The Argentinean province of Salta, located in the northwest of the country, attracts many tourists every year due to its natural beauty and historical sites. In the west of the province are the arid highlands of Puna and salt lakes, in the northeast rise the majestic snow-capped peaks of the Andes, in the gorges of which lie the fertile valleys of Quebrada del Toro, Calchaquies with its countless vineyards and Lerma. East of Salta, the wettest area of the province, is dominated by the Yungas jungle and the El Rey National Park.
The city of Salta was founded in 1582 and, at first, it was just a resting place on the long journey of trade caravans following from Lima to Buenos Aires. Undoubtedly, Salta is the most interesting of all the provincial capitals of the Northwest of Argentina. All life here is concentrated around the central square, where the local population gathers to discuss the latest news, drink a cup of “cafecito” before and after the traditional southern siesta. The city is located in the Lerma Valley, in a mountainous area in northwestern Argentina, at an altitude of 1190 m above sea level, north of San Miguel de Tucuman, near the Bolivian border.
Salta has many attractions worth visiting. These are buildings of colonial architecture, among which are the richest cathedral, Jesuit churches, a folk art market where you can find genuine works of art. This city is also the starting point for excursions to the Calchaqui Valley and Humahuaca Canyon.
Salta could have remained a provincial town if not for its main attraction – the statues of the Virgin Mary and Christ the Wonderworker (XVI century), located in the Cathedral of San Francisco. Thousands of believers visit Salta in the hope of looking at the miraculous statues, which are credited with the ability to cure diseases and stop earthquakes.
Every Saturday, El Tren a las Nubes (Train in the Clouds) departs from Salta – a comfortable train connecting the provincial capital with the town of San Antonio de los Cobres, lost in the mountains. The train moves along the banks of the deepest canyons, crossing them on seemingly weightless steel bridges, climbing the spurs of Quebrada del Toro to end its journey at a dizzying height of 4000 meters above sea level.
100 km from the city of Salta, in the mountains, at an altitude of 2700 to 5000 m above sea level, on an area of 65 thousand hectares, a real cactus field is rubbed with bright flashes of yellow daffodils. Cacti of a special kind in the form of slender columns, found in abundance up to a mark of 3400 m above sea level, reach 250-300 years of age and three meters in height. In the past, the road from the Inkaiko Empire to the Enchanted Valley passed through the cactus fields. And until now, some residents of the region consider plants to be strict keepers of the tranquility of mountains and valleys, scaring away strangers. Currently, cacti of this species are on the verge of extinction due to the irrational use of their fiber.
In the national park, you can also find chock trees, which belong to the legume family and form small forests. Due to its special geographical location, vicunas, wild donkeys, foxes, parrots, armadillos, about 100 species of birds, condors, etc. live in the park. Fossils of long-extinct animals and traces of dinosaurs have also been found here.
The distance to the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, is almost 1500 km, the flight duration to Buenos Aires is two hours.
average temperature in summer is 28C, in winter – 21C. The summer months of July and August can be considered the height of the tourist season in Salta.
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Puerto Madryn is a charming city of Argentina – located in the northeast of the province of Chubut (Patagonia), on the coast of the New Gulf (Golfo Nuevo).
Puerto Madryn is a young developing tourist center. The city has an excellent tourist infrastructure: modern hotels, discos and restaurants with a wide range of fish and seafood dishes.
100 km away is the Valdes Peninsula with its rich marine fauna: Franco Austral whales, killer whales, elephant seals, penguins and fur seals, 2 unusual species of dolphins. Tourists from all over the world come here to take a boat trip a few meters from the unique southern whales and numerous dolphins, sea lions and killer whales. Every year flocks of southern whales and dolphins come here for traditional mating rituals. The first individuals appear in May and remain in the bay until the end of January. The region has more than 181 species of various birds, among which it is worth mentioning the colony of Magellanic penguins living in the town of Punta Tombo. Every year, from September to April, a huge number of penguins arrive here, concentrating on an area o less than 2 km², which allows you to literally walk with these funny birds in Punta Tombo. Watching the unique fauna of Puerto Madryna can be combined with various water sports such as fishing, diving, water skiing or windsurfing.
Location – 1300 km from Buenos Aires (flight duration – 2 hours).
average temperature in summer is 28C/14C, in winter 12C/2C.
The best time for penguin watching is from September to April, for whale watching from May to December; the most favorable period is from October to November.
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