Wildlife of Northwestern Argentina


12 Days – 11 Nights

Starts in Tucumán – Ends in Salta


What our clients say!

On their 2005 private tour to southern Brazil.

… “Our trip was fabulous !!!

In total we saw 592 species with 364 being new for us.

The whole trip logistics were first class as was accommodation and food” …

Very best regards and thanks once again for a superb trip.
John and Ruth

John and Ruth Ward






This tour is special for those who enjoy general natural history and nature photography. Join Trogon Tours in this ultimate nature travel adventure through the most representative habitats of northwestern Argentina. We will explore valleys and semi-arid Monte Steppes, dry Chaco Woodland, montane Alder Forests, Yungas Cloudforest, high Andean Puna Desert and Lagoons. This is a dreamt journey for naturalists who enjoy fauna, flora, photography and learning about the local culture. Our group size limit for this tour is 8 participants with one Trogon Tours’ leader.



Tour runs on request – Prices based on group size.

This tour is special for those who enjoy general natural history and nature photography. Join Trogon Tours in this ultimate nature travel adventure through the most representative habitats of northwestern Argentina. We will explore valleys and semi-arid Monte Steppes, dry Chaco Woodland, montane Alder Forests, Yungas Cloudforest, high Andean Puna Desert and Lagoons. This is a dreamt journey for naturalists who enjoy fauna, flora, photography and learning about the local culture. Our group size limit for this tour is 8 participants with one Trogon Tours’ leader.

Northwestern Argentina is a land full of spectacular landscapes and with a vast cultural heritage. Remnants of buildings and roads from the “Great Inca Empire of the Sun” can still be found everywhere here, and many cultural events and pre-Hispanic rituals, such as that in honor of the “Pacha Mama” (Mother Earth), are still celebrated by the locals. Andean music is heard everywhere, and people still play their traditional instruments. This incredibly varied region has a great diversity of natural habitats, ranging from Yungas Cloudforest to dry Chaco Woodlands. The three provinces in the north-westernmost part of Argentina, Jujuy, Salta and Tucuman, host some pristine representatives of these habitats, all worth visiting for birders to find both diversity and good numbers of native species.

Forming a wedge along the southern Andean chains of Bolivia and northwestern Argentina, the Yungas Cloudforest supports one of the greatest biological diversities in the Neotropics. It harbors a wide variety of forests and woodlands, each hosting its own and unique community of flora and fauna, and all varying according with their altitudinal ranges. Wildlife is abundant in this humid environment. Ferns, bromeliads and other epiphytic plants are particularly stunning here, and they cover every single corner of the forest. This biological treasure is well protected within the boundaries of several national parks and nature reserves, and we plan to explore it thoroughly in different areas.

Just south of the Humahuaca Valley lays the small village of Yala and the Yala River, which is bordered by lush Yungas cloudforest. Exploring this area is a unique experience for naturalists. Remarkable bird species, such as Rufous-throated Dipper, Torrent Duck, Red-faced Guan and Lyre-tailed Nightjar, are restricted to this particular ecosystem. A local reserve just above Yala protects a good stand of pure Alder forest, offering great chances to visit yet another habitat, with its own and particular wildlife. Continuing north, and up to higher elevations, the Yungas and the Alder forest are left behind, to enter the pre-Puna. The Andes in this part of Argentina are very dry, but they are crossed by a series of humid valleys, with Humahuaca standing out for its unique setting. Nestled amidst spectacular rock formations of the most incredible and diverse colors, this is the heart of one of the richest cacti flora on Earth, and home to a wide array of birds, mammals and other wildlife. Lake Pozuelos Natural Monument, a mountain ringed basin with shallow brackish water lies some 90 km. north of Abra Pampa, in the heart of the Puna. It harbors thousands of Andean, Chilean and Puna Flamingoes so we hope to witness the spectacle of large concentrations of these creatures amidst the solitude and grandeur of High Andean landscape.

