Salta & Northwest Argentina – Daytours4u http://www.daytours4u.com/en Tours, activities and travel tips in South America Wed, 18 Jul 2018 14:50:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.8 96832869 Iguazú Airport will close temporarily from April 15 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/iguazu-airport-will-close-temporarily-april-15/ Mon, 09 Apr 2018 11:00:46 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=12234 The Puerto Iguazú International Airport, Argentina, will close temporarily from April 15 to May 14, 2018 -including both days- for modernization work on its infrastructure. For this reason, all persons wishing to arrive by plane to this part of Argentina should land at the Foz do Iguaçu International Airport in Brazil. The Iguazu Falls are [...]

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The Puerto Iguazú International Airport, Argentina, will close temporarily from April 15 to May 14, 2018 -including both days- for modernization work on its infrastructure. For this reason, all persons wishing to arrive by plane to this part of Argentina should land at the Foz do Iguaçu International Airport in Brazil.

catarata argentinaThe Iguazu Falls are the main attraction of this region. Organize your flight with time if you travel on these dates!

The renovation works for this important airport, which receives close to 1 million passengers a year, include the expansion of the current surface that will increase from 8,000 m² to 15,000 m², and new sectors of check-in, boarding and arrival. Likewise, new self-check-in machines and a new free wi-fi service will be installed, and the number of gastronomic and commercial establishments will increase.

These improvements are an addition to the modernization works that began in 2017, such as the expansion of available parking spaces for cars at the airport, which went from 188 to 400 garages, including spaces for pregnant women and people with reduced mobility. A new control tower, 27 meters high, was also launched with 360 ° visual lenses.

Those who arrive at the Foz do Iguaçu International Airport must take into account the visa requirements for tourists, if applicable according to their nationality. In this link you will find all the information about it so that you can enter Brazil without problems.

All travelers are required to present their passport, except travelers who carry a National Identification Document of Brazil, a “Laissez-Passer” issued by the United Nations, a national identity card issued to citizens of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay; citizens of Argentina who carry a National Identity Document, travelers who carry a “Seaman Book” (Maritime Notebook), provided they are on duty, refugees and people without nationality or citizenship, citizens of Bhutan, the Central African Republic and Taipei China who carry a “Laissez Passer” issued by the Brazilian authorities and those travelers carrying a “Kinderausweis”, a German identity document that is issued to children under 15 years of age.


Temporary closure of Salta Airport

In addition to the Iguazú Airport, the Martín Miguel de Güemes Airport in Salta, Argentina, will also temporarily close from April 15 to May 6, 2018 -including both days- for maintenance work on the runway.

Due to this closure, the flights of Andes and Aerolíneas Argentinas will be transferred to the Gobernador Horacio Guzmán de Jujuy Airport. However, airlines that do not have an operating base in Jujuy, such as Amaszonas, Latam and Boa, will not operate during those 21 days.


Organize every detail of your trip to Iguazu and Salta, schedule your flights and make sure you have the corresponding documentation. Do not forget to add to your itinerary the best travel experiences in Argentina with the tours and activities of Argentina4u.

By: Daytours4u Content Team

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Visiting Salar de Uyuni or Salinas Grandes? http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/salar-de-uyuni-or-salinas-grandes/ Mon, 13 Mar 2017 09:00:42 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=11103 Salar de Uyuni or Salinas Grandes? A common question amongst those travelling to South America. Check out our handy comparison here.

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South America boasts some of the most impressive, and seemingly unreal, salt flats in the world – together they thrill travellers looking for unique landscapes and breathtaking photographs to take home. Two of the most popular salt flats to visit are Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia and Salinas Grandes in Argentina. But with so much ground to cover on your travels and so little time, which one should you visit?

salinas grandes or salar de uyuniSalar de Uyuni, in southwest Bolivia, is the world’s largest salt flat / Image Source

SALAR DE UYUNI

If you’ve been dreaming about a trip to South America, you’ve definitely seen the pictures of the mesmerising Salar de Uyuni. It’s the favourite site for incredible forced perspective photographs. Not only is it the world’s largest salt plain, it is also the most unique to visit, with the Incahuasi “island” in the middle – a rocky outcrop jutting out above the endless sea of white, dotted with giant cacti. It is the perfect spot to watch the sunrise.

Top reason to visit: It is the pinnacle of salt flats. If your travel itinerary has a spot open for a tour to Bolivia, it is well worth your time.

Keep in mind: If Bolivia isn’t specifically on your travel list, it is quite a detour from Argentina, and does require a certain amount of roughing it, particularly if you take a multi-day tour through the high altitude terrain.

salinas grandes or salar de uyuniThe bright blue natural pools are a great attraction at Salinas Grandes / Photo by Daytours4u

SALINAS GRANDES

Argentina’s largest salt flat is Salinas Grandes, a vast plain in the northwestern corner of Argentina spanning 525 square kilometres across the provinces of Jujuy and Salta, close to the borders of Chile and Bolivia.

Top reason to visit: The location of Salinas Grandes means it is easy to visit on a day tour from Salta or on a trip combining some of the spectacular surrounding attractions in Salta and Jujuy. If you’re hiring a car, you can even drive onto the salt flats yourself – a unique experience. If you’re passing over from Argentina into San Pedro de Atacama in Chile, these salt flats are located on the way.

Keep in mind: As impressive as Salinas Grandes is in terms of its size and unique deep blue pools, it doesn’t offer quite the same appeal if your main goal is taking perfect forced perspective photos or want that classic mirror effect (if you’re lucky enough to time your visit with some rain).

salinas grandes or salar de uyuniThe salt flats are unmissable if you’re travelling in northern Argentina / Photo by Daytours4u

CHOOSING WHICH SALT FLAT TO VISIT

In an ideal world, visit both salt flats. They are both truly impressive, and each have their own unique characteristics, making them both memorable experiences. They are also convenient to combine in one trip if you’re travelling by land from Bolivia to Argentina, or vice versa.

