San Antonio de Los Cobres and Tolar tours
San Antonio de Los Cobres and Tolar tours
San Antonio de Los Cobres and Tolar tours

San Antonio de Los Cobres

It is an iconic place in Salta, a province located in the north of Argentina. A typical town of the Puna Salteña, it is located 164 km northwest of the city of Salta and 3775 metres above sea level. It is the head town of the department of Los Andes. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 5482 inhabitants. Known for being very close to the famous Tren de las Nubes, San Antonio de los Cobres acquired its name from San Antonio: protector of mules, patron saint of muleteers and travellers; at the same time, in relation to its proximity to the Sierra de Cobre, owner of this mineral in abundance. One of the most interesting and attractive places to visit is located only 5 kilometres west of the city: the viaduct La Polvorilla del Tren de las Nubes, part of the General Belgrano Railway. This viaduct is characterised for being a long bridge of great height. It is worth mentioning that it is unique in the world because it has an ascending curved section with cambered rails. It was built by the Argentinean national state as part of the Development Plan whose main objective was to unite all the provincial and territorial capitals of Argentina.

Travel to San Antonio de los Cobres

Discover the Rustic Charm of San Antonio de los Cobres: A Journey Through Argentina's High Andes

Another tourist attraction in San Antonio de los Cobres that you cannot miss is the Fiesta Nacional de la Pachamama (Mother Earth). This city is the venue and it is celebrated every August 1st. It consists of a procession, digging a well in the ground, which symbolises the “mouth” of the earth, and the rite of chauyaco (multiplication) is performed. In this rite, a large part of the collective feast with typical food is thrown into the well: morsels of Tinstincha (stew with lamb and/or llama), locro, humita and paparunas (small potatoes). In addition, burnt cane – or gin – is thrown with ruda macho (male rue) macerated in the drink.

What's the weather like in San Antonio de los Cobres?

Regarding the weather conditions, it is complicated: it is dry and cold with strong and permanent winds, especially in winter (June, July and August). During the rest of the year it is quite cold and windy. Temperature extremes range from 20°C during the day to as low as -25°C at night due to its high altitude.

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Where is San Antonio de Los cobres and how to get there?

San Antonio de los Cobres is 159 kilometres away from the city of Salta, and to get there you have to take Route 51, which is completely paved. This route goes through La Quebrada del Toro, one of the few roads to the Puna. It is important to know that it is a winding, narrow and steep route due to the ravine through which the Toro River flows. This road allows you to visit the Ruins of Tastil, see the tracks of the Tren de las Nubes (Train to the Clouds) and contemplate a route with beautiful landscapes.
To get to San Antonio de los Cobres from Cachi you have to take Route 40, the road is very difficult, winding and cornice-like. Besides, it is at a high altitude, with gravel and gravel in several parts. There are almost no services and the climate is complicated. This route goes through the highest point, El Abra del Acay, at 4895 metres above sea level. The best recommendation is to have a private service that we can offer you from Argentina Pura for all these winding sections.
On the other hand, to get to the Salinas Grandes from San Antonio de los Cobres you have to travel by bus or by private car that we can also provide you with from Argentina Pura. It is located at a distance of about 55 km.

Other activities to do in this village

  • Viaducto de la polvorilla.
  • Anatolio and his Llamas Farms.
  • Abra Blanca. Tourist routes. Viewpoints.
  • The Church of San Antonio de Padua. Churches and cathedrals.
  • Abra del Acay. Mountains, nature and wildlife.
  • Tastil Ruins. Tastil Site Museum.
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