Travel Guide South America Argentina Salta Salta





© Utrecht

Salta is the capital of the Salta Province, in the northwest of Argentina. It is Argentina's 8th largest city, with a population of around 475,000. The city was first founded on April 16, 1582 by the Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma. His original intension was the city to be an outpost between Buenos Aires and Lima in Peru.

The city was heavily damaged during the war of independence, which left the city bankrupt. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries a large arrival of Spanish, Syrian and Lebanese immigrants helped to revive trade and agriculture in the region giving the city a second birth. To this day the city has a very multicultural flavor because of this immigration.



Sights and Activities

Salta is one of the more popular tourist destinations in Argentina, based largely on its colonial architecture and natural scenery. It is also the main base for a lot of the trips throughout the province, including the "Train to the Clouds" (Tren a las nubes).

Plaza 9 de Julio

The main attractions are located in the city centre, clockwise around the 9th July Square (Plaza 9 de Julio) are the following:

  • Neo-classical Cathedral
  • Museum of Contemporary Art (M.A.C.)
  • Cabildo - The 18th century town hall. Houses the Historical Museum (Museo Histórico del Norte)
  • Museum of High Mountain Archeology (M.A.M) - With artifacts from the Inca civilization including the preserved bodies of three Inca children.

Other Sights and Activities

  • Saint Francisco Church (Iglesia San Francisco) - Built in 1796 this is a beautiful church with remarkable tower.
  • San Bernardo Convent
  • Güemes Monument
  • Balcarce Street - Is where most of the nightlife is centered around
  • San Miguel Market
  • Crafts Market
  • San Bernardo Hill (Cerro San Bernardo) - Is 1,458 metres high, which is east of the city and offers spectacular views from the summit. You can get to the summit by car, stairway or cable car from Parque San Martin.




The weather is warm and dry, with an average temperature of 16.4 °C (around 20 °C in the summer, 11 °C in winter). The summer months of January and February also are the wettest whilst during spring, Salta can be plagued by severe, week long dust storms. Temperatures frequently hit 35 °C or even more during these months.



Getting There

By Plane

Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport (SLA), in Spanish Aeropuerto Internacional de Salta Martín Miguel de Güemes, is an airport about 6 km southwest of the city centre. In 2007 this airport almost had 400,000 passengers making it the busiest airport in the northern part of the country. This airport is the main hub for the Andes and served by Aerolíneas Argentinas, LAN Argentina, Andes Líneas Aéreas and Aerosur. The main destinations are Santa Cruz, Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Puerto Iguazu and San Salvador de Jujuy.

By Train

While intercity trains are slowly making a comeback in Argentina, they have not reached Salta yet. Rail services is limited to commuter services from the nearby town of General Güemes. The railway station, Estación Salta, is centrally located along the Ameghino street.

By 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 Calle Buenos Aires will cost ARS10-12. Agree on the price before leaving the bus terminal and get the meter docket from the driver.



Getting Around

By Car

Taxi fare is around 5 pesos for standard rides.

By Public Transport

Buses cost 1 Peso on all routes.


Eat & Drink

The three blocks on the north end of Balcarce street, closest to the train station, are the centre of nightlife in Salta. There's plenty of restaurants, pubs and cafés here, as well as nightly concerts.

The local beer "Salta" is comparable in quality to other Argentine beers and is similarly priced. A 1 L bottle at a restaurant on Plaza 9 de Julio will set you back ARS13-15 and you will get a small serving of chips and or peanuts.

A bottle of local whisky at a supermarket will cost about ARS25 and is equal to reasonable Scotch whisky. All Scotch whisky is cheap at the supermercado.




You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)




Keep Connected


Internet cafes are still widely available in most places, even in smaller towns, though many people are connected through the internet at home or by mobile device. Many cafes and restaurants offer free WiFi with an advertisement in their windows. All you need to do is buy something and ask for the password. Apart from specific places, including soms airports and major stations, quite a few cities are offering free wifi, including Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Iguazu Falls.


See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Argentina is 54. To make an international call from Argentina, dial 00 followed by the country code and the rest of the telephone number. All 0800 numbers are toll-free numbers, except if you call from a mobile phone. Emergency numbers are available for Police (101), Ambulance (107) and Fire (100). Emergency dispatcher for Buenos Aires (city), Santa Fe (city), Rosario (city), Salta (province), Corrientes (province), and Buenos Aires (province) 911. In a mobile phone 112 forwards to 911.

You can get a prepaid Movistar / Claro / Personal SIM card for a few pesos / free at phone shops, all you pay is about 20 Pesos for your initial credits. Inserting the SIM card into your unlocked American or European mobile phone should work, although to register the SIM you have to enter your passport (or any 9 digit) number - you then have your personal Argentinean phone numbers. Calls cost around 1 Peso per minute. Receiving calls is usually free, except for international calls, and some cross network / inter-city calls - hence buying a SIM card purely to keep in touch with people overseas may not be worth it.

Without a cellphone, there are similar cards with credits for international calls. You get them at so called locutorios, where you can also use the phone booths. You dial a free number to connect to the service, then your secret number for the credits, and then the international phone number you want to call. Using these cards, a one-hour call to Europe will cost about 10 Pesos. Don't call without such cards or even from your hotel - it will be way more expensive.


Correos de Argentina is the national postal service of Argentina. There are also two private carriers operating nationwide (OCA and Andreani) and a number of regional ones though Correos de Argentina will be the one most likely to be used by travellers. Post offices are mostly open between 8:00am and 8:00pm Monday to Friday and 9:00am to 1:00pm on Saturday, though there are regional variantions with longer hours in central post offices in big cities and shorter ones in small towns. Services are pretty reliable but slow, mostly taking about two weeks to deliver a postcard or letter to the USA or Europe, but usually within a few days sending it domestically. There is also a more expensive express options. You can track a package online at the Correos de Argentino website. Parcels take at least 3-5 days domestically and weeks internationally. Otherwise try international companies like FedEx, TNT, DHL or UPS to send parcels. It is probably more reliable as well as faster.


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: -24.783333
  • Longitude: -65.416667

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This is version 21. Last edited at 13:14 on Oct 6, 17 by Utrecht. 12 articles link to this page.

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