When people talk about going to Argentina, they’re usually talking about Buenos Aires or the Patagonia region. Salta typically isn’t a destination people have even heard about, but it should be on the list of places you need to visit in Argentina. I went here for a conference after my trip to Patagonia and ended up falling in love with it. Here are just a few reasons why you should visit Salta!
My favorite activity to do when in Salta was wake up early and walk around taking pictures of the churches. This one is Iglesia San Francisco and by far my favorite. I loved watching the locals go in every morning to have some quiet time before starting their day.
Another gorgeous one to walk by is the Cathedral Basilica of Salta. This is located in the main plaza, so you can grab a table at an outdoor cafe and watch as the lights go on as it gets dark out.
Plaza 9 de Julio
This is the main part of Salta, and hundreds of locals gather here at night. It was fun to watch mothers and their children playing in the park in the middle of the plaza, and then meeting their fathers for dinner at one of the outdoor cafes.
I was obsessed with the outdoor cafes in Salta. A handful of cafes line the main plaza and I loved watching people meet friends over a glass of wine and families having dinner in the evening. Everyone seemed so relaxed and in no rush at all, which encouraged me to be in the moment when I was there and not check my phone.
The weather’s warm in Salta, so every night’s a good night to sit outside for dinner. If you come at 6 PM, which is my regular dinner time, you’ll just see a handful of people having tea. Some restaurants won’t even serve you food until after 8 PM! While you’re there, you have to get a glass of Malbec, which is from that region of Argentina.
A restaurant that I really liked was Cafe del Tiempo, which has a Buenos Aires style to it. I really enjoyed the food here, plus there was free wi-fi (always a plus!). The only complaint I had is I accidentally ordered a whole bottle of wine to myself and they wouldn’t take it back, but that was completely my fault (it just gave me more encouragement to strengthen my Spanish!).
Within an hour’s drive are many different outdoor activities to do. I chose to go zip lining and whitewater rafting with Salta Rafting while I was there. It was a blast zipping across the valley from mountain to mountain and over the river. They even gave us empanadas and Malbec wine afterward!
I also recommend whitewater rafting, as it’s one of my favorite new activities. There’s nothing like being cooled down in a hot climate by the rapids. We even had the company’s dog, Blancito, jump on the rafts with us! Adventure, wine, and dogs – what else do you need in life?
I was surprised at how many retail stores were in the city. There are several streets filled with tons of shops with everything from clothes to shoes to home furnishings. The largest grocery store that I found was here as well, which would be helpful if you don’t want to eat out for every meal in Salta.
The Centro Cultural America always had activities going on, including tango lessons. There’s no better way to get immersed in the local culture than by learning how to do the national dance of Argentina.
Where to Stay
If you’re looking for a midrange hotel, book a room at Gran Hotel Presidente. It was only a few minutes walk from the main square in town and surrounded by plenty of businesses and restaurants. They have their own restaurant and bar if you don’t want to go out, and even a pool and sauna to relax in.
For a more luxurious hotel, stay at the Sheraton Salta Hotel. It’s about a 15-minute walk from the main part of town, but it’s a nice walk or a short taxi ride there. It also has a great view of the city, as it sits on a hill.
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