Salta and the Northwest Travel
Travel to Salta and Northwest Argentina to be greeted by awe-inspiring deserts, enticing wineries and indigenous heritage.
Northwest Argentina is quickly becoming one of the country’s must-see destinations, thanks to a heady mix of eye-popping desert scenery, beautifully preserved colonial towns, indigenous history and exquisite wineries. Salta is at the heart of it all, a centuries-old city which serves both as a base for discovering the exuberant surroundings, as well as a lively, cultural mecca in its own right.
Venture to Northwest Argentina to get under the skin of a region unchanged for centuries and which, unlike the rest of the country, is home to many indigenous peoples. Sweeping landscapes are shaped by everything from immense Andes mountains to lowland valleys, salt flats and deserts dotted with cacti forests to lush meadows that call out to be explored. Some of the most astounding gorges can be found here, with dazzling rock formations that appear as though rainbows have been imprinted on their surface. So whether on a bike tour, horseback ride or trek, discovering the jewels of Northwest Argentina is an absolute delight.
Then there’s intoxicating Salta, the region’s most coveted colonial town where fantastic museums, restaurants and bars abound. Salta dates back to 1582, so you can expect plenty of painstakingly preserved churches, pretty plazas and colourful facades to marvel at; while the sun-dappled hills beyond town serve as a reminder of the adventures that await. Further south of Salta is the small town and burgeoning wine region, Cafayate, allegedly boasting the world’s highest vineyards at an altitude of 1,683m, and hence producing some truly exquisite grapes including Torrontes, Tannet, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. These varieties are best sampled on a tour and tasting at some of Cafayate’s finest wineries, under the glow of a warming sun with views across to the fiery red mountains.
Quebrada de Humahuaca
This impressive gorge stretches for almost 100 miles, characterised by dappled mountains that seem to come alive with colour. Most outstanding of all is that the valley was part of a key trading route during the reign of the Inca, connecting the High Andes with the plains of the south-east. The ‘Camino Inca’ is so significant that in 2003 it was established as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the aim to preserve the countless ancient settlements that are strewn along this famous route.
The life and soul of Salta
Become acquainted with the architectural and cultural highlights of this lively north-western city, getting to know its colourful history and modern soul on a city tour. The hub of it all is the 9 de Julio Plaza, which in turn is lined with some of the most important and striking buildings in town; while the museums bring fascinating insights into the peoples of Northwest Argentina, with archaeological relics showcased in some, and cutting-edge, modern art displayed in others.
Wines of Cafayate
The northern counterpart to well-known Mendoza, Cafayate is smaller but it certainly packs a punch with its fragrant bouquets and full-bodied flavours of wines, made from grapes that are grown under an ever-present sun during the day, and with cooler temperatures at night. For wine-lovers, it’s an absolute must-do experience, and with the uninterrupted vistas of Cafayate’s surrounding mountains at every turn, it could be one of the most scenic wine regions you’ll ever visit.