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Flag of Argentina.svg Cities and towns
in Argentina
Province Salta
Department Capital
Location 24°47′S 65°25′W / 24.783°S 65.417°W / -24.783; -65.417Coordinates: 24°47′S 65°25′W / 24.783°S 65.417°W / -24.783; -65.417
Elevation 1,152 m AMSL
Population 464,678
Demonym salteño
Phone code +54 387
CPA base A4400
View of the city from top of San Bernardo Hill.

Salta is a city in northwestern Argentina and the capital city of the Salta Province. Along with its metropolitan area, it has a population of 464,678 inhabitants as of the 2001 census [INDEC], making it Argentina's eighth largest city.



It is situated in the Lerma Valley, 1,152 meters above sea level, at the foothills of the Andes mountains.

The weather is warm and dry, with annual averages of 756 mm of rainfall and an average temperature of 16.4 °C (20.4 °C in summer, 10.8 °C in winter). January and February are the months with greatest rainfall. During the spring, Salta is occasionally plagued by severe, week long dust storms.

Nicknamed Salta la Linda ("Salta the Fair"), it has become a major tourist destination due to its old, colonial architecture and the natural scenery of the valleys westward. Attractions in the city proper include the 18th century Cabildo, the neo-classical style Cathedral, and the July 9 central square. The city's museums exhibit a wide range of artifacts and art work from the native civilizations that flourished in the area (Salta is located in the Southernmost region of what was the Inca empire, belonging to the Collasuyu, one of the four areas the empire was divided until the Spanish conquest), as well as from the 16th century Spanish conquest and the colonial and post-colonial periods. Salta is also the starting point of the "Train to the Clouds" (Tren a las nubes), and on the way to red-soiled Cafayate, as well as to other nearby tourist destinations.

The Martín Miguel de Güemes Airport, 6 kilometres southeast of the city, has regular flights to Buenos Aires, Tucumán, Jujuy, Córdoba and Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia).


Salta was founded on April 16, 1582 by the Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma, who intended the settlement to be an outpost between Lima, Peru and Buenos Aires.

During the war of independence, the city became a commercial and military strategic point between Peru and the Argentine cities. Between 1816 and 1821, the city was led by local military leader General Martín Miguel de Güemes, who under the command of General José de San Martín, defended the city and surrounding area from Spanish forces coming from further north.

Salta emerged from the War of Independence politically in disarray and financially bankrupt, a condition that lingered throughout much of the 19th century. However, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the arrival of Italian, Spanish and Arab immigrants, particularly Syrians and Lebanese, revived trade and agriculture all over the area while further enhancing the city's multicultural flavor.


The city center features a number of impressive buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th and early 20th centuries. Clockwise around the Ninth of July Square are the neoclassical Cathedral, the French style Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cabildo (in former times, the city's town hall, nowadays a historical museum) and the neoclassical Museum of High Mountain Archeology, which houses artifacts from the Inca civilization, including the magnifically preserved mummies of three Inca children. The Plaza is almost completely surrounded by a gallery, and its beauty inspired a Chivas Regal TV ad, aired in 2004 [1]

Within walking distance of the 9th July Square are the impressive Saint Francis Church and the city's two pedestrian streets: Alberdi and Florida. The three blocks in Balcarce street closest to the train station are now the center of night life in Salta, with restaurants, pubs and cafés on both sidewalks and concerts every night.

Rising imposingly in the east is San Bernardo Hill. Its summit, from which visitors can get an awe-inspiring view of the city and the entire valley, can be reached by car, cable car or stairway.

Culture and Arts

Salta is probably the most Spanish-like city in Argentina, so much so that visiting tourists from Spain often find a strong resemblance between Salta and Andalucian cities. The local culture, however, is a blend of Spanish and gaucho (mestizo, criollo, both indigenous and non indigenous) traditions, lending the city a distinctive identity, somewhat different from the more European-like metropolises in the south.

The city boasts three theaters, several museums (one of which exhibits the perfectly preserved bodies of c.500 year old inca children sacrificed in the Andes to Inca gods[2]) and a busy calendar of art exhibitions, shows, music festivals and other cultural events.

One of the main activities in Salta is the April Culture Festival, which lasts the entire month and offers a wide variety of activities, such as culture display performances, handcrafts exposition, and live orchestra performances.


