The pristine high-altitude gorges, peaks, deserts and river valleys of Argentina’s northwestern provinces have earned Salta the reputation as the hub of outdoor adventure in the area
One of Salta’s most popular outdoor pursuits is river rafting through the scenic Juramento Canyon. These excursions begin at the base of the Cabra Corral dam and take passengers on a two to three-hour trip through more than two dozen class II and III rapids. The lake created by the dam is also a popular spot for bungee jumping and zip-lining canopy tours, allowing participants to “fly” from platform to platform high above the Juramento Canyon.
Eco-tourism has also carved out a niche in the province. Bird-watching expeditions lasting anywhere from a few hours to several days take visitors into the cloud forests, woodlands and Andean foothills, usually in hopes of spotting an Andean condor soaring high above the cliffs.
Even non-adrenaline junkies can enjoy the natural beauty of Salta. A highlight of any trip to the region is a visit to the massive and ancient salt sea known as Salinas Grandes. Formed over a million years ago, Salinas Grandes covers an area as far as the eye can see — one of the country’s most surreal landscapes.
The UNESCO-listed Quebrada de Humahuaca gorge, with its multihued canyon walls, is yet another landscape distinctive to the region, as is the Hill of Seven Colors (Cerro de Siete Colores) rising above the town of Purmamarca in neighboring Jujuy province. In the morning hours, when the colors are at their most vivid, the hill looks more like a watercolor painting.