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Four Ways to Spend Two Days in Salta, Argentina

Four Ways to Spend Two Days in Salta, Argentina

A typical itinerary for tourists in Argentina is a 24-hour overnight bus from Buenos Aires to Salta, then a car rental to explore scenic Route 40 in Jujuy Province. Yes, it’s a must-do. But don’t rush out of Salta! This pretty town is worth a day or two of exploration before hitting the road to Humahuaca, Jujuy, or the Salt Flats. Don’t leave town before you do these activities!

#1: Eat!

Do not waste a moment! Head to the nearest restaurant and stuff your face. Then repeat, eating your way through town: empanadas, grilled fish, carne parilla, hearty locro (stew), papas frita, tamales, peach ice cream, veggie lasagna…doesn’t matter! Salta has some of the best food in Argentina, including vegetarian.

Three places that deserve special mention include:

  • Chirimoya Restó Vegano: Absolutely order the vegetarian lasagna. OMG!

  • De Boca en Boca Resto Bar: Grilled trout that will knock your socks off.

  • Doña Salta: Best grilled chicken I ever ate. The empanadas are served with a tomato pepper dip in the traditional Salteña style.

#2 Photograph the Town

Salta is sometimes called Salta la Linda, or Salta the Pretty. The town was founded in 1582 and preserves much of the original Spanish colonial architecture and cobbled stone streets. The Roman Catholic Catedral Basílica de Salta, built in 1858, is particularly photogenic day or night. The city has numerous parks, with Plaza 9 de Julio as the main square. Statues, memorials, and night life make excellent subjects, as do the colorful street art and numerous old (classic!) cars. I swear that a badge of style in this city is driving a rusted, decrepit junker.

#3: Ride the Teleférico to Cerro San Bernardino

Salta has a deceiving small town vibe. Ride the cable car to the top of Mount San Bernardino, though, and you will get a sense for just how large this city really is. Take a picnic lunch to enjoy in the water garden with a bottle of Malbec from the Wine Truck. Then hike back down along the paved trail (or take it easy and glide back down on the cable car).

#4 Pickup Your Rented Vehicle

Salta is the gateway to northwest Argentina’s Route 40: the Rio Grande, Jujuy, Tilcara, Purmamarca, and the Salinas Grande. Rainbow Valley is waiting for you! You could hitch a ride, but it looks a little crowded to me (standing room only). We rented a car from Budget (now Avis) for USD$120 for 5 days in September 2018, roughly $14 per day at that time. All we needed was a driver license from our home country.

Pick up your rental car and get going — but not before checking off #1, #2, and #3!

Road Trippin’ Salta to Jujuy Province

Have any other “must do” activities to recommend in Salta? Drop us a comment or tag @traveliszen on social media for your top picks.

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