However, you will most likely be limited by your travel itinerary. If you’re short on time and are focusing on Argentina, then Salinas Grandes is your best bet. If you want to travel through Bolivia, no trip here is complete without visiting Salar de Uyuni and the surrounding high altitude landscapes.

. . .

Vast salt flats amidst the high deserts of the Andes are one of the many enchanting reasons to visit this region of South America. Be sure to check out Argentina4u for tours to Salinas Grandes and its surrounding areas.

By: Nicole Eberhard, travel writer and avid explorer, with a Masters in English Literature.

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How To Get From Salta to Uyuni http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/how-to-get-from-salta-to-uyuni/ Tue, 22 Nov 2016 09:00:18 +0000 http://argentina4u.com/blog/en/?p=3289 If you want to include a visit to Uyuni, Bolivia, in your South American travels, Salta is the perfect entry point. Here's how to get from Salta to Uyuni.

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Journeying from Argentina’s northwest into Bolivia (or the other way round) is a popular route for travellers in South America. Bolivia is home to the incredible Salar de Uyuni salt flats and a whole host of other great natural attractions that come with budget-friendly prices. To help plan your adventure in this beautiful corner of the world, here are some tips on how to get from Salta to Uyuni.

get from salta to uyuniSalar de Uyuni in Bolivia is a spectacular place to visit / Image Source

Going from Salta by bus

There are unfortunately no direct buses between Salta and Uyuni. All transport goes just to the border town of La Quiaca, on the Argentine side, and Villazón, on the Bolivian side. There are regular daily buses from Salta to the border town of La Quiaca. These tickets can be bought online from Andesmar or Plataforma 10 in advance, or from the bus station in Salta. Once you arrive in La Quiaca, you will need to either take a taxi to the border or walk. It is a short walk down the hill and across the international bridge.

What you need to know about the border crossing:

Immigration is open from 6am until 7pm daily, on both sides.

Crossing the border, you will need to fill out a form when entering Bolivia. Some countries have to pay a fee upon entry. Check your visa requirements in advance. Be aware that US citizens must be in possession of a hotel booking or letter of invitation as well as US$135 in cash. You can withdraw US dollars from the ATM in Villazón. You may also be required to show proof of a yellow fever vaccination if you are travelling from a country with a risk of yellow fever.

Make sure you go to both windows at the border, to get your stamp out of one country and into the other.

If you book a bus or train ticket in advance, give yourself plenty of time to cross the border. It is famous for being rather slow and frustrating. The earlier you get there, the better.

get from salta to uyuniThe otherworldly Salar de Uyuni before sunrise / Image Source

Getting from the border to Uyuni

Once you’re in Bolivia, you have the option of taking a taxi, bus, or train from Villazón to Uyuni, or Tupiza, depending on where you want to be based. Many tours to Salar de Uyuni run from Tupiza. You can buy bus tickets in Villazón. This is safer than buying in advance because of delays at the border crossing. There are two train companies that operate this route: Expreso del Sur and Wara Wara del Sur. Expreso del Sur is more comfortable and quicker. Be aware that the trains only run on certain days.

Expreso del Sur – From Villazón to Uyuni: Wednesday and Saturday; From Uyuni to Villazón: Tuesday and Friday.

Wara Wara del Sur – From Villazón to Uyuni: Monday and Thursday; From Uyuni to Villazón: Wednesday and Sunday.

Tickets can be bought online, up to a week in advance. If you want to book closer to that time, you cannot make the booking online.

get from salta to uyuniSalar de Uyuni has breathtaking reflective qualities

Taking a Tour to Uyuni

If you would like to combine a visit to Salta with Uyuni, without having to worry about making the arrangements yourself, you have the option of taking a tour from Salta to Uyuni.

One option is the Discovering Uyuni Tour. This 5-night tour will take you from Salta City through the province of Salta, visiting such places as the Mountain of Seven Colours and Humahuaca. Cross the border into Bolivia to Uyuni, where you will visit Salar de Uyuni, and Bolivia’s Highland Lakes. The tour ends in San Pedro de Atacama in Chile (with the option to stay in Uyuni, if you choose).

Another, more complete, option is the Discovering Uyuni and Atacama Tour.  Lasting 9 nights, this tour will take you from Salta to Uyuni and San Pedro de Atacama and back to Salta. Some of the tour highlights include Purmamarca, the Mountain of Seven Colours, Humahuaca, Salar de Uyuni, the Bolivia Highland Lakes, Volcanic Geysers, Laguna Verde, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile’s Highland Lakes and Valle del Luna.

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However you decide to get to Uyuni from Salta, it is certainly worth combining your trip to Argentina with a visit to Bolivia. To see more tours across Argentina, visit argentina4u.com.

By: Daytours4u Content Team

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A Guide to the Towns of Salta and Jujuy http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/guide-towns-salta-jujuy/ Thu, 13 Oct 2016 09:00:09 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=9911 If you are journeying through Argentina’s wild, mountainous northwest, check out this guide to the small, beautiful towns you can discover along your way.

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The charm of Northern Argentina lies in its small towns, tucked between incredible mountain formations and valleys. You might come to this part of the country to see the multi-hued mountains and the large salt flats, but it is the villages and the people that will make you fall in love with this corner of Argentina.

