When you think of Argentina what comes to mind? Guachos, mate, Patagonia, and soccer? Yes, while all of these are very Argentinian, most people forget about the northern part of of the country. These provinces of Argentina – Jujuy, Salta, and Tucuman – are incredible and add a totally different dimension to the country. Radically unlike Buenos Aires and the southern provinces, Salta and Jujuy offer beautiful deserts, genuine people, colorful sweaters, amazing weather and some of the most stunning landscapes I’ve ever seen.
Here are a few of my favorites from Salta and Jujuy:
Cerro San Bernardo is a hill on the edge of the city. Take the 45-minute hike up or set off on a gondola, the view overlooking the city on top is spectacular. Go at sunset for an extra stunning view.
Cerro de los 7 colores—the name says it all. This beautiful mountain surrounds the town, so be sure to hike the trail that goes all the way around for the best viewpoints.
Salinas Grandes are worth the drive. For $100 pesos (4 hours roundtrip) you won’t want to miss out on the beautiful, blindingly white flats.
Waira Cuevas, there is something to be said for crawling deep within the belly of the earth to meditate and see cave drawings from hundred of years ago. To access these caves you must go with a guide, stop by the tourist office close to the bus terminal to reserve your spot.
Try llama! It really is delicious. I would recommend El Nuevo Progresso.
White wine and more white wine. The Mendoza of the North, you can rent bikes or walk to almost all of the bodegas that Cafayate has to offer. Visit the tourist office in the main plaza for a complete list of wineries with hours.
Goat cheese galore! For a full tour and tasting visit Cabras de Cafayate.
Quebrada de las conchas
Last but not least, I highly recommend doing a guided tour, use Majo Viajes for excellent tour guides and good prices.