Salta On the Road

Salta, Argentina
Once known for its colonial history, architecture of red-tiled white colonial buildings and the pink and custard 19th Century Cathedral, Salta is emerging on Argentina’s tourism map. This energetic city is a hightlight in Argentina’s North-Western region, the capital of the Cafayate region. Located about 1,000 ft high with an average temperature of 70 F, the city itself is very beautiful and well worth a trip to see - especially with its innovative cuisine offerings and a fertile countryside, rich in spectacular scenery and produce. But not only. Here there is a rich music tradition, and the wine from the surrounding area has a hefty kick to it, that seems to suit the city’s character.

The area is subtropical, making for some rather unique flora, so I’d recommend walking along the base of the Andes Mountains (outside of town) to get a feel for the natural glories of this part of the world. Right outside the city there are places to swim and old Incan ruins to explore. The countryside is full of cliffs that reflect every colour imaginable - from brick red to pale orange and slate blue, you’ll find formations called Devil’s Throat and Amphiteatre hidden along winding roads. For sight-seeing, try the 18th century Cathedral called Cabildo. There are a number of museums such as Museo de Arqueologia de Alta Montana for history and Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes for religious and contemporary art. For a ride through the clouds at 14,000 feet take the El Tren a las Nubes. If you want to visit a religious site go to San Bernardo Convent which is a religious site with a door, carved the 1700's.

Start your evening in one of Salta’s many great restaurants before heading out on the town. Local specialties to dig into are oven-baked empanadas (coating something in bread), locro (stew), humitas (cheese and corn wrapped up in the corn leaves) or tamales. For the adventurous, try the mondonga, a rich flavoured tripe soup. A couple good restaurants are the Confiteria which has a wonderful view of the city and Donna Salta where the food is wonderful. Make sure you try to local wine - strong and full of flavour. The other treats are ice cream and fresh fruit at stands, which is perfect when it's hot.

Salta tries to keep its Hispanic culture, and has done well by keeping many folklore stories and songs from the past. Make sure you spend a night at one of the famous folk taverns (peña folclórica) where you’ll be treated to some energetic live music and shows. If dancing is more your thing then try Balcarce street, which comes alive on the weekend with various beats of music and foods. The dancing starts around 10 or 11pm and lasts 'till dawn. The city has so much to offer from cuisine, colonial architecture, music and dance - no wonder that Salta is making a name for herself.