Get your bearings on this 3-hour Salta city tour, perfect for first-time visitors. See top attractions in this thriving metropolis with cultural museums and jewel-like Neoclassical buildings such as the Cathedral of Salta and San Francisco Church. Ascend San Bernardo Hill for panoramic views, visit sights commemorating Argentina’s war for independence, shop at the Artisan Market and travel to the village of San Lorenzo, a subtropical retreat for the wealthy. Round-trip transport from most Salta hotels is included.
After hotel pickup, head by coach toward the city center, and listen to your expert guide share the history of Salta.
Founded in the 16th century by Spanish visionary Hernando de Lerma, Salta turned into a wildly successful trading center. See evidence of Salta’s heyday in the gold-plated cathedrals and mansions as your vehicle winds through the city, which went into decline after Argentina’s war for independence and the changing of trading routes on the Pacific coast. Today, Salta is known for its beautiful and well-preserved colonial architecture.
Reaching the central plaza, behold the grand, twin-towered Cathedral of Salta, built in 1885, and learn about national hero General Güemes, whose remains rest in the cathedral; he fought against the Spanish during Argentina’s war for independence.
Pass by the Cultural Center of the Americas, and note the Spanish viceroyalty colonial architecture of the Historical Museum of the North, housed in the old cabildo, or town hall.
Admire postcard-perfect San Francisco Church, with towering white pillars supporting a crimson-colored façade. Its purple belfry stands 174 feet (53 meters) tall, and the bell it holds was constructed out of the cannons used during the Battle of Salta.
Pass by the 16th-century San Bernardo Convent, one of the oldest buildings in the city, and the monument to General Güemes.
Leave the city center and head into the foothills skirting Salta. At the top of San Bernardo Hill, take in sweeping views of the city and Andean peaks. See the Battle of Salta monument and February 20th Park, built in commemoration of the battle fought and won here during the war for independence.
Visit the nearby village of San Lorenzo, frequented by wealthy families from Salta during the summer because of its unusual subtropical microclimate.
Return to Salta and stop at the Artisan Market, located inside a traditional white colonial building, to peruse the offerings from craftsmen who travel from all over the province to sell their goods here. Snack on alfajores (cookies with caramel filling) and candied walnuts, or pick up one-of-a-kind purses, blankets and jewelry (snacks and shopping at your own expense).
With your souvenir shopping done, you’ll be taken back to your hotel.