The stark beauty of Argentina’s north-western Altiplano, the Puna, is quite something to behold.

Between Salta to the west and the borders of Chile and Bolivia this elevated (4,500m) plateau of wildly striking and desolate landscapes is filled with the rare sights of salt flats, flamingos, ancient Incan trails, desert labyrinths, herds of llamas and vicuñas, the turquoise ponds of Ojos del Mar, the oasis of Antofajita, and clay-brick pueblos (towns).

Tolar Grande is the largest of the clay-brick towns north of the Puna and a good place from which to begin your explorations of this underrated and almost (for most travellers) unknown destination. Include the Puna in one of our luxury Argentina tours, and you can rest assured that you won’t be bumping into many package tourists.

We offer private 4WD drives with our expert local guides through the magnificent Puna from Salta to San Antonio de las Cobres and Tolar Grande right down to the frontier-town of El Penon, stopping at the various sights and the magnificent transition of landscapes as you move south. From salt lakes, extraordinary colours, flamingos, clay deserts, Mars-like landscapes, dunes, strangely eroded atolls and pumice fields – you will feel like the only people on a planet that looks nothing like Earth.

Speak to one of our expert travel designers about visiting the Puna on one of our bespoke Argentina tours.

What to do

  • Scenic 4WD tours and drives through the desert with expert local guides
  • See the Cono de Arita, the Oasis of Antofajita, Salt Flats, Llullaillaco Volcano and Ojos del Mar
  • Take the Train of the Clouds across the Puna (into Chile if you're going that way)
  • Visit a Pena (traditional folk venue)