Las Yungas is the name that receives regions of the mountain jungle that are born in Perú and end up in Argentina as an extension of The Amazonas.
In Argentina, this is located in the north, crossing the provinces of Jujuy, Salta, and Tucumán, where two types of ecosystems, dry and wet, mix up creating amazing biodiversity of flora and fauna.
The mountains can reach 4.800 meters high, and you can see the difference of nature when you are on the top because the ground, vegetation, and climate have the characteristics of a forest instead of the jungle that you can see in the plain.
I traveled 140 kilometers, on a bus, for 2 hours from the Capital of Salta to the town of San José de Metán, to the southwest of the province.
When I arrived, David, the guide, a 50-year-old man with gray hair, soft brown eyes that contrasted with a rather rough face, was waiting for me in a 4×4 truck that seemed to have fought a few battles.
He received me with a gift: a survival bracelet: 5 meters of string, a compass, a magnesium tip to make a fire at one end and a knife at the other end (now I know what to answer when someone asks me what I would take if I were trapped in an island)
By the time of the year (November) I was the only one who had bought the trip, so it would be only him and me on this journey.
Las Yungas´ ecosystem represents 1% of the surface of Argentina, but it has 50% of the country’s flora and fauna biodiversity, especially birds… I saw so many in all of their shapes, colors, and sizes. The landscape is majestic and I feel tiny in such immensity.
The weather forecast determined rain most of the days, and in that situation, we cannot go too far because the vegetation keeps the land off the sun and it cannot dry quickly. It is strange how, sometimes, we want to be doing nothing, but when that moment arrives we enter into despair. Or maybe we enter into ourselves? It was cold in the middle of summer, the fog had erased the mountains that surrounded us, and at night I had to place blankets over my sleeping bag … We had just to respect the time of nature, as David told me.
Nature is good
Luckily, nature did not make us wait so long, and the sun began to take place among the clouds. The perfect climate for trekking to the top of the highest mountain in the area: “La Medialuna”, whose name proceeds from the road that must be traveled to get there.
The final track was difficult. The way was steep and narrow, which gave an adrenaline touch to the adventure. “Jesus protects the people of Metan” was written on the iron cross, along with other inscriptions of those who passed by. We walked 7.33 kilometers in total, with 459 meters in a vertical drop. From the top, we could see the borderline between Metán and Rosario de La Frontera, another town in Salta. The photos and videos cannot be compared with the wonder that my eyes saw and kept into my memory.
The greatness of simple things
This trip kept me far away from external noises and made me listen to my inner voice. I was delighted with each conversation I had with David, he is an entrepreneur and a visionary, who also takes care of his community development and respect nature. He encouraged me to listen to my internal voice and take a chance for what I want.
Nature did not cease to amaze me at every moment and make me feel that greatness is in simple things.
If you want to know more about Las Yungas, I invite you to visit my article published on the Travelista Club web page, where you can read bits of advice about how to get there, things to do, information about the place and others tips.