Salta is a beautiful little Argentinian city, nestled in the Andes mountains. It’s also the capital of the Salta province, where you can find natural wonders to the north and south of the city – the Cafayate Valley, the Salinas Grandes salt flats, and the colourful mountains at Purmamarca and Humahuaca. But as a destination itself, it’s actually quite a sleepy city. When visiting, we made an effort to find the best things to do, and I’d strongly recommend bookmarking these if you ever visit!
6 Of The Best Things To Do In Salta, Argentina
If you’re staying in Salta, here’s the best recommendations for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as excursions into the valleys and mountains surrounding the city…
1. Breakfast at Selina
Selina is an international hostel and workspace group, and their Salta location includes a restaurant open to the public. It’s a bubble of modernity in a traditional colonial town, and with it comes some of the best breakfast foods anyone could ask for. I went for this banana and yoghurt smoothie bowl, with coffee and orange juice, and it cost less than £5 (paid with my Monzo card). If we’d found it earlier on during our stay in the city, we would have been back every morning!
2. Head Out Into Calchaquí Valleys
To start admiring the landscape around Salta, I really recommend heading south to the Calchaquí Valleys. We took a day trip to Cafayate Valley, and made multiple stops along the way to see natural formations such as the above Ampitheatre. Even more charming was the man playing traditional music which was amplified by the rock!
3. Take A Tour Of Cafayate
Next, head to the town of Cafayate. Here, you’ll notice a sudden change in temperature, humidity, and greenery – the mountains make that happen! It’s also why some of Argentina’s best vineyards are found here. Cafayate is similar to Salta in it’s old, colonial style, but it’s really the nature that’s worth admiring.
4. Stay At Villa Vicuna
If you’re staying in Salta for multiple days, book in at Villa Vicuna. This chic, friendly hotel was where we called home for our time in Salta and we really benefitted from the friendly staff’s recommendations, as well as the plush beds and bathrooms. The garden area also makes for a lovely place to sit and plan excursions, and there’s also a pool (although we didn’t go for a dip!)
5. Enjoy A Vegan Meal At Tantra
Travelling around Argentina without eating meat is quite hard, and being vegan, harder still. I had to make a note of Tantra, a relatively new restaurant in Salta, as it was the only place we found that did a fully vegan menu. Here, we enjoyed ‘KFC-style’ cauliflower, vegan empanadas, and incredibly filling burritos!
6. Visit The Salinas Grandes Salt Flats
The pièce de résistance of staying in Salta has to be the Salinas Grandes salt flats. We had originally booked an excursion to the salt flats that fell through, so ended up renting a car to drive there ourselves – and I’m so glad we did! It was the most amazing road trip I’ve ever been on. The Salinas Grandes are north of Salta, roughly a four-hour drive. If you time it right you can also visit Purmamarca and the famous Seven-Coloured Hill!
If you’re planning to visit Salta, you may also enjoy Iguazu and its incredible waterfalls, as well as the city of Buenos Aires! You can read all my travel guides to Argentina on the blog, and feel free to comment with any questions too!