Salta at a glance
One of the most colourful cities in Argentina, Salta has a strong Andean identity alongside a rich cultural mix of Argentine, Bolivian and Peruvian traditions.
Founded in 1582 by a Spanish explorer, this bustling city retains its colonial architecture of intricate and ornate Andalusian-style buildings standing proud on leafy plazas. The brightly painted Catholic churches and other neoclassical landmarks make Salta a beautiful city to wander around, but it’s the indigenous Andean culture that really resonates.
Local crafts can be found on every street corner, displaying flamboyant textiles, artisanal silverwork and guitars made from armadillo shells. The local cuisine is a must-try on a visit to Salta, with the city laying claim to some of the best empanadas in the world: filled with juicy steak mince and spiced with chilli pepper and cumin, empanadas salteñas can really pack a punch. Other culinary highlights include llama steak, tamales (spiced meat wrapped in dough), humita (a corn ‘pudding’) and the local goat’s cheese. Pair your meal with the excellent native white wine – Torrontés from the nearby wine route of Cafayate – and you have a classic Salta feast.
Make sure to save a couple of days to explore beyond the city, as the nearby canyons, valleys and mountains are some of the most beautiful landscapes in northern Argentina, with rainbow-coloured rocks and unusual geological formations that are perfect for a walking holiday. The Quebrada de Humahuaca valley is a popular destination, as is the Salinas Grandes salt flats, which extend all the way to Jujuy.
- Population: 620,000 (2010)
- January mean temperature: 22°C
- August mean temperature: 19°C
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