Walking the city streets of Salta, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re in Europe. There’s a strong physical resemblance between the architecture here and that of Andalucia in southern Spain. The neoclassical Cathedral of Salta is dedicated to Jesus and the Virgin Mary, and it is a pink and white wedding cake of a structure.
When it comes to festival time in April, Salta reveals its hybrid Spanish and gaucho side. Many of Salta’s residents have both criollo and mestizo heritage, of which they are rightly proud. It the noise and bustle of the partying on the streets becomes too much for you, take the cable car or walk to the top of San Bernardo Hill for quieter views across the city.
Around the city in the Calchaquíes Valleys you’ll find vineyards and golf courses, as well as some attractive hikes. The natural red sandstone amphitheatre of the Río las Conchas is reminiscent of Arizona’s Antelope Canyon. Explore the region on foot by vehicle, then ride the Tren a las Nubes (Train to the Clouds) across the Andes for a thrilling journey on one of the highest altitude railways in the world.