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Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon) in Cusi Cusi


It is a little known wonderful corner of Argentina: a valley with strange shapes, breath-taking landscapes and "Martian" colours along the sides of National Route 40.

The best time to visit is from March to April and from October to November.

What to see

This unique geological formation features viewpoints to contemplate the extensive reddish, grey, white and purple valley and its 100-metre-high peaks and cliffs, carved by the erosion of the Puna’s volcanic rocks.

Due to the extreme dryness, the area has almost no vegetation, and over the years strange shapes have been created, including domes, ravines and columns of intense colours.

The town

The picturesque town of Cusi Cusi is two streets long, with a square and a church. There are less than 250 inhabitants who are engaged in sheep, llamas and donkey breeding, in artisanal mining, craftsmanship and quinoa production. 


Alto Andina de la Chinchilla Provincial Reserve

This reserve has been declared RAMSAR site (wetlands of international importance) and IBA (Important Bird Area). The main attraction is the wetland of Vilama-Pululos lagoons; these are hypersaline lagoons that serve as the summer habitat of a rich aquatic bird fauna, with a large number of endemic and/or threatened species.

The lagoons are located 100 km away from the town of Cusi Cusi (200 km round trip from National Route 40). Given the difficult access, it is critical to go with a local guide who knows the area well.


Along National Route 50, between Cusi Cusi and Susques and 3,930 m.a.s.l., Coranzulí is an old mining town which was hit by the mine closures in the area. Today, the dwellers are camelid breeders, mostly llamas. Its church, dating from 1897, is worth visiting. Also, the area has a thermal spring water affluent 6 km north of the town. 

How to get there and move around

Valle de la Luna is 5 km south-east of the town of Cusi Cusi. Given the difficult access, remoteness and the rigorous weather, booking a tour is advisable.

Visitors going by car should ideally take Abra Pampa (129 kilometres away), along Provincial Routes 7, 70 and 85. It is also possible to access through Susques (179 km away) or La Quiaca (138 km away) along National Route 40, but it is a high mountain road made of rubble, dirt and sand, full of curves and slopes, and with few road services. It is advisable to carry additional petrol cans.

There is a bus company that operates from Abra Pampa to Cusi Cusi. Check the timetable in advance.

Before travelling, consult the state of the routes at the nearest tourism office. How to avoid "altitude sickness"? Read these recommendations to take care of your health.

Where to stay

Cusi Cusi has a homestay lodge. Other sites in the area with accommodation are Susques (179 km away), Abra Pampa (129 km away) or Santa Catalina (63 km away).

More information