Getting Here and Around
Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral (www.aerolineas.com.ar) has direct flights from Buenos Aires to Jujuy and Salta, as well as connecting flights between Salta and Iguazú or Mendoza. LAN (www.lan.com) and Andes Líneas Aéreas (www.andesonline.com) fly from Buenos Aires to Salta. All flights between Buenos Aires and the Northwest use the capital’s Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, about 15 minutes north of downtown.
Buses are reliable, affordable, and well used, though certain routes require a little advance planning. Some companies offer roadside pickup; others have luxury double-decker vehicles offering overnight services and maybe even a glass of sparkling wine and a game of bingo. Tourist offices can advise which companies go where. In peak season, buy tickets a day or two in advance.
Traveling outside of urban centers is often easiest by car. However, picking up a rental vehicle in one city and dropping it off in another incurs significant extra costs, so plan to drive for only parts of your journey or commit to a round trip. Roads are generally good and not very crowded, but be prepared for paved roads turning ripio (unpaved) and bumpy for long stretches. Very few routes require a 4X4 (apart from wet weather).
Two main roads cross the area: the legendary Ruta 40, winding its unpaved way through small towns nearly 3,000 miles to the country's southern tip, and Ruta 9, the ancient road of the Incas, which takes you from Bolivia through San Salvador de Jujuy, Salta, and on toward Córdoba. Before you set out, visit an Automóvil Club Argentino (www.aca.org.ar) office for maps and information, especially during the January–March rainy season.
For short trips (e.g., Salta to Cafayate), consider taking a remis (a hired car with driver). Some routes have shared services, where you split the cost with others making the same journey. You can find a remis at airports, bus stations, and on main plazas—or your hotel can call one for you. Be sure to agree on a price before setting off.