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.
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The "Camino de la Cornisa" (Cornice Road) was previously National Highway 9, which has now been replaced by a much wider and faster freeway that runs from Salta to Jujuy.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.
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.
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.
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