The Northwest: Places to Explore

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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 for the country's finest colonial city, it's worth stating twice. Walking among its well-preserved 18th- and 19th-century buildings, single-story houses, and narrow streets, you could easily forget that this is a city of 500,000 people. But the ever-increasing traffic, the youthful population, and the growing contingent of international itinerants also give the city a cosmopolitan edge. All in all, it's a hard place to leave. For its friendliness, its facilities, its connections, and its central location, Salta is also the best base for a thorough exploration of the Northwest. Do make good use of the tourist office, which has very helpful staff armed with a wealth of maps and useful information.

Salta is hardly an urban jungle, but some visitors opt to stay in the quieter hillside suburb of San Lorenzo, 10 km (6 mi) to the northwest and a cooler 980 feet higher. It's a great place if you have a car or can adhere to the every-30-minute bus service to and from Salta.

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