History, gastronomy, nature, culture, ecology, adventure… It doesn’t matter what you prefer as a traveler: at the very top of Argentina, to the west, awaits a province that can offer you almost everything. Yes, I’m speaking about Salta.
Despite being 1,500 kilometers away from Buenos Aires, there’s hardly another province in the country where you have so many possibilities, and where you can especially enjoy its customs, its food and its undeniable beauty. Here is a list of things you should do during your trip to Salta:
Learn its history and “salteño” traditions in the capital
The city of Salta is called “La Linda” (The Beautiful) for something. Surrounded by mountains and other natural beauties, the capital of the province harbors an endless number of historic sites and museums that will let you discover the past of a region that perfectly reflects the indigenous origins and the potpourri of Latin American customs that is Argentina and Salta in particular. Furthermore, the capital has colonial houses, religious buildings and authentic architectural wonders that will leave you with your mouth wide open for the whole day (although you’ll have to close it to savor traditional and incredibly tasty dishes like locro, empanadas or humitas).
Catch a train to the clouds
One of Argentina’s most famous and touristic rail journeys takes place from April to December in this northwestern province. The “Tren a las Nubes” (Train to the Clouds) starts at the city of Salta and goes down the Lerma Valley, through the mountains, across the Tastil ruins and into the canyons of Quebrada del Toro before it reaches its final destination: the viaduct of La Polvorilla. This construction is built on a deserted plateau that is located more than four thousand meters above sea level, on the border of Chile, and surrounded by the breathtaking Andes. What’s a trip to Salta without touching the clouds?
Try great wine in Cafayate while you admire the beauty of the Calchaquí Valleys
It goes without saying that if you choose to visit a country like Argentina you HAVE to try a huge slab of beef and, of course, a great wine like Malbec, Cabernet or Torrontés. This last one is actually born in the north of the country and one of the best places to try it is the “salteña” city of Cafayate, located 200 kilometers south from the capital of a province which is the second largest wine producer of the country, just after Mendoza. Besides its cathedral, its main square and its wonderful colonial architecture, people that reach Cafayate are mainly attracted by its food and wineries.
The city is the non-declared capital of the legendary Calchaquí Valleys, unmissable during your trip to Salta. This unique blend of history and nature is a perfect combination between picturesque XVIIIth century villages like Cachi and amazing landscapes like those of the national park Los Cardones or Quebrada del Río de las Conchas, where a completely deserted scenery is broken by the subtle presence of water.
Live adventures in Cabra Corral dam
Only 85 kilometers away from the city of Salta, this artificial reservoir is the perfect spot for locals and tourists who want to disconnect in nature. For the most adventurous ones, the best choice is to grab a tent and spend your days practicing water sports like rafting or the latest, trendiest and scariest one: bungee jumping. The dam is 93 meters high and therefore, ideal for those who want to feel an adrenalin rush during their vacation.
On the other hand, if you just want to relax, it’s also a great place to lay on the river banks and admire 127 square kilometres of water surrounded by mountains or jump on a boat and go fishing for rainbow trout and dorados. Another popular excursion takes you the rocky surroundings where you can see the paintings and petroglyphics that prove the former existence of native settlers on this land. Do you still doubt that a trip to Salta isn’t for everyone?
Written by Irene Valiente