Located in the foothills of the Andes, Salta is an up-and-coming tourist destination for all travelers. The city provides travelers with modern hotels and restaurants developed in recent years, but it has also managed to retain its traditions and culture. Whether you want to retrace pilgrims’ footsteps, learn about Inca rituals, or party the night away, there is something for you in Salta.
Plaza 9 De Julio
Start your wandering around Salta in the city’s main square, Plaza 9 de Julio, where you’ll find Spanish colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and cafes along the edge of the palm tree-lined plaza. You’ll see the magnificent neoclassical Catedral Basílica de Salta which is possibly the most recognizable sight in the city. The church’s exterior is light pink and the interior is made up of brilliant golds, greens, and blues.Visitors can venture inside where the ashes of revolutionary war hero General Martin Miguel de Güemes are housed, plus a small museum of religious relics.
Tren a las Nubes
The English translation of ‘Tren a las Nubes’ is ‘train to the clouds’, and that’s pretty much exactly what it is. The train leaves early in the morning from Salta’s central station and makes the long journey up to the Quebrada del Toro high up in the mountains, so high in fact that the train regularly passes through clouds. By the end of the journey the train reaches a height of 4220m, where there is a viaduct crossing the valley below – quite an engineering spectacle. The journey through the mountains reveals beautifully colored rocks, due to the numerous minerals, and travelers are likely to catch a glimpse of a llama or two.
Cerro San Bernardo
You’ve got to get to the top of this hill for fabulous panoramic views of the city. It’s a great place to have a picnic on a sunny day or watch the sunset in the evenings. Take advantage of the food vendors up top where you can buy packets of chips and a beer or two, and sometimes you’ll even find a guy selling bottles of wine. There’s a cable car – the teleférico – that goes up and down from the top of the hill, but you should definitely walk at least one way. The path up the hill begins behind Güemes Monument in the city, and the cable car leaves from Parque San Martín, which is also worth a gander.
Salinas Grandes Salt Flats
If Bolivia’s salt flats are not on your travel itinerary, then there are alternative salinas to see closer to Salta, a journey that is possible to do in a day. The salt flats were once a lake that has now dried up, and the salt that remains is mined. The flats are at high altitude, and it is a strange sight to see such blinding white plains of salt after an uphill drive through reddish-brown rocks .The drive to the flats goes through the impressive surrounding mountains.
Prepared with corn, beans, chorizo, pieces of beef and pork and other vegetables like onion or pepper, this kind of stew is the most traditional dish of the Andes region. The sweetness of the corn merges perfectly with the spice of the chorizo and results in a consistent soup, perfect for regaining your strength after a long day or warming up in winter