Itineraries for Your Trip to Salta

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3 Days in Salta for First Timers

Curated by Jessica Colley ClarkeJessica Colley Clarke is a freelance writer and curious traveler based in New York City. Her stories have appeared in AFAR magazine, BBC Travel, The Daily Beast, and the New York Times, among other publications.

Salta is both a province in northwest Argentina and the largest city in that region, and on a 3-day trip, you’ll have time to get to know them both. Explore the city’s colonial architecture and bustling markets, then traveling into the countryside to sip wine and go trekking in the mountains. Here’s what to do with 3 days in Salta.

Day 1

On your first day, dive into Salta City and explore its culture and history. Start with a bus tour with a comprehensive itinerary that includes sights like Plaza 9 de Julio, the San Francisco Church and Convent, and bustling crafts markets. Later in the day, learn about Salta’s architecture on a walking tour that gives you insight into the area’s colonial architecture and takes you to other top landmarks, including the Cathedral of Salta, Casa de Uriburu, and the San Bernardo Convent. Afterward, if you want to learn more about the region’s history, head to the Historical Museum of the North, one of Argentina’s most important museums.

Finish the day with an evening of traditional music at a peña, or folk music club. Have a drink and a bite while you enjoy the music, and, if you like, you can learn a few steps of a traditional Argentine dance.

Day 2

Take a day trip to the Cafayate wine region to learn about the wines produced in the northwestern region of Argentina. Spend the day exploring the Calchaqui Valley with stops at wineries to learn about local winemaking techniques. Taste the region’s famous torrontés, meet the people behind the vineyards, and compare wines from several different wineries. Small-group tours and private tours (which can be tailored to your interests) both depart from Salta City. Traditional Argentine barbecue is a classic accompaniment to the region’s red wines. At the end of the day, relax with a barbecue feast while sampling a range of wines from Cafayate.

Day 3

On your last day, take an adventurous day trip into the countryside. Salta is known for its natural beauty, and highlights include the salt flats at Salinas Grandes, the Puna de Atacama desert, and Purmamarca, or the seven-colored hill. Full-day tours can take you to the dramatic landscapes of Quebrada de Humahuaca, the giant cacti of Los Cardones National Park, or Bull Lagoon, which is known for its thriving flamingo population.

If you want to do more than go sightseeing, there are a variety of opportunities to get active in the countryside, including white water river rafting, zip lining, and mountain trekking. You could also opt to explore caves and underground rivers on a trip into the Lerma Valley before heading back to the city to enjoy an evening on Balcarce, a lively, bar-lined street where you toast to your adventures.

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