Argentina: the very name conjures images of tango, waterfalls, and glaciers. While these iconic experiences paint a vivid picture, there's an unsung hero in Argentina's portfolio—Northwest Argentina. Nestled against the borders of Chile and Bolivia, this region is a tapestry of vibrant culture, colonial history, and jaw-dropping landscapes. Join us as we unravel the secrets of Salta and Northwest Argentina, inviting you to explore two captivating routes.
The journey often begins in Salta, the beating heart of Northwest Argentina. This edgy, colonial city, dating back to the 16th century, invites you to a walking tour through its resplendent past. Marvel at dazzling colonial architecture in the old town and absorb the historical ambiance of Plaza 9 de Julio. Delve into the Archaeological Museum of Salta (MAAM) to witness pre-Columbian artifacts, including the mummified 'Llullaillaco Children.' From modern art at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo to savoring local delights in the bustling markets, Salta sets the stage for an unforgettable adventure.
Embarking on a southward journey from Salta unravels the enchanting landscapes of Calchaquí Valleys. Amidst soaring mountains and plunging valleys, discover pre-Columbian archaeological sites like Quilmes and Las Pailas. Immerse yourself in red-rock canyons, natural wonders, and the cultural richness of indigenous communities. The Sichas and Malcachiscos have contributed to the tapestry of Salta and Northwest Argentina, and their legacy echoes through time.
Los Cardones National Park, with its towering cacti, stands as a highlight in the southern Salta region. Pause in Cachi, a village adorned with adobe houses and artisanal charm. Cobblestone lanes wind beneath clear blue skies, providing a backdrop to the omnipresent mountains. Explore the San Jose Church, the Archaeological Museum, and savor the tranquility of Cachi's laidback ambiance.
South of Cachi lies Cafayate, a burgeoning wine region where vineyards stretch beneath the mighty Andes. This wine haven, often overshadowed by Mendoza, offers a delightful tasting experience. Cafayate's high altitude and temperature variations create an ideal environment for Torrontés, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec. Journey through the lush vineyards, sipping exquisite wines against the stunning backdrop of Quebrada de las Conchas.
For those venturing north from Salta, Purmamarca awaits in the province of Jujuy. Set against the Cerro de los Siete Colores, this town captivates with its rainbow-like rock formations. Purmamarca serves as a gateway to the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offering a mesmerizing blend of geological wonders and ancient history.
At an elevation of 3,350m above sea level, Las Salinas Grandes unveils Argentina's own sparkling salt flats. Covering a vast 525 sq km, this prehistoric lake, now a dazzling salt plain, surprises travelers with its remote beauty. The bright white expanse against the azure sky creates an otherworldly spectacle, showcasing Argentina's penchant for unexpected surprises.
As you traverse the lesser-explored landscapes of Northwest Argentina, from the colonial elegance of Salta to the surreal beauty of Las Salinas Grandes, you'll discover a region that goes beyond the familiar, inviting you to uncover hidden gems and create memories that linger long after your journey concludes.
Contact your expert travel advisor at Voyagers travel for a custom itinerary that visits Salta, Cafayate and the main highlights of Argentina’s northwest territory.