Whether you’re hiring a car and road tripping across the north-west corner by yourself, or you’re taking day trips from Salta city, these are some of the towns of Salta and Jujuy you’ll encounter along the way.

humahuacaThe small towns in Salta and Jujuy are authentic travel destinations / Photo by Luiza Cavalcante

CAFAYATE

Cafayate is the wine capital of Northern Argentina and a firm favourite for travellers. The picturesque town is surrounded by lush green vineyards, creating the feel of an oasis. With lots of hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts and camping spots, it’s the ideal spot to relax for a few days, whatever your budget. There are plenty of activities to choose from: go wine tasting, relax at a café on the beautiful central square, go hiking to the Cascadas del Rio Colorado (a series of waterfalls) or explore the unreal Quebrada de Cafayate rock formations on the route between Salta and Cafayate.

p1120352It’s not all about the desert landscapes; Cafayate is home to lush, green vineyards / Photo by Daytours4u

CACHI

One of the most charming and unique places in this region is Cachi, a beautiful colonial village known for its gorgeous white adobe buildings. Besides the beauty of the town itself, it’s the route to get there that offers the real wow factor. The drive through the Calchaquí Valley, particularly through the Quebrada de Escoipe, the Cuesta del Obispo pass and the Valle Encantado, makes up for the bad roads with incredible scenery. The perfect way to visit Cachi is either with a guided day tour or as part of a driving loop combining Cafayate and San Antonio de los Cobres.

SAN ANTONIO DE LOS COBRES

The small mining town of San Antonio de los Cobres is famous because of its location along the route of the famous Train to the Clouds (Tren de las Nubes). It’s one of the highest towns in Argentina in terms of altitude, sitting at 3.775 metres above sea level. Not many tourists choose to stay over in the town, although it is a good stop over town if you’re driving from Cachi to Salinas Grandes / Purmamarca.

dsc_5482-2The route through Calchaquí Valley between the small towns is quite simply spectacular / Photo by Daytours4u

HUMAHUACA

Humahuaca lies north of Tilcara, in Jujuy province, and is close to the Bolivian border. It is one of the largest towns in the area and is located in the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a long valley that is part of the Camino Inca. The main reason for visiting is to see the canyon with its spectacular mountains, but the town itself is also scenic and peaceful. Sightsee the white-washed colonial houses, pick up some unique souvenirs, and take a walk up to the Monumento de la Independencia (Monument to the heroes of the Independence).

TILCARA

One of the most bustling small towns north of Salta is Tilcara. Located between San Salvador de Jujuy and Humahuaca, this town has blossomed, with lots of restaurants, cafés and bars, and plenty of hostels to accommodate the crowds that fill it during the busy Carnival season. Besides the narrow cobbled streets and great vibes, the drawcard to staying here are the Pucará de Tilcara ruins. This pre-Incan settlement located on a hill on the outskirts of town is a must to visit. There is also a great 4-hour walk to the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) waterfall. If you’re driving, make sure you fill up your tank at Tilcara’s gas station – it’s the only one you’ll see in a while.

p1120583The Pucará de Tilcara Ruins and monument is a highlight of the region / Photo by Daytours4u

IRUYA

Tucked spectacularly into a mountain pass is the remote village of Iruya, in northern Salta. It’s considered by many to be the most magical town in the region. It’s only reachable through Jujuy along a 46km dirt road. Locals don’t recommend you do this drive yourself but take a bus instead. The windy road to reach the town can be dicey but offers some incredible views. If you have time, try to stay over a night or two here to take advantage of the great hiking around the town.

PURMAMARCA

This enchanting little village is famous for its incredible mountain backdrop – Cerro de los Siete Colores (the Hill of Seven Colours). Many people pass through on their way to the Salinas Grandes salt flats, but they’d be missing out two wonderful walking trails around the tiny town, to see the hill (and the many other magnificent mountains around it) from different angles. The village is small with a beautiful central square, great handicrafts and a number of comfortable accommodation options.

visit salta and jujuyPurmamarca in the foothills of the Mountain of Seven Colours / Image Source

While in an ideal world you’ll have time in your itinerary to take your time driving through all these incredible small towns of Salta and Jujuy, this might not be possible for your vacation. Luckily, you can visit most of these towns on day trips from Salta, or can choose to do a short trip to just a few villages of your choice.

Looking for more tours and activities in and around Salta? Visit Argentina4u.

By: Nicole Eberhard, travel writer and avid explorer, with a Masters in English Literature.

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Why You Should Rent a Car in Northern Argentina http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/why-you-should-rent-a-car-in-northern-argentina/ Thu, 08 Sep 2016 09:00:11 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=9499 To rent a car in northern Argentina is to enjoy the freedom of exploration amidst landscapes of intoxicating beauty. Find out how you can do it here.

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One of the highlights of travelling around South America for me was renting a car in Salta and road-tripping through northern Argentina. If there’s anywhere in the country you’re going to splurge on car rental costs, it’s here.

The north-western corner of Argentina is a region that should not be skipped: it’s dazzling, multicoloured mountains, blindingly white salt flats, and beautiful little towns packed with culture and delicious food make it an entirely unique place to visit.

rent a car in northern argentinaThe roads of Salta and Jujuy include some breathtaking passes / Photo by Daytours4u

From the city of Salta, the capital of the province with the same name, the best way to get around is by car. This is because the distances between places of interest in Salta and Jujuy are far, with many spectacular little towns and breathtaking scenery in between them just waiting to be explored. Plus, if you’re with a group of people, it’s wonderfully cost effective.

While driving is daunting, particularly if you come from a country where you drive on the left-hand side of the road, it’s worth it for the freedom it gives to explore at your own pace.

P1120494The Mountain of 7 Colours is one of many incredible attractions in this region / Photo by Daytours4u

DRIVING ITINERARIES FROM SALTA

The vast range of places across this deceptively large region (don’t be fooled by how small it looks on a map) means there is a wide choice of routes, depending on how much time you have. You can also choose to stick to the safer tarred highways, or throw caution to the wind and hit the gravel roads.

