We offer personalized, tailor-made trips in Argentina, and these are some of our best tours in Northern Argentina. This region is divided into four main geographic sub-regions, which are very different and can be explored in many different ways: The Yungas (local jungle), the Valleys, the Quebradas (Gorges), and the famous Puna (Altiplano or High Plateau). These are flexible itineraries, which can be adapted according to your wishes and preferences.
Salta and Jujuy are the two most popular provinces of northern Argentina, and are located around 1.500 kilometers (930 miles) from Buenos Aires. They share limits with Chile, Bolivia and a little area of Paraguay. There are three other provinces that are part of the Northwest of Argentina: La Rioja, Catamarca, and Tucumán.
This region of Argentina has many different reliefs, biomes, and climates. Cloud forests, called “Yungas”, the Puna desert (a high latitude plateau with huge salt flats), high roads that lie over 4000 mts. above the sea level, long and narrow valleys called “Quebradas” (Gorges), and other incredible landscapes.
The climate is arid and semi desert in the higher latitudes and the lower mountains are subtropical with rainforest. During the summer heavy rains and high temperatures should be expected.
Founded in 1582, Salta City is one of the most antique cities in Argentina, and one of the best options to use as a hub to start your tours in Salta and Jujuy. This city is a bit different from others, its colonial patrimony is huge! There are houses, streets, hundred-year-old monuments and narrow sidewalks from the foundation years. On a half-day walking tour, you can visit the most important attractions of the city: The Cathedral of Salta, the Cabildo, San Francisco Church, and San Bernardo Monastery. We recommend visiting the Archeological Museum of High Mountains, where you will be able to see items found in the high mountains in the area.
The main attraction is three mummies of three Inca children that were discovered at the Lulliaillaco Volcano, in the border between Argentina and Chile. The summit is 22.100 feet (6.793 meters) above the sea level, where the temperatures are too extreme to preserve the bodies, turning them into mummies, after they were sacrificed 500 years ago!
From this city starts another one of the famous tours in Salta: the excursion to Tren a las Nubes. It consists of a train journey that goes through the clouds as it crosses The Andes at 4,220 mts. above sea level. Apart from seeing impressive works of engineering, it allows you to get to know its picturesque and rustic regions, knowing its distinguished crafts, museums, and its delicious local gastronomy.
Purmamarca is a picturesque village located in the province of Jujuy. This small town is situated at the feet of the Seven Colors Mountain, and we invite you to learn more about it in our article about Purmamarca.
Humahuaca’s Gorge (Ravine) or Quebrada de Humahaca (as we call it) was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It includes attractions such as Tilcara, Humahuaca, Uquía, and Huacalera. We invite you to learn more about it in our Quebrada de Humahuaca’s post
Near Humahuaca you can visit El Hornocal, which is a mountain full of colors, the Salt Fields known as “Salinas Grandes”, and Iruya – among other attractions.
We recommend spending a night in Iruya, a small town in “Quebrada de Iruya”, the ravine next to Humahuaca Ravine. Its only 66km from Humahuaca (the town), but the mountain road that leads to this village cross a pass over 4000mts. (which makes it a 3hs drive). Cliffs and mountains surround this small but breathtaking village. From Iruya, a 2 hour hike connects with San Isidro de Iruya, another picturesque small village lost in the middle of the mountains.
Another must-visit in Jujuy is the salt deposit known as “Salinas Grandes”. Situated at 3.350 mts. above the sea level and with 12 thousand hectares is the third largest salt deposit in South America. We recommend using sunglasses because of the reflection of the sun and also take your camera fully loaded.
The craziest and the most original pictures can be taken there! To get there we suggest leaving early in the morning from Purmamarca, to get there before everyone does. There are three other ways to reach: one is from Salta city through San Antonio de los Cobres (a circuit called “above the clouds”), and another one is from Atacama, when coming from Chile to Argentina. It’s useful to add the interesting fact that from San Antonio de los Cobres you can connect not only to Salta, but also to Tolar Grande and Cachi.
Cafayate is great for high altitude wines. Here you will find mostly Torrontes, a wine that is found mostly in Argentina and is said to be the country’s signature white wine. Other grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, and Tannat.
Furthermore, Cafayate has other attractions to visit in its surroundings, such as the colorful Quebrada de las Conchas. We invite you to learn more about it on our Cafayate post.
The Calchaquí valleys (a “must” for your tours in Salta) include the Wine district and other attractions, such as Cachi -an ancient village surrounded by mountains, Los Cardones National Park (a park with lots of Cactus), Quebrada de las Flechas, Quebrada de las Conchas, Molinos, Seclantas, and other sites. We invite you to read our Calchaquí Valleys article.
Despite the fact that most of the visitors end up including the attractions mentioned above on their tours in Salta, there are a bunch of othe spectacular places to visit, such as: