Salta – Argentina (the North)
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 metres). 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 metres (www.trenalasnubes.com.ar).
HOSTAL NUEVO PUESTO – Budget Category
A nice colonial house in the downtown area, 6 blocks from the main plaza and close to supermarkets and the central market, Hostal Nuevo Puesto is an excellent choice to spend your days in Salta.
The real eye-catcher of this place are the 2 central patios, perfect to hang out and unwind, and the kitchen is perfect to cook yourself a tasty meal. Fridays and Saturdays the BBQ is lit for a delicious asado, don’t miss out!
After filling up your belly you can call it a night at one of the dorms with lockers or in one of the various private rooms (different capacities, shared or private bathroom). The private rooms come with TV and towels.
Ready for some action? Most activities in the Salta region can be booked by the bilingual owners whose goal is to make you feel at home!
HOSTEL SALTA POR SIEMPRE – Budget Category
This upbeat hostel with its super helpful crew stands nearby beautiful Salta’s city centre. It’s a spotlessly clean hostel with a kitchen and all rooms include homemade brekkie, aircon, towels and ensuite bathroom, even the dorms! For private rooms you have the choice of double, matrimonial, triple or quadruple rooms. The latter are perfect for travelling families: spacious and budget friendly.
The hostel’s ample garden and the large and cosy onsite bar & living room are the places to hang out, drink a beer and have fun! Or if you like games, try your best at table tennis or foosball. Don’t miss their Wed. and Sat. asados!
Popular hostel for (motor)cyclists: indoor patios to securely park your (motor)bike!
‘Salta por Siempre’ also has a range of pretty brand-new and fully equipped apartments available for two, four or ten people at just two blocks from the hostel!
HOSTAL LA SALAMANCA – Budget & Flashpacker Category
This wonderful hostel has 17 beautifully decorated rooms: singles, doubles, triples and dorms (all with private bathrooms and some with air conditioning) and is ideal for travellers that want to stay in a quiet and friendly place.
It is located in a very safe area, in front of San Martin Park, only 3 blocks from the bus terminal and 6 blocks from the main square. This location allows you to walk to all the interest points in the city.
Their services include bilingual staff, self service breakfast, free Internet and Wi-Fi, fully equipped kitchen, luggage storage, central heating and fans, towels, tourist information, medical assistance, maid service, book exchange, cable TV and it has an Andean cultural library to learn a little more about local culture.
SAYTA RANCH – Horse Riding, Trekking & MTB
Have you ever wanted to hang out with real gauchos? Enrique is the owner of Estancia Sayta, 45km southwest of Salta, in a beautiful town called Chicoana. You can stay at his ranch an do what gauchos do… which is mainly ride horses, eat meat, drink regional wine and sing traditional songs. The ranch offers horseback riding from half day to an epic ten days… an experience not to be missed!
Enjoy also Sayta’s other fun activities like trekking or mountain biking, having the opportunity to get to know their traditional village, or try their yummy asado in the mountains or a regional lunch on the village’s main square.
Come and see why Sayta means “where time stands still” in the Aymar language…
PEÑA LA VIEJA ESTACIÓN – Folk Music, Traditional Dances & Delicious Food
Prepare to live a superb experience of local customs, live folk music, traditional dances and delicious food! La Vieja Estación was the first peña on Balcarce Street. It’s the most famous one and it’s is a great example of folklore in Northern Argentina.
Feel welcome by the appetizing menu presented, including delish regional dishes, parrilla, deserts and the delicate taste of the celebrated Salta wines; all that accompanied by wonderful live shows with renowned artists. A warm atmosphere inviting you to share a memorable night with the special care only Peña La Vieja Estación can provide.
The show starts every day at 10 pm. Don’t miss it!
WHERE ARE YOU HEADING NEXT?