After visiting the Humahuaca Valley area, we will drive back into the Province of Salta, where we plan to explore the Chaco habitats. The Chaco habitat is well represented in the province of Salta. This particular ecosystem, mainly thorny woodland, covers most of the northern part of Argentina, and it is well divided into a dry, a montane and a wet area, each of them with different flora and fauna. We will spend time exploring the dry Chaco, searching for its unique wildlife.

No nature tour to northwestern Argentina would be complete without visiting the Andean habitats of the famous Cachi Road, an area well reputed among birders the world over for the quantity and quality of bird species present here. We will follow this road on our way to los Cardones National Park, looking for its diverse birds and unique flora, as we cross through a variety of habitats.

We will also visit the Province of Tucumán, to explore two wonderful habitats: the Monte desert at the Calchaqui Valleys, and the mountains of Aconquija. The latter is home to several localized birds, including some Argentine endemics, like Tucuman Mountain Finch, Yellow-striped Brush Finch and Moreno’s Ground-Dove.

Our Itinerary in a Nutshell

Our meeting point is at the airport of the City of Tucumán on day 1. We will drive to the village of Tafí del Valle. On our way there, we will dedicate time to explore the Yungas habitat, and get familiar with this unique cloud forest, its flora and wildlife. Day 2 will be spent exploring the high Andean grasslands and montane habitats in the surroundings of Tafí. On day 3 we will drive from Tafí del Valle all the way to Cafayate, in Salta, exploring the Calchaquí Valleys, and visiting the ruins of a pre-Incan citadel called Ruinas de Quilmes. We will leave Cafayate after breakfast on day 4, to continue our way north to Moldes. During this part of the journey, we will cross some of the most spectacular rock formations of northwestern Argentina, so we will make frequent stops along the way to photograph landscapes, flora and to enjoy watching wildlife. Day 5 will be dedicated to explore the Cachi Road and Los Cardones National Park. We will leave Salta on day 6 and drive all the way to Libertador General San Martin, in the Province of Jujuy, to go visiting the pristine Yungas of Calilegua National Park. We will spend day 7 exploring Calilegua National Park. On day 8 we will drive north and into the Andean habitats of Jujuy. Our first night in the dry Andean habitats of Jujuy will be spent in the picturesque village of Purmamarca. We will continue north on day 9, to go exploring Lake Pozuelos Natural Monument, and continue through the Puna desert all the way to La Quiaca, the northernmost city of Argentina, located right on the Bolivian border. We will spend day 10 exploring the high Andean habitats east of La Quiaca. On day 11, we will leave La Quiaca and drive south along the Humahuaca gorge, making several photo stops on the way. We will visit the pre-Inca ruins of Pucará de Tilcara on the way, where besides the ruins there’s a small botanical garden with several Andean cacti species. Late evening arrival to Yala, where we will spend the night. Those who are keen on birds will have the chance to go searching for the rare Lyre-tailed Nightjar in the surroundings of the Village right after sunset. On day 12 we will drive to the City of Salta, where our tour ends at the local airport.


Wildlife highlights

Andean, Puna and Chilean Flamingo, Vicuña, Red-tailed Comet, Chinchilla, King Vulture, Red Brocket-Deer, and an incredible diversity of cacti.


Best time to go

August to October are the best possible months to go, but this tour runs well from June to early November.


What is included?

Private transportation for all transfers and excursions. Accommodations on a twin/double basis. Single supplements on request. Full time Trogon Tours’ leader to accompany the group from day 1 in Tucumán to day 12 in Salta. All breakfasts, lunches, box-lunches and dinners as per program with one non alcoholic drink per person. Admission fees to national parks and nature reserves.


What is not included?

International and domestic airfares and airport taxes. Tips to guides, drivers, hotel & restaurants personnel, etc. Drinks with your meals. Personal travel and medical insurance. Anything not specified in “What is included?”


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