Quebrada de las Conchas (Cafayate)
Quebrada de las Conchas, also known under the name Quebrada de Cafayate is a magnificent canyon located in the Valles Calchaquíes near Cafayate. The canyon has been carved by Las Conchas River over several million years. Archeological research has led to the discovery of numerous marine fossils and even dinosaur footprints. Moreover, the Inca road network once passed through the canyon. The name 'quebrada' means 'canyon' or 'gorge' and 'conchas' means 'shells.'
I can find the word to describe the Quebrada de las Conchas since the landscapes are so fantastic. Over several dozen kilometres, every place I looked upon, the rock formations offer an incredible vista. I drove the canyon twice and each time I was impressed by what I was seeing.
Here is a long series of photos taken in the canyon. Yes, there are so many, but I could not manage to remove any of them.
Here is the first site coming from Cafayate. It is possible to do a small walk in the interior from the site.
Ventana means 'window', but I don't know why the word is plural since I only saw one.
Sendero Los Estratos
It is one of the most beautiful places in the canyon. A small walk of about 1 km leads to Los Estratos, a rock formation with thin layers of soil of many colours.
All along the path, the scenery is fantastic.
Casa de Los Loros (house of the parakeets)
The numerous holes on the wall are in fact nests for the burrowing parakeet/Patagonian conure (Cyanoliseus patagonus)
Mirador Tres Cruces
Don't look for a rock formation in the shape of three crosses. The crosses at this mirador are made of wood and are erected near the road.
The amphitheatre has an extraordinary acoustic quality. Hidden deep inside the rock formation, a man was playing the flute and the sound was so beautiful.
Garganta del Diablo
The Devil's Throat.
Santa Barbara Trail
In the heart of the Quebrada de las Conchas, from the hamlet of Santa Barabara, I followed a dirt trail that goes deep inside the reserve.
I drove nearly 17 kilometres on this trail without seeing any tourist or even locals. The scenery was fantastic.
Ruinas de los Quilmes