For those who think the bulk of Argentina’s geographical beauty and diversity is confined to the south and west, well, you may be on to something. However (and this is a big “however”), Salta and the provinces of northern AR are not without their fair share of beckoning adventures. Nestled in the Lerma Valley with easy access to the Andes’ foothills, there is plenty to explore here for those seeking the thrill of the great outdoors. And as an added bonus, due to their relative isolation, most of these excursions come without throngs of other similarly-disposed world travelers.
You want mountains and volcanos? Great, you’re surrounded by them (Andes’ foothills ring a bell?). Not particularly well suited for skiing and boarding, these mastiffs instead offer hikers and climbers of all levels plenty to explore and experience. There are a myriad smaller peaks, including nearby San Bernardo Hill, that you can tackle in a day, but if you’re looking for more of a challenge you may want to consider topping summits like Nevado Queva and Llullaillaco Volcano, which stand over 6,000 m above sea level. Cooling off more your style? There are a few aquatic destinations to check out around the city, from swimming and rafting the Cabra Corral Dam and Rio Juramento to the south to more esoteric destinations like the salt lakes of Tolar Grande to the west.
And speaking of Tolar Grande (a beautiful, almost surreal salt flat), what would a geologic description of Salta be without mentioning its access to uniquely beautiful rock formations and national parks? Vistas available at destinations like Humahuaca Gorge to the north and Los Cardones to the southwest are a satisfying end to an itinerary that can include hiking, horseback riding, camping and more. True it’s not Patagonia or Aconcagua, but you’ll likely discover that Salta and its surrounding provinces have an adventurous appeal distinctly their own.