The Safe Routes:

If you have just 3 days to explore the northwest beyond the city of Salta, a classic itinerary is Salta – Purmamarca – Salinas Grandes – Humahuaca – Salta. The roads on this route are perfect, quite straightforward, and the distances manageable.

Head straight for Purmamarca on day 1 and spend the night there to soak in the breathtaking vistas of the incredible Cerro de Siete Colores (Mountain of 7 Colours). Leave bright and early the next day and journey to the spellbinding Salinas Grandes, before backtracking northwards to Humahuaca, where you’ll spend your second night. Explore the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a valley famous for its brightly coloured mountains and long history predating the Inca Empire. On your way back on day 3, stop at Tilcara, another important town, where you can visit the Pucará de Tilcara pre-Incan ruins and the Painter’s Palette hills by the town of Maimara.

You can stretch this itinerary out much longer, taking your time to explore these quaint little towns. A good option to add on to this route is to head south of Salta city to Cafayate. It’s not a long drive, and the route is breathtaking. Stop along the way to see the weird and wonderful rock formations in the Quebrada de Cafayate. Highlights like La Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) and El Anfiteatro (The Amphitheatre) are clearly signposted along the route. Cafayate itself is a charming town set in the heart of Salta’s high-altitude wineries; a place to indulge in some exquisite wine-tasting and enjoy some great hikes.

P1120592You can visit the Pucará de Tilcara pre-Incan ruins on your road trip / Photo by Daytours4u

Trickier Itineraries:

If you want to spend some more time in the region, a great option would be the southwards loop from Salta to Cafayate and Cachi and back. This route takes you along the dramatic mountain road, Cuesta del Obispo. A large stretch of this road is gravel, and can be rough going. We don’t recommend doing this drive by yourself during the rainy season. Some rental companies may insist you take a 4×4 option or extra insurance because of the likelihood of a tire blowout. However, the risks pay off in the scenery you’ll see. Not only is the route magnificent, but the town of Cachi is a must-visit; a place home to beautifully preserved Spanish colonial houses.

Another destination worth visiting in the region is the town of San Antonio de los Cobres which can be reached by following the famous route traversed by the Train to the Clouds. This is an alternative way to get to Salinas Grandes. Again, this road should not be attempted in the rainy season, as it is prone to landslides, and there is little to no cell phone reception in the area. At other times of the year this route is safer – just watch out for altitude sickness along this route.

P1120527Did you know that you can drive right onto the Salinas Grandes salt flats? / Photo by Daytours4u

ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR RENTING A CAR IN ARGENTINA:

It’s a good idea to book a car in advance, particularly if you have a car preference or if you’re travelling in high season. Make sure you hire from a reputable car hire company – there are many horror stories online from small car hire places.

Inspect your car thoroughly before driving off, ensuring that the rental company properly notes all scratches and problems. It’s a good idea to take photos of any bumps and scratches as well, to cover yourself.

There are long distances between destinations and few gas stations. Check with the car hire company where you can fill up, and then make sure you do, even if you still have half a tank. On the northern route, Tilcara is the only gas station in a large radius, so don’t drive on past.

There are many police checkpoints along the roads, particularly when crossing between Salta and Jujuy provinces. Keep all your paperwork close at hand in case. Note that by law, you must always drive with your lights on, even during the day time.

Check your itinerary with the car rental company before leaving, especially during the rainy season and during the Dakar Rally time period, as some roads may be closed.

Normally it is easy to show up in the small towns without accommodation booked, but if you’re travelling in January and February, during Carnival period, it is important to book ahead as the towns host highly popular festivals and hotels and hostels fill up quickly.

P1120598Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore Salta’s hidden landscapes / Photo by Daytours4u

ALTERNATIVES TO DRIVING

While renting a car in Salta is a fantastic way to explore the region, it’s not for everyone.

There are barriers that might make you uncomfortable. The road signs are in Spanish, many roads in this area are quite rough, especially in rainy season, the passes are long and winding, and there is a somewhat flexible approach to road rules that can be a bit daunting.

Moreover, what you gain in the independence to travel at your own pace, you lose in the insight that a tour guide can give you on local culture and history. If you’re interested in learning more about Argentina’s northwest corner, a guided tour from Salta might be your best option.

There are numerous day tours operating out of Salta, taking you to highlights of the area, such as Salinas Grandes, Quebrada de Humahuaca and Cachi. These guided day trips are a great option if you don’t have a lot of time in Salta or if you want to sit back and take in the scenery while learning from an expert local guide.

There are also local buses that run in the region. These are a good option if you want to go to a destination such as Cafayate and spend a few nights. If you take a bus up North to Jujuy, however, don’t expect lots of easy links between the small towns. You can book bus tickets directly from the bus station in Salta.

p1120632The views of Salta from the surrounding hills are spectacular / Photo by Daytours4u

In short, if you have time and a group of people, renting a car in Salta is the ideal way to explore northern Argentina. If you’re travelling solo, have limited time or not up driving in a foreign country, then there are many wonderful tour options available as well. But whatever you do, make sure you don’t skip this gorgeous and interesting region of Argentina.

If you’re interested in guided tours in and around Salta, Argentina4u has a wonderful collection that offers something for every type of traveller.

By: Nicole Eberhard, travel writer and avid explorer, with a Masters in English Literature.

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Argentina4u Review: Salinas Grandes Day Tour http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/salinas-grandes-day-tour/ Thu, 17 Sep 2015 15:51:11 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=7799 If Northern Argentina is on your travel itinerary (and it should be), a Salinas Grandes Day Tour is sure to be the high point of you holiday. This comprehensive tour traversing Salta and Jujuy will not only allow you to capture stunning photos of the Andean mountain and desert landscapes, but will also introduce you [...]

