Crossing the Andes: the Inca Bridge

Crossing the argentinian Andes is fairly long and while I wasn’t usually in a hurry to arrive to my my destination I always preferred not to stop, if only to save a few minutes. No surprises here: the disease of our time is that we always live in a hurry even if we’re not.

This time I stopped. And what a sight. The bright yellow color is mesmerizing. The bridge of the Inca is a natural formation over the Las Cuevas river, that looks like chocolate, which carved this bridge in the rock. There’s a particular smell in the entire area due to the sulfur contained in the water.

Inca Bridge at the bottom of the mountain
While it was possible in the past, visitors can’t currently walk over the bridge towards the other side since the bridge could crack and fall down. There used to be a hotel on the other side but it was destroyed by an avalanche in 1965. Only the chapel in the photo below was preserved.

Chapel that survived the avalanche
There are souvenirs that locals sell. I didn’t take any picture because they’re merely tacky regular objects that are put into the water of the river. After a few days these are covered by a sulfur crust and sold.

One fun fact is that Charles Darwin visited the site on March 1835, and vandaliz… err made some drawings on the bridge with large stalactites.

Puente del Inca is located in the last argentinian district in that area, Las Cuevas, in the department of Las Heras, in the province of Mendoza, Argentina.

There used to be a railroad but it’s now an unused train station that serves as a museum of andinism and mountain climbing called Museo del Andinista.

Railroad and train station that is now a museum

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