Salta residents, just like most Argentines, are very enthusiastic about football; the most important local clubs are: Juventud Antoniana, Gimnasia y Tiro de Salta and Central Norte. All three of them are followed by many faithful fans. Juventud Antoniana and Central Norte currently play at third division, while Gimnasia y Tiro plays in the fourth division. Other popular sports are baseball (a game in which Salta players excel nationally), basketball, volleyball, rugby and mountaineering.

Salta's main sport venue is the Padre Ernesto Martearena Stadium, followed by the Gimnasia y Tiro Stadium and the Juventud Antoniana stadium. The largest roofed facility is the Ciudad de Salta Stadium, used mainly for basketball, volleyball and boxing.

Over the last 20 years Salta has become host to high profile international sport events, such as the 1990 Basketball World Cup, the 1994 Camel Trophy, the 2002 Volleyball World Cup and the 2009 Hockey Champions Challenge. The Pumas, Argentina's national rugby team, have played in Salta against Italy (2005)[3] and England (2009).[4] Top football clubs, including Boca Juniors, River Plate and Racing, have played friendly games in Salta in summer, off-season matches.

Notable People

Gustavo (Cuchi) Leguizamón


External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Salta is the capital of the Salta province in Argentina.

  • Plane: the airport is 5 km south of the city centre. Bus "8A" runs between the airport and the bus terminal. The Aerolíneas Argentinas office is located at Caseros 475, tel. (0387) 431 0258.
  • Bus: there are connections to all major cities in Argentina. The bus station is just one block from Parque San Martín, or 8 blocks from the main plaza. A taxi to the main tourist office in Buenos Aeris cale (street) will cost 5 euros. agree on the price before leaving the bus terminal and get the meter docket from the driver
Buenos Aires 19 hours - 210 pesos.
La Quiaca 7 hours - 57 pesos (company: Balut (6 each day) , Flecha and Andesmar 50 pesos per person
Tucuman 4 hours - 30 pesos
Cafayate 4 hours - 35 pesos (company: El Indio)
Cordoba 13 hours - 145 pesos (semi-cama/cama)
Formosa 13 hours advertised but took 16 hours The Flecha bus is semi cama ( sleep in aircraft cattle class seats) 181 pesos at october 09. The bus stops at every town along the road. You will receive a packet of two buscuits on departure and unless you know the system you will not get a chance to buy food on the trip so buy something before boarding the bus. There is a toilet on board and is reasonably clean for the whole journey. The bus departs Formosa at 5.10pm daily
  • From Jujuy it's possible to take a combi (shared taxi) for Ar$10. - Take Care "Combis" are not legal transportation -

Get around

Taxi Fare Around town costs 5 pesos, Remis are not cheaper. Buses cost 1 Peso.

  • Cabildo, the old town hall, of 1783, on the Plaza 9 de Julio. Now houses the Museo Histórico del Norte
  • MAAM museum, Mitre 77 (Plaza 9 de Julio), +54 387 437 0499 (), [1]. Tu-Su and holidays 11AM-8PM. The Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña exhibits the discovery of the three incas "Llullaillaco Children" found frozen at the peak of Mount Llullaillaco. 30 pesos.  edit
  • Iglesia San Francisco, on the corner of Caseros and Córdoba, of 1796, beautiful church with remarkable tower.
  • Cerro San Bernardo, 1458 m hill just east of the city centre. From Parque San Martin, a cable car goes to the summit, offering spectacular views of the city and its surroundings.
  • Museo Antropológico [2], Avenida Ejército del Norte. Offers a very interesting insight into various indigenous cultures, which have flourished throughout the centuries in this part of Argentina
  • Pajcha, 20 de Febrero 838 (10 blocks north of the main plaza.), +54 387 422 9417, [3]. A fantastic museum in Salta and definitely worth a look.It is called "Pajcha" and is a collection of traditional art, textiles, icons and jewlery from all over South and Central America. It is facinating. For only 10 pesos you get entry to the private museum and for an additional 15 pesos you get a personalised guided tour from one of the directors. The enthusiasm was palpable and fantastic learning from such a knowledgeable source. They knew everything because they had personally collected everything in the museum. The owner has been collecting for most of her life. The tour was in fluent English. 10 pesos.  edit
  • Tren a las Nubes, Train to the clouds. Cost US$120 book a couple of days before at any city excursion office. Only one train each week, departs Saturdays at 7am and returns to Salta at 11.30pm or there abouts. Dining car on train and bar car a bit expensive so best bring own food. A breakfast snack is included and an evening snack but basic. Cocoa tea 2 pesos helps prevent altitude sickness and a free sample of cocoa leaves is provided by the train staff. The trip is long and the seats are somewhat cramped for leg space but generally the services and staff are excellent. The experience is fantastic as the scenery is rugged and variable with a feast for the eyes at every turn. The engineering of the track was a masterpiece in its day.
  • There are several travel agencies that can help you with your trip. They are located about 4 to 5 blocks south of the main square, around Buenos Aires road.