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If Northern Argentina is on your travel itinerary (and it should be), a Salinas Grandes Day Tour is sure to be the high point of you holiday. This comprehensive tour traversing Salta and Jujuy will not only allow you to capture stunning photos of the Andean mountain and desert landscapes, but will also introduce you to the region’s deep traditions, culture and kindness.

A road through the landscapes of Northern Argentina

Hit the road on this Salinas Grandes Day Tour / Credit: Luiza Cavalcante

It’s also worth noting that this region is one of the most affordable places to visit in Argentina, especially compared to Southern Argentina, as well as Buenos Aires. If you’re looking for great value for your money or to stretch your budget, Salta should definitely be on your radar.

Ruins of Tastil & El Alfarcito

This full day tour from Salta starts early in the morning from the city of Salta. Between seven and eight in the monring, a shuttle service picked us up at our accommodation. Equipped with water bottles, sunscreen, sunglasses and dressed in comfortable clothing – as was recommended to us when booking – we boarded the van to embark on an amazing trip.

Important: This Salinas Grandes Day Tour, also known as Vuelta Por Las Alturas, has a duration of approximately 14 hours. We recommend following the guide’s advice to make the most of this experience, and to prepare yourself for a long, but unforgettable day.

Following the road that goes the same route as the Tren de las Nubes (Train to the Clouds), the first stop was the Tastil Ruins. Here we found the first cardones (a cactus typical of the Andean region) in a desert surrounded by pastel-coloured mountains that was a nice preview of what was to come.

Cacti in the dessert in Salta

These cacti litter the landscape of Northern Argentina / Credit: Luiza Cavalcante

Another stop before lunch was a pueblito (small town) called El Afarcito. An interesting aura surrounds this little village. Our guide told us the story of a local priest, known as Padre Chifri, who recently passed away. Chifri was the man behind the significant social work in this town. After this brief stop in El Alfarcito, we carried on to visit another village before stopping for lunch.

San Antonio de los Cobres and Llama Meat

Reaching San Antonio de los Cobres, it was time to sample a typical delicacy of the region: the exotic llama meat. Llama is like “cattle” in this region and is a typical meat to find in local dishes. Our guide recommended trying the meat, as it is tender and fatty. The lentil stew with llama meat I tried was a dish I’ll never forget – the guide was definitely right! I even got some empanadas with llama meat filling to take with me for the rest of the tour. Note that the cost of the meal is not included in the tour price.

A church in San Antonio de los Cobres

The architecture in San Antonio de los Cobres has gems like the San Antonio de Padua Parish / Credit: Luiza Cavalcante

Leaving the restaurant, some locals were selling miniature crocheted llamas. They were beautifully and delicately made, and are the perfect souvenir for yourself or as gift.

Salinas Grandes: The Salt Flats

The next stop was the most awaited moment of our tour. The photos we’d seen beforehand couldn’t prepare us for the sight of the salt flats located in the Puna de Atacama (Atacama Plateau). Stretching for approximately 200 km², a vast white desert awaits. You will need sunglasses and sunscreen, as the sunlight illuminated off the ground is intense!

The vast white salt flats of Salinas Grandes

The salt flats provide endless opportunities for creative photography / Credit: Luiza Cavalcante

The guide suggested that we take off our shoes, put our feet in the salt water and taste a little piece of this salty landscape. Next to the salt desert, an abandoned construction drew our attention. This ruin was an old restaurant that failed and was taken over by the salt, turning it into another attraction in Salinas Grandes where you can buy unique souvenirs made from salt.

Purmamarca and the Hill of 7 Colours

After leaving the great white salt flats of Argentina, our last stop, but definitely not the least impressive, was the town of Purmamarca. Located 65 km from the capital of Jujuy, this place is special both during the day, where you can see the incredible Cerro de los Siete Colores (The Hill of Seven Colours), and at night where the bar-restaurant Entre Amigos is the perfect spot to enjoy Chacarera, a local genre of folk music and dance. We arrived to the town in the late afternoon, and strolled through the main crafts fair that takes place every day in the town square.

The colourful Hill of 7 Colours

The Cerro de los Siete Colores is an iconic sight in Northern Argentina / Credit: Luiza Cavalcante

The Salinas Grandes Tour goes from Purmamarca back to Salta, where you will be dropped off at your accommodation. However, we decided to stay on in Purmamarca for an evening so that we could explore some of the other little towns in the area. For a small town with no more than 20 blocks, Purmamarca has a number of hostels to stay in and an interesting number of restaurants. We spent a pleasant evening here in this small town surrounded by dramatic mountains.

Tips for traveling through Northern Argentina:

  • If you have the time, it is worth renting a car in one of the capitals (Salta or Jujuy), which will allow you to explore all the little towns without worrying about the confusing bus schedules.
  • Whether you’re travelling with friends, as a couple or solo, a hostel in this part of the country is a good place to stay. Despite the fact that the towns are small and lack complete tourist infrastructure, they all have good, comfortable and great-value lodging options.
  • Don’t travel through the deserts and mountains alone. This part of the country doesn’t attract the same numbers of people as the South, and there are areas that are quite isolated. While it isn’t a particularly dangerous region, be cautious and travel with a group or with a tour.

Don’t miss the incredible other-worldly landscapes of Northern Argentina. Be inspired by one of the most impressive places in South America with Argentina4u!

Click here to book this Tour to Salinas Grandes

By: Luiza Cavalcante | Adapted by Nicole Eberhard

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10 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About Salta http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/10-facts-about-salta/ Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:34:14 +0000 http://argentina4u.com/blog/en/?p=3276 Tourism in Argentina’s northwestern corner is booming. Not only are there plenty of attractions in Salta, like Quebrada de Humahuaca, the Seven Colours Hill, the Calchaquíes Valley, Cachí and Salinas Grandes; but Salta is also a fascinating place with lots of history and heritage. Did you know these 10 cool facts about Salta? 1. The Cradle of [...]

