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A Guide to Northern Argentina: Salta & Jujuy Provinces

A Guide to Northern Argentina: Salta & Jujuy Provinces

For some reason, travelers often neglect the Salta Province and its surroundings in northwest Argentina. We’re not sure why, because this region of the country is unique and beautiful, and, most importantly, a prominent wine-making area.

The capital city of the province, Salta, is a nice place to spend a few days before continuing to explore the surrounding areas. However, it is by no means the main attraction.

Here is our quick guide to what you should see and do in Northern Argentina.

Cafayate

A guide to Northern Argentina Cafayate
Cafayate, Argentina

The small town of Cafayate is located a few hours south of Salta. The way there is incredibly beautiful; you feel as though you’ve been transported into the American Southwest- if Arizona had acres of grapes growing atop its red rocks.

Cafayate’s main attraction, of course, is its large array of wineries, most of which are walking distance from the city center. Your hostel is sure to give you a map marked with all of the bodegas, so you can spend a few days hopping between wine tastings.

You can also rent a bike to explore the area, take tours to impressive caves and landmarks among the burnt-orange stretches of rock, or simply drink away the day (no judgement). And don’t forget to try the wine ice-cream!

Where to stay: Chicha y Aloja 

A guide to Northern Argentina Cafayate
The road to Cafayate from Salta
A guide to Northern Argentina Cafayate
Bodega Nanni in Cafayate

Tilcara & Surrounding Towns

Tilcara is a town in the Jujuy province, north of Salta. With an enchanting cowboy-western vibe, it is where most travelers choose to stay as they tour the neighboring towns and attractions. From ruins to caves to street markets to salt flats, there’s no shortage of things to do in this area.

Where to stay: Tilcara Hostel

Tilcara

In Tilcara itself there are several things to see. First of all, there are the Pucará ruins- the remains of a pre-Incan fort- on a hill just above the village, which, in addition to the site, provides a great view. You can also hike to The Devil’s Throat waterfalls (which you can do on your own) or the Waira caves (which require a guide).

Humahuaca

Near the town of Humahuaca, north of Tilcara, there is some beautiful scenery to see. The Serranias del Hornocal is a colorful mountain range that you can drive to about 25km away from the city, which offers stunning views.

Purmamarca

Another tiny town just south of Tilcara, Purmamarca is a picturesque village with a vibrant market around the main plaza selling all sorts of Andean treasures. It sits just below the “Hill of Seven Colors,” which makes for a beautiful backdrop. From here, you can get a car to the Salinas Grandes.

A guide to Northern Argentina Salinas Grandes
The road from Purmamarca to Salinas Grandes

Salinas Grandes

The Salinas Grandes are the fourth largest salt flats in South America, and if you didn’t get to go to Uyuni in Bolivia, don’t worry, this will make up for it (and there will be far less tourists!). You can reach the salt flats by getting a taxi from Purmamarca ($1,000ARS/4 people). Once you’re there, if you want to, you can get a local guide for $300ARS (for the group) and he’ll drive you deeper into the flats to see some natural water pools and tell you about the salt extraction industry in the area.
A guide to Northern Argentina Salinas Grandes
Salinas Grandes

Worth it? If you can make it up to Northern Argentina during your trip, these beautiful places are absolutely worth a visit.

What to bring: water, sunscreen, hat, camera, and thirst for wine! 

– Iris & Roi

Do you have any suggestions for what to do in Northern Argentina? Let us know and we’ll add them to the list!



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