The neighboring provinces of Salta and Jujuy, located in the extreme Northwest of Argentina, are home to some of the country’s most unique attractions. Once inhabited by a multitude of pre-colonial tribes, the region’s aboriginal roots are a large reason for its thriving tourism industry. In addition, Salta and Jujuy are both home to gorgeous natural landscapes, including colorful mountains and salt flats, which continually intrigue tourists from other parts of Argentina, as well as from around the world.
The historic sites and natural features of Northwest Argentina are some of the most interesting in the country, making a trip to the region extremely worthwhile. The following list is composed of Say Hueuqe’s recommended top 9 attractions in Salta and Jujuy, which will hopefully assist you in designing the perfect itinerary for your time in Argentina’s beautiful Northwest region.
Top Attraction in Salta & Jujuy: Seven Colors Hill (Cerro de los Siete Colores)
One of the top attractions in the Salta and Jujuy region, as well as in all of Argentina, is the Seven Colors Hill. A natural masterpiece, this rock formation has acquired its colors through a long history of river and lake movements and is a sight that will leave you in awe. Located in Jujuy, the village of Purmamarca is found at its base, bringing many tourists to explore both the colorful mountains and the famous village below. This is a top attraction in Salta and Jujuy and Say Hueque highly recommends making a visit to see it.
Top Attraction in Salta & Jujuy: Great Salt Flats (Salinas Grandes)
Another one of the top attractions in the Salta and Jujuy region is the famous Great Salt Flats. Locally known as the Salinas Grandes, this attraction is a large salt desert found at the base of the Sierras de Cordoba mountain range. Often compared to a large mirror, the Great Salt Flats are completely unique and are something that all travelers will enjoy. From Purmamarca visitors can make a 1-2 hour drive, with views of gorgeous scenery along the way, to get to the Salt Flats. This attraction is highly recommended for your trip to Salta and Jujuy.
Top Attraction in Salta & Jujuy: Humahuaca Gorge (Quebrada de Humahuaca)
Located within Jujuy province is the small village of Humahuaca. This village is not far from the city of Jujuy and is surrounded by one of the region’s top attractions. The Quebrada de Humahuaca, or Humahuaca Gorge, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is highly recommended for a day trip while you are in Jujuy. Apart from the beautiful scenery all around the gorge, the area also offers visitors a look at ancient remains of pre-Columbian settlements in the valley. This top attraction is a great way to explore both the nature and culture of the Jujuy province.
Top Attraction in Salta & Jujuy: Gorge of the Shells (Quebrada de las Conchas)
Located just 90 km southwest of the city of Salta, the nature reserve of Quebrada de las Conchas is undoubtedly a top attraction in the Salta and Jujuy region. Found alongside the Rio de las Conchas (Shell River), this gorge is full of beautiful rock formations and other spectacular sights that can be seen from the nearby Highway 68. Visitors can travel along Route 68 from Salta to the town of Cafayate, which is close to the gorge, for great views of the area. This attraction is consistently rated as one of the most rewarding in the Salta and Jujuy region. Don’t miss out on seeing the Quebrada de las Conchas!
Top Attraction in Salta & Jujuy: Virgin of the Three Little Hills (Virgen de los Tres Cerritos)
Another one of Salta’s top attractions is the famous shrine of the Virgin Mary, located on top of the second of three hills in the north part of the city of Salta. This attraction is especially interesting on Saturdays, when hundreds of people flock to the site to receive blessings and take part in religious ceremonies. Visitors can go by car up the majority of the path leading up the hill, where they will need to park and walk the remainder of the route. This top attraction is a great way to get a glimpse into the culture of the local people and is highly recommended for your trip to Salta.
Top Attraction in Salta & Jujuy: Salta Cathedral
Erected at the center of the main square in the city of Salta, the Cathedral of Salta is one of the most visited attractions in the region. Built in the second half of the 19th Century after an earthquake destroyed the previous cathedral, the building is an architectural beauty, incorporating marble floors with a large amount of gold throughout. This is an attraction that visitors can view on their own time, without needing to schedule a visit, and it is highly recommended that you add it to your list of things to do in Salta.
Top Attraction in Salta & Jujuy: High Mountain of Salta Museum of Archaeology
A top attraction for the history-inclined travelers, the Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña de Salta, or MAAM, is designed to educate guests about the indigenous peoples who inhabited the region prior to the arrival of the Spanish. Displaying numerous artifacts from the Inca period to help explain the culture, this museum also famously includes preserved mummies that were found in the region. Offering both Spanish and English translations throughout the museum, this attraction is one of the most interesting in the city of Salta. You will definitely want to spend a few hours at MAAM.
Top Attraction in Salta & Jujuy: Fort of Tilcara (Pucara de Tilcara)
Located close to the city of Tilcara in the province of Jujuy, the Pucara de Tilcara is a pre-Inca fortification that serves as one of the region’s most popular sites of archaeological ruins. Partially reconstructed, this site is now a museum and draws large numbers of tourists each year. Visitors can get to this top attraction by walking a few hours, during which they will enjoy the surrounding Cactus Garden and beautiful views from the top of the hill where the museum is located. This is a great attraction for a day trip and is highly recommended for your trip to the Salta and Jujuy region.
Top Attraction in Salta & Jujuy: Peña Folk Concert
If you’re looking for fun things to do in the Salta and Jujuy region, consider jumping inside the region’s culture and attending a peña, or folk concert. Popular in the city of Salta, these folk concerts celebrate the cultural heritage of the region and incorporate elements of Spanish folk music and dance with lyrics about rural life in Argentina. This attraction will teach you about the traditions of Northern Argentina and provide you with a fun night at the same time. Attending a peña is a must in Salta and Say Hueque recommends it as one of the area’s top attractions.
From the beautiful natural landscapes to the numerous ancient ruins, the provinces of Salta and Jujuy highlight another unique area of Argentina. Northern Argentina is an exceptional place and offers visitors many opportunities to explore its treasures in depth. Visiting the cities of Salta and Jujuy, you will enjoy the colonial era architecture and the cultural traditions of the people. In addition, staying in these cities will allow you to venture out into the provinces to explore the most popular sites of the region, many of which are included on this list. Say Hueque is glad you have chosen to visit Salta and Jujuy and wants to help you make your trip perfect. This list offers you information about the top attractions we recommend visiting in the area, which will hopefully help you craft the perfect itinerary for your trip to Salta and Jujuy.
Written by Will Collier