The information below seems to come from one agency, and could serve as example.

  • Mystical Cachi:

This tour begins in the Lerma Valley, then going through the dense mountain jungle in Los Laureles and reaching the Escoipe Gorge and La Cuesta del Obispo (Bishop’s Slope), which is a mountain path that leads to Piedra del Molino, at 3348 m.a.s.l. After this, we reach Los Cardones National Park for several photo stops. Then, we go to the picturesque town of Cachi where we visit the Archaeological Museum (it houses vestiges of several native cultures of the region, since its first inhabitants) and the Church Then, we have lunch and in the afternoon we come back to Salta. Departure: 7.30PM Return: 7.30PM

  • Cafayate Colors:

First, we go to the Lerma Valley (where Saltenian Tobacco is grown) until we reach the rail station of “Alemanía”; then, we go to the unique Las Conchas Gorge which has several geological formations created by wind and rain erosion and which received different names such as La Garganta del Diablo (The Devil’s Throat), El Anfiteatro (The Amphitheatre), El Sapo (The Frog), El Fraile (The Friar), Los Castillos (The Castles), Las Ventanas (The Windows) and other. When we reach Cafayate, we visit some wine cellars, where you will learn about how grapevines are grown, the making of wines and you will be able to taste excellent wines. Then we have lunch, take a stroll around the town and, in the afternoon, we come back to Salta, doing several photo stops. Departure: 7.30PM Return. 7.30PM

  • San Bernardo Hill., From the city square 9 De Hulio it is near the bus station where you get onto the cable car ($20 pesos per person return) which takes you 430 metres up the hill overlooking the city. It is a 15 minute walk or 5 pesos by cab. The view of the city is great but the bonus is the landscaping which has made it a tranquil setting. A vast water feature has been built with many interesting features. A meal or a beer is available at the top at reasonable rates. A good way to fill in a couple of hours when it is clear.
  • Puna and Salt Flats:

In our way, we pass the traditional town of Quijano and then, we reach to the impressive Toro Gorge. We stop and take a stroll in the pre-Incan city of Tastil. Then, we continue our trip to San Antonio de los Cobres, which is a small mining town, to have lunch. In the afternoon, we take the famous 40 national route, which takes us to the Salt Flats, Where you will see the magnificence of the Puna. Then, we go down the impressive Lipan Slope till we reach the picturesque Purmamarca town (Province of Jujuy), with its famous Seven Colour Hill. Then, we come back to Salta. Departure: 7.00PM Return: 21.30PM

  • Andean Humahuaca:

This tour offers the possibility of knowing the wonders of the Humahuaca Gorge, in the Province of Jujuy, which was declared Humanity’s Patrimony. You will also visit small towns such as Purmamarca, with its distinctive architecture and its Seven Colour Hill, Tilcara, where we visit El Pucará (Pre-Incan city) and the Archaeological Museum, Uquía, well-known for its Church which houses paintings from the Cuzco School. Has lunch in Humahuaca, famous for its Gorge, and in the afternoon we come back to Salta. Departure: 7.00PM Return: 20.30PM

  • Active or Adventure Activities

• Horse Riding: It can last from a couple of hours to several days. There are several options which include snacks, accommodation in country houses or camps, and typical foods. This service was created to show you the real “Gaucho” life.

• Paragliding: This is an activity with great popularity among tourists, specially in mountainous regions all over the world.

• Tandem jumps (double harness) with experts who guarantee safety and excitement. You will be able to fly up in the northern sky and feel the “Spirit of the Condor”; something you will never forget.

• Cycling: Bicycle rides around the city or through a mountain track, perfectly designed for adventurers.

This activity includes several options with three degrees of difficulty (low, moderate, high) specially programmed to meet your expectations.

• Motorcycling: Motorcycle rides with several option according to each particular need, always in the company of a qualified guide for each ride. It is a international high-quality product that brings together two passions: motorcycling and sightseeing.

• Trekking: There are several options: short strolls around our bordering mountains or several days in the region, with different degrees of difficulty.

It is a perfect way of being in touch with nature and living each moment as an unique experience.

• Mountain climbing: The region offers a great variety of mountains and volcanoes of between 3500 and 6740 m.a.s.l (meters above sea level). This expeditions require previous experience, equipment and special logistics.