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Salta's landscapes range from lush green to multi-coloured mountains to vast desert landscapes

Salta’s landscapes range from lush green to multi-coloured mountains to vast desert landscapes / source

Tourism in Argentina’s northwestern corner is booming. Not only are there plenty of attractions in Salta, like Quebrada de Humahuaca, the Seven Colours Hill, the Calchaquíes Valley, Cachí and Salinas Grandes; but Salta is also a fascinating place with lots of history and heritage.

Did you know these 10 cool facts about Salta?

Multi-coloured mountains near Cafayate | Facts to know about Salta

Multi-hued mountains are an iconic part of Salta’s landscape / source

1. The Cradle of Argentina Folklore

Salta is known as ‘the cradle of Argentine folklore.’ Many famous folklore singers come from this part of the world, and folklore remains an important part of the culture here. When visiting, make sure you make like a local by attending one of the popular peñas (a folkloric show).

2. Home of the Argentine Inca Trail

Peru is not the only place with an Inca Trail. Argentina’s Camino Inca runs through Salta, linking the Andean Pre-Hispanic cultures, including Inca tribes, Diaguitas and other indigenous groups. This trail runs into the high Andes and passes some of Salta’s most famous tourist attractions including Humahuaca, Tilcara and Purmamarca.

3. Salta City has a unique cultural heritage

The city of Salta has a distinctly different feel to most cities in Argentina. While also influenced by the Spanish, Salta has a unique blend of Spanish and indigenous cultures, which can be seen in the architecture. People from Salta tend to be more traditional and conservative than the rest of Argentina.

4. It has a jungle

It’s not all desert landscapes. The lush green Yungas forest extends into Salta, forming part of the Andean forest extending across Bolivia and Peru.

5. Salta is an ideal destination for Adventure Tourism

This part of Northern Argentina is a hub for adventure tourism. Some of the adventure tours on offer are off-road jeep tours through the Yungas, white water rafting and ziplining, bungee jumping, and mountain biking.

Train to the Clouds crossing a viaduct | Know about Salta

The Train to the Clouds is one of the highest railways in the world / Source

6. One of the highest railways in the world

Salta has the 5th highest railway in the world, the Train to the Clouds, or Tren a las Nubes. After being closed for 8 months for repairs, the train is running again. Take a ride on this breathtaking railway tour with a Train to the Clouds excursion.

7. Home to Torrontés wine

Salta is the prime growing region of the Torrontés grape varietal, a native grape to Argentina. This delicious white wine thrives in the high altitudes of Salta, particularly in the area of Cafayate. Visiting Cafayate to go wine tasting is a must-do activity in Salta.

8. Salta makes the best Empanadas

Ask most Argentines and they’ll tell you the best empanadas in the country can be found in Salta. These empanadas are called salteñas, and are distinct in that they are typically made without fat or oil. Typical flavours include carne suave, or carne picante, a beef version that usually is made with beef, red pepper, spring onion, potato and egg. Don’t skip Salta’s other famous dishes: locro (a hearty stew) and humitas (similar to Mexico’s tamales).

9. It was once called Lerma

The city of Salta was once called Lerma, after its Spanish founder, Hernando de Lerma. It was later changed to Salta. There is a debate about the meaning of the name. Some say it means “crag-place” in Quechua (a native Incan language), while the preferred version is that it comes from “sagta” which means beautiful in Aymara (a pre-Incan language). Hence the nickname, ‘Salta la Linda‘ or ‘Salta the beautiful.’

10. Great weather all year

Salta has agreeable weather all year round, making it the perfect destination to add to your travel itinerary no matter what time of the year you visit Argentina!

Click here to book tours in Salta

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Your Perfect 3-Day Salta Itinerary http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/3-days-salta/ Fri, 23 Jan 2015 10:00:52 +0000 http://argentina4u.com/blog/en/?p=2848 Far from the glaciers and snow-capped mountains of Patagonia, Argentina’s northern corner holds its own secrets and stunning landscapes. Salta and neighbouring Jujuy are worth spending time exploring, with their surreal mountains and valleys, jungle and vineyards, and indigenous cultural heritage. If you are short on time, though, we have come up with the perfect [...]

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Far from the glaciers and snow-capped mountains of Patagonia, Argentina’s northern corner holds its own secrets and stunning landscapes. Salta and neighbouring Jujuy are worth spending time exploring, with their surreal mountains and valleys, jungle and vineyards, and indigenous cultural heritage. If you are short on time, though, we have come up with the perfect 3-day Salta itinerary with suggestions for extending it.

Explore Salta la Linda, in Argentina's North-West.

Explore Salta la Linda, in Argentina’s North-West. / source

Day One

Arrive in the city of Salta in the morning. After checking in to your accommodation, it’s time to explore the city.  You can opt to take a city tour or explore yourself. Some highlights to see in Salta include the pink Cathedral of Salta, and the red and yellow San Francisco Church, the Museo de Arquelogía de Alta Montaña (MAAM), famous for its mummified body of a child,  the Cultural Centre America, and the Historical Museum. Walk or take the teleférico up San Bernando Hill to admire the views over the city and surrounding mountains.

In the evening head to Plaza 9 de Julio. This is where all the action is, with many cafés and bars lining the plaza. Keep in mind that Salta takes siesta, so shops close after lunch, and open again in the late afternoon. As night falls, get cultural on a Folkloric Tour, or head to a typical parrilla where you can sample a-typical meat, such as llama or try locro (an iconic stew of the Andean region, made with corn, beans, chorizo and chunks of meat). Get an early night’s sleep because day two is going to be a long one.

The town of Purmamarca in Jujuy is home to the 7 Colours Hill.

