The Northwest: Places to Explore


  • Amaicha

    Amaicha del Valle is so hot and dry that it feels like a world away from the towns on either side of it. The Ruins of Quilmes are the big draw, and although its indigenous inhabitants were long ago forcibly... Read more

  • Cachi

    Cachi is a tiny village on Ruta 40 that's developing into a base for exploring the north of the Calchaqui Valley. The town also has a charming church, a small archaeological museum, and couple of very... Read more

  • Cafayate

    Thanks to a microclimate and fertile soil, the area around Cafayate is one of Argentina's wine-growing regions. Cafayate itself is very civilized and orderly, with free tours of boutique bodegas, lots... Read more

  • Humahuaca

    Humahuaca (9,700 feet) is the gateway to the Puna. Its narrow stone streets hark back to pre-Hispanic civilizations, when aboriginals fought the Incas who came marauding from the north. The struggle for... Read more

  • Molinos

    Molinos has a photogenic church and a small farm breeding vicuñas, an animal similar to a llama but one whose fur makes a much finer (and more expensive) wool. Its main draw, however, is a location on... Read more

  • Purmamarca

    Nestled in the shadow of craggy rocks and multicolored, cactus-studded hills—with the occasional low-flying cloud happening by—the colonial village of Purmamarca (altitude 7,200 feet/2,195 meters) is one... Read more

  • Salta

    It's not just "Salta" to most Argentines, but "Salta la Linda" (Salta the Beautiful). That nickname is actually redundant: "Salta" already comes from an indigenous Aymara word meaning "beautiful." But... Read more

  • San Salvador de Jujuy

    Founded by Spaniards in 1593, San Salvador de Jujuy (simply Jujuy to most Argentines, and "S.S. de Jujuy" on signs) was the northernmost town on the military and trade route between the Spanish garrisons... Read more

  • Tafí del Valle

    Tafí del Valle is a cool retreat that seems to specialize in tea and cakes for Tucumán's overheated gentry. Its history goes back to the Diaguita people, who arrived around 400 BC. They were follwed by... Read more

  • Tilcara

    The town of Tilcara (altitude 8,100 feet), founded in 1600 and witness to many battles during the War of Independence, is on the eastern side of the Río Grande at its confluence with the Río Huasamayo... Read more