The most picturesque part of Argentina is in the north, Salta and Jujuy… both places should not be missed!
- On a whim, we decided to take a road trip to northern red rocky Andes to give Argentina’s visitors the best travel advice.
City of Salta, Salta – First, make it to the city of Salta your first stop. Take a walk through the food market located on Florida and San Martin to try local fried empanandas and tamales served with a spicy salsa and SALTA beer. You’ll also find all sorts of spices, crafted goods and textiles to bring back home. Take a walk a little further down San Martin and you’ll find Patio de Empanadas, where you’ll find many different vendors dishing out Salta’s best bites. Stay at the Design Suites modern design comfortable beds, rooftop jacuzzi and pool and a absolutely delicious breakfast. Tip: ask for a room the in tower. The hotel also occupies a turn of the century home… beautiful rooms and great balcony but faces a very noisy street. Rent a car and drive up to Purmamarca, Jujuy on Ruta 9. The beginning is a very narrow drive up a mountain up on tropical forest, exciting and scary and the same time. The drive will take you about 4-5 hours.
- Purmamarca, Jujuy - Purmamarca is a beautiful town facing the 7-colored mountain. There are few places to stay in town but we found a place just up the street from the town called La Comarca We chose this place for its cottages, heated swimming pool, great restaurant and spectacular view. Make sure you dine at Los Morteros, the llama is so tender and you must try grilled goat cheese with sun-dried tomatoes. Spend a day visiting the little towns north of Purmamarca. In Humahuaca, we found very inexpensive textiles, knitted sweaters and gloves and dry cardones (cactus), which are the large cactus that you see everywhere in Jujuy and Salta. What really made Humahuaca different was seeing the faces of the locals… you don’t see many native faces in Argentina except for this area… beautiful! Go to Tilcara for its outdoor market in the beautiful square. We were told to go to Iruya but we didn’t make it… not enough time. Next, go west of Purmamarca for an afternoon and visit the Salinas Grandes, its a evaporated sea with the remnants of salt. Tip: No matter how cold it is, you must wear sunblock and sunglasses. The reflection of the sun on the salt burns.
Cafayate, Salta - We headed back south through the capital of Salta and went down to Cafayate. On the drive, the mountains are all red rock formations caused by the amount of iron in the ground. We stopped the in the ‘Devil’s throat’, where we climbed through the throat of the mountain, surrounded by entire gigantic rock. Stay at the Cafayate Wine Resort , a wine resort looking over the grape vineyards, right smack dab in the vineyards trails. (BTW – BAlocal can book this hotel for you) We spent a day trekking to the different wineries in search of the best Torrontes, btw, only grown in the Salta region. The hotel offered many excursions and we chose to go to the Quilmes Ruins. We visited an archelogical site of where the Quilmes Indians lived up until they were forced out in the late 1600s moving by foot 1,500km to a reservation located south of Buenos Aires, today known as Quilmes. We wanted to go to Colome close to Cachi, Salta and the city of Tucuman but we ran out of time. Oh well, I guess we have to go back.