The town of Purmamarca in Jujuy is home to the 7 Colours Hill. / source

Day Two

Take a tour to Salinas Grandes. A day tour into neighbouring Jujuy is a great way to maximise your time and see some of the region’s top attractions on one trip – perfect for people short on time. This tour will take you to the high-altitude town of San Antonio de los Cobres. From there continue on the famous Route 40, crossing incredible mountain landscapes. Arrive at the Salinas Grandes. These giant salt flats just beg for creative photographs as you play with perspectives on this unusual landscape. After having your fun here, continue on to the typical town of Purmamarca in the Quebrada de Humahuaca (Humahuaca Canyon). Here is where you’ll find the incredible Seven Colours Hill. This is one of the most incredible mountain landscapes in the country. Finally head back to Salta, after stopping briefly in the colonial city of San Salvador de Jujuy.

After a long day out, grab some empanadas salteñas for dinner, which people from Salta will tell you are the best in the country, and many in Argentina are prone to agree!

The Salinas Grandes in Jujuy is a must-do day trip from Salta.

The Salinas Grandes in Jujuy is a must-do day trip from Salta. / source

Day Three

Tucked in the mountains of Valles Calchaquíes is the lush wine country of Cafayate. Spend your third day in Salta visiting this beautiful town. You can take a tour to Cafayate, hire a car and drive there, or take the local bus, which runs 4 or 5 daily services between the two towns. Stop along the way at Quebrada de las Conchas (the Shell’s Gorge), where the towering red rock walls have been carved over time into weird and wonderful shapes. Some of the most popular ones are The Ampitheatre, The Titanic, Devil’s Throat and the Toad.

Reaching Cafayate, it’s time to go wine tasting! Cafayate is a unique wine region due to its high altitude, with the highest vineyards in the world. It is famous for Torrontés wine, Argentina’s signature white grape. Other wines also flourish here, including Malbec, Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. If you’re in Cafayate without a tour, stop by the tourist information office in town to pick up a list of wineries and their tasting schedules. There are a number of places in town to taste at, if you don’t have a car. Remember that Cafayate’s wineries are not open on Sundays, so keep this in mind when planning your itinerary.

If you have time this is a great place to spend a relaxing night before heading back to Salta in the morning and catching your flight or bus. Otherwise head back and spend your last night enjoying Salta’s food and wines.

Visit Salta's wine region: Cafayate.

Visit Salta’s wine region: Cafayate. / source

Extend your trip

There are plenty more things to do if you have a bit more time. Combine your trip to Cafayate with a visit to Cachi and the Los Cardones National Park, with its giant cactuses and extinct animal fossils. This trip takes you up the winding roads of Cuesta del Obispo on Route 33.  There is also a day tour from Salta that takes you to Cachi and Los Cardones.

Salta also is a the ideal place for outdoor adventures. With its many mountains, there are plenty of stunning hiking routes. It is also a popular place for cyclists, opting to cycle between towns rather than take tours or buses. For more adrenaline, there is the Yungas (jungle) which offers great adventure tour options, including mountain biking, rafting and ziplining.

Another great area to explore is the Quebrada de Humahuaca area. Instead of passing through quickly, spend time exploring the towns here, such Humahuaca and Tilcara, where you can explore a pre-Inca settlement. Cross back into Salta to visit Iruya, one of the region’s prettiest towns tucked into the mountain side.

A trip to Cachi will take you through the majestic Cuesta del Obispo.

A trip to Cachi will take you through the majestic Cuesta del Obispo. / source

You can easily spend two weeks in Salta and Jujuy, exploring their many highlights. But if you have just three days, stick to this Salta itinerary to fit in the highlights. Be warned though: you’ll probably want to come back soon to see the rest!

For more tours and activities in Salta, please visit our website!

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5 Ways to Get From Salta to Jujuy http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/salta-to-jujuy/ Thu, 16 Oct 2014 10:00:30 +0000 http://argentina4u.com/blog/en/?p=1675 Salta’s neighbouring province, Jujuy, may not be as popular a tourist destination as Salta, but it should definitely be on your travel itinerary in Argentina. Jujuy is tucked in the northwest corner of Argentina, on the border with Chile and Bolivia, and has some of the richest culture in Argentina. The beautiful province has a [...]

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Salta’s neighbouring province, Jujuy, may not be as popular a tourist destination as Salta, but it should definitely be on your travel itinerary in Argentina. Jujuy is tucked in the northwest corner of Argentina, on the border with Chile and Bolivia, and has some of the richest culture in Argentina. The beautiful province has a vast population of indigenous people, and unique, breathtaking landscapes, and a totally different atmosphere to south and central Argentina.

So why should it be on your list of places to visit? Jujuy is home to some of northwest Argentina’s most famous attractions, such as Purmamarca and the Hill of 7 Colours, Salinas Grandes salt flats, Quebrada de Humahuaca and Pucará de Tilcara Inca fort. Located a mere 60km from Salta, there’s simply no excuse not to visit Jujuy.

To help you plan your trip, we have listed five ways to get from Salta to Jujuy, along with the pros and cons of each route.

Jujuy has a large population of indigenous people

Jujuy has a large population of indigenous people / source

1. Take the scenic route along “Camino de la Cornisa”

The “Camino de la Cornisa” (Cornice Road) was previously National Highway 9, which has now been replaced by a much wider and faster freeway that runs from Salta to Jujuy. It’s a long and winding scenic route which goes through tropical woodland up a mountain along some seriously narrow roads. In many parts, the road is actually so narrow that there isn’t enough space for two cars to pass each other, so it’s essential to pay careful attention to the traffic and use your horn on every curve.

