Salta la linda – the pretty one
After visiting Chile and before a month traveling around Bolivia, I paid a 4-day visit to Argentina again. I so missed the cool sweet and always helpful Argentinians and the Argentine accent so I decided to visit the North of Argentina, Salta town.
I heard many great things about Salta and its surroundings from other travelers and also from some Argentinian people and as Salta is called La Linda – the Pretty One, there must be a reason for it. I was looking forward to spend some time there and see a different Argentina from the one I saw already in Buenos Aires and Patagonia.
There are a couple of places in Salta La Linda you should visit:
The pinky Cathedral (on España street next to the main plaza) houses one of the most impressive altars in Argentina.
One of the main attractions is to visit San Bernardo Hill by walking up 1,021 steps or taking a cable car for 15 Argentine pesos. The best time to visit is before sunset so you can see Salta during the day, at sunset time and with lights.
San Francisco Church – yellow and red, extremely decorated, with the tallest tower and a museum.
Plaza 9 de Julio – the main square with General Guemes Monument, Cabildo Historico building and a lot of pigeons. It is a popular place for students to spend their time after the classes, tourists or locals just enjoying the atmosphere.
MAAM Museum – Museo de Arqueologia de Alta Montaña – 40 pesos entrance (10 for students) – I was told it was a must but to be honest I was a bit disappointed by it. First, as usual to take photos is prohibited. And then there were so many things written in the museum, and a couple of photos, and the 3 mummies and that was it. You will learn in the museum more about the Inca roads and their rituals in the mountains where the mummies of the children (between 6 to 15 year old) were found – Niña del Rayo, El Niño y La Doncella, all three of them in traditional Inca clothing and all in a seated position. With all the three mummies many personal objects were excavated, such as ceramics, textiles, combs etc. The mummies are the best conservated mummies found in the whole history, most probably because of the cold temperatures and the air in the mountains as the mummies where found close to the volcano Llullaillaco. The volcano, situated in the province of Salta, was the scenery of one of the most important ceremonies of the Inca ritual calendar – la Capacocha. Nowadays, the mummies are conserved in the temperature of -20 Celsius degrees. Unfortunately, it is prohibited to take photos in the museum.
San Bernardo Convent – the oldest building in Salta.
San Martin Park – very green park close to the centre and bus station, with a lake, ducks and other birds and boats. There is also a small market there and some restaurants. Good for families or relax.
Mercado Municipal – the main market if you need to buy anything or to get a cheap and tasty lunch for around 20 pesos. I loved the restaurants there and the big portions of food and while you eat, many sellers are walking around you so you can buy anything you need while eating (from socks to hair sutting machine). The market is situated between the streets Avenida San Martin, Florida, Urquiza and Ituzaingo.
other museums: Centro Cultural America – American Cultural centre, Casa de Arias Rengel – Fine Arts Museum, Casa de Hernandez – City Museum, Casa de Uriburu – Historical Museum, Casa de Pajarito Velarde – Folclore Museum
walking streets with shops – Florida and Juan Alberdi and Plazoleta IV Siglos.
some cool street arts – when walking around Salta, you can spot some street art.
Grido ice cream – the best ice cream in the town. Worth the money!
Outside of Salta there are so many beautiful places to visit, such as Jujuy town (92 km), Cachi, Quebrada de San Lorenzo (just 12 km soeasy to get to by bicycle or a local bus), Cafayate (189 km), Salinas Grandes, Purmamarca or Quebrada de Humauhaca just to name some of them. I saw from the bus Purmamarca, Humauhaca, Salinas Grandes and Jujuy when we were passing through on the way from San Pedro de Atacama to Salta. It was very foggy at Quebrada de Humauhaca so didn’t see much of it, but saw Purmamarca clearly (in aymara language means Virgin land town) very well and I got amazed by its beauty and all the hills of so many different colours! I have never seen anything like that! And then we literally crossed Salinas Grandes in the middle and drove through Jujuy, so at least got a chance to see a bit of the town.
And if you are looking for a place to stay in Salta, I recommend you Alquimia hostel where I stayed myself.