Thus, previous planning and preparation are needed, according to each mountain. Some options are:

• Medium Mountain: Gólgota Hill of 3500 m.a.s.l, Pacuy Hill of 4200 m.a.s.l., San Gerónimo Crater of 4950 m.a.s.l.

• High Mountain: Nevado de Cachi of 6380 m.a.s.l., Llullaillaco Volcano of 6740 m.a.s.l., Quewar Volcano of 6180 m.a.s.l., Socompa Volcano of 6031 m.a.s.l., Tuzale Volcano of 5560 m.a.s.l, Nevado del Acay of 5950 m.a.s.l.

• Rafting: Any person can take part in this two-hour activity along the impressive Juramento River. Uncontrollable emotions, an excellent barbecue and a personal attention will make this trip something to remember.

• Canopy: New in Salta! “The Flight of the Condor” is a name suitable for the incredible experience of flying over the Juramento River.

• Rappel: Falls from up to 60 meters with equipment and guides included. This experience will make you feel alive and exceeding your own limits.

• Fishing: There are several options: fishing trout in a quiet mountain stream, “Pejerreyes” in the huge Cabra Corral Dam, Dorado or Surubí in the fast-flowing Bemejo or Pilcomayo Rivers.

  • San Lorenzo, (Bus 7E). This is a charming town approx 20 minutes outside Salta. It has lots of accommodation, restaurants and its own attractions. Well worth a look if you only have a day, or even better, stay there and enjoy the wonderful hospitality only a small town can offer. 1.25 peso.  edit san Lorenzo Argentina
  • Balcarce Arts and Crafts Fair, [4], Each Sunday the main nightclubbing street, Balcarce, is closed to traffic all day long for a very good arts and crafts fair featuring the work of local artists and craftsmen of all types.
  • "' El Rincon del Carpincho"', Alvarado 556 is a very small craft shop a little away from the main tourist area but the prices are significantly lower than the prices you will pay around the main square of 9 de july. Hand crafted leather and knives as well as leather goods.
  • El Buen Gusto Empanadas, Go very local with this hidden gem for empanadas. A very traditional small, simple restaurant, that offers one of the best empanadas in Salta. You should call in advance to order the food (before 9:00 PM) since they cook limited number of empanadas. O'Higgins street 575, tel: 0387-4214861.
  • Doña Lola, [5], Traditional Salteñan food in a very nicely restored old house which also contains a small museum of local artifacts.
  • El Solar del Convento, Half a block east of the main square, Caseros 444. Serve free champange while you choose from the menu. Inexpensive yet elegant dining with excellent steaks and wines.
  • Dana Salta. Cordoba 46. A short 2 minute walk from the 9 de July square. The meat and wine were top shelf and it was 144 pesos for two which included a bottle of Don David malbec and a steak you could not get through and empanadas as a starter. Service was excelent. Ambience was very good having a very Spanish flavour.
  • Viejo Jack, Avenida Virrey Toledo 145. 422 3911. Incredible food, low prices, and friendly service. Portions are huge--main (meat) courses are designed to shared. Try the picana, you won't be sorry.  edit


Nightlife is centered on the north end of Balcarce street, in the train station zone.

The local beer "Salta" is as good as any othe beer and is the same price as other beers. A 1 litre bottle at a restraurant on the main square (9 de July) will set you back 13 to 15 pesos and you will get a small serve of chips and or peanuts.

A bottle of local whisky at a supermarket will cost about 25 pesos and is equal to reasonable scotch whisky. All Scotch whisky is cheap at the supermacado.

All alcohol is cheap by Australian standards.

