Soak in history and culture in Salta

There are inseparable trios. Salta, the beauty of the landscapes and the good wine is one of them.

  • Nov. 15, 2011 6:00 a.m.

The impressive Saint Francis church in Salta

There are inseparable trios. Salta, the beauty of the landscapes and the good wine is one of them.

Located in Argentina, the relationship between winemaking and Salta is over three centuries old. A circuit of about 20 wineries is completely open to visitors to see how residents craft their wines.

The famous and traditional Torrontés wine is made in Salta. Its grape is exclusively grown in Cafayate, where Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah and Chardonnay are also produced. Visitors to wineries are encouraged to stay and watch to learn the secrets of making the wines, and may even be invited to crush grapes in the buckets themselves.

The summer is mild and winter is warm and dry, making it an ideal place to visit. The Cabra Corral Dam is a favourite spot among people from Salta when they want to enjoy the weekend. Anything from fishing, bungee jumping, rafting to exploring the banks of the dam, a land once inhabited by the native settlers of the area.

Canopy tours are also available in the Juramento River Canyon. One of the largest zip line tours in South America, the canyon presents spectacular panoramic sights with good doses of vertigo and amusement.

If you prefer to keep both feet on the ground, a tour of a tobacco farm might be more suited. Santa Anita is best known for having the first private tobacco museum in the area. Getting a taste of the country life also gives opportunity to visitors for hiking, horseback riding on nearby mountain ranges and even a chance to see how homemade bread is baked in clay ovens or how to milk the goats in order to make jams and cheese.

When night falls, Salta turns on its lights. Each corner brings its own charm when the moon is out from the main square, the cafés, Balcarce Street and the magic of the casino.

A cable car offers rides to San Martin park for visitors to appreciate the city views. But when the sun sets and  the first lights of the city begin to glitter, the view from the top is a real postcard teeming with lights, white and yellow colours spreading across the valley.

Young people often gather on Balcarce Street, an icon of nightlife. The area pays homage to folklore and worldwide poets and singers are known to hang out there. Musical rhythms of zamba and chacarera give the night a special colour.

Travellers that like to take their time to explore Salta on their own can always use the Bus Turistico Salta. This vehicle lets tourists go on and off the bus as many times as they want.

The bus has stops in the most important sites in Salta, letting tourists create their own itinerary.

The Hispanic architecture of Salta outshines other cities in Argentina. The colonial spirit from the times of the foundation remains in its houses, streets, 100-year-old monuments and narrow sidewalks surrounded by the mountains nearby.

For more information visit www.welcomeargentina.com.

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