Northern Argentina

Northern Argentina is a special place, not only for their magical landscapes (multicolored mountains and gleaming salt flats) but also for its time-honored traditions and mystical culture. These are the lands of the people devoted to Mother Earth. Learn about things to do and how to get to the region. 

What Argentinians call “the north” usually refers to the province of Salta, Jujuy and Tucumán, located in the northwest of the country. Salta and Jujuy are the two main destinations of the region since both feature incredible natural landscapes, a wide history and a very powerful local culture focused on the care and worship of Pachamama (the “Mother Earth”). Salta, founded in 1582, is the starting point to explore northern Argentina. From this city, nicknamed “la linda” (the beauty), travelers hit the road towards the stunning Calchaquíes Valley and the city of Cafayate, hometown of Torrontés wine. The province of Jujuy, located at the north of Salta, features the Humahuca Gorge, declared World Heritage by UNESCO and the Great Salt Flats, a white paradise that all should visit once in their life! Both provinces served as an obligated route that connected the viceroyalty of Perú and the Río de la Plata (Buenos Aires), and many battles have been fought here in order to achieve Argentina’s independence. The original culture of the area is still palpable in archeological remains, craft markets, and the personality of the people of the north which is definitely the other reason to visit northern Argentina. 

Attractions
Attractions

Attractions

Eating & Drinking
Eating & Drinking

Eating & Drinking

Northern Argentina

Tips & Advice

When to go

The climate allows people to visit Salta and Jujuy throughout the year. Therefore, any time is a good time to visit it. From December to March, the average temperature is 20ºC. June and July are the coldest months of the year with an average of 13º; the rest of the months the temperature averages 18ºC. During the summer months there is usually more rainfall than during the rest of the year. However, it is very nice to visit this area in January and February due to the carnival celebrations.

How to get

  • Flight:  You can fly to Salta from Buenos Aires, there are daily flights at different times. You can also connect Salta by plane to Puerto Iguazu and Mendoza (several weekly flights). 
  • Bus: The bus terminal in Salta is very important and buses from different parts of the country arrive and leave from there, like the buses that connect Salta with San Pedro de  Atacama, Chile.
  • Train: The train is the cheapest option (apart from the bus) to reach Jujuy and Slata via Tucumán. The train leaves from Retiro Train station and takes about 38 hours.
  • Self-drive: You can rent a car in Salta and drive north to the Quebrada de Humahuaca or south to the Calchaquies valleys. If you like to travel independently this is a great option for your trip!

Can I find ATMs in Salta and Jujuy?

In Salta city there are several ATMs located in banks. Please note that each bank has a different fee that will charge you to use their system, plus your bank fee. We recommend bringing a couple of US dollars and exchanging them, so you have some cash to move around and then pay with Credit cards or use an ATM whenever you run out of money.  

 

In the small towns of Salta and Jujuy it is posssible that the ATMs do not work or have no money, so we recommend having cash with you.

What is the proper tipping?

In restaurants it’s customary to tip about 10% of the bill. Note that tips can’t be added to credit-card bills, so carry cash for this purpose.

Estimate around USD 10/15 per person for the guide, for a full day tour and half of it for the driver.

Tip hotel porters for handling bags. Calculate an amount of currency equal to about $1.00 for every two bags.

Same amount is calculated for drivers if they help you with your suitcases. If you are happy with the housekeeping you may want to consider tipping the maid between US$0.50 – $1.00 per night. You might also tip the concierge staff if you have used them to arrange dinner reservations, transportation or leisure activities.

In Argentina we don’t regularly tip taxi drivers.

How much money can I spend per day in Salta and Jujuy?

We estimate around USD 50/100 per day, per person for daily expenses like eating, shopping and transportation, depending on how much money you want to spend on these.

Must-try food on your trip to Salta

Locro, empanadas, humita and tamale, and the dessert Quesillo with membrillo

What to include in your luggage

During the months of March to September, the daytime temperature is pleasant but at night it is necessary to bundle up as temperatures drop considerably. During the summer months, it is usually cool at night, so it is advisable to include a light coat in your luggage. Anyway, and in general terms, it is always recommended to dress “in layers.” That is to say, muscular, T-shirt, sweater and jacket; since the temperatures are quite contrasting during the day. Do not forget to include sunglasses and sunscreen, especially when hiking.

