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Salta Travel Guide

Have a look below at our recommendations of things to do in beautiful Salta, and discover our special section of Salta Jujuy Tours!



The Sights

These are our recommendations for the must-see sights of Salta! Find more of our tips for northern Argentina trips below, and check out our Salta Tours!

What not to miss on your trip to Salta Salta and Jujuy Tours by Say Hueque Argentina Journeys Northern Argentina Trips: The Highlights
Salta Tours include traditional Folklore Dance in Peñas Northern Argentina Trips to Salt Flats with Say Hueque Travel to Argentina & Tour Iguazu Falls


Plaza 9 de Julio

Salteños enjoy gathering under the shade of the trees of the main square. Cafes and splendid monuments surround the place: the Cabildo, the Cathedral and others… 

The Cathedral

Built in the nineteenth century at 9 de Julio Park, the Cathedral houses the remains of General Güemes, the Independence hero.  

The Cabildo

Northern Argentina Trip to Historic Salta CabildoThe building, erected around 1780, is a National Historic Monument. Commercial activities took place on the ground floor; the areas around the patio and the upper floors were reserved for lodging. The house has been modified over the centuries but remains one of the best examples of colonial architecture with its tower, its arches and balconies.

Today, the building is home to The Museum of Northern History and the Colonial Museum (both closed on Mondays). The History Museum displays 2,000 works, including archeological pieces, historical coins, cars, colonial furniture, sacred art, and other varied items. 

Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña, MAAM: (closed on Mondays) 

This museum was created in 2005 to preserve the Inca mummies discovered on the Llullaillaco Volcano (22,109 feet above sea level) in 1999. These mummies, of three children who were sacrificed during a religious rite five centuries ago, are in an excellent state of preservation.

Archaeologists believe that the children were buried alive after being put to sleep with chicha alcohol. They froze to death in their graves, 6700 feet above sea level. They were supposedly brought to the volcano from Cusco, the Inca capital, which is about 1,240 miles away. 

San Francisco Church

Built in the eighteenth century, this church is the most imposing of Salta, with its red and gold facade and its belfry (173 feet tall). Baroque and neoclassical style. 

San Bernado Convent

Although visits are not allowed, one can admire the sumptuous door of this sixteenth-century convent, which was carved by the Indians in carob wood. 

Cerro San Bernardo

Overlooking Salta from 883 feet above, this hill  is a good spot to get a panoramic view of the city. You can take the cable car to the top. 


Salta Tours takes you to see traditional folklore dance

Night Life 

Salta has a very vibrant night life. Not just the regular discotheques, salteños love the peñas. Some are organized shows, some just places where people meet up to play the guitar and dance folklore.  

We strongly recommend to mix up with locals and after one or two glasses of delicious Torrontés enjoy dancing like a Gaucho! Here are our favorite peñas: 

La Casona del Molino

Luís Burela 1 –(0387) 484 – 2835. This is the most authentic place for spontaneous peñas, where guests help themselves with the guitars on the walls and play. 

La Vieja Estación

Balcarce 877 – (0387) 431-7191. They have an organized show, but is particularly recommended for its great atmosphere.

Casa Guemes

Caseros 732– (0387) 431 -0950. Frequently visited by locals for its good music and food. 

The thing about Salta is that you have to live at their own peace or way. This includes crossing streets without any rule, having dinner after 08pm. drink Torrontes (the white wine they produce in the region) like apple juice, and not expecting any fast service at all. Please, the last part is the most important of all. Do you know the term fast food? Well, in Salta they have develop slow-food, and they have a master on that.

So, better if around 7 you go to the main square, and have a cold white Torrontes with some cheese, so that you can survive at the Restaurant waiting until they serve your dinner.

The other thing is if in Buenos Aires people think that the only decent meal is beef, in Salta are empanadas. Have you tried empanadas before? I hope you like them. I really hope you like them.


Where to eat?

Doña Salta delicious, traditional Argentina FoodDoña Salta

Cordoba 46. Tel: 4321 1921. At night try to go early because it fills up, at noon there are fewer people and attention is better.  The food is very tasty and the price is right. Delicious empanadas (they are smaller than the ones in Buenos Aires but they taste completely different), offers also a variety of homemade stews, humitas and tamales. The only thing to keep in mind is that do not take cards, payment is cash only.

