Greetings fellow travelers! My name is Luana Almeida and welcome to my travel guide on Salta, Northern Argentina. I’m a Brazilian girl who works in communications, design and content creation. I love to go traveling and try to hit the road with my husband, Thiago, whenever I can. We work remotely which allows us to explore new corners of our country and the world.
I decided to share tips on Instagram because we enjoy researching and planning. I’m a believer in a good plan being the key to an unforgettable travel experience – so I share our experiences with details and lessons.
A Fun Week in Northern Argentina
Traveling to Argentina wasn’t our first option, as we had already seen the south (Ushuaia and El Calafate) at the end of 2019 and we usually avoid repeating countries that we have visited. However, when opportunities present themselves we should take advantage and so we did exactly that.
We found a fantastic airline offer and decided to choose other regions of the country to explore. In the end, we spent one week in Bariloche and its spectacular surroundings, one week in the Mendoza region and another week in the north – which came to three weeks of vacation time in total.
We arrived by plane to Salta and shortly after rented a car to discover the northern region in more depth. Our first stop was Cachi, a small town that enchanted me straight away. We then took Ruta 40 from Cachi to Cafayate and explored the amazing Quebrada de las Flechas. We spent two days in Cafayate to partake in a little bit of sightseeing and visit a bodega.
The next day we went on Ruta 68 from Cafayate to Salta and drove through the Quebrada de las Conchas. All in all, we spent four days exploring the province and one day checking out the city of Salta (nicknamed La Linda).
Amazing People & Cuisine of Salta
We were positively surprised by the reception and attention of the people of Salta that we met. We know that this is still an unusual destination for travelers, so they were always attentive and gave us valuable local tips.
The food was another unexpected gem. We ate well in Northern Argentina. In addition to the traditional saltenas (which differ from empanadas due to their seasonings and ingredients), alpaca meat is also highly appreciated.
Favorite Place in Salta: El Anfiteatro
My favorite place on this Northern Argentina trip was El Anfiteatro in Quebrada de las Conchas on Ruta 68. It was formed over 15 million years ago – a truly astonishing fact. The rock formations here are stunning and have excellent acoustics, attracting musicians from the area. We dedicated some time to this attraction to admire and photograph the place.
10 Must-Do Experiences in Salta
I was pleasantly surprised with the Salta province as it was quite different from all the other regions of Argentina that I visited prior. We had many incredible experiences but I will highlight the 10 that most impressed us:
- The traditional Empanadas Saltenas
- Visiting Cerro San Bernardo during sunset
- The Ovnipuerto – a UFO landing spot in Cachi
- Getting lost in the alleys of Cachi and trying empanadas at Viracocha
- Los Cardones National Park and its cacti, including Tin Tin Straight Line
- Traveling along the epic Ruta 40 and enjoying its many stops and various landscapes – especially the sandstone cliffs of Quebrada de las Flechas.
- Driving through the Quebrada de las Conchas on Ruta 68 with its many incredible rock formations that have unique colors and marine fossils.
- Dinner at Bad Brothers Wine & Food Experience in Cafayate while watching a local band perform (if you can time your visit just right).
- Wine tasting in Cafayate – including the traditional Torrontes, a white wine produced with high altitude grapes from the Northern Argentina region.
- Visiting the Museo de Arqueologia de Alta Montana to learn all about the fascinating Andean and Inca culture, and to see the children of Llullaillaco.
Where to Stay in the Salta Province
I loved our accommodations and recommend them both. The first is in Cachi: Hosteria Villa Cardon. The decor is aligned with the city which has many whitewashed houses. The room was super comfortable and the shower was hot. We also enjoyed delicious breakfasts and quality service here. It’s located close to the city center, so we did everything on foot.
Our second stay was in Cafayate at the Hotel Plaza. This is central, right on the main square. It was a highlight of our time in Cafayate. Breakfast was served in the cafeteria right next to it and everything was very tasty.
Need to Know Before you Go
We recommend that you dedicate at least one day to discover the city of Salta and its attractions. Have lunch at Aires Caseros and be sure to visit the Museo de Arqueologia de Alta Montana. To enjoy the late afternoon, we suggest heading up Cerro San Bernardo which has the best views. To close out the day in style, El Baqueano offers good food and drink options.