Salta is known as “Salta la Linda” (Beautiful Salta). As its name indicates, this city is characterized by the colonial style of its buildings, its single-storey houses, its narrow streets and pavements, and its beautiful scenic setting, surrounded by mountains.
The center of the city is full of national historical monuments: “Iglesia San Francisco” (San Francisco Church), the Cabildo, the “Convento de San Bernardo” (St Bernard’s Convent), the “Catedral Basílica” (Basilica Cathedral) and the “Monumento a Güemes” (Monument to Güemes).
On the outskirts of the city, some interesting excursions are programmed and should not be missed. The “Tren de las Nubes” (Train through the Clouds) is a railway journey that literally penetrates the clouds when it crosses the Andes Cordillera at a height of 4,220 meters.
The “Valles Chalchaquíes” (Calchaquí Valleys) are the ideal setting to become acquainted with a culture that defies the passage of time, with its stone-paved villages. In addition to this, its weather offers a special combination of temperature and humidity, creating a micro-climate which is ideal for the growth of Torrontés grape cultivars. The village of Cachi, with its colonial style combined with details of pre-Columbine art, is another place to visit.
When passing through Salta, you will no doubt want to taste the delicious “empanadas salteñas” (Salta meat pies or “pasties”) which are famous all over the world.
The province of Jujuy is situated in the north-west of Argentina. To the south, lies the capital, San Salvador de Jujuy, in the region of the “Valles Templados” (Warm Valleys).
This area offers mountains, rivers, beautiful lagoons with colorful scenery and a pleasant climate that allows visitors to enjoy activities such as trekking, sightseeing, photography safaris and cultural tourism.
Amongst the most outstanding places to visit, one must mention the small village of, Purmamarca surrounded by spectacular multi-hued mountains, with one in particular displaying rainbow-like strata and known as the “Cerro de los Siete Colores”(Mountain of the Seven Colors); the “Quebrada de Humahuaca” (Humahuaca Gorge), with its small town noted for its stone-paved narrow streets and one-story adobe houses that conserve historical features; and Tilcara which, because of its excellent hotel facilities, can be used as a base for the exploration of the whole valley.
In addition to these, La Quiaca, situated on the Argentine-Bolivian border is very favored by tourists for its mythical regional festivities that pay homage to the “Pachamama” (Mother Earth) and for its people, the Coya, dressed in their colorful clothing.
The city of San Miguel de Tucumán is the capital and the core of the province, and is popularly known as “El Jardín de la República” (The Garden of the Republic), because in spring, the parks, balconies, streets and gardens are covered with multi-colored flowers.
Land of the sugar cane and a magnificent independence scenario (where Argentina declared its national independence from Spain in 18l6), San Miguel de Tucumán offers a number of popular tourism sites like Casa del Obispo Colombres, Casa Histórica de la Independencia Argentina, the Cathedral, the Casa Padilla museum and the El Cadillal Dam.
However, the most important place to visit in Tucumán is Tafí del Valle: a villa surrounded by mountains, in the central region, west of Tucumán City. It offers an excellent choice of activities such as: walks, excursions, quad-bike drives to the Los Sasos River, trekking to the Pelao Mountain or horseback rides to the ruins of the Indian fort of the Quilmes tribe.
The capital city of Catamarca is San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca and it is one of the oldest cities in Argentina.
Its architecture, which dates back to colonial times, consists of buildings with red tile roofs and wide porticos. Up in the mountains, one can visit Cuesta del Portezuelo, La Puerta, El Rodeo, and the El Juncal and Las Pirquitas dams, where one can participate in nautical activities.
In the winter season, the city hosts the Fiesta Nacional del Poncho, where ponchos, decorated “fajas” (typical regional sashes or girdles), tapestries, blankets, carpets and many other regional hand-woven articles are exhibited.
Tourists are recommended to visit “La Ruta del Adobe” (the Adobe Route), “Las Termas de Fiambalá” (Fiambalá Hot Springs) which is a settlement of “Diaguita” (a local indian tribe) origin. Here, you can take part in different activities such as adventure tourism, photography safaris or simple relaxation.
Other recommended spots are Copacabana, “Ruinas de Troya” (the Ruins of Troy), “Ruinas de Shinkal” (the Shinkal Ruins) and Londres (London).
SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO
Santiago del Estero is the oldest city in the country, and was a center from which many other cities were founded in north and central Argentina. The capital, Santiago del Estero, conserves a great part of its historic and artistic heritage.
One can take part in some very interesting city tours along Avenida Costanera (riverside drive) next to the “Río Dulce” (Sweet River), visit the “Catedral Basílica” (Basilica Cathedral), the “Convento Santo Domingo” (St. Dominic’s Convent) and various museums.
Amongst the most attractive tourist spots in the province is “Termas de Río Hondo” (the Río Hondo Hot Springs), famous for its water which contains rich salts and minerals that has turned it into one of the most important therapeutic water treatment centers in the world.
It is fully equipped with facilities enabling you to enjoy a new concept in tourism, the combination of health, pleasure and recreation.
In addition to this, several outings and excursions can be carried out in the city and its suburbs: nautical activities and fishing in the Lago Embalse dam, playing golf at the “Campo Municipal” (Municipal Golf Course), horse-riding and agro-tourism are some of the activities that can be combined with enjoying the natural hot-spring baths in the area.