The Llullaillaco is located on the Chile-Argentina border. The Northeast Route is typically approached from Argentina.
It is the highest archeological site in the world at 6730m. Mummies of 3 Inca children were discovered there in 1999 and exposed at the Salta museum of high altitude archeology (MAAM).
No public transportation to Llullaillaco from either Chile or Argentina. Approach from Argentina is usually done from Salta (the last major city for supplies) and can take 2 days.
The drive is on dirt roads and you will past thru the villages of San Antionio De Los Cobres and Tolar Grande. Both these villages have minimal goods/services. A couple of small hotels/guest houses are available for accomodations. Reservations can be made in advance.
In 2020 there was a lot of mining activity in the area and due to increased mining traffic the roads were pretty rough with wash board conditions.
The drive from Salta to San Antionio De Los Cobres is on paved roads (Ruta Provincal 51) and takes 2-3 hours. The dirt road (Ruta Provincal 27) from San Antionio De Los Cobres to Tolar Grande passes thru Desierto del Diablo and takes 6-8 hours. From Tolar Grande proceed west on the dirt road accross Salar de Arizaro to the mines on the west side of Salar de Arizaro. If this map (Volcanes Llullaillaco y Socmpa Hiking Map 1:150,000k) is still in print, it will show the final road approach to the Northeast Route.
Our outfitter Anibal Maturano obtained a border permit for the climb. We checked in the local authorities in Tolar Grande and obtained the final signature for the trip.
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