From Hualfín to Andalgalá
One of the attractions of the region is los Termas de Hualfín. It is a very basic place surrounded by fantastic scenery.
On the site, it is possible to take a nice bath in a small interior pool where the water coming from a natural source is at about 36° Celsius. Between each customer, the pool is emptied and cleaned and then we are allowed a 20-minute timeframe. However, at the end of the day when there is no more customers, it is possible to stay for longer. I spent more than one hour splashing around in my private bath.
After visiting Hualfín, I drove on Road 40 in the direction of Santa María. Just before reaching Punta de Balasto, I left Ruta 40 behind, and I headed toward Andalgalá crossing a cactus desert and the Cuesta de Capillitas.
The path through the cacti was bad and bumpy, but very nice. I didn't meet anybody on the first 50 kilometres of the road.