Located in the foothills of the Andes, Salta is an up-and-coming tourist destination for all travelers. The city provides travelers with modern hotels and restaurants developed in recent years, but it has also managed to retain its traditions and culture. Whether you want to retrace pilgrims’ footsteps, learn about Inca rituals, or party the night away, there is something for you in Salta.
Salta, Argentina is surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery from the red mountains and rock formations to the tobacco fields with old school processing plants. On this 12-hour excursion from Salta, you can sit back and relax in a comfortable minibus while observing the wonders of nature. Some of the exciting places you’ll see on this journey include, but aren’t limited to La Merced, El Carril, and natural rock formations such as the Devil´s Throat, the House of the Parrots and the Titanic.
The fun really begins once the minibus arrives in Cafayate. Here you get to explore the region’s wineries and taste some of the world famous Salta wines. The spectacular journey resumes after lunch when you can witness the sunset’s effect on the magnificent red mountains.
Wine and landscapes tour of Cafayate
Prices: 710 ARS [40 USD]
2. Cuesta del Obispo
Cuesta del Obispo is a mountain road perfect for all thrill seekers. The twisting road winds its way up a gorgeous mountain and finishes at the mountain’s peak. The stunning vista is worth the daring hairpin turns all drivers or cyclists must face on their climb up. The best time to conquer this mountain is during a summer’s morning when the sun causes the brooks and streams to glisten amongst the rolling green hills.
Cuesta del Obispo
Address: RN33 Salta, Argentina
3. Catedral de Salta
The Catedral de Salta is far from your typical cathedral. This outlandish monument stands out from its surroundings with its bright pink exterior and magnificently detailed interior. South America is known for its exuberance and this is at the core of Salta’s cathedral. Intermingled with its deserved reverence, the cathedral also exudes an atmosphere of hope and joy in its brightly colored walls. This striking church is definitely a must-see for any visitor in Salta.
Catedral de Salta
Address: Alvarado, 4400 Salta
Website: Catedral (in Spanish)
4. Iglesia Nuestra Senora de La Candelaria de La Vina
Another must-see in Salta is the multicolored ‘Iglesia Nuestra Senora de La Candelaria de La Vina.’ The exterior of this impressive church is painted red and blue as these are the traditional colors of the region. Inside, you will find an intricate painting adorning the walls and ceilings. The best time to visit this unique church is in the morning as it is sometimes closed in the afternoons.
Iglesia Nuestra Senora de La Candelaria de La Vina
Address: Alberdi esquina San Juan, 4400 Salta
5. Museo de Arqueologia de Alta Montana de Salta
The Museo de Arqueologia de Alta Montana de Salta (MAAM) is responsible for preserving and promoting the history of Salta and the surrounding regions. Some of the most interesting artifacts on display are the preserved mummified Inca children. The story of these children is well told as you journey throughout the museum. The recommended time for exploring the museum is around one hour.
Museo de Arqueologia de Alta Montana de Salta
Address: Bartolomé Mitre 85, 4400 Salta
6. Plaza 9 de Julio
No trip to Salta, Argentina is complete without an evening stroll along Plaza 9 de Julio. This square sits at the heart of the city and is a popular place for locals and tourists to gather for a picnic, drinks at bars, markets, street dancing and much more. The area dates back to 1783 and is steeped in history. The buildings lining the square are architectural gems and they include the town hall, MAAM, and the Catedral. At night, this is the ideal place for dinner and drinks as you marvel at the buildings and the incredibly tall palm trees marking the outskirts of the plaza.
Plaza 9 de Julio
Address: Av Tavella s/n, Salta, Argentina
7. Calle Balcarce
Every town has one street notorious for night time entertainment. Usually lined with bars and restaurants vying for your custom, these streets are the hub of evening activities. For Salta, Calle Balcarce is that place. Head here at night to experience a typical Argentinian evening of food, drinks, and dancing. With a different bar and restaurant in every building, there is a place for everyone here, whether you’re into live music or looking for something a little more intimate.
Address: Calle Balcarce, Salta, Argentina
8. Cerro San Bernardo and Salta Teleferico
One of the highlights of any trip to Salta, Argentina is a ride on the Telerifico. The cable car scales a mountain to give you amazing panoramic views of the city and the landscape. If you’re a bit of a fitness freak, you can run or hike up the mountain. On the mountain’s peak, you will find a statue of St Bernard, a small café/bar and souvenir shop, and some gorgeous man-made waterfalls. Definitely an Instagram-worthy trip.
Teleferico San Bernardo
Address: Av Yrigoyen Salta
Price: 200 ARS [11.30 USD]
9. Immaculada Madre del Divino Corazon Eucaristico de Jesus
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On the highest hill in the Salta region is a small sanctuary devoted to the Virgin Mary who is said to have appeared there on multiple occasions. The sanctuary was built by pilgrims wishing to pray to the Holy Virgin. Over the course of a few months, pilgrims would volunteer their time to carry the materials needed to build the sanctuary up the steep mile-long road. Now that construction has finished pilgrims and tourists travel up the same road to the peak of the hill. As one of the most peaceful areas in Salta, this is the go-to place for travelers seeking some tranquility.
Immaculada Madre del Divino Corazon Eucaristico de Jesus
10. Tren a las Nubes
The ‘Train to the Clouds’ is an incredible example of man’s engineering ability. The train reaches heights of 4,200 meters (14,000 feet) above sea level as it winds its way through the mountainous regions around Salta. As enjoy the spectacular views you can listen to the English and Spanish commentary detailing the history of the railway and describing the scenery. The train runs on Saturdays between April and October and it’s usually pretty packed so make sure you book your tickets in advance.
Tren a las Nubes
Price: Starting from 1,400 ARS [79 USD]
Website: Tren a las Nubes (in Spanish)
The perfect getaway
Salta is a quaint town with much to offer the traveler who wants to avoid tourist traps. The city has retained its traditional charm and has yet to give into the ever-increasing commercialization of other popular spots in South America. So, make sure to visit soon to get a real taste of Argentina.
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