The city of Salta is located in the northwest of Argentina, over 1 600 kilometres (994 miles) from Buenos Aires. Founded in the 16th century by Spanish visionary Hernando de Lerma, Salta has been transformed into a prosperous trading centre. Today, the city is home to an animated assortment of northern Argentinian culture, sumptuous fare and vivacious nightlife.
Explore the various museums that outline Salta’s rich history, its civil war and the eclectic mix of historical figures, before heading off to marvel at myriad architectural delights, such as the basilicas and manors that tower high above the streets. Be sure to visit the Museo Arqueologia de Alta Montana, an archaeological museum that exhibits centuries-old bodies, mummified in Incan rituals, and the traditionally significant National Historic Monument, the Iglesia de San Fransisco, a towering crimson and gold lined church with jutting alabaster pillars gifted to Franciscan monks eras ago. The church’s purple belfry stands at 53 meters (174 feet), with bells fashioned out of canons used in actual warfare.
Head off to the Catedral Basilica de Salta, the seat and metropolitan cathedral of the Archbishop of Salta, boasting blush and cream hues with protruding clock towers, prior to visiting the central plaza and twin-towered Cathedral of Salta. The cathedral entombs one of Salta’s greatest heroes, General Güemes, who gloriously fought for Argentina’s independence. Pass by the 16th century San Bernardo Convent, one of Salta’s oldest buildings and a dedicated monument to General Güemes. Fall in love with the leafy Plaza 9 de Julio, which features a charming mix of Spanish colonial, baroque and neo-classical architecture. Pass by gold-plated cathedrals and mansions from days gone by as you wind through the city to the Plaza’s palm trees, which encircle the grand statue of the hero General Juan Antonio Alvarez de Arenales. The general fought for and governed the region in the early 19th century. Venture into the foothills of Salta, offering breathtaking landscapes and views of the Andean mountain range, en route to the subtropical village of San Lorenzo, often frequented by Salta’s wealthier families in the summer months.
End the city tour in a charming artisan market, housed in a bleached colonial structure, teeming with candied walnuts, caramel filled cookies and trinkets from all over the province, which paints a vivid picture of local culture and history.