Last Updated on April 5, 2014 by Daniel Noll
Some places are best suited to road trips. They speak: move at your own pace, get lost, stop off in small towns, have the flexibility to enjoy whatever experiences might come your way.
The area around Salta and Jujuy in northwest Argentina is one such chunk of perfect road trip territory. Listen and watch the audio slideshow below to find out why.
Audio Slideshow: Road Trip in Northwest Argentina
A special shout out goes to Jason and Aracely. We set off renting a car with them for three days. In the end, our trip lasted seven days, a reflection of both the quality of their company and some rather stunning scenery and culture.
Road Trip Itinerary: Salta – Cachi – Las Arcas – Cafayate – Quilmes – Cafayate – Campo Quijano – La Polvorilla Viaduct – San Antonio de los Cobres – Salinas Grandes – Purmamarca – Humahuaca – Tilcara – Jujuy – Salta
Practical Details for Planning a Road Trip Around Salta
- Renting a Car in Salta: Buenos Aires Street in Salta is chock full of rental car companies. Just take a walk down the street and pop your head into different shops to get a feel for prices and vehicles available. Negotiation is perfectly acceptable. If you are more than two people, we recommend getting a four-door car. We paid around 200 pesos ($55) per day for a four-door sedan. The tourist office will give you a list of “recommended” rental car companies and maps of the region to help you get started.
- Accommodation: We made absolutely no hotel reservations prior to hitting the road. We either stopped at the tourist offices for lists of accommodation options or asked people on the street for places to stay. Don't expect a lot of luxury. We stayed in simple guest houses and hostels that cost around 80-140 pesos ($20-$35) for a double room (usually including breakfast). Higher-end places (above our budget) are also available.
- Food: Local food (locro, empanadas, asado) is pretty tasty and relatively inexpensive throughout the region. Wine, both in shops and restaurants, is also plentiful and inexpensive. Dining options between towns are slim, so consider packing sandwiches or stocking up on empanadas before you take off for another long stretch of road.
16 thoughts on “Audio Slideshow: Northwest Argentina, Road Trip Style”
I love your audio slideshow – what a great idea and your photos are beautiful. We also rented a car for 7 days, although we didn’t cover as much ground as you. 3 days just doesn’t do this area justice. It’s definitely a wonderful area for a road trip.
I love your audio slideshows! It’s so fantastic, it’s like hearing all of your travel stories in person. But, I’m wondering if you guys have a semi-script that you’re going by (if you rehearse at all basically) or if you’re just completely improvising….do you plan out when to switch who’s telling the story?
And those empanada pictures are beautiful, they look so good.
Absolutely stunning!!! I’m so impressed with this. What an incredible journey!
@Erin: Definitely agree that three days is not sufficient. Seven days is just about enough to cover the various different valleys in and around Salta and Jujuy. Having said that, I’m sure there’s plenty that we missed.
@Zoe: Glad you like it! Very good question about scripting. We begin with an outline, then record our conversation (full of improvisation) from there. We record the conversation a couple of times until we’re happy with the overall result. Sometimes, we’ll edit segments from multiple recordings.
@Gareth, Andi: Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it.
Wow! Congrats on a great presentation. Can’t think of a better way to make someone want to head to the hills! and the salt flats, and everything else this area has to offer… and considering we’re now coming up on spring in the southern hemisphere, it just might be time to start planning a trip!
@Margaret: So glad you enjoyed this and that it started to get the juices flowing for upcoming trips. It really is a beautiful area and we found the people everywhere to be friendly and welcoming. If you do head to this area, just let us know if you need further details!
awesome guys – great slide show and nice to hear you tell the story along with the photos!
See you out there.
Nice to see the audio slideshow as an addition to your repertoire. I wish we would have gotten to see the Northern part of Argentina; it looks amazing!
@Gaea: Great to see you here. Next time we travel together I’d love to record some of our banter. Imagine what type of cool audio slideshow we could have produced for salar de uyuni in Bolivia! Really hope our paths cross again soon.
@Kyle: Glad to hear you like the audio slideshow format. I’m still trying to figure out if others enjoy it and if it’s a good medium for us. Northern Argentina will always be there for next time you’re in the region.
The audio slideshow was wonderful! It is good to hear your voices, along with seeing the photos. I think that it makes the story a bit richer and more personal. I especially liked the portions where you visited the village with the festival, and when you stopped to talk to the men harvesting tobacco. Being able to communicate with people (beyond the basic greetings) really does contribute to a richer experience when traveling because you can form deeper connections with people.
I also want to say that I appreciate the positive manner in which you present your experiences, especially the way you show respect for the people that you meet and the cultural differences that may exist. There are many travelers nowadays who seem to be stooping to negative humor in order to sell stories to magazines or get website sponsorship. You two are definitely role models in how to tell an entertaining, informative, and often-humorous story without being derogatory. Your postings are always so refreshing. Thank you, and keep up the excellent work!
@Kathy: Your comment really made our day as we do try to approach the people we meet and the countries we travel through with respect and relay these personal experiences back to our readers. I’m not sure if you saw our earlier posts on this trip. If not, you can read more about the tobacco pickers here and the Gaucho Festival here.
Thanks again for your kind and motivating comment!
@Keith: I think a solo trip around Salta would be fun – you’d likely have many of the same personal encounters. The advantage of finding a travel companion would be to share costs, share driving and just have someone to talk to when on the road between places. But, once you’re in towns and villages you’ll likely have no problem talking with different people and practicing your Spanish skills. I’m really excited for your upcoming trip and glad you chose Salta.
I really enjoyed this. Great to hear your voices and your view of the experience. Much of the slideshow is in my near future, though what do you think of a solo trip around Salta? My gut tells me I should try to find a companion.
Thanks for sharing this!
Guys, what a great way to bring your photos to life! We had a wonderful time and this brought back great memories for me. Such a wonderful region with so many surprises. Your photos are so much better than ours, can we trade?
Thanks for sharing.
@Jason: Thanks the kudos. It was quite a trip and we wanted to do all of its surprises justice when relating our experience. Thanks for the offer to trade photos…perhaps we’d be getting the better end of the deal 🙂