Not Just a Pretty Place: Salta’s Calchaquí Valley

While Salta’s nickname ‘La Linda’ implies that beauty is only skin deep, this northwestern province in Argentina is much more than just a pretty place.

Oh so pretty, Salta.
Oh so pretty, Salta.

From grand canyons to high-altitude vineyards, memorable salt flats and tropical valleys, history takes you on a journey through colonial, pre-Columbian and Inca times. While Salta itself is an excellent small-city base – it’s home to the MAAM High Altitude Archeology Museum, the 1582-constructed town hall, and is the starting point for the Tren a las Nubes sky train – head south to the Calchaquí Valley for a more intense experience that takes in the highest vineyards in the world. The Explorer visits Cachi, Molinos and Cafayate.

Comprising sharp curves that lead to Cuesta del Obispo at 3,457 metres above sea level, before giving way to thousands of cacti in Los Cardones National Park, we share the old adage that the journey matters as much as the destination itself when travelling to Cachi.

One of several key towns in the Calchaquí Valley, Cachi – which means salt in the Quechua language – is one of the most charming that’s located along the legendary Ruta 40 that runs the length of Argentina.

For the rest of this piece, please visit The Explorer.

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