  • Hostel Siete Duendes [6], San Juán 189, (54-387) 4214522. 25 ARS per night per person, nice and helpful staff with free internet and a basic breakfast. Cosy backgarden and a friendly atmosphere will welcome you right next to Parque San Martín, close to the center and the bus terminal.
  • Hotel Colonial [7], Zuviria 6, (54-387) 4310805 / 4211740. Located at the heart of the city, in front of "9 de Julio" square, is one of Salta's most traditional hotels. The best option for travellers looking for a pleasant stay in the best location of the city at a good price. Breakfast and Wi-Fi access included.
  • Terra Oculta [8], Córdoba 361, (0387)421 8769 ( Popular backpackers spot and a good place to meet fellow travellers. It has all the usually services and there is a weekly barbeque and a bar. Dorm Ar$40 / Double Ar$40.
  • Corre caminos dormis available. kitchen, free pool table, nice people around.
  • Marilian Hostal [9]. Buenos Aires 160 (A4400FDD). Tel. 54-387-4370531. Email: As of July, 2004, prices were: Single $55 pesos, Double $65 pesos, Triple $85, Quad $105 pesos. Clean hostal, on the main drag (Buenos Aires street), 24hr hot water, heating, 18 cabanas, English spoken, and continental breakfast is included in the price.
  • Las Rejas B&B [10]. General Güemes 569. Tel.(54-387)421-5971 ( Very central, 2 blocks from the main square and the cathedral. Offers hostel accommodation as well as B&B. Very friendly, many amenities including travel desk. Free internet and much more.
  • BackPackers Home [11]. Buenos Aires 930. A Few blocks from main square. Old Dorms. Big, but Old Quitchen. Free Internet. Very Friendly Staff. BBQ Wednesday and Saturdays.
  • Los Cardones Youth Hostel [12] Avda. Entre Rios 454, 4400 Salta, Email: Nice Hostel run by its owners, situated in the heart of Salta. Prices as of June 2007, Dorm: $17 Pesos, Triple $19 Pesos, Private double $44 Pesos, Private double ensuite $60 Pesos. Complete breakfast included in all categories
  • Billy's Apartments Los Yuchanes 51 - Tres Cerritos, 4400 Salta, Email: / Tel. +54-387-4396845 or cel: +54-9-387-4 494 634 (from Argentina: 0387-4396845 or cel: 0387-154 494 634). Apartments for rent, very comfortable, TV, Internet-ready, Tel line for receiving calls and dialling through Calling Cards. Prices per day as of July 2007, 1 Dorm Apartment (up to 4 pax / apartment): 1 pax: $40, 2 pax:$70, 3 pax:$90, 4 pax:$100, (Pesos always, to have an idea: 1 USD=3 Pesos aprox.). Private bathrooms, kitchen, 24 hs hot water, very private.
  • Hostal Del Centro, Cordoba 83 (Centrally located on Cordoba, three minutes walk from the main plaza.), (0387)4217426, [13]. checkin: 11AM; checkout: 11AM. A great friendly spot run by a British Expat. Offers outsanding value for money with a 24h manned reception, a cosy patio with a barbeque every Friday and clean rooms with shared or private toilets. The hostel is partnered with a tourist agency and so offers very good deals on all expeditions in and around Salta. Dorm with shared/private bathrooms are priced at $25/$35 Pesos. Doubles with private bathroom are $90 and a triple with private bathroom is $40 Pesos per person. The hostel offers free internet access and open kitchen. Everybody gets free breakfast of coffee and medialunas as well as a towel and soap. There is cable television in all rooms too.  edit
  • New Salta Apartment, Juramento 420, 2nd floor, Apartment F 4400, Salta, 3868 638 521, [14]. checkin: 13:00; checkout: 10:00. New vacation apartment rental available in Salta Capital. This brand new apartment/apartment building is centrally located with beautiful views of Cerro (mountain) San Bernardo is 40m2 (430 sq ft) with a nice size bedroom, fully equipped bathroom, living room, and complete kitchen. Conveniently located in an upscale area close to the Central part of town (7 blocks from the Cerro San Bernardo te, 6 blocks from San Martin Plaza, which holds most of the cities cultural and social activities, 5 blocks from shopping, 4 blocks from the Guemes monument, surrounded by restaurants, bars and supermarkets.) The capacity is 4 people, two rooms (one living/kitchen and the other a nice size bedroom) and fully equipped bathroom. Beds: one comfortable double bed in the bedroom and a sofa-bed with an additional pull out in the living area. Nice closet filled with fine quality cotton bath and hand towels. Equipment: Heating controlled by a thermostat, stove with 4 burners, microwave, refrigerator/freezer, toaster, air conditioner, television with cable and wi-fi pen drive. Maid service available upon request for an extra charge. $47USD.  edit
  • Victoria Plaza Hotel Right on the 9 de july plaza in the heart of the city. 250 pesos a night for a double if you pay cash, a little more if using the card. Good service, clean rooms, a little old but includes a basic breakfast.

Get out

Salta is the base for many great trips throughout the province. There are plenty tour agencies offering excursions in the region. (REMEMBER: Taxi drivers or nice people from your hotel ARE NOT legally authorized and qualified for the performing of such activities). Especially good are the 4WD trips to the beautiful Valles Calchaquíes, as well as rafting trips to the Río Juramento.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Salta discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.

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