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El Alfarcito Tours

El Alfarcito
Amid the wild landscapes of the Andes mountains and at an altitude of 9,186 feet (2,800 meters), the tiny village of El Alfarcito feels like a forgotten outpost of Argentina’s Wild West. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in character, with a vibrant indigenous community and a daily handicrafts market.

The Basics

Most visitors stop in El Alfarcito en route to San Antonio de los Cobres, where the popular Train to the Clouds (Tren a las Nubes) departs. A typical day tour sets out from Salta, stopping at sites such as Campo Quijano, the El Toro Viaduct (Viaducto el Toro), and the Yacoraite cliffs before arriving in El Alfarcito in time for breakfast. In the village, visitors can browse the handicrafts market, visit the llama farm, and learn about the work of the Father Chifri foundation, which runs a mountain school and education center for the region’s indigenous communities.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Plan to spend around an hour in El Alfarcito.
  • Bring some small change in case you want to purchase handicrafts or souvenirs at the market.
  • There is little shade in the village, so be sure to bring sunscreen and a hat.

How to Get There

El Alfarcito is located around 62 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Salta, along Route 51. It’s about a 1.5-hour drive from the city, and a further 1 hour and 10 minutes northwest to San Antonio de los Cobres. As there is no public transport to the village, most visitors opt for the convenience of a guided tour or private transport.

When to Get There

Most tours arrive in El Alfarcito around midmorning, and the village makes a popular stop for breakfast. If you’re traveling by private vehicle, visiting outside of these times means you’ll avoid the tour buses, although its unlikely to be overly crowded. Holidays such as the Feast of the Andean Pope (July) and Pachamama (August) are a particularly atmospheric time to visit, with parties and parades taking over the village, although be aware that the Train to the Clouds may not run on these dates.

Train to the Clouds
The Train to the Clouds is one of Argentina’s most famous train journeys. The original railway, built by engineer Richard Maury, was inaugurated in 1948 and ran for 269 miles (434 kilometers) all the way from Salta to La Puna, a spectacular route that included 21 tunnels, 29 bridges, and 13 viaducts. Today, visitors can ride the highest and most scenic section of the train—the 2-hour round-trip between San Antonio de los Cobres and the Polvorilla Viaduct at 13,842 feet (4,220 meters).
Address: Ruta nacional 51, El Alfarcito, Salta, Northwest Argentina, Argentina
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3 Tours and Activities to Experience El Alfarcito

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Salinas Grandes

Salinas Grandes

It is a complete excursion that allows us to know and enjoy different landscapes and leads us to discover the life of the inhabitants of our extensive puna.- We will pass the RN 40, where we can appreciate the native fauna composed of vicuñas, llamas, zuris, foxes, condors, among others and we will discover how they appear populated in the middle of nowhere where the locals live, we arrive at large salinas, an impressive sea of salt formed millions of years ago, there we will be in contact with the salt miners who will tell us about his life in that place, we can observe a building made entirely in salt. After the visit we will descend through one of the most spectacular roads in the world such as the Lipan slope, of infinite beauty that is positioned as one of the most beautiful slopes in Argentina.
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  • 14 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$46.16
From
$46.16

Tolar Grande: the kingdom of the silence

Tolar Grande: the kingdom of the silence

star-5
It is a trip where you will visit places that would otherwise take many more days to see. Only 4 people maximum in the vehicle, it is an exclusive trip to enjoy remote places combining them with the most important tourist sites.
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  • 4 days
From
$1,793.48
From
$1,793.48

Private Tour: Full-Day Train to the Clouds Experience from Salta

Private Tour: Full-Day Train to the Clouds Experience from Salta

star-4
Go on a grand adventure aboard the Tren a las Nubes with this train-ride experience, including round-trip transport from Salta. This experience also includes a ride on the Train to the Clouds, one of the highest railroads in the world. Along the way, stop in the town of Campo Quijano, see the famous Viaducto del Toro, and enjoy breakfast and go to a craft fair at El Alfarcito. Plus end your day with a visit to San Antonio de los Cobres, where you can plan your own free time by going on a trek with llamas (own expense).
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  • 14 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$168.70
Price varies by group size
From
$168.70
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience El Alfarcito?