El Solar del Convento

Caseros 444, Tel: (0387) 421 5124. Specialist in beef with a nice and refreshing welcome drink, this restaurant is the one that never fails. Just, as all over Salta, be patient as service can be slow.They also offer chicken with many sauces, pasta, and fish. 

Viejo Jack

Virrey Toledo 145, Tel: (0387) 421 -7568. Far enough out of the tourist zone to be authentic, but not so far it’s hard to go back, this is a spot very popular by locals for its parrillada and pasta. The meals are large – designed for two – but they’ll give you a single portion (still a big slab of meat) for 70% of the price. 

La Leñita – Adelina

Balcarce 802, in the corner of Alsina Tel: 4214865. Good restaurant, centrally located, where for the same price waiters sing while serving tables (they will sing sambas, cuecas and other songs with an incredible voice. Interesting choice). It is also very near from all the peñas


Balcarce 802, in the corner of Alsina Tel: 4214865. Good restaurant, centrally located, where for the same price waiters sing while serving tables (they will sing sambas, cuecas and other songs with an incredible voice. Interesting choice). It is also very near from all the peñas


Balcarce 658. Tel: 4220026. It is an old house located on the restaurants area. It has different rooms with well-spaced tables that make a quiet and peaceful place. This romantic spot has often live music in the centric street. Relaxed and cozy try this different propose.

Mercado de Comidas

Food Market, San Martin 790. In this local market you will find small kiosks where you can taste local specialties for a cheap price!

Plaza de Almas

Maipu 791, corner with Santa Fe. Tel: 4306067. It´s a restaurant with great ambience. Nice food & yerba mate from 5:30 – 8:30pm is free!


Santiago Del Estero 686. Tel: 4863291. “Tapas Mundiales” is the second name of this little place what means “tapas of the world”. Intimate, delicious, the food is exquisite, original and tasty. It has a very personal, distinct and friendly attention. Good dinner, very warm place.

Ma Cusine

España Nº 83, Salta 4400. Tel: 4214378.  It’s rare to be in Salta and go eat “non-regional” food but if you are lover of good food this place is recommended. This Restaurant has a mix of French and Argentinean cuisine served in no more than fifteen tables, and since they opened it got really good qualifications in Trip Advisor. Fish, beef, and some seafood pasta can make your day when you get tired of too much gaucho style. They catered very kindly, the place is small (the living room of an old house), very cute, very nice.



What to eat? 

In this part of the country, partly because of the Inca influence, mixed with the neighboring countries (closer to Salta than Buenos Aires) you will have the chance to try some local dishes hard to find anywhere else. Have a look at some of the the must-try foods on your Salta Trip, and take a look at our tried and true taste list below! 

Say Hueque Argentina Food Recipes: Empanadas Must-try foods for Salta Tours Say Hueque Argentina Food Recipes: Locro
Salta Tours Argentina Food Recipes Empanadas Try Traditional Argentina Food on Salta Tours Salta Tours Argentina Food Recipes Locro Soup


Salta’s empanadas are considered the best of the country. Don’t forget to taste these typical meat- and vegetable-stuffed pastries.  (Make empanadas at home with the recipe above.)


This stew made of corn, white beans, squash, beef, tripe and bacon is not only delicious, but also very nourishing! (Learn to make Locro for yourself with our recipe, included above!)


Salta Tour making empanadas and other Argentina foodA steamed corn dough filled with meat, wrapped and cooked in a cornhusk. 


Choclo dough (young corn), milk, and sugar cooked in a corn husk.


A delicious dessert made of corn, milk and sugar. 


This Andean grain that was once forgotten is now back! It can be eaten like rice: in salad, in risotto, or as a pudding. It’s very nutritious and contains protein, iron, and amino acids. 


A local fruit that can be eaten in jam or jelly. 


A drink made of fermented corn. In the past, the Indians prepared it by chewing the corn beforehand; the saliva would help the fermentation…today, we use yeast. 


