ARGENTINA'S BEST-KEPT SECRET

On the Road in Northwest Argentina

  1. One of the oldest buildings in Salta, the Convento de San Bernardo remains a Carmelite convent. (Michael Mohr)
  2. Early evening light floods the campanile (bell tower) of the neoclassical Iglesia y Convento San Francisco in Salta. (Michael Mohr)
  3. Break from sightseeing for some empanadas and a glass of Quilmes beer at a sidewalk café along Plaza 9 de Julio in Salta. (Michael Mohr)
  4. Beyond the cities of Salta and Jujuy, the pace of life slows and traffic disappears. (Michael Mohr)
  5. It's hard to claim you're roughing it in the dry, rocky climate of northwest Argentina when you have access to the heated pool at Hotel La Comarca, just outside of Purmamarca. (Michael Mohr)
  6. Artisans flock to Purmamarca's main plaza to sell colorful rugs and textiles with local motifs. (Michael Mohr)
  7. Locals in the Quebrada de Humahuaca area engage in many of the same activities that occupied generations of their ancestors. (Michael Mohr)
  8. After descending from a windswept mountain pass, Route 52 approaches Salinas Grandes. Heat radiates off the pavement, and a mirage appears in the distance. (Michael Mohr)
  9. Salinas Grandes, in Jujuy province, is the largest salt flat in Argentina. Hardy locals brave the wind and the persistent glare of the sun to harvest the salt. (Michael Mohr)
  10. The indigenous people of Tilcara built a pucara (fortress) at a strategic vantage point, but they fell eventually to the Inca, who were routed in turn by the Spanish in the 16th century. These days, the only invaders are the cardón cacti growing throughout the partially restored complex. (Michael Mohr)
  11. In Humahuaca, north of Salta, Hebras Andinas sells locally made artwork, jewelry, and textiles. Don't miss the small back room filled with embroidered purses, colorful hats, and woven ceremonial ponchos that the owners source in the villages of the Andes. (Michael Mohr)
  12. Vicuñas live on the high-altitude plains of the Andes and were hunted for their meat and fur to a point of near extinction. The government instituted a conservation program in the 1970s, and the vicuñas' population numbers are now stable. (Michael Mohr)
  13. The Valle de Lerma, south of Salta, is a surprise after the mostly arid landscape of the region. Look out for gauchos, the cowboys of Argentina. (Michael Mohr)
  14. Gazing back at the road up the Cuesta del Obispo on the way to Cachi, there's a sense of accomplishment at having driven its winding path. (Michael Mohr)
  15. A small chapel greets you at the Abra Piedra del Molino, the high mountain pass along the way to Cachi. (Michael Mohr)
  16. Amid the swaying poplar trees, hotel La Merced del Alto offers panoramic views of Cachi, the surrounding valley, and the nearby snowcapped mountains. (Michael Mohr)
  17. The cool, crisp bedrooms of La Merced del Alto in Cachi are a relief after a long day on the road. (Michael Mohr)
  18. Take in scenes of daily life from the tables at Oliver's Café in Cachi. (Michael Mohr)
  19. Hacienda de Molinos, a hotel that recently opened in Molinos, occupies the 18th-century home of the last governor of Salta to be appointed by the king of Spain. (Michael Mohr)
  20. Along dusty Route 40, the Quebrada de las Flechas feels otherworldly. (Michael Mohr)
  21. The morning dew glistens on the grapevines just beyond the porch of Viñas de Cafayate, a boutique hotel a few miles from Cafayate. (Michael Mohr)
  22. The Quebrada de Cafayate has striking formations similar to those seen in the national parks of the western United States. (Michael Mohr)

Get Inspired with more from BudgetTravel.com


Recent Slideshows


Budget Travel Real Deals


  • From $2,727
  • From $2,727

See more deals »

Recent Articles


Budget Travel Real Deals


  • From $2,727
  • From $2,727

See more deals »

Video


Our newsletter delivers vacation inspiration straight to your inbox.

Check Prices