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 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.
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