I had a hard time deciding to go to Salta… It gets wonderful reviews but was it really worth the time and expense to get there?? This is time that I could have spent in hot spots like Rio or even exploring another country like Paraguay. But we decided to try it and it was worth it! You get away from the cities and tourist centers and get a feel for the space and history of the country before the Spanish and other settlers. Salta itself is a charming old city with a lively town square with a church and museums.
*****Hotel Boutique La Balcon is now on my short list of favorite hotels. There is wood, tile, and rod iron everywhere. It is simple yet comfortable. The staff was exceptionally helpful and friendly.
You only need a few hours, or half a day at most, in town to see the museums, church and go up in the cable car to the mountain. But if you have a little more time, the town center is alive in the afternoon with kids, dogs, fruit trees, cafes, pigeons, teenagers and sunshine.
*****MAAM museum is a small and well done museum ($100AR) that displays Inca civilization “mummies” found in the Andes after the “Capacocha” (royal obligation) ceremony. You only need 20-30 minutes for the museum but don’t wait until the last minute as it can get full and they won’t let anyone in until it clears out.
****Take the cable car or taxi up to the mountain/hill to see the city and the vistas.
*****La Criollita was a wonderful and simple meal of Empanadas and Tamales just two blocks off the main square. For us it was the perfect Thanksgiving dinner and really one of our favorite meals on the entire trip.
However, Salta is really just a base for the amazing scenery of Northern Argentina. Uma travel in Salta has a wide variety of tours to explore the local area. We went North to Quebrada de Humahuaca and had a wonderful day. But next time I need a few more days in order visit the salt flats of Salinas Grandes, see the views of Cafayate El, ride on the train to the clouds, and to see the Andes. Next time…