HIGHLIGHTS OF ARGENTINA’S NORTH-WEST
1 Salta This beautiful, historic city has a winning combination of sights and experiences, and all the modern facilities you would expect. Stroll the colonial streets and plazas ( pictured right), take the teleférico (cable car) for city views and visit a peña to enjoy the local music.
The journey here through spectacular red-rock scenery is reason enough to visit, but most are in search of the world’s highest wineries. Perhaps best known for the white torrontés grape, reds such as malbec are also grown. You can sample the wines in bodegas, or explore the surrounding wineries by bicycle or car.
3 Quebrada de Humahuaca
This valley has been a major trade route over the last millennium and was a vital Inca trail. Today’s visitors come for this Unesco-listed site’s scenery, such as the ‘Mountain of Seven Colours’, as well as for an insight into its history.
4 Ride like a Gaucho
Salta is surrounded by ranches; some welcome visitors for an estancia experience, usually involving horse riding, an insight into gaucho life and a BBQ, and many offer multi-day treks. The local poncho is a rich red with a black stripe, or stripes ( pictured left).
5 Tren a las Nubes
Although you can currently only ride a small section of the route on train (from San Antonio de los Cobres to the Polvorilla viaduct), it is still worth it to appreciate this incredible feat of engineering and the train itself, as well as the great views. Crossing the viaduct will have you squealing with joy. (trenalasnubes.com.ar; tickets cost AR$2,380/£85) 6 Cono de Arita A natural wonder of the world. Try and ensure that you have Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon playing when you view it!