Coca leaves are used for herbal tea. It’s a little bit bitter, but recommended if you are going high up in the mountains. It is forbidden to transport the coca leaves, but not the herbal tea bags. 

Cafayate wines

There are some truly spectacular wines produced in Salta, especially the Torrontés, a white vine-stock that exists only in this area. 



We think we should recommend just a couple of more places before the end.

In Cafayate we highly recommend to try the local small ice cream place where they serve malbec and torrontes ice cream.

Hotel Grace in Cafayate has great restaurant.

Bodega Piatelli is ideal for your last day in Cafayate, just before coming back to Salta will be nice to enjoy wine and good food in a vineyard. You can check them out here


In Purmamarca the “La Comarca” hotel has a really good restaurant, but also you should try “El Churqui”.


In Salta we think you will enjoy a wine tasting at Hotel del Vino, and let yourself compare Salta with Mendoza wines and discover our secret gem.


In Tilcara there is an old restaurant call “El Patio” run by an anthropologist, with really good food.



Please, note although we update information every year, during high season some new restaurants open and some others close, so please, always check before going for dinner with the reception of your hotel.

Historic Salta Tours in northern ArgentinaDirections

In the town, most of the blocks are 100mts each.


The climate allows people to visit Salta all year round. Therefore, almost nothing closes on holidays, since that’s when most people from big cities arrive to spend their vacations in Salta.

What to do if you get sick

Within the city there are various options in case you need medical assistance. Usually hotels provide you with a list of hospitals, or a doctor who can visit you in your hotel.

We recommend these two hospitals:

Hospital Privado Tres Cerritos
Av. Juan B. Justo 93, 4400 Salta
0387 439-8880

Sanatorio del Carmen (privado)

Av. Belgrano 891, 4400 Salta

0387 431-1555


Useful telephone numbers

Calling from Salta: pay phone operate with chip cards or change (5, 10, 25, 50 cents and AR$1). You can make either short or long distance calls.

Direct International Dial-Up: 00 + country code + area code + number. The international prefix for Argentina is 54 and for Salta 387. For example, to reach the 455-5555 in Salta when calling from abroad, dial: 54-387-455-5555.

Emergency numbers:

– Police: 101
– Fire Department: 100
– Medical Aid: 107



A little basic Spanish goes a long way here. We recommend studying up (at least a tad) on menu translations so that you don’t end up eating the only thing you how to order all the time.

Furthermore, when you visit Salta, you visit a very different culture from Buenos Aires. Far from the traffic chaos and the rush, Salta still respects siesta times as a law. Therefore, don’t expect anything to be open from 13hrs to 17hrs. 


Salta Tours take introduce you to the people and culture


Inhabitants from Salta will welcome you and children with their warm hearts. Their family culture is strong and the younger people of the family take care of the elderly.



Although it is usually warm during day time, the temperature drops off during the nights. So be aware and take a jacket with you!



Salta city is located in the Lerma Valley. This means that when it is raining in the city, it might be dry if you go out of the Valley! So, when you head to Humahuaca Gorge or the Calchaqui Valley, don’t worry it was raining in Salta city when you left, so it will stop in a few kilometers.



Shopping on your northern Argentina tripThe Artisans Market (San Martin 2555) is a local market in Salta and many thing can be found here. Like good and inexpensive silver, red and black “ponchos” – this was what Güemes, the local hero used to wear – and beautiful Indigenous designed ceramics.



Many of the activities offered locally include going up to the 3 or 4 thousand meters. If you are choosing one of this we recommend that you drink lots of water, avoid eating meat the night before, avoid alcohol the night before and try to sleep enough before departure. All this helps a lot for altitude sickness. 



When going out for dinner, try the Torrentés wine at least once. This wine is produced locally and is one of the best wines produced in the region. It is also a refreshing wine, which is not so easy to find abroad.

Also bear in mind that most restaurants open at 20 hrs.

