Explorers Connect

Backpacking and Mapping Ancient Inca trails

Join a TeamJames Hipkiss

Have you explored the wild heart of the planet? Well, now is your chance! Pacific Biodiversity Institute invites avid backpackers who enjoy travelling fast and light to join an expedition in the Sierra de Zenta, in northern Argentina's Jujuy Province.

This will be Pacific Biodiversity Institutes second expedition to this mountain range, which is not known well outside the local communities that surround it. It is an area of incredible contrasts, immense biodiversity and spectacular beauty - perhaps one of the most magical areas in South America. On our next trip, from March 22 - April 4, 2015, we will explore further and cross the entire range from west to east. You can be part of a tight international team of adventurers, scientists, and conservationists - lead by an outstanding expedition guide, Trinity Ludwig. In March 2013, Trinity co-led our Nevado de Cachi expedition. She has backpacked much of the length of South America and is fluent in Spanish and has extensive mountaineering and backpacking leadership experience. She relishes venturing into wild and unexplored terrain. When she is not on expeditions, she works as a vice president in the investment banking firm George K. Baum Company. There will also be a local Argentine biologist on the expedition as a co-leader and to provide scientific support. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore deep into one of Argentina's premier biodiversity hotspots and experience the world as it was over 1000 years ago, when Inca and pre-Inca people roamed this mountain range. The Sierra de Zenta contains incredible ecological diversity from beautiful warm deserts and river canyons on the west side, into the high alpine, and then down into lush tropical forests on its eastern flanks. For most of the expedition, we will be hiking on, and mapping, a vast network of trails that were built thousands of years ago, but largely forgotten except for a few local people who still use them. It is a chance to explore the wild heart of the planet and go deep into human history as well. As we backpack through the wild mountains, we will gather information on the landscapes, ecosystems, wildlife, human uses, archeological sites and threats to the ecological integrity of the area. An Argentine biologist, who works with PBI, will be along to aid in wildlife identification and ecological interpretation. The purpose of the expedition is twofold: 1) to gather more information about this remote and little-known realm to aid in its further protection, 2) to introduce new people to this area of incredible contrasts, immense biodiversity, spectacular beauty and great conservation opportunity.

Those interested in joining this trip may contact PBI at expeditions@pacificbio.org. A more detailed expedition plan and trip application can be found at http://www.pacificbio.org/expeditions/sierra_de_zenta.html www.pacificbio.org