finally a downhill ride
11.25.2011 - 12.15.2011
Distance 1835.7km / 1140.7 miles
total vertical climb 11280 m / 37,007ft
22 days theoretical
click on argentina border to mendoza route here for a close-up
"For some reason almost no cars take the fantastic Ruta 9 from San Salvador de Jujuy (92km) to Salta, basically one long climb and one long downhill with beautiful forests and a big lake. You will descend from about 4000m. Every mile the valley becomes more beautiful. Take your time to visit the beautiful villages Purmamarca (152km), Tilcara (172km), Humahuaca (217km) and others. Read about the history, enjoy the sunshine and find the best campsites between huge cacti. After Humahuaca the climb becomes a little steeper for a while."
route 33 is an unpaved climb to 3300m through a cactus forest, there is nothing but one park ranger near the top of the pass. There are some tiny villages where you can get water to cachi through canyons and valleys... and los cordones national park.
cafayate will pass by quebrada de las fleches rock formations
Near Londres there are some fantastic ruins and some lost hippies live nearby.
detour off route 40 onto route 26 to talampaya national park with cool rock formations