One of the best kept secrets of the Argentine extended geography. At 18,000 ft above sea level, a crater surrounded by ice stalactites with an incredible turquoise water heart.
The crater named Corona del Inca (Inca’s Crown) is a singularly beautiful and breathtaking destination, inaccessible for most people. And, just because of that, it is one of the preferred sites for the most intrepid adventurers. In order to get there, the trip starts before dawn at the towns of Vinchina or Alto Jagüe, the last village in the road that takes to the mountain range. With favorable weather conditions and all the necessary equipments, the group departs on board of 4×4 vehicles. The journey is as demanding as wonderful. It crosses the Peñón Ravine, Laguna Brava’s Provincial Reserve –where pink flamingos offer an unforgettable postcard- and Pampa del Veladero, a deserted valley with the most amazing ice mounds that not even the summer’s sun is capable of melting. Then, there follows a most demanding climbing, by a narrow path between two rock walls and crossing several times the Veladero riverbed. The most unforgettable experience is the ascent that continues by the mountain’s edge, with humid sands making it more difficult; and, afterwards, the mountain range with peaks ranging the 21,300 f.a.s.l. –the Pissis Mount, with 22,578 f.a.s.l., the second highest peak in America. At the end of the road, the big trophy: the magic Inca’s Crown: a crater at 18,044 f.a.s.l. that has in its interior an intense blue lake, formed by snowmelt waters. All around it, there are ice moulds showing their different figures. Everything is immensity and amazement. But the trip still has a last stage: getting to the shores on foot. The landscape beauty is so strange that it is necessary to prove it is not a dream.
IMPORTANT: Corona del Inca can be visited between December and April and only with specialized companies that have the necessary equipment, logistic assistance, oxygen supplies, high mountain food and rescue equipments. The trip takes a whole day.