Salinas Grandes is a large salt flat in the north of Argentina. Not as big as the famous Uyuni in Bolivia, which is the largest in the world, but still impressive. I visited the salt flat with a great tour starting from Salta and I describe below briefly.
The tour started early at 7 a.m. in a minibus. The route ran almost directly next to the rails of the Tren a las Nubes, the train to the clouds. As of Jan 2020, this train unfortunately only runs on the last 20km. In the past you could take the scenic route from Salta to the mountains up to an altitude of over 4000m. Our guide told us that the rails are still in good condition and it is only a political and economic decision that the train no longer goes the entire route from Salta. However, the train is also a purely tourist train without the purpose of a regional transfer. Attention, you can book the train, but as I said, it only runs the last kilometers, before that you take the same route by bus as on the tour to Salinas Grandes.
On the tour we made a stop to photograph one of the large railway viaducts. As the tour proceeded, the number of cacti increased, so we also stopped to take a selfies with a cactus. After going uphill, the cacti disappeared and the landscape became quite bleak. A photo stop here too. After lunch in San Antonio we arrived in the afternoon at the highlight of the tour, the Salinas Grandes salt flat. Everything shines in white as far as the eye can see. The sky in great contrast over it. Simply impressive and beautiful. In between there are ditches. Salt blocks were cut out here. If you hold your hand in the water, it will be covered with a layer of salt. Then there was a photo stop at the highest point of the route at 4170m before going back down into the valley.
The last stop was Purmamarca, the city with the 7-color mountain, although the light here is no longer ideal in the evening. But that day was about the salt desert and not about colored mountains. You have to do a tour to the El Hornocal tour for the real colorful mountain. We were back in Salta at around 8 p.m..