See complete itineraries of our most popular Salta Tours:

Best of the Northwest! 5 Days in Salta and Jujuy Salta Adventure: Tolar Grande Explore Salta and Jujuy
Salta intercambio Vacations to Salta and Tolar Grande with Say Hueque Northern Argentina Trip Mountains of Salta


In the City of Salta

Folklore Peña

Enjoy a special night out in Salta with local music and learning the folklore dance in this two hours class with expert dancers in a Real Peña. Gatos, chacareras and zambas are part of the memory of Salta, in addition to its landscape and its wines.

Gastronomic Tour

Enjoy the regional cuisine of the Northwest visiting San Miguel Market, crib of local products and spices. Soak up local culture and, advised by a local chef, try to look for the best ingredients according to the dish to cook.  Culture, stories and local traditions will be shared at a regional cuisine whilst the meal gets ready to delight your senses.

Walking Tour of Salta

Walk through the historic downtown of the city and learn about its culture and traditions. Visit the 9 de Julio Square and the historic buildings around it: the Cathedral, Day Palace, the Cabildo and San Francisco Church will be appreciated in detail, as well as the peculiarities of Salteños lifestyle. The Market of Abasto is an interesting point for lovers of the culinary art and the stunning High Mountain Museum (MAAM), for those interested in the Inca civilization and archeology. 


Salta and Jujuy Tours Landscape of Northern Argentina

Salta Province and Beyond

San Antonio de los Cobres

Leaving Salta, travel along the Quebrada del Toro parallel to the Train to the Cloud’s railway track, where the scenery will change form thick vegetation to a desert full of cardons. Discover several little towns appreciating the beautiful landscape that surrounds them. Visit  the Archaeological Museum of Santa Rosa and the pre-incaic ruins where ancient housing and streets can be clearly distinguished. Finally, prepare the camera for amazing shoots of the 63 mts height ‘Polvorilla’ viaduct in San Antonio de los Cobres.

Route of High Altitude Wine

The wine-making region is located in the high altitude, in a site of huge natural, historical and cultural richness. Pass by the Lerma Valley and its historical towns to reach Quebrada de las Conchas where wind and water erosion carved curious and fabulous shapes on the rocks. Discover in Cafayate area some interesting wineries, famous for the production of Torrontes wine. Visit the Wine Museum to learn more about it and delight yourself with two wine tastings at different local wineries.

Cachi Tour

Set off for the small town of Cachi, a real hidden gem in the desert.  Take in the stunning views and incredible landscapes, driving along the scenic Escoipe Gorge and the Bishop’s Slope having the impression of almost reaching the clouds at 3,000 masl. Pass through Los Cardones National Park and the Tin Tin straight line appreciating the snowed mountains at the end. Once in Cachi explore its colonial-type constructions, the old houses lying on the very edge of narrow and cobbled streets. Its church dates to the 18th Century and stands out for its floor, ceiling and furniture made of cactus wood and its adobe walls. In the afternoon return to Salta.

Humahuaca Tour

Salta Tours with Say Hueque visit Hill of Seven ColorsTravel north along the Humahuaca Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Humahuaca Ravine is a geological wonder with stunning views and amazing landscapes. View the impressive Hill of Seven Colors in the historical town of Purmamarca. Visit the charming towns of Maimara, Uquia, Humahuaca and Tilcara to explore the rich indeginous history. Return to the city of Salta at the end of this exhilarating tour.

Salinas Grandes through Purmamarca

Discover the impressive Salinas Grandes salt flats high in the Andes Mountains. Walk out onto the salt deposits for unique and astonishing views of this breathtaking landscape.  Ascend up to 4,170 meters above sea level along the Cuesta de Lipan until arriving in the town of Purmamarca to visit the famous Hill of Seven Colors for additional amazing views of this exceptional scenery. Return to Salta in the afternoon.

Take Salta Tours and see historic Argentina CathedralsBasic Information

Distance from Bs As

1597 km

Are there banks, ATMs?

Yes! There are several ATMs in the city.




There are a couple of call centers downtown.

Is the water drinkable?




Argentina’s unit of currency is the peso, which can currently be exchanged at about fifteen to one against the US dollar (but this rate could change quickly). Notes come in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 pesos. One peso equals 100 centavos; coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos. The $ sign in front of a price is usually used to signify pesos, so this should be the case unless otherwise marked.

