An easy, enjoyable walk along various rivers. Notable for its rich variety of petroglyphs.
*The word “chus-chul” means “salty” in Kunza, the language spoken by the Likanantai before the Spanish conquest. Hence the name of the Chus-Chul River (or Salado/Salty River).
Type of Excursion: Half-day hike
Difficulty: Easy. It does include river crossings that require removing your shoes.
Altitude: 2,500 meters above sea level.
Distance: 5.5 km
Duration: Two hours (up to three hours, depending on the river levels)
Environment: Gorge / River / Cave Paintings (petroglyphs)
Itinerary: We depart by van from Casa Atacama, heading northwest. From Llano de la Paciencia, we’ll continue north through a gorge, passing by the Piedra de la Coca (Coca Stone), famed for its petroglyphs, before reaching the bank of the Chus-Chul River (one hour), where the hike begins. Following the rivers’ flows, we’ll reach the meeting point with the van at the Catarpe Ayllu. We then return by van to San Pedro (30 min).
Description: The hike follows the bed of the Salado River, which has served as an old route for caravans and shepherds that is still used today. In the rock shelters that border the river, you can admire a wide variety of petroglyphs from different eras. Later, we’ll reach the point where the San Pedro River begins, one of the two main rivers that feed the oasis of San Pedro, the product of the union of the Salado and Grande Rivers. We follow the river until reaching Cuchabrache, a rainfall measurement station from which we’ll need to cross the river several times before arriving at the Catarpe Ayllu, where we’ll meet up with the van and return to Casa Atacama.
Recommendations: Bring light clothing (ideally with long sleeves to protect you from the insects), a jacket, comfortable footwear for hiking, sunblock, insect repellent, sunglasses, a hat, and a backpack.
Noi Equipment: The hotel provides towels for drying your feet after the numerous river crossings.
Includes: A cooler (water and refreshments), trail mix.
Distance and Altitude
Quebrada con río / Arte rupestre (petroglifos)
Baja. Hay cruces de ríos donde es necesario quitarse los zapatos.