Aktivity – Province of La Rioja

Laguna Brava, Province of La Rioja - Recenze

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390 reviews
Very good

Capelle aan den IJssel, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands5 contributions
Runacay tours
říj 2019
Today we had a wonderful tour with Runacay. They picked us up at our house with a giant 4wd. We had a lovely day. English spoken and some surprises on the road, highly recommended.
Written 29. října 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Province of San Luis, Argentina233 contributions
How planning your trip?
pro 2018 • Přátelé
Laguna Brava is absolutely stunning. All these different colours and at the end the lake with flamingos, as a very special highlight. Not to mention all the animals, who can be seen along the way. Following I want to share my experience in planning the trip.

The trip was organised by a company called Runacay. Their office is in Villa Union. I first contacted them by email in English and I was delighted when I shortly after received an detailed answer, also in English, by a guy called Fabian. In Villa Union I went to their office to book a trip to Laguna Brava. The guide there also spoke English, which made it much easier. Regarding to their website, they offer different tours to Laguna Brava. However, the different tour options weren’t presented to me. I eneded up with a tour from Villa Union straight to Laguna Brava and return. Unfortunately, there was no other person, except of my travel companion, who wanted to do the trip to Laguna Brava on the same date. Therefore we had to pay for 3 traveler, as this is the minimum number in order that the tour takes place.

At the next morning I got picked up at my hotel by my guide with his car. To my surprise, it wasn’t the same guy, who sold me the tour. The guide couldn’t speak one word English. This was certainly a huge disappointment, cause I would miss all his explanations. Furthermore I felt a bit screwed, as no one ever mentioned to me, that it would be an other non-English speaking guide. Having read reviews from other non-Spanish speaker, who claimed that even an non-English speaking guide is still preferable than no guide at all, I decided not to cancel the tour.

The tour itself was very rewarding and I highly recommend to go there. The very rough landscape with different colours of stone is just beautiful. You will see plenty of wildlife during your trip, like lamas, falcons, jackrabbit, flamingos and others. After ~3 hours (including stops), I arrived at the lake. It was very windy and cold and I suggest to bring a windproof jacket with you.
My guide (David) was absolutely kind and tried his very best in explaining the sights, so that I would at least understand a little bit. He also stopped everywhere I liked and never rushed me. If I had spoken Spanish then, I am absolutely sure, he would have been the perfect guide.

Would I do the same tour again? No, I wouldn’t. Having done the tour and knowing everything I know now, I would still go, but without guide. First of all, despite other review I read, it is absolutely fine going by yourself. The road is in good condition and a 4x4 vehicle necessary. Along the way, we even met someone, who drove to Laguna Brava with his motorcycle. Up to the township, which I belive is called Villa San José de Vinchia, the road is paved. There you must pay a small fee (40 Arg. Pesos p.p.) in order to drive to Laguna Brava. As soon as you enter the mountainous area, the paved road becomes a graveled road. The condition of the graveled road was good (see the uploaded photos) and mostly broad enough for two cars. There was only one, although small, section where the road was a bit bumpy. Two times we had to cross a small stream, which ran across the road. Again, for every average skilled driver, the route to Laguna Brave is absolutely doable. It is only one road that leads to Laguna Brave and even as a tourist it is hardly possible to get lost, as long you follow that one road. The sights I visited with my guide, including the lake, are all easily accessible from the road. Also the sights are all well signed and you can’t miss them, with or without guide. What you should consider when going alone, in case of an accident or an emergency, help is far away and there is hardly any traffic (at least during off season, when I was there). Second, there is no cellphone coverage in that area.
In terms of the cost, I paid for a party of three totally 4950 Arg. Pesos plus 40 Arg Pesos road commission p.p. (without guide). Joining a tour as solo traveler is definitely cheaper than going alone. For two traveler the costs are more or less the same. A part of a group of 3, it is cheaper to go alone. Alternatively, a guide can be hired in Villa San José de Vinchia for about 850 Arg. Pesos.
Written 24. prosince 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Hrabství Dublin, Irsko1 contribution
Guided trip to Laguna Brava
dub 2018 • Přátelé
The views you will see during the guided tour to Laguna Brava are absolutely stunning. A must see if you are in the area. You will see mountains in many different colors, guanacas (lama’s), salt lakes and more. Our guide and fellow travelers barely spoke English (and we don’t speak Spanish), but really made an effort to include us and explain everything with hands, feet and a translation app.
We intended to do the drive ourselves with a normal sedan, but were stopped on the road and convinced that it was not safe to go without a guide. We had to pay peso 1350 (approx €54) each, which may seem much, but is totally worth it. Other reviews said they only paid peso 200 or so, but that is not fair given what you get for it: a 6-hour drive in a 4x4 with guide. We went on paths that went off the main road and definitely saw more than if we had gone up ourselves. If you get car or health problems, help is a long way away and there is no internet coverage. That’s why you need a guide. Bring food, water and warm clothes. Be amazed!
Written 25. dubna 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lucena, Španělsko208 contributions
Just breathtaking
pro 2014
It is a lovely place!! The scenery is breathtaking and the silence of implacable nature is amazing. There is local fauna easy to see and enjoy and the cold wind and environment after hot days in lower La Rioja turns out a refreshing break. You need a guide to go with you even when you are using your own car, we chose Damian, from Runacay, and it was a rewarding experience: he is knowledgeable, nice, amusing and caring. Beware of the heights: take coca tea, drink a lot of water, have a slight dinner the day before; you might get mountain sickness. Highly recommendable site + tour company.
Written 29. prosince 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Victoria, BC Canada219 contributions
Fabulous !!
lis 2014 • Pár
This is a must do when you are in the area. It is a long day, about 8 hours and you can only do it on a tour or in a convoy. We went with Runacay Tours because they speak English and will do a tour for 2-4 people. I have never seen such wonderul scenery or ever been to 4200 metres. The tour guide was very concerned about the altitude and looked after us extremely well.
Written 23. listopadu 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Benidorm, Španělsko1 contribution
Stopped on the road at Jague.
lis 2012 • Pár
Today I tried to drive to the Laguna Brava but I was stopped on de road at Jague (after driving 100 km from Villa Union). I was not allowed to continue unless I took a guide with me. I guess it is one of those triks to rip off tourists. I turnes back without seeing the laguna.

