2 Day Ride + 1 Night Camping
Day 1: Moon Valley & Death Valley
Today’s camping shall be at the Petroglyphs next to “La Piedra de la Coca”, a gigantic stone, where formers atacameños spat coca for a good journey. It’s now still possible to see this chewed coca leafs but most of all to observe Petroglyphs, rock drawings, representing formers hunting scenes. These archeological remains are the proof that antic Caravans used this same way several years ago. Through these engravings, representing distinct forms and symbols, they tell us about their history, about their way of life. Like messages carved into the rock, theses symbols are the matter of many theories.
We shall ride between 7 to 8 hours on that day.
Day 2: Rio Salado, Petroglyphs, Devil’s Canyon
After following the River Salado we will discover where San Pedro’s river borns. It is responsible for the luxuriant vegetation of the Catarpe valley, creating a surprising contrast with the dryness of the desert. In this area we will cross the way of some shepherds, leading their animals to pasture (sheeps, goats, cows, llamas).
In the afternoon we reach “La Quebrada del Diablo” (the devil’s-ravine), a narrow ravine located inside the Salt Mountain Range. This real natural labyrinth offers landscapes worthy of the North American westerns.
We shall finish our trip passing through the town of Quitor, where an ancient stronghold (Pukara de Quitor) of the 12th century is located.
This fortress has a strategic place; located on the top of a hill. It dominates the whole area as well as the river San Pedro. Nowadays this place is a national monument, archeological remains of the pre-Inca architecture. These incredible constructions, built 700 years ago were used as a defensive gate by the natives against the Incas and later on against the Spanish, who invaded it in 1540.