After the whirlwind weekend that was Puerto Iguazú, we were on a bit of a high – we had seen some beautiful landscapes and eaten a lot of delicious food (we may have splurged a little too much).
We were on such a high that the impending 22 hours of bus travel didn’t quite sink in until we hopped on the bus and were slapped with a pungent stench from the toilet… and we were seated right next to it… we also paid more for said seats. The good news is that we ended up changing buses so didn’t suffer for too long (although, given that a stinky toilet has been the worst of our travel experiences, I think we’re doing pretty darn well). So, with 24 hours in Salta, we decide to visit some sights and put together a quick list if you also find yourself short on time here.
1. MAAM – Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña
This was definitely our highlight in Salta. The entrance fee for the museum is 100 pesos ($7USD / $9AUD) which is a bit pricier than usual entrance fees for museums in South America but it is well worth it. The museum holds 3 frozen Inca mummies known as the Children of Llullaillaco that were discovered in 1999 and believed to have been buried alive. Unfortunately, only one mummy is on display at one time but there are ample photos and information for you to get a full picture. Information is well presented and almost all in English and Spanish and provides great insight into the Inca culture.
Opening times: Tue – Sun 11am – 7:30pm
2. Arrange a trip to Jujuy
Okay so technically this is outside of Salta, but Salta’s close proximity is very convenient for getting to Jujuy. You need to spend at least a 3 days in this region to visit a few of the towns (we visited Tilcara, Purmarmarca and Humahuaca and recommend all). Day trips via local buses (a few dollars) are available to Purmamarca (closer) and Humahuaca if you’re short on time. Jujuy is also located close to the Argentina / Bolivia border so if you’re planning on crossing the border, it’s an added convenience and a shorter bus ride than from/to Salta. You can read more about our adventures in Jujuy.
3. Take the Teleférico
The Salta Tram is a Swiss engineered cable car that starts near Parque San Martin and takes around 8 minutes to travel to Cerro San Bernado. The ride is 55 pesos ($3.5USD / $5AUD) each way. Besides the beautiful aerial views of Salta, you’ll find a restaurant, souvenir shop, miradors and some manmade waterfalls. There is a separate walking path if you feel like walking down (which we did and it was really nice).
4. Visit some churches
But beware of opening times!
Catedral Basílica de Salta
This cathedral is the not only the most famous in Salta but also the most recognisable given its pink colour. Built between 1856 and 1882 after the previous cathedral was destroyed in an earthquake, inside the cathedral are the ashes of General Martín Miguel de Güemes. Located in Plaza 9 de Julio, the cathedral is located near MAAM and Centro Cultural America so you can knock off visits to these places in a short amount of time. Beware though, the cathedral is only open during the morning and afternoon.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 6:30 am – 12:30 pm, 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm; Sat 7:30 am – 12:30 pm, 5 pm-8:30 pm; Sun 7 am – 1 pm, 5 – 9:30 pm
5. Take the El Tren a las Nubes (Train to the Clouds)
Unfortunately, due to poor planning on our behalf, we missed out on this. The train only operates on Wednesday and Saturday and needs to be booked in advance so plan wisely. A ticket for the train alone is 1000 pesos ($70USD / $90AUD) and can be bought online here.