In the northwest region of Argentina, there are many pictoresque little towns and villages to visit, but Salta’s capital, Salta, is also an amazing destination for staying a few days.
Also, bare in mind that most flights arrive in Salta, so you’ll be there already! Make a great use of your stay and go around Salta’s capital and city centre.
These are just some of the many attractions to go to:
One of the best museums in this region, it focuses on Inca culture and particularly on child sacrifices that were left on the Andes mountain for rituals and tradition. It’s most famous exhibition are the “Llullaillaco mummies”, three child sacrifices that remain completely mummified and preserved and that rotate for exhibit every six months.
Hair and clothes are perfectly preserved, and their faces reflect a distant past or a typical 21st-century Salta face; a peaceful passing or a tortured death. Not an exhibit for the faint-hearted!
The grave goods impress by their immediacy, with colors as fresh as the day they were produced. The illas (small votive figurines of animals and humans) are of silver, gold, shell and onyx, and many are clothed in textiles. It’s difficult to imagine that a more privileged look at pre-Columbian South American culture will ever be offered us. Also exhibited is the ‘Reina del Cerro,’ a tomb-robbed mummy that ended up here after a turbulent history. Good videos give background on the sacrifices and on the Qhapaq Ñan, the Inca road system given Unesco status in 2014. There’s a shop and library as well as a cafe-bar with terrace.
For more information on this museum you can check the official website: http://www.maam.gob.ar/
Iglesia San Francisco
This incredibly coloured church is impossible to escape the view.The striking facade is topped by a slender tower; inside are several much-venerated images, including the Niño Jesús de Aracoeli, a replica of the one in a church in Rome. There’s a lovely garden cloister that include a museum of religious art and treasures.
There’s also a lovely statue of the “Virgen de la Dulce Espera”, which has a prayer for pregnant women to carry a safe pregnancy during their “sweet wait”.
Cerro San Bernardo
There’s always a spot in cities from which you can appreciate outstanding panoramic views. Salta is no exception to this. Take the teleférico from Parque San Martín to the top of the San Bernardo Hill, a kilometer’s ride that takes eight minutes. Alternatively, take the trail starting at the Güemes monument. Once you get to the top, you can have a coffee at it’s café and buy some souvenirs.
Reserva del Huaico
This natural reserve protects the remains of the mountain jungle in a very good conservation state.
This 60-hectare cloud forest reserve is in San Lorenzo, 8km west of Salta, and run by a not-for-profit nature foundation. Entry is by appointment only and includes a four-hour guided walk along the reserve’s 15km of trails. A taxi from Salta costs AR$20, or you can get any San Lorenzo–bound bus (AR$1.25). Get off at the municipalidad (city hall) and it’s a 1km walk along Mariano Moreno to the reserve.
Museo Histórico del Norte
Set on the plaza in town hall (Cabildo), this collection ranges from pre-Columbian ceramics through colonial-era religious art and shows the 19th and 20th century Salta. A cool place to visit if you’re into museums!
Written by Sofia de Cucco