Salta & Around Part 2

On account of the fact we didn’t really know how we wanted to tackle Salta we’d only booked two nights in the flat so we were brutally forced to move to a hostel for another two nights when we decided to just stay in the city and pay people to take us places and show us things. That wrote off the morning as we sat in a café ordering beverages to justify our presence during that no man’s land between check out at the old place and check in at the new place. I’m not sure my bladder will ever forgive me.

Apparently I’m a person who takes lots of photos of birds now.
Here’s another one.

One we were checked in though we figured we should make the most of the weather which, in the UK, means it’s hot and sunny and we’re going to an outdoor space to drink beer until we turn a fetching shade of red. Here it means it’s overcast, might actually rain, and as a result every single molecule of water in our general beings wasn’t gushing out through every available pore. We decided to take the Teleférico San Bernardo up a hill to gawp at the city from quite high up.

Well hello, Salta.

It killed a bit of time but it’s not going to blow your box apart. They do have this insane water feature though, like, several levels of artificial waterfalls. You can hear it as your gondola approaches the summit, it’s pretty awesome. The views are vast but it’s just the city, and there are some gift shops if you needed a toy llama or a brightly coloured blanket or something made out of a dead cactus. There’s also a wine bat so we had ourselves a cheeky little glass of grape based motor impairment beverage then just headed back down to chill for the afternoon.

This is only a small part of the epic water feature.

It was early when we were to be collected from the hostel for the tour to Cafayate. This one was, again, all in Spanish and we still didn’t understand a bastard thing but she did repeat things slowly for us every now and then which did help a little bit. Today would be mostly about the rocks. The scenery here is utterly spectacular and there are several named formations just off the road you can visit. First stop was Guachipas viewpoint which was just a cracking view which, naturally, photos don’t do justice to.

Next stop was la Garganta del Diablo, the Devil’s Throat, which is a small gorge. It looks incredibly photogenic with your eyeholes but you try telling that to your camera. A few enterprising locals have set up stalls selling hot food and gifts. It was the same at the next stop just up the road, el Anfiteatro, the Amphitheatre. You could walk into this huge chamber. A guy was busking with local instruments and you could definitely tell where the formation got its name from.

Garganta del Diablo. Small child for scale.
El Anfiteatro.

Mirador Tres Cruces was next. Three Cross viewpoint. I’m not sure why it’s called that but you can climb up a little bit from the carpark for spectacular views over the Quebrada de las Conchas, so named on account of the shell fossils found there. This whole area is that striking red colour on account of the iron oxides. There are a metric fuck tonne of other places we passed that I would have loved to have stopped at to take about forty photos of the same thing but that’s the trouble with tours isn’t it. You’re on their schedule, and their schedule included two hours in the town that we wouldn’t have done if we were on our own.

Mirador Tres Cruces.
I wouldn’t have minded a cheeky little stop at this bad boy. Instead have a hastily taken shot through a window.

Last stop before town though was Vasija Secreta which is a winery. The typical grape of this region is the torrontes, a white grape. I’m not entirely sure I like it though. We’d had a dry version from the wine bar at the top of the cable car and it starts off good then gets harder and harder to drink. It’s like it gets sweeter somehow. The one we sampled here was semi-dulce, so I guess half sweet would be the literal translation, and yeah nah, not for me, thanks. We also tried a malbec which proves not all malbecs are created equal. This one was also a bit too sweet. Definitely sticking with Mendoza for my Argentine reds. Tarrant is devastated that I’ve developed a taste for red wine at all, usually I’m a cheap white wine junkie, she’s gutted she might actually have to share.

Obligatory “I’m in a winery” barrel photo.

One we were in Cafayate we headed to the Plaza and had ourselves a little picnic before heading to one of the many resto-bars lining the square to apply beer to our faceholes. Everywhere else in Argentina is mad for the Quilmes which basically tastes like piss water. Imperial and Andes are two brands we liked. But here in the north, Salta reigns supreme and I’m not going to lie, I wanted to like it, I really did, but it’s not much better than Quilmes. Fortunately there’s usually a nice, big bottle of Heineken to come to the rescue so we killed one of those and headed back to the minivan to nod-sleep all the way back to Salta.

Jump to “Useful shit to know…”

Cafayate, Salta Province, Argentina

Stayed at: Hostel La Covacha, Salta

Hostel La Covacha. We were in a double room. Everything was great, it’s a really nice hostel. It’s echoey though so definitely take earplugs.

Useful shit to know…

  • We used Turismo Guadalquivir in the end. Their guides don’t speak English.
  • We paid AR$6900 each (US$18.50 at the Blue Dollar rate).
  • Nordic Travel do offer English speaking guides, I can’t remember what they charged for this but it was a little bit more.
  • Teleférico San Bernardo cost AR$2200 each up and down.
  • If you wanted to walk down you can just pay AR$1700 to go up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.