bear less weight on our backs. And the multi-day journeys in Patagonia (without the option of having pack mules) generally make us carry more weight, especially in the early days.

20% Up to 5 Kilos: Short excursion walks / Trekking Talampaya

40% Up to 8/10 Kilos: Round-trip trekking / Vallecitos 3 and 4-day programs

60% Up to 12/15 kilos: Crossing trekking with porting / Crossing of the Andes Paso Portillo

80% More than 15/18 kilos: Cross-country trekkings with little or no portage / Trekkings in Patagonia (Paso Vuriloche, PN Lanin or Nahuel Huapi, etc)

100% More than 25 Kilos: With a lot of equipment on top and little or no porting / Continental Ice

Fitness (F)

We consider physical demands to the wear that we can suffer both aerobic (climbs = possible shortness of breath) and muscle (resistance = many hours walking) and of legs and joints (descents = knees / ankles).

20% half a day or less with little unevenness.

40% more sustained slopes and longer days in the activity. 2-3 days / more than 6 hours per day.

60% Long ascents and descents with a longer duration. Ascents to more than 4000 meters in the central mountain range / intense 4-day trekking (Uruguayan plane)

80% Important work of legs in resistance. Very long days. Very long day ascents (Lanin - Domuyo) or more than 5000 meters. Ice courses.

100% Maximum demand. Aerobic work and constant effort on legs. Continental Ice, Aconcagua, mountains of more than 6000 meters.

Technical (T)

The technical difficulty is mainly based on the terrain. How much can it cost us to climb a slope, if it is very steep or if we have to use our hands in some section (simple climbing), both in rock and snow-ice, or materials such as crampons and pegs in other ascents.

20% flat land

40% trails with moderate ups and downs. General crossing trekkings . Sierra de la Ventana, Córdoba, Patagonia, Cuyo, north, others. Classic ascents

60% Steeper slopes and trails. Possible use of crampons. Domuyo, Cordón del Plata, Cordillera Central.

80% Mixed terrain, with snow or ice. Alvear, Lanin, Tronador. Bolivia, Peru.

100% Highly technical terrain. Glacial transit and climbing in sections. Hill climbing with sections on slopes of more than 60 ° inclination

Psycho (P)

We maintain that this point, the psychological factor, represents a relevant factor. Each one needs a factor of conviction, confidence, self-control and will power to achieve a goal. And depending on the attitude with which we face distances, slopes, terrain and many other objective factors, we can achieve performance with very different results.

20% We will not be much affected.

40% This is a normal level of attention.

60% We require more motivation, enthusiasm and concentration.

80% The activity will require us to be very connected and convinced.

100% Maximum control and emotional-psychological performance.

Adventures (A)

It is the factor that, the height above sea level, influences us depending on the activity we carry out. Managing and overcoming symptoms caused by altitude is the key to this point

0% + sea level.

20% Up to 2000 masl.

40% + 2000 masl.

60% + 4000 masl.

80% + 5000 masl.

100% + 6000 masl.

Gradual Adventure Activity Difficulty System designed by Leandro Scheurle.
Copyright © 2009. All rights reserved.

Required equipment

  • Trekking Backpack (50 to 65 liters)
  • Warm sleeping bag
  • Insulated sleeping pad (10 to 15mm)
  • trekking poles
  • Sunglasses (Category  IV)
  • 1 pair of trekking boots (in good conditions)***
  • 1 second pair of footwear (comfy)
  •  3 pairs of trekking socks 
  • Underwear
  • Long trekking pants (NO JEAN)
  • 1 indoor long pants or leggings
  • 2 Dry fit synthetic short sleeve t-shirts
  • 1 Long sleeve shirt
  • 2 sweatshirts (fleece)
  • Warm jacket (made of feathers or synthetic) 
  • 1 sun hat (with flaps)
  • 1 handkerchief to cover your neck from the sun (multifunction scarves Buff type)
  • Warm gloves 
  • Warm hat 
  • 1 waterproof / breathable jacket  (parka,ultrex,goretex)  
  • Passport or ID.
  • Medical insurance
  • Travel assistance insurance. Required.
  • Front flashlight with batteries (With spare batteries)
  • Sunscreen (not less than factor 45). Lip balm
  • Toilet paper. Wet wipes
  • Strong plastic bags to store clothes.
  • Containers for at least 2 liters of water (can be plastic bottle) Camelback, Nalgene or similar
  • Cutlery, plate or tupper and cup (No glass or metal)
OPTIONAL, not mandatory (check space and weight)
  • SILVER TAPE tape, for blisters and repairs.
  • Steel thermos
  • Binoculars, monocle. Camera
  • Book, travel diary, pencil, pen.
  • Games; cards, dice, etc
  • Whistle and lighter.

Rental Equipment

Trekking sleeping bag

Booking in Advance

US$ 16 + options

Pair of Trekking Poles

Booking in Advance

US$ 10 + options

Rental mittens

Booking in Advance

US$ 8 + options

Pair of Crampons

Booking in Advance

US$ 15 + options

Rental : helmet, crampons and ice ax

Booking in Advance

US$ 36 + options

Combo Top: helmet, crampons, ice ax and full harness

Booking in Advance

US$ 50 + options

Category 3 sunglasses - Shepra Julbo Spectrom

Booking in Advance

US$ 5 + options

Backpack for trekking and mountaineering - Woman

Booking in Advance

US$ 10 + options

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Contact and Enquiries

RECOMENDACION: Pueden comunicarse de formar directa al 54 9 1124012278
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