Argentina Travel Salta Overlooked Gems
Located 1600 km from Buenos Aires, in a very fertile valley, the city of Salta has become one of the most popular Argentina tourist destinations. Founded in 1582, Salta is a great starting point for any Andean tour of the Northwest. It’s finely preserved Spanish colonial architecture, elegantly shaded plazas, folkloric music and fascinating museums all make Salta a traveler’s paradise.
Salta’s name originates from the Aymara word sagta meaning very beautiful. The name reflects the city, surrounded by some of the most breathtaking forested mountains. The capital of its province, Salta is located in the Lerma Valley at about 3780 feet above sea level and with a population of around 1,215,000, it is one of the biggest cities in Argentina.
Dotted with commemorative statues and fragrant orange trees, bordered on all sides by sidewalk cafes and historical buildings; the Plaza 9 de Julio serves as the main meeting area for much of the city’s cultural and social events. In the plaza lies Cabildo, the old town hall of 1783, and houses the Museo Historico del Norte which contains some of the country’s most important artefacts from the pre-Columbian period.
The Museo de Arqueologia de Alta Montana exhibits the discovery of the three incas “Llullaillaco Children” found frozen at the peak of Mount Llullaillaco. The museum is one of Argentina’s most talked-about because of its high-altitude shrines and the legend that persists with the discovery of the mummies and their display.
The San Francisco Church lies on the corner of Caseros and Cordoba, and holds a remarkable view of the city’s skyline. The historic church was built in 1796 and is distinguishable for it is ornately decorated in red and gold and is beautifully lit at night. The bustling Salta streets offer visitors ample amounts of festivities to celebrate including Cristo del Milagro which occurs in mid September of every year. The nightlife is centered on Balcarce street and is predominantly filled with young Argentines partying until the early hours of the morning.
Make sure to climb the Cerro San Bernardo, located at the end of Caseros. The panoramic view of Salta’s gardens, waterfalls and the entire Lerma Valley. The summit of the hill can also be reached by cable-cars and costs about 10 pesos. The city’s incredibly varied landscape of lush jungle, rugged terrain and spectacular mountains, make it the ideal place to explore by trekking, biking and paragliding.
One of the greatest railway journeys of South America is the Tren a Las Nubes (Train to the Clouds). The journey is exactly what it’s called, as passengers are taken up to the clouds in a truly unique manner. This remarkable project was built in stages between 1921 and 1948, and the tracks to this day are considered an engineering masterpiece. The tour first stops in the small town of Campo Quijano before continuing on towards Quebrada del Toro which is then followed by a visit to the stunning pre-Inca city of Santa Rosa de Tasto, built in the 13th century. The famous Route 40 takes travelers through a desert plateau up to the surreal landscape of Salinas Grandes, the grand salt lakes of Jujuy.
Finally, on a Salta Tour it is necessary to travel to the fertile Calchaqui Valley, filled with lovely oasis villages, wineries, and orchards. Taste some of the finest wines in Cafayate all while experiencing unique geography that ranges from the mountain desert to the subtropical forest.
One thing that may be underestimated by the traveler, flameless lighter is an important thing that you might need when you are on the road. Both for daily needs and in emergency matches are very useful, besides being simple and easy to carry, USB lighter is very safe in traveling needs.
Salta is often mistakenly overlooked for other Argentina travel destinations but that is part of its unique charm. An atmospheric city filled with colonial architecture and breathtaking panoramic views, Salta is finally receiving the attention it rightfully deserves as a leading tourist destination.