Camino de la Cornisa: the scenic route from Salta to Jujuy

Camino de la Cornisa: the scenic route from Salta to Jujuy / source

Pros & cons: The Camino de la Cornisa takes you past some absolutely stunning natural scenery, and what’s more, you’ll encounter hardly any other vehicles along the way. However, this route certainly requires a lot of patience, as it will take twice as long as driving along the freeway and the risks are greater, for its tight bends make it considerably more dangerous. Be sure to avoid taking this route in bad weather conditions, especially when there is a lot of fog.

2. Zoom along the freeway

If taking the scenic route from Salta to Jujuy is too long and time-consuming for you, you can opt for the faster, flatter freeway along Route 66. This road, which veers to the east from Salta and around the mountains to Jujuy, takes approximately an hour and a half and is by far the quickest way to reach the province.

Pros & cons: The freeway is ideal for those on a limited time schedule who want to get to Jujuy as quickly as possible. However, don’t expect picturesque scenery as with the Camino de la Cornisa. You can also expect a lot more traffic driving this way.

3. Go as part of a tour

You can take a day tour to Jujuy from Salta to visit the region’s top attractions. Some options include a full day tour of Quebrada de Humahuaca, which takes you through the colourful landscapes of Jujuy’s mountain ravine Quebrada de Humahuaca. You’ll have the chance to visit some of Jujuy’s top attractions such as the Hill of Seven Colours and the ancient Inca ruins of Pucará, before returning to Salta via a traditional Salteño village.

Quebrada de Humahuaca: Jujuy's stunning mountain ravine

Quebrada de Humahuaca: Jujuy’s stunning mountain ravine / source

Pros & cons: Travelling to Jujuy from Salta as part of a tour is an excellent way to see the province’s best bits while alleviating the amount of organisation and effort that is required to plan your own trip. It is also the most comfortable way to travel and you have the advantage of gaining insider information from the knowledgeable tour guides. However, for those who would rather take things a little slower, a day tour restricts the amount of time you are able to spend at each of Jujuy’s famous landmarks.

4. Get on your bike

For the adventurous, there is another option to cycle from Salta to Jujuy. There is a bike path out of town which leads onto Ruta 9 and passes through wonderfully aromatic pine forests. As well as the magnificent scenery, you will come across animals such as horses grazing along the road, which adds to the beauty and charm of the region.

Pros & cons: This bike ride will take around half a day, so it’s only really for those who have both the time and the physical capability to cycle such a distance. However, it is a wonderful way to experience the beautiful landscapes while being out in the open and totally immersed in nature.

5. Hop on a bus

Most bus companies go from Salta to Jujuy along the Panamericana, away from the mountainside, which is a longer distance but the buses take just two hours to arrive. The bus operates like a local colectivo and makes a number of stops to pick up passengers in other towns before arriving in Jujuy. Bus schedules can be found on plataforma 10.

The route to Jujuy takes you past stunning scenery

The route to Jujuy takes you past stunning scenery / source

Pros & cons: By taking a bus from Salta to Jujuy you can experience how the locals travel. It is more authentic and affordable than taking a tour bus, but then again it is also slower and a lot less comfortable.

There are plenty of options for getting from Salta to Jujuy, whether you are looking for the more independent route of renting a car or taking a local bus, the active option of biking it, or the easier route of booking a tour from Salta. Whatever option you choose, make sure that you camera battery is fully charged because you’ll want to capture the surreal landscapes of Argentina’s northwestern corner along the way.

For more information on what to do in Salta and Jujuy, visit Argentina4u.


By: Milly Day
For: Argentina4u

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Salta Wine Festival: A Celebration of Torrontes in Cafayate http://www.daytours4u.com/en/argentina4u/wine-festival-in-cafayate/ Wed, 08 Oct 2014 12:43:05 +0000 http://argentina4u.com/blog/en/?p=2532 Torrontés is to Cafayate, Salta, what Malbec is to Mendoza. This native Argentine white grape variety is gaining in popularity and status. So what makes Cafayate the king of Torrontés? Much like Mendoza, it is the high altitude that gives the wine that special character and flavour. Add to that a sandy and stony soil, [...]

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Semana del Torrontés de Altura - Week of High Altitude Torrontés

Semana del Torrontés de Altura – Week of High Altitude Torrontés / source

Torrontés is to Cafayate, Salta, what Malbec is to Mendoza. This native Argentine white grape variety is gaining in popularity and status.

So what makes Cafayate the king of Torrontés? Much like Mendoza, it is the high altitude that gives the wine that special character and flavour. Add to that a sandy and stony soil, a unique microclimate and just the right amount of water, and you get the characteristically fresh and fruity wine. This perfectly acidic wine is the ideal summer drink, and since summer is on its way, what better way to kick things off than with a celebration of Torrontés?

Cafayate is hosting a wine festival this week in celebration of the High Altitude Torrontés wines. In conjunction with Salta’s bodegas and the Ministries of Culture and Tourism, Environment and Sustainable Production, Cafayate celebrates Semana del Torrontés de Altura (Week of High Altitude Torrontés) from the 8 – 13 October.

The event boasts a full agenda of activities with themed tastings, blind tastings, welcome drinks at the hotels, food and wine pairings in the restaurants, a wine forum, lectures and conference activities. A noted guest at these proceedings is Jorge Riccitelli, the chief winemaker at Bodega Norton and the first South American to be named Best Winemaker of the Year by Wine Enthusiast, elected in 2012.

The festival includes special guided tours of Cafayate’s wineries which specialise in producing Torrontés. To keep you entertained whilst enjoying your wine, there will also be musical performances, with a repertoire of Latin American folklore stylised tracks of great poets.

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just passing through Salta and interested in tasting a new variety of wine, don’t miss this celebration of Torrontés in Cafayate!

The full program of events can be downloaded on the Salta Tourism website.

For more activities in Salta and its surrounding areas, check out our tours and activities in Salta.

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