Salinas | A Spectacular Salt Plain at 3550m above sea level

Bring sunglasses for this spectacular salt plain in a remote part of the puna, some 3350m above sea level.

A lake that dried up in the Holocene, this is now a 525-sq-km crust of salt up to half-a-meter thick. On a clear day, the blinding contrast between bright blue sky and the cracked and crusty expanse of white is spellbinding.

The salinas are in Salta province, but most easily reached by heading west along spectacular, paved RP 52 from Purmamarca. About 5km west of the intersection of RP 52 and the good ripioroad that heads 97km to San Antonio de los Cobres, there’s a salt-mining building; opposite, you can head out onto the salt pan to check out the rectangular basins from which the salt is periodically dug out. Artisans sell stone carvings and llamas made from salt.

Limited drinks and snacks are available. The only way of reaching the salinas by public transportation is to jump off a Chile- or Susques-bound bus from Jujuy or Purmamarca.

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