Well its been just over two months since I left home (December 10, 2015) and found my life on the road. Much of that initial time has been spent criss-crossing the border between Argentina, Uruguay, (Paraguay for a day, but that doesn't count) Chile, Brazil and eventually Bolivia (yes, in that short amount of time, I have been to 5 countries and 2 continents). It’s been a busy but beautiful couple of months, but lets get to the point.
Argentina is massive, it covers about 3 million square kilometers which makes it the 8th largest nation in the world. There are so many places to see that one might spend a whole year just traveling around the country, but, even if you only have a short amount of time, the Northern region of Salta is worth a visit, and here is why;
1.Nature at it’s finest: Northern Argentina is famous for its beautiful multi-colored mountains that provide a majestic backdrop for small villages en route to Bolivia (Humahuaca, Iruya, Pumamarca, etc). It is also home to beautiful waterfalls, 3 national parks, and the Tren a las Nubes or “The train to the clouds”. There are endless trekking opportunities and little towns with dirt roads that allow you get off the beaten path (although, still tourist destinations).
2. The “best” empanadas: The birth place of the empanada! Some people will disagree with this, but it is the popular belief that here you can find Argentina’s best empanadas. A visit to the “Patio de la Empanada” left me believing that they were absolutely correct. Not only that, it was $8 for a dozen empanadas, two liters of beer (yes, two), and two tamales. They even say that this is the birth-place of the empanada (again, many will argue this), but if you are passing through this is an absolute must!
3. A reason to drink: Cayafate (pronounced Caf-a-shot-ay, by the Argentineans) is another region just south of the city of Salta, that has much to offer! Most importantly, wine. Mendoza (futher south) is popular for the red wines and Cayafate’s typical production is Torrontes, which is a white wine with moderate acidity and fruity aromas… I’m no expert, but it’s wine and a reason to travel, so go do your own research and report back what you remember!
If you find yourself meandering about in north western Argentina, definitely make a stop in the Salta region! Good food, a change of scenery, kind people and the gateway to Bolivia if you happen to travel north. Thinking about visiting? Shoot me an e-mail or comment and I’ll give you whatever recommendations I have!