Salta and the northwest of Argentina have a very different feel to some of the more cosmopolitan parts of the country. Home to some of the most spectacular natural landscapes in the country, this is a land of rich red desert earth, vivid blue skies and awe-inspiring mountainous panoramas. Much of the most impressive gorges and valleys are best accessed by 4WD vehicles as you get closer to the towering Andes bordering Chile.
Founded in 1582, Salta is one of Argentina's most attractive cities, retaining much of its colonial charm. Salta offers a great base from which to explore the northwest. Indigenous villages are much more common in this more remote part of Argentina. The fort at Quilmes once marked the southern boundary of the Inca Empire. You can explore the Calchaqui valley and the lovely villages of Cachi and Molinos and the wineries of Cafayate. Alternatively, take a 4WD expedition to the spectacular Humahuaca Gorge, leading high up into the Andes towards the Atacama Desert.