A massive area with huge variety
Is there anywhere else in the world that has so much stunning variety of scenery and diversity of species in such a comparatively small area? We can’t say we know the answer but with our biased view, think it’s pretty unlikely.
Whilst we are not keen on rattling off loads of numbers, the following may help put Salta Province into context. Argentina is just over ten times the size of the UK and the Province of Salta, on its own, is larger than England.
The population of the province, however, is only about 1.3 million with 800,000 of these living in the City of Salta. This leaves a lot of space for other stuff!
The region is dominated by the mountains and foothills of the Andes and within a couple of hours you can travel from the buzz of the city into the total silence of the Salinas Grandes (salt flats) or to the Altiplano at over 4500 meters.
The foothills and mountains of the Andes make for stunning scenery at all times of the year. The lower hills are green for most of the year and the high Andes offer a glimpse into the tumultuous earth movements of the past.
On the desert plains across the region the scenery ranges from hosts of cacti, standing upright as though ready for battle, surrounded by huge expanses of flat desert scrubland only broken by the sightings of Rhia or Lllama and Vicuňa.
The beautiful serenity of the Cloud Forest (also known as the Yungas) not far out of the city provides great examples of plant symbiosis, where moss and bromeliads cling to the trees in large numbers , creating a cool and mysterious environment.
The temperate valleys that contain lakes and rivers that run off of the Yungas and mountains complete the breadth of geographical environments that are present in this highly diverse area.
An Animal lovers paradise
The variety of geographical environments ensures that there is a massive diversity of wild life in the province of Salta.
In our three National Parks, El Rey, Baritũ and Los Cardones it is possible to see a number of wild cats; Jaguar, Cougar, and Panther if you are very lucky!
In the parks and across other parts of the province Tapirs, Anteaters, Armadillo, Fox and even Cayman which are quite easy to spot. The famous Llama, Vicuňa and Guanaco are numerous across the Altiplano, but you have to keep your eyes peeled as they easily meld into their environments.
Birds of all shapes and sizes can be found in all areas with Toucan, Chuňa, and parrots being the most colourful. There are a huge variety of birds of prey as well as the spectacular Condor the iconic bird of the Andes, worshiped by the Inca people and many civilizations before them.
A wealth of history
The history of the peoples and places of Salta province is still an area of great interest to visitors. To meet the indigenous peoples of the High Plain and the Yungas. You may also come across the Wichi people of the Chaco. To see how these people live in this modern age is quite remarkable. They have difficult lives with many challenges.
There are many opportunities to look into the past, to the time of the Inca and other pre-columbian peoples at archeological sites across the region. The famous ruins of Quilmes which was once inhabited by the mighty Calchaqui indians is located just outside the beautiful town of Cafayate. Going up into the Andes from Salta the ruins of Santa Rosa de Tastil are hidden off of the road leading up to the Altiplano these are a must see for those interested in early south american settlements.
You can see why we think we do pretty well on the variety front. This is only a glimpse. Come and join us in our search for more…Ian