Don’t be dismayed if you receive dirty and hopelessly tattered banknotes; they will still be accepted everywhere. Some banks refuse worn or defaced US dollars, however, so make sure you arrive in Buenos Aires with pristine bills. Casa Piano (a well known Cambio) will probably change your older or written-on bills, but they will discount a 3% of the value.

Sadly fake currency has become more common. So look for a clear watermark or running thread on the largest bills, and be especially careful when receiving change in dark nightclubs or taxis. If you hesitate ask to change it for another note.


Banks are open daily but the opening hours can vary. Most bank are open from 8hrs to 13hrs. Not all the banks change foreign currency however, there are currency exchange shops.

Some banks might have longer lines and more limited opening hours but may offer better rates, as well as more security regarding fake notes. Cajeros Automáticos (ATM) are everywhere in the city, but they dispense just Argentinean currency.

There might be a limited amount per transaction, depending on the bank, but you can always do more than one transaction in the same ATM.

Be aware of transaction fees. To avoid having a fistful of large-denomination bills, withdraw odd amounts like 290 pesos.

Say Hueque offers Salta Tours in ArgentinaCredit cards

Many tourist services, larger stores, hotels and restaurants take credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard, especially for big purchases. However, be aware that some businesses will add a recargo (surcharge) of up to 10% for credit-card purchases. Ask before making a payment with your credit card if this is the case.

Some lower-end hotels and private businesses will not accept credit cards. Tips usually can’t be added to credit-card bills at restaurants.

Traveler’s checks

Traveler’s checks are very impractical in Argentina, and in Salta it can be hard to change them and definitely impossible to change them at a good rate.


Tipping is not compulsory but it is greatly appreciated throughout South America, especially in the service industry.  If you are satisfied with the services provided by your Destination Host, tour guides and drivers, then we recommend rewarding their hard work by tipping. In general, we suggest a tip of around US$20 – 25 a day for guides and US$ 5 -10 for drivers.

When tipping Hotel & Restaurant Staff, tips are generally 10% of the total bill. If you stay a couple of days in the same hotel, a tip of $3 – 5/day for the maid service is recommended. For porters, US$2-3/time/room is appropriate.   



See Argentina Animals on northern Argentina Trips

Dangers & Annoyances

Salta is a safe and calm city. Even though it is far from dangerous it is still advisable to be conscious and careful; don’t flash any wealth, and always be aware of your surroundings.

The only obstacle you can face in Salta is the rain season in summer time. During this time of the year, Salta can suffer from extensive rain fall which can lead to floods. When this is the case, the routes of the excursion will be changed. We highly recommend you to keep this in mind if you are going to visit Salta in summer time, especially when you are planning on visiting the Salinas Grandes (the salt flats). The same counts for the routes to Purmamarca and San Antonio de los Cobres.

See mountains and Argentina Animals on Salta Tours


Lonely Planet

“Sophisticated Salta is a favorite of many, engaging active minds with its outstanding museums, and lighting romantic candles with its plaza-side cafes and the live música folklórica (folk music) of its popular peñas (folk music clubs). It offers the facilities – and the traffic and noise – of a large town, retains the comfortable vibe of a smaller place and preserves more colonial architecture than most places in Argentina.” Read more


Rough Guide

“SALTA, historic capital of one of Argentina’s biggest and most beautiful provinces, easily lives up to its well-publicized nickname of Salta la Linda (Salta the Fair), thanks to its festive atmosphere, handsome buildings and dramatic setting. In a region where the landscape and nature, rather than the towns and cities, are the main attractions, Salta is the exception. Fifteen hundred kilometres northwest of Buenos Aires, at the eastern end of the fertile Valle de Lerma, nationally famous for its tobacco plantations, and bounded by the Río Vaqueros to the north and Río Arenales to the south, the city is squeezed between steep, rippling mountains; at 1190m above sea level, it enjoys a relatively balmy climate…” Read more



