Whether you travel up the magnificent Quebrada del Toro by train – along one of the highest railways in the world – in a tour operator’s jeep, in a rented car or, as the pioneers did centuries ago, on horseback, the experience will be unforgettable, thanks to the gorge’s constantly changing dramatic mountain scenery and multicoloured rocks. It is named after the Río Toro, normally a meandering trickle, but occasionally a raging torrent and as bullish as its name suggests, especially in the spring. The road and rail track swerve up from the tobacco fields of the Valle de Lerma, southwest of Salta, through dense thickets of ceibo, Argentina’s national tree, ablaze in October and November with their fuchsia-red spring blossom, and end at the dreary but strategic mining settlement of San Antonio de los Cobres.

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