Salta: Argentina’s Red-Rock Capital

Founded in 1582 by Spanish conquistadors, Salta is one of the oldest remaining settlements in all of Argentina. The city’s rich history is evident on nearly every corner, from the Pepto-Bismol pink, 19th-century Catedral Basílica de Salta in the main plaza, to the rows of colonial houses fanning out beyond.

Salta’s palm-tree-lined streets are scenic enough in their own right, but the city’s surroundings may be even prettier. Salta sits in a broad valley in northwest Argentina, ringed by high Andes peaks to the west and red-rock deserts to the south. The best way to appreciate the view is by riding the teleférico— or chair-lift — which zips up 1,016 meters to the top of Cerro San Bernardo in an eight-minute ride. The panorama from the peak is incredible, and there is a café and gardens at the top to explore.

The city also makes an excellent starting point for road trips into the canyon lands and arid landscape surrounding it. In this region, you can visit centuries-old villages and catch a glimpse of the unique, ancient cultures of the Andean people. You can find more information on excursions around Salta on the city’s web site.

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