“It’s not just “Salta” to most Argentineans, but “Salta la Linda” (“Salta the Beautiful”). That nickname is actually redundant: “Salta” already comes from an indigenous Aymara word meaning “beautiful”. But for the country’s finest colonial city, it’s worth stating twice.  Walking among its well-preserved 18th and 19th century buildings, single-store houses, and narrow streets, you could easily forget that this is a city of more than half a million people. But the ever-increasing traffic, the youthful population, and the growing number of international itinerants also give Salta a cosmopolitan edge. All in all, it’s a hard place to leave. For its friendliness, its facilities, its connections, and its central location, Salta is also the best base for a thorough exploration of the Northwest. Do make good use of the tourist office, which has a helpful staff armed with a wealth of maps and information.” Read more



“Salta city is worth at least a couple of days of your trip. It buzzes with life in the mornings, comes to a complete halt at lunchtime and comes alive again at night. Balmy evenings are perfect for wandering the streets to find live music played with passion in the local peñas of Calle Balcarce… Sit in the atmospheric plaza cafés at midday to get a flavor of Salteño society: from elegant aristocrats to businessmen having their shows shined, farmers from the outlying campos chewing coca and crowds of indigenous teenagers.” Read more



“With its cloistered nuns and gaucho waiters, gilded churches and mountain mummies, Salta province is a rich mix of all the things that make the Northwest so distinctive. Here the old meets the new, and the old wins. Time trips at a more rhythmic pace, like the hoof-clopping music chacareras, which pipes from every cafe and car. The city itself (pop. 500,000) is a sunny mix of colonial architecture; friendly, gracious people; colorful history; and indigenous pride. Conservative by nature, Salteños let their hair down during Carnaval (Mardi Gras), when thousands come out for a parade of floats celebrating the region’s history; water balloons are also tossed from balconies with great aplomb. Ringed by green hills and blessed with a cooler, more temperate climate, Salta City should be top of your list when you’re visiting the area. (That is not to say it does not get hot. High season here is actually the winter months of Apr-Oct.).” Read more


New York Times

“Mention Salta to an Argentine, and the response is often the following: “Ah, Salta the Beautiful.” That this Northern Province isn’t better known to the rest of the world is an injustice. The road south from the province’s eponymous capital to Cafayate, home to a cluster of vineyards, boasts breathtaking scenery, with cliffs of many hues shaped by water and wind. With the addition of tasty food, a rich musical tradition and powerful wines, the place should not be missed.” Read more

Salta Province includes many beautiful landscapesGeneral Information

Why is it called Salta?

The name comes from the original inhabitants, but specialists are unsure what the word means. 


One of the most important activities for the economy is the agriculture and its derived industries. With having tobacco, sugar cane and viticulture as the most important products, there are also several other fruits and vegetables produced.

Next to the agriculture, gas and petroleum is important for Salta. They supply other parts of Argentina with gas and petroleum, as well as Chile and Bolivia.


1200 m


Estimated at 500,000 inhabitants



On April 16, 1582, Salta was found by Spaniard Hernando de Lerma, who intended the settlement to be an outpost between Lima and Buenos Aires

Since Salta is located between Peru and the southern cities of Argentina the city and province played a key role in the war of independence, it became a commercial and military strategic point. General Güemes, the city’s hero, led the gauchos against the Spanish, and Manuel Belgrano won a decisive victory in 1813. When the independence was declared in 1816 the city was led by military leader General Martín Miguel de Güemes until 1821. Under the commands of General José de San Martín, Martín Miguel de Güemes defended the city and surrounding areas from Spanish forces coming from further north.

After the war of independence Salta was politically and financially destroyed due to the wars and the interruption of trade.Until the end of the 19th century Salta wasn’t able to recover. After that good times started, the construction of the railways was started and Italian, Spanish and Arabic immigrants arrived to Salta. They revived trade and agriculture all over the area while further enhancing the city’s multicultural flavor.

Walking Salta Tours in the historic City of Salta

In the last few decades the population of the city has increased dramatically, now a days Salta is one of the most important tourist attractions in the country. And the special history of Salta encouraged the development of a rich cultural life, inspired ass well by the beauty and diversity of the nature.