ExperienceChile - Salta Argentina
Salta (Nearest airport: Martin Miguel de Guemes)
Experiencechile.org can organize hotel accommodation to your budget and preferred style, self-drive tours or daily excursions combined with your hotel stay.
Located in the north-west of Argentina, close to the border with Chile (San Pedro de Atacama in Chile is on the other side of the Andes from Salta) it has a registered population of around 500,000 people (2001 census). The city is 1,152mt above sea level in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, offering a warm, dry climate for most of the year.
Salta was founded on April 16, 1582 by the Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma, in order to establish a settlement between the Spanish Colonial capital in Lima, Peru and Buenos Aires in Argentina. During the independence struggle (1816 – 1821) Salta was of strategic military and commercial importance between Peru and key cities in Argentina.
After the war of independence the city was in disarray and financially bankrupt throughout much of the 19th century. However, in the latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the arrival of immigrants from Italy, Spain and the Arab countries, particularly Syrians and Lebanese, revived trade and agriculture all over the area while further enhancing the city's multicultural flavor.
Each year Salta is becoming a more popular tourist destination because of the beautiful natural geographic scenery and colonial architecture.The city center features a number of impressive buildings dating back to the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Clockwise around the Nueve de Julio (9th of July) Square are: the neoclassical Cathedral, the French style Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cabildo (in former times, the city's town hall) and the neoclassical Museum of High Mountain Archeology, which houses artifacts from the Inca civilization, including the magnificently preserved mummies of three Inca children. Within walking distance of the 9th of July Square are the impressive Saint Francis Church and the city's two pedestrian streets: Alberdi and Florida. The three blocks in Balcare Street closest to the train station are now the center of night life in Salta, with restaurants, pubs and cafés on both sidewalks and concerts every night. Rising imposingly in the east is San Bernardo Hill. Its summit, from which visitors can get a panoramic view of the city and the entire valley, can be reached by car, cable car or stairway.
Salta is similar in style to the Andalucía towns of Southern Spain. However, the local culture is a mix of Spanish and gaucho (mestizo, corolla, both indigenous and non indigenous peoples) traditions, giving the city a distinctive identity and somewhat different from southern Argentina cities that tend to be in a more traditional European in style.
One of the main activities in Salta is the April Culture Festival, which lasts the entire month and offers a wide variety of activities, such as culture display performances, handcrafts exposition, and live orchestra performances.