Colourful hand-woven textiles and colonial white-washed adobe buildings mix with a laid back vibe where locals tend to sit on the street sipping their maté and chatting to their neighbours.
The city of Salta has a beautiful historic centre with museums and churches aplenty to explore. Delve into its ornate cathedral and bustling main square. Enjoy a drink or two at a romantic pavement café or enjoy the tunes of live norteño music from one of the city’s popular peñas. Either stroll back to your beautiful cosy little boutique hotel or stay on the outskirts in a beautiful family-run hacienda.
However the true beauty of this stunning area can only be appreciated by taking to the road to explore the many small villages, high altitude wineries and dramatic gorges and cacti strewn plains north and south of the city. The streaked rock of Seven-Coloured Hill in Purmamarca is one of the more well-known natural landmarks of the North-West and you can also spend some time exploring the pretty little town nearby where fresh produce is sold in the traditional way in the markets alongside beautiful brightly woven textiles and crafts carved from cactus wood.
The majesty of Humahuaca Gorge and the quaint sleepy charm of villages such as Cachi and Molinos can be explored by 4x4 vehicle amid towering cacti and a dramatic terracotta desert landscape. Here also you will find some quite surprising vintages at high altitude wineries in the Calchaqui Valley, staying at luxurious hotels that combine spa treatments using both the grape and locally sourced crystal salts and restaurants that offer exquisite fine dining.
If it is endless dramatic panoramas and solitude amid breath-taking scenery you seek, alongside discovering the isolated traditional villages and communities of the Puna, then embark on a personally designed private 4wd exploration across these remote and spectacular plains. Traverse salt flats, meet some of the people who make this region their home on your own private off-road photo safari.
The North-West also makes a wonderful combination with the Atacama Desert in Chile or the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia where you can continue your off-the-beaten track adventure by 4x4. Cross the Andes on the most spectacular road journey passing by lakes filled with rare flamingos and feel like you are amongst one of the most unique landscapes on Earth.