Marc, the Netherlands
Written 25. listopadu 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ontario55 contributions
pro 2011 • Jednotlivci
It's really a hidden gem of the Andes in northwest Agentina. This wetland listed on RAMSAR is the home to Andean and James' flamingos, vicuña, guanaco and other fauna. Amazing landscapes and colors of Andes along the winding road to Laguna Brava.
Written 4. května 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Buenos Aires, Argentina8 contributions
úno 2012
great place to visit. Went with teenagerf and a 6 year son. They all loved it. its a long day, take it easy in the hights as the air gets thin. Will return to make to the Inca Crater another 3000ft higher.
Written 28. února 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Buenos Aires, Argentina9 contributions
This is probably one of the most amazing spots in the country! The road there from Vinchina is incredible and arriving at this body of water with pink flamingos, guanacos and vicuñas, and foxes at 4600m above sea level is just astounding.
We hired our guide, Gastón, at the tourism office in Vinchina and he was not only knowledgeable and helpful but nice company during the tour. Totally recommendable!
Written 21. ledna 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Buenos Aires, Argentina105 contributions
A virgin place - wonderful...go go go....
pro 2011 • Přátelé
After visiting the national parks, Ischigualasto and Talampaya, we, 2 couples, decided to make the 24. of December to something special and planned a trip to Laguna Brava. It is a salt lake in 4.400 meters altitude and the whole trip - getting there, experiencing the area and back is worth the effort.

We almost booked a tour with a local provider in a 4 x 4, but it was 450 Arg. Pesos per person, so in the end we agreed that it was too much. But we had the luck that our guide in Talampaya knew a local tour guide with the demanded authorization, which was able to do it on this special day for 200 Arg. Pesos in total...!!! So a good deal, even though we had to do it in our rental car - a normal sedan.

At this time of the year, summer in Argentina, there are NO need of a 4 x 4 to do this trip as the few streams you have to cross only an 10 cm. deep. Of course all the providers of the tours claim that you cant do it by yourself - and if you are not comfortable driving in the mountains - then book, but else......don´t and save the money. The roads are in nice conditions, paved or not, and any kind of experienced driver can manage.

YOU can´t go to Laguna Brava without an authorized guide ! You will pass to stops where you have to register and the guide has to show his license. The registration is a precaution - as they will search for you if you dont return again at the end of the day. Always bring along your personal papers (passport) as they will ask for the number, etc.

Our guide, Emmanuel Luna, we picked up in Vinchina, north of Villa Union, and we began our tour at 8.15 am. He had done more than 1000 tours and we made a lot of stops where he carefully explained the sights. On the way up we were so lucky to see 5 Condors in the sky above the peaks of the mountains - absolutely breath taking. After 4 hours we reached the plateau and the sight was spectacular. An old plane, which carried animals between Chile and Argentina, crashed there many years ago, but is still to be seen. A large number of flamingos live there along with the Guanacos, foxes and a few other animals. Next stop was at the geisers before we went back again. We returned to Vinchina at about 4 pm. after an excellent day.

I can higly recommend this sight as it will offer you spectacular views and it is not full of tourists. Search in the local area for a local guide if you have a car, and you will save a lot of money - and the tour will for sure be better.

To remember: It is in the high altitude, 4.400 meters, so if you suffer altitude sickness, then don´t go or bring severel pain killers. Drink water and avoid too much food before you go. Bring sandwishes and water.
Written 11. ledna 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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