Its name comes from the Aymará word “sagta”, which means “the very beautiful one”. Salta is the main base for tourist excursions in the North. From here, you can head to Cafayate, the wine region, the valleys and mountains of Calchaqui Valley, the picturesque route to the historic village of Cachi, the amazing Los Cardones National Park, and much more.
This city has some of the best preserved colonial architecture in the country.The most significant buildings in Salta are grouped around the main square, Plaza 9 de Julio. They include the Cathedral, the Cabildo (town hall) which houses the Museo Histórico del Norte, and the San Francisco Church, which has one of the highest church towers in America (53 m). The Museo Arqueológico de Alta Montaña has a very interesting collection of exhibits gathered from high-altitude Inca shrines, including mummified children.
The Museo de Bellas Artes (Fine Art Museum) resides in a 2 storey colonial mansion on Florida Street, 2 blocks west of Plaza 9 de Julio. San Bernardo Convent is one of the oldest buildings in the city. It has a hand-carved wooden door made by the natives dating back to 1762.
The Cable Car to San Bernardo Hill is an excellent way to see Salta from above. It’s a ten minute ride, taking you from the city centre up to a glorious vista. One can also get there by climbing the 1,021 steps!
Salta has a busy nightlife, especially in and around Balcarce Street. It hosts many favourite local bars, restaurants, and peñas* folklóricas where local food and drinks are served while traditional live music and dancing fill your spirit.
Salta also offers a great variety of adventure activities. You can go horseback riding, trekking or paragliding around the surrounding hills and mountains. Other choices include mountain biking, bird watching or 4×4 journeys. Most of the adventure activities take place at Cabra Corral Dam, 65 km away from Salta city, where you can also go sailing, water skiing, kayaking, jet skiing, bungee jumping, water sliding and even rafting in the Juramento River rapids.
From April to November you can experience an awesome ride on the famous Tren a las Nubes (Train to the Clouds), travelling through the Quebrada* del Toro and ascending up to 4,220 m.