North-west Argentina is becoming a real favourite with travellers looking for something a little different. And the region’s landscapes are certainly poles apart from the likes of Patagonia, the Lake District and Iguazú with vibrant hills, red-hued mountain valleys and winding canyons creating an otherworldly atmosphere.
Best time to visit Salta & North-West Argentina
• The best time to visit the northern regions of Argentina is in the Southern Hemisphere’s spring (Sep-Nov), when temperatures are pleasantly cool
• Summer (Dec-Feb) in Northern Argentina can become oppressively hot.
Salta & North-West Argentina holiday highlights
Sitting beneath Cerro San Bernardo and surrounded by vineyards and incredible red rock valleys, the city of Salta began as a 16th-Century settlement on the route between the Peruvian city of Lima and Buenos Aires. The city showcases some of the finest colonial architecture remaining in Argentina and is home to many fabulous museums. For outstanding views of the valley and city, travel by funicular railway. If you’re feeling energetic, you can climb more than 1000 steps to the summit of Cerro San Bernardo.
A relatively new star on the wine tourism scene, Cafayate still retains a laid-back vibe and is often known as Argentina’s ‘other wine country’. It is particularly famous for its white wine varieties. Located approximately two hours by road from Salta this is where to head if you are seeking something a little quieter than Mendoza, yet still with the same quality of breathtaking vistas and sprawling vineyards. Head out into the surrounding countryside to see unique rock formations such as the Devil’s Throat.
Sitting in the shadow of the vibrant Cerro de los Siete Colores – or Hill of Seven Colours – Purmamarca is one of the prettiest and most charming villages in the region. You can follow the Paseo de los Colorados trail which takes you around the hill and allows you to see this mineral-rich natural wonder up close. Back down in the village, the cobbled streets are lined with picturesque buildings, the white-washed Saint Rosa Church and shops selling traditional Andean crafts including textiles and pottery.