Published on August 26th, 2011 | by Mark Chesnut

The Top 5 Reasons to Visit Salta, Argentina

Twin towers: the cathedral of Salta, Argentina.


Referred to endearingly as “Salta the Fair” by natives and savvy tourists, the city of Salta in Argentina, has earned its name by welcoming travelers with unequalled hospitality, impeccable architecture and a rich history. Settled in 1582 by Hernando de Lerma of Spain, the Salta of today juxtaposes elements of colonial style with a modern metropolis. Situated in northwestern Argentina at the base of the Andes Mountains, Salta’s cultural amenities reflect the beauty of the surrounding Lerma Valley, 1,100 feet above sea level. 

This post explores the five top reasons to visit Salta. If you’re thinking of visiting Argentina, it is advisable to plan your holiday well in advance, so that you are able to be able to find travel deals to make the most of this incredible city. 

1. Local Culture
Salta’s inhabitants are no exception to the trickle-down effects of colonization, hence the city’s very Spanish appearance. They are very proud, however, to point out the survival and persistence of indigenous gaucho people and traditions. Every festival and religious custom reflects this mixture with elements of mestizo and criollo culture, intertwined with Spanish influence. 

2. Food
In true Argentinean form, Salta’s main culinary vein involves tender, expertly marinated steak, wine, and bread. Pasta, empanadas, carne asada, and dulce de leche are all additional delectable of Salta’s culinary expertise. As far as eating out goes, the best restaurants to visit include Viejo Jack for authentic cuisine or Jose Balcarce for a fine dining experience. Even the pickiest of palates agree that Salta’s food alone is more than deserving of a thorough quest for cheap tickets.

3. Traditional Festivals
To really capture the culture, the month-long April Festival offers a holistic sample of traditional Argentinean folk or “peñas” music as well as beautiful, naturalistic art and the people themselves. The month of April in Argentina is during autumn, which is an ideal time of year for tourists because they can find some of the cheapest flights to Salta and enjoy some lovely weather. 

4. Colonial Architecture
Salta’s beautiful colonial architecture is best observed from plaza 9 de Julio, from which the town hall or Cabildo and the Museo Histórico del Norte awe onlookers with their immaculate detail and explosive coloration. The Museo de Bellas Artes and the Contemporary Art museum both display similar architecture while offering reams of historical insights on the inside. 

5. Tren de las Nubes
Finally, the “Tren de las Nubes” or “Train to the Clouds” cannot be missed. This inexpensive service carts passengers from Salta to the Chilean border and the Andes Mountains, up a 3,000-foot ascent that has been described as inexplicably beautiful. The 15-hour train ride provides ample time to view the scenery, spend time with loved ones, and recount an unforgettable trip.

Originally from Argentina, Sebastian Chirino is a U.K.-based travel blogger with Cheapflights, a flight comparison website. 

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About the Author

The founder and editor of LatinFlyer.com, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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