The provinces of Salta and Jujuy in Argentina’s northwest provide a wide variety of natural and cultural attractions for tourists. This region, which is well-known for its beautiful landscapes, vibrant colonial architecture, and rich indigenous culture, is a must-visit for anybody wishing to experience the best of Argentina.
The provincial capital of Salta, is a lovely city with a vibrant past and present. The Cathedral of Salta and the San Francisco Church are only two examples of the numerous colonial-era structures and churches that can be seen in the city’s historic core. A number of museums are also available in the city, including the MAAM (Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña), which displays the Inca mummies discovered in the area. A popular location for hiking and paragliding, Cerro San Bernardo, also known as “Cerro San Bernardo,” is close by and provides a panoramic view of the city.
Attractions in Northern Argentina
Native American culture and the natural beauty of the province of Jujuy are well-known. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Quebrada de Humahuaca provides access to some of the region’s most vibrant and distinctive landscapes.
Visitors can learn about the customs and traditions of the original indigenous groups who live in the valley through the numerous festivals and activities that take place all year long.
The Hill of Seven Colors, commonly known as “Cerro de los Siete Colores,” is a distinctive creation of multicolored hills that can be viewed from various sites in the area and is one of Jujuy’s top tourist attractions. Visitors can trek to the top of the hill in Purmamarca, a small settlement, to take in the breathtaking views.
From Purmamarca is easy to access the Salt Fields “Salinas Grandes”, a huge desert of salt at the High Plateau (a.k.a Puna or Altiplano). Also, along the Quebrada you will be delighted by small villages such as Tilcara and it’s Pucará. Further north, right next to the Humahuaca’s Gorge, Iruya surprises with its old houses and incredible landscapes.
Iruya is a small village that hangs from the mountains, in the northern part of Salta Province. On the other hand, the province of Salta has also lot’s of other highlights to visit, such as its colonial capital (Salta City), Tolar Grande (in the High Plateau), the landscapes visited on the itinerary of the famous Train to the Clouds, Cachi, Los Cardones National Park, Quebrada de las Flechas, Cafayate, and Quebrada de las Conchas.
Cafayate is the wine region of the North, with picturesque vineyards and lodges to visit. It’s famous for its wine white “Torrontes”, and it’s located about 3 hours from the province’s capital.
The list extends to other places such as Molinos, Seclantás, Ruinas de Quilmes (at the Calchaquíes Valley), Laguna de los Pozuelos, San Francisco (Yungas or local jungle), etc..
How to reach Northern Argentina (Salta, Jujuy & Tucumán)
The provinces of Salta, Jujuy and Tucumán count with airports at their capital cities, and the most important one is Salta. Flights from Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Iguazu and other cities allow the visitors to plan strategically their trip to Argentina. One can also reach these cities by car, bus, and train (by train only Tucuman). There is a very interesting and strategic connection (by bus or private transfer) between Purmamarca and San Pedro de Atacama.
Eating & Drinking
Visitors can choose from a wide range of dining and drinking options in Argentina’s northern region. Traditional meals include empanadas, tamales, and Humitas. The regional cuisine is renowned for using fresh ingredients such llama meat, quinoa, and corn. Additionally, there are several lodging choices available for visitors, ranging from opulent resorts to hostels that are affordable.
Accommodation in Salta & Jujuy
Both provinces offer different types of accommodation, some of the best places to stay are:
In Salta city: Legado Mítico 5*, House of Jasmines, Kkala hotel Boutique, Design Suites 4*, Del Antiguo Convento 3*.
Purmamarca: Manantial del Silencio 5*, La Comarca 3*, Los Colorados 3*.
Iruya: Hotel Iruya 3*.
Cachi: La Merced del Alto Hotel Boutique, El Cortijo Hotel Boutique.
Cafayate: Grace Cafayate Wine Lodge 5*, Estancia Colomé, Patios de Cafayate Wine Lodge 4*.
Best time to visit Northern Argentina
The months of March through October (if possible trying to avoid the coldest weeks of south-hemisphere winter) are ideal for traveling to Argentina’s northwest. It’s also important to remember that the high plateau has a huge thermal amplitude.
In the mood for a road trip?
The varied scenery and culture of northwest Argentina can be experienced -for instance- on a road trip from Salta to Cachi, passing through Cafayate before (or after, depending the way you take). The path takes you past Salta’s gorgeous valleys and deep into the Calchaquíes valley, which is well-known for its stunning vineyards and winemaking.
A little town in the Calchaquíes valley called Cafayate is well-known for its lovely vines and wine-making. Visitors can tour the local wineries and sample some of the well-known Torrontés wine. In addition, the town is well-known for the surrounding Quebrada de las Conchas, a vibrant gorge with unusual rock formations, as well as its lovely colonial residences and churches. The route from Cafayate continues through the valley to the quaint colonial village of Cachi, which is renowned for its historical significance and traditional architecture.
Visitors can engage in rock climbing, mountain biking, paragliding, and other outdoor pursuits in the area in addition to hiking and trekking. The area also provides a range of cultural experiences, such as touring traditional indigenous tribes and going to festivals and events all year long. For those want to experience the finest of Argentina and enjoy outdoor sports, culture, and natural beauty, the northwest part of the country is a terrific choice.
Other road trip that is very attractive, leads from Salta city to the Humahuaca’s Gorge -and all its attractions- with the possibility of making detours to San Antonio de los Cobres, the Salt Fields, Iruya, and Laguna de los Pozuelos.
We offer custom tours in Argentina, including self-drive tours, private tours, or group tours in Northern Argentina. As a kick off, we invite you to explore the following travel samples and get back to us with your ideas!
Salta Holidays & Jujuy
Salta Road Trip & Jujuy