Personal Adventure in the Salta region of Argentina
A trip to the land of the deserts, mountains, and forests
A few weeks ago, I went on an adventure with a few friends – we flew from Buenos Aires and into Salta, a region in the North-west of Argentina. Being a group of seven, we had rented a seven-seater car days before, and everything was going according to plan.
The first day was spent walking around Salta, climbing the mountain that dominates over the city, and visiting various beautiful cathedrals.
The city itself is relatively big, but the center is only about ten blocks long, and surrounded by residential areas. Locals selling coca leaves, a great variety of museums, and various restaurants on the main square to enjoy Salta’s local beer – the trip was off to a fantastic start.
On the next day, we unfortunately realized that the company we had booked the car through had overbooked without telling us, and we were without a car. Running through Salta, going into every car agency and comparing prices, we managed to find two cars in an hour. After picking up a friend at the airport, we were on our way to Cafayate, a pueblo further south of Salta.
Driving through the Andes mountains was incredibly beautiful, with colors ranging from bright reds and purple to vivacious greens. We stopped for llamas after a friend screamed “STOP THE CAR!”, and witnessed a mother and her baby being fed by one of our friends.
It truly doesn’t get any better than this magnificent view.
We finally arrived in Cafayate after a long drive, and we were pleased to have reached a region full of vineyards and opportunities to taste some local wines.
Surrounded by mountains, sunlight, and kilometers of grapes, we were over the moon despite our day-long trip in the car. That night, we had our own wine tasting after a more official one, paired with an asado, card games, and an endless night.
The next day, we traveled onward to Cachi. These roads are not paved, and suddenly we found ourselves in the desert, gliding through sand and dust.
An incredible sight, it remained quite stressful for the passengers, while our drivers sped through the desert Star Wars style with enormous smiles on their faces.
Finally reaching our destination, we arrive in the small town of Cachi where we climbed up to the highest peak to find a beautiful cemetery with an amazing view.
We hop quickly back into the car for our longest trip yet… we have to reach San Salvador de Jujuy by nightfall. After crossing through deserts, mountains so high we were in the clouds, and a region of complete humidity and greenery, we drive for miles on highways that are clearly not well kept.
The next day, we make multiple stops, avoiding the car ride tensions and sleepiness that result from 9 hour car rides. We stop in the Lagunas de Yalta, crossing through mountain roads to finally reach the summit, where nature is smiling at us.
We continued on to Purmamarca, where we had the pleasure of seeing the Cerro de los Siete Colores, a mountain traced with streaks of various colors in the rock.
My favorite part of the trip has to be the Salinas Grandes – a white desert of salt which extends as far as the eye can see. We are amazed and impressed, and take this opportunity to take some photos.
Final stop – Tilcara, a pueblo surrounded by mountains and the place where we decide to horseback ride with a guided tour.
Our trip being complete, we drive back to Salta with heavy hearts anticipating our plane ride home, and we all wish we could just keep exploring the wilderness for months.