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La Polvorilla Viaduct and Tren a las Nubes


If there is one picture that identifies Puna, it is that of La Polvorilla Viaduct, a wonderful engineering work supporting the passage of another icon, Tren a las Nubes, which crosses the mythical Route 40. 


La Polvorilla Viaduct is open to visitors all year round. Check calendar and rates for Tren a las Nubes, and book in advance (operation is subject to weather conditions).

What to see
La Polvorilla Viaduct

At 4,220 m.a.s.l., this extraordinary, smoothly curved steel bridge crosses a deep gully. It is 224 metres long and 63 metres high. National Route 40 runs underneath the bridge, and over the viaduct is the famous Tren a las Nubes. 

Tren a las Nubes

It is one of the most popular destinations in Northeast Argentina. Getting to know La Polvorilla Viaduct on board the Tren a las Nubes (Train to the Clouds) is a breath-taking experience, considering that it is one of the highest railways in the world: it reaches 4,220 m.a.s.l.

Currently, it operates along the San Antonio de los Cobres-La Polvorilla Viaduct, San Antonio de los Cobres. It offers 2 services: taking the train at San Antonio de los Cobres station, which can be reached by vehicle; or a full trip, including a shuttle bus from and to Salta capital city. 

San Antonio de los Cobres

At 3,776 m.a.s.l., this town is the starting point to visit the viaduct by land (17 km along National Route 40) or to experience the Tren a las Nubes departing from the train station.

Visitors can go to the artisan market to see the work done in the looms, the San Antonio de Padua church and the Andean Regional Museum (a story about the history and customs of the Puna). Other unforgettable experiences include riding on llamas, sharing a day with a typical local shepherd, taking part in a ceramic handicraft workshop.

How to get there and move around

There are regular tours and buses leaving from Salta capital city to San Antonio de los Cobres (160 km away) along National Route 51 (there are paved and rubble sections).

Driving along National Route 40 from north to south, visitors can get to San Antonio de los Cobres via Susques (in Jujuy, 134 km away).

Where to stay

Salta capital city offers a wide range of accommodation options of different categories. San Antonio de los Cobres also has lodging, restaurants and a petrol station. There are also rural community tourism providers that offer lodging and experiential tourism services in Quebrada del Toro.

More information