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Salta is for tourists

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Atlanta, GA
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Salta is for tourists

We had the vacation of our lives in "Salta the Beautiful." We went for our summer, their winter. I went for Spanish language immersion. But calling this language immersion is like comparing a Catholic sprinkling to a Baptist dunking and calling them both Baptisms. Salta is in the Northwest corner of Argentina. When you look at the picture books for Argentina you will see the glaciers, the water fall, and then many more photos of the beautiful and multi-colored mountains and lands: these are all within a day trip by car. We hired Judy, a local guide who spoke little English but had a car and knew the sites. (By the way, you can hire a guide with a car for four for about the same money as one ticket on the excursions the tourist agencies offer). We rented a house and used the neighborhood store as if it was a pantry. My wife enjoyed tennis lessons every day, massages and pedicures, all for the equivalent of just a few dollars each. It was time to be pampered. We "lived in Salta" through the week and became tourists on the weekends.

We found very few people who spoke English. Only in the hotels and best restaurants will you find English speakers. Many of the tour agencies did not even have the language.

Food was very good, but there is little variety. Yes, the steak is excellent. It wasn't free, but came close. Six adults in the finest private club / restaurant in the city, steaks and seafood, wines and bottled water, a big tip for the waiter and staff all came to about $US 41.

Salta has some of the most beautiful churches in the world, including the famous San Francisco church and the Salta Cathedral. The people are very religious. We felt safe letting the children play outside with any child who came down the street; or taking a taxi or bus at any time of the day or night; to go anyplace in the city.

Salta is two hours by plane and 24 hours by car from Buenos Aries. People who go there tend to stay long enough so that the very low cost of living offsets the high airfare.

The only problems we had were in two distinct areas and these were not as bad as we would have found in most Latin American cities. First, it seemed we were regularly running into signs that things were broken: unlike other places they did get fixed, just not with the speed I have come to expect in the heart of a major US City. Second were the afternoon naps: most businesses and professional offices DO close around 12:30 for lunch at home and a nap, then reopen between 4:30 and 5:00 and stay open until 8 or 9 pm. There is little choice but to live this life. Even the taxis take off, they don't expect us to be out there trying to go to someplace closed.

Buenos AIres
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11. Re: Salta is for tourists


1) Start some spanish learning asap, with a very basic knowledge things will be MUCH easier. Anyway you will do OK without it . You know....gesture , smiles ( many smile) , hand language....

2) Nope no concern....you might get some "marriage" proposals by locals :))

3) Don´t drive in BA , but you may do it in cities as Salta and many others. Take care in highways, and don´t think highways down here are like in USA !! ..think just in 2 lanes without any division, many trucks and some crazy Porteños touring.

Distances are almost always HUGE, without a car , a independant traveler like you will feel in presion with usual touristy tours.

4) Have you travelled alone before in S. A. ? I have done it for more than 1 year many moons ago , and got into kind of " difficult" situations sometimes ...but I was quite crazy ( when young, not any more :) .

If you have travelled alone before anywhere , is a +

Being a female might be a - in some areas. The point is to avoid non recommended areas and you won´t have any problems.

G luck, don´t think too much and make your bags.

Buenos AIres
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12. Re: Salta is for tourists

opps meant prision .. before Av gets me

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13. Re: Salta is for tourists

Buenos Aires is 100% prepared for English speking tourists and though I didn't need to speak English in Salta, Its a Nº1 tourist destintion in Argentina so many there should speak English. You should consider a small phrase book just in case, not everyone in fluent in English...

Buenos Aires safety runs similar to that of other big cities, don't walk alone at night though desolated dark streets, bla...During the day you're OK...

Salta is touristy, middle size capital city and small villages, safe, but the same, don't go alone though unknown streets at night. I wouldn't do any hiking completely by myself, not in Salta and not in anyplace in the world (I'm a woman too), but that's just me trying to keep extra safe...at least have one person with you if you're going far or join a group...

Anyway, there's no particular danger for women...

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14. Re: Salta is for tourists


Great review! How is reliable is ground tranportation from BA to Salta? Would advise traveling by bus? Are banking transactions and the use of credit cards difficult? I have been to other countries where no bank would provide me with cash unless I travel to the main cities. Any information would be appreciated.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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401 posts
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15. Re: Salta is for tourists

Hey Jamie Sue,

My brother just returned from Argentina and he took the bus from BsAs to Tucuman. He loved it. He paid a few extra bucks (think it was $50 total) to ride in the mini suite where he could recline and sleep all night. The stewardes served them all the meals on board and they enjoyed the countryside. Look into it as a option for travelling between cities.

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16. Re: Salta is for tourists

Hi is there a way I can reach your guide, Judy? I will be in Salta from Feb7-15th thanks, Sheila

New York
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17. Re: Salta is for tourists

Thanks for that great post!! Salta is my kind of place!! even with the siesta thing...

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18. Re: Salta is for tourists

Here the review of someone who has been living in Salta in January...


Buenos Aires...
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19. Re: Salta is for tourists

Which is the review you are talking about, Angie?

20. Re: Salta is for tourists

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