4x4 Road Trip in the Puna

The Origin of Life, a Science & Travel Project

This amazing road trip takes travellers into a high desert designed by lava, framed by volcanos and dotted by saline multi-coloured lagoons. The windswept high plateau is abstract and untamed and exceptional in more than one way. Everything is extreme: altitude, dryness, UV radiation and low oxygen, conditions that, combined, recreate an environment similar to the one on our Planet 3,400 million of years ago. In the lagoons, microorganisms still thrive under these harsh conditions: the Stromatolites.  Today stromatolites are most usually found in the form of ancient fossils, but on this trip to the Puna in NW Argentina you will find them as living organisms. The itinerary is designed by Luis Ahumada and based on the research of Dra. Maria Eugenia Farias, Microbiologist and passionate researcher and adventurer. Travel from 1,200 metres to 5,310 metres; from green valley to the driest desert. And travel through time from fossils to live organisms, from 66 million of years ago to the present time.


  • Total distance in 4×4 vehicle: 1950 km
  • Minimum and maximum altitude in trip: 1,200 mt/3,960 ft and 5,310 mt/17,523 ft.
  • Photography: landscapes and wildlife
  • Scientific research
  • Short walks
  • Andean fauna
  • Conservation and communities

What’s Included: Accommodation in single or double occupancy; all transfers private; all lunches and dinners; admission tickets; snacks and beverages during driving and activities; bilingual guides.

Add ons: Iguassu Falls| Buenos Aires gourmet & tango | Patagonia glaciers |


Cabra Corral – Río Juramento – Rafting –Dinosaurs- Quebrada de las Conchas – Fossils – Hualfín – Guanacos – High deserts – Science – Andean communities – Puna – Flamingos – Remote rural schools - Calderas – Hot Springs – Arsenic – Vicuñas - Red Lagoon – Abandoned mining towns - White sand dunes – Campo de Piedra Pomez – Llamas – Condors – Cono de Arita – Salar de Arizaro – Mina La Casualidad – Altiplano - Mina Julia – Desierto del Diablo

4x4 Road Trip

The Origin of Life

Region: Northwest Argentina, Salta and Catamarca provinces.
Where: Salta | Cafayate |El Peñón | Volcán Galán | Antofagasta de la Sierra | Antofalla |Tolar Grande | San Antonio de los Cobres | Quebrada del Toro
When: all year round
Start and end: Salta, Argentina.
Trip length: 8 days/7 nights.
Activity level: Easy
Hotels: Casual Posadas

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