  • Warm fleece or  polar for the night.
  • Wind / waterproof jacket.
  • Comfortable walking shoes –trekking shoes if possible.
  • Pants and socks (an extra pair just in case they get wet).
  • Shorts.
  • T-Shirts.
  • Sunglasses.
  • A daypack for daily excursions and walks.
  • Lip balsam (any cream to protect your lips).
  • Sunscreen.

Tickets to Museums and archaeological sites

Remember that tickets are paid in pesos Argentines and are not included in the tours. Since credit cards are not accepted, we recommend always carrying change in local currency.

Where to go for a run?

Parque Bicentenario

Salta

 

The Bicentennial Park is a fairly large area dedicated to sports and recreation. You can go jogging, biking, walking, and more. It has an 11-hectare lagoon that makes the walk much more picturesque.

 

Parque San Martín 

Salta

 

The San Martín Park has a large grove and a beautiful lake, which invite you to a pleasant and delicious walk. In addition, while you run, you can admire monuments of various characters. A statue in honor of the country’s greatest hero, José de San Martín, the work of Roberto Carrier Belleuse, inaugurated on May 24, 1913. Another of them is in homage to Facundo de Zuviría, the author of this wonderful work is Lola Mora .

Where to meditate?

San Lorenzo

Salta

 

Villa San Lorenzo, where green becomes jungle, is only 10 minutes from Salta Capital and is the perfect place to connect with yourself and with nature in Salta. It is nestled in the jungle of the Yungas and its landscape is an invitation to enjoy nature, tranquility and outdoor activities.

 

At the top you reach the Quebrada de San Lorenzo, the San Lorenzo River with its crystal clear waters, the even more jungle vegetation, ferns, vines and orchids are a must see.

Where to watch the sunset?

Cerro San Bernardo

Salta

 

From the Cerro San Bernardo, a hill that is located in the city of Salta, you can get an incredible view of the sunset over the city. This is because Salta can be seen from about 883 feet high. Super recommended for fans of sunsets.

Northern Argentina

Sustainability

Northern Argentina

Local businesses

 

Mercado de artesanos

 

The “Mercado de Artesanos” is a local market in Salta and many things can be found here. Like good and cheap silver, red and black “ponchos” – that of Gral. Güemes, the local hero who wore it, and beautiful indigenous ceramics.

 

Address: San Martín 2555, Salta

 

Who to meet

 

Virgin of the Hill, Salta

 

After the apparition of the Blessed Virgin to a lady of the community, María Livia Galliano de Obeid, a chapel was installed in Tres Cerritos where the Catholic faithful attend. Since then, an infinite movement of men and women from all walks of life, arriving in buses and cars from far away parts of the country, has marched towards the sanctuary to participate in a day of meditation and prayer.

 

However, what most attracts the attention of tourists and curious people is that -to this day- María Livia puts her hand on the shoulder of each person who climbs the hill and there are those who immediately faint afterwards. Upon recovering, they confess to having felt the presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary, thanks to the intersection of the woman.

 

How to help

 

Fundación Por Nuestros Niños

 

The Por Nuestro Niños Foundation emerged in 1997 with the aim of working from an NGO, for medical and social assistance, and the well-being of children, youth and mothers of Salta. Its mission is to promote the health, rights and social development of children belonging to low-income families in the province of Salta, privileging the value of life.

 

Aristene Papi 1250, Bº La Loma, Salta. Tel: (0387) 4362025

Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Fundación Puna Argentina

 

 

This foundation aims to be the main organization and resource for all projects established in the search to preserve and protect the natural environment of the Puna in Argentina. Preserve and protect the environment and wildlife of the Puna, monitor industrial activities in the area: in particular Mining and Tourism, promote a sustainable way to carry out activities.

 

It seeks to promote awareness among the inhabitants of the Puna to protect and preserve it, avoiding or limiting problems related to pastures for livestock, deforestation for cultivation, burning and the collection of any flora as material for domestic heating and the introduction of species invasive species that can also pose problems for native fauna and flora.

 

Balcarce 998 – Galería Ánima 1st Floor, Salta.

 

Sustainability tips

 

  • Take your reusable bag with you when you go shopping.
  • Choose the consumption of local products from artisans and small producers.
  • Travel the city by bike or on foot, it is healthy and does not leave a carbon footprint.
  • When you go on an excursion, ask for food without plastic wrap.
  • Don’t leave trash in nature.
  • Take a reusable bottle with you to carry water in restaurants.
  • Don’t feed native fauna.
  • Use rechargeable batteries and batteries.