Northern provinces feature traces of pre-Columbian cultures, mingled with ruins of natives” villages, as well as forts and constructions dating back to the time of the Conquest and Colonization.
Time seems to stand still in the high plateau of the Puna, a land full of mountain ranges, steep mountain paths, and gorges. Villages have been built in the small valleys. Multi-coloured and monochromatic hills covered with huge cactuses on the slopes surround the village.
This region offers landscapes full of contrast for tourists to enjoy, from the high peaks to the plains, the salt pans, and the subtropical rain forests, where Latin American culture took root.
Located at the north of the country, Jujuy spreads over a vast archeological bed where rupestrian art, paintings and engravings on rocks are a testimony to human groups that inhabited the area 9000 years ago. The Incas settled along the Andes and their influence is very noticeable in Jujuy. The combination of pre-hispanic cultures with the more recent colonization by the Spanish crown has left a remarkable historical wealth, present in buildings, religious celebrations, art and music.
San Salvador de Jujuy (Capital City): It is also known for its proximity to Humahuaca ravine and called ‘La Tacita de Plata’ for its tiny size. It has many 13th-14th century Spanish-style churches. It was a battleground for the imperialists and revolutionists for many years.
Yala Lagoons and Termas De Reyes: Places of outstanding natural beauty, close to San Salvador de Jujuy.
Humahuaca: Located in the Jujuy province, it used to be an important trade route until the end of the XIX century. This is a colonial town. Known worldwide due to the imposing Quebrada de Humahuaca, professed as Humanity Heritage by UNESCO, showing a heavenly landscape where RÃo Grande flows and where great archaeological beds are found in colourful hills. In this region, tourists get in touch with Hispano-America roots in a landscape made of valleys and narrow paths where Indigenous and Spanish cultures merged. There are other touristy sites to visit that include archaeological ruins like Coctaca, Uqua, Peaas Blancas and Chul:a and also The Independence Monument and the Regional Archaeological Museum and other places in the city which are really attractive. Due to the altitude in which all these touristy sites are located, it is highly recommended to walk slowly in order to avoid having mountain sickness that may be caused by the oxygen decrease.
The Puna: The ancient Inca road with its impressive salt pans. La Quiaca is one of the most important towns in this extensive area. Yavi boasts a beautiful church with glittering gold ornaments, as well as cave paintings and engravings. 50,000 birds inhabit the Laguna de los Pozuelos Natural Monument, the largest water reserve in the Puna.
SALTA "THE BEAUTIFUL". Its name comes from the AymarÃ¡ word "sagta", which means "the very beautiful one". This city has the best preserved colonial architecture in the country. Its most significant buildings surround the main square: the Cathedral, the Cabildo or Town Council which houses the Museo Histarico del Norte (North Historical Museum); the Casa de Uriburu and the Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts). The church of San Francisco has one of the highest church towers in America (53 m) and the Convento de San Bernardo belongs to the Carmelite Order.
Downtown Salta: This city is a unique testimony to the process of colonization that took place in Argentina in 18th-19th century. One can find many cathedrals and museums with coffee shops en route. Fishing trips are organized to the nearby lakes, where one can find trouts, dorados and surubies.
Train in the Clouds: Departing from Salta, it is known as one of the highest trains in the world. It covers 217 km in 16 hrs, twisting its way through the awesome Toro Ravine to reach Polvorilla Viaduct (4200 m ASL). A visit to Tastil, one of the pre- Inca cities of South America is highly recommended. It was discovered by Eric Boman in 1903. One of the branches of the ‘Inca Trail’ used to cross the middle section of the town. The archaeological value of the ruins is astonishing.
Cafayate: In Cafayate, San Carlos, Angastaco, Molinos y Cachi, Spanish traditions and customs are still kept, specially in relation to art, architecture, as well as religious imagery. Leaving Cafayate, surrounded by vineyards where the famous Torronts white wine is produced, the highway leads to Quebrada de las Conchas. Not only the Valles CalchaquÃes, but also Los Cardones National Park may be visited. The term ‘cardan’ means giant cactus, and natives skilfully used this plant to build their houses. Besides, there are many religious celebrations like Pachamamas and La Virgen del Rosario.
Valles Calchaquies: This immense extension of land including the provinces of Catamarca, Tucumn, and Salta offers a marvelous landscape, winding roads, and coloured hillsides. In each of the small villages lying in the valleys, the ancestors seem to have left their traces engraved on the rocks.
Santa Maa, ‘Capital of the Calchaquaes Valleys’, was one of the main settlements of the millenary Yocavile Indian tribe, and many remains of this culture can be found today in this picturesque town.
Tucuman's strikingly beautiful jungle is part of the valleys” amazing landscape. Rivers, waterfalls, and rapids run through Tafi del Valle, located at 1,976 meters above sea level. This region was inhabited thousands of years ago, and its valleys are rich in archaeological remains. El Mollar, a summertime villa, is lined with lush, green valleys. Amaicha del Valle, surrounded by bright reddish hills, is typically known for its religious ceremonies.
Other places of interest in Salta include Los Cardones National Park, where you will find the cardan, a species of cactus that can grow over 6 m in height. Its woody stem was used by the indians of the region to thatch their houses. El Rey and Baritu parks are in mountainuous area and have variety of sub-tropical flora and fauna.
Main places of interest include San Fernando Del Valle De Catamarca, a colonial capital, Native Cultures at Andalgala, Mines at Capillitas, and Puna of Catamarca.
Other places of interest: Tinogasta, surrounded by vineyards, the altiplanos, high mountains and thermal spas like Las Higueritas. Fiambala adobe-walled church houses a collection of paintings of the Cuzquea school. Very close to Fiambala are the thermal baths bearing the same name. Londres” tin mines, and the ruins of El Shincal, vestiges of the Inca civilization, are also worth visiting. El Tala and El Potrero have remains of the pre-Columbian culture.
San Miguel de Tucuman: It is the commercial, Some of its remarkable buildings are the Historic House of Independence, the Cathedral, the Casa de Gobierno (Government House), the churches of La Merced and San Francisco, the House of Parliament, and the Casa del Obispo Colombres, which houses the Folklore Museum.
El Cochuna Park & Ruinas de Quilmes: El Cochuna Provincial Park, 1,700 m above sea level, has a large variety of sub-tropical vegetation. The Laguna del Tesoro (Treasure lagoon) is a place of extraordinary beauty surrounded by high mountains and forests. TafÃ del Valle lies at the foot of the Sierra del Aconquija. The Parque Los Menhires amazes visitors with its 130 stone monoliths carved by the TafÃ Indians and bearing signs which have not been deciphered yet. Ruinas de Quilmes are ruins of a fortified citadel built by the Quilmes Indians.
Other places of interest: Villa Nouguas is a summer resort with wonderful houses, where sub-tropical vegetation is found next to hydrangea, violet, and gladioli gardens.
Santiago Del Estero
This is the oldest city in the country founded in 1553. Its cathedral was the first one built in Argentina. Churches include La Merced and Convento de San Francisco, the latter has a religious art museum and the Cloister Cell of San Francisco Solano. Other places of interest are the Provincial History Museum and the Anthropology Museum. In Parque Aguirre there is a zoo with important local species, a vivarium and an artificial lake.
Termas De Rio Hondo: This is a popular thermal spa
Other places of interest: Villa La Punta on the Sierra de Guasayan with panoramic views of mountains and gorges. Ojo de Agua and Sumampa with their mountains, streams, flowing waters, natural vegetation and an ideal climate. Sumampa is an important place of pilgrimage, where the faithful gather to worship Nuestra Senora de la Consolacian.