Things to do


Quebrada de HumahuacaThe obvious main excursion to go on when in San Salvador is to hop on a bus, head north, and see the multi-colored Quebrada de Humahuaca, a chain of mountains in the altiplano that well-deserves its UNESCO World Heritage Sight status. There are also many other activities based around the city and, while they may be less developed at the moment, will certainly see a surge of tourism as more people continue to visit the area.

The yungas (pronounced shoongas) are a type of vegetation once more widespread throughout the north and now mainly concentrated in the Jujuy area. Overgrown vines and greenery all around, they are unique and immediately project you into a less humid version of Fern Gully. You almost expect a pterodactyl to appear as you’re driving through. Environmental agencies are fighting for the preservation of this area and its biodiversity, as many of Argentina’s forests are being cut down in favor of soy farming, the industry that led the country out of its economic crisis of December 2001.

Calilegua National Park

The Calilegua National Park
in particular conserves a large area of yunga and the rich biodiversity it harbors. It is about 100 km away from San Salvador, so you may want to either rent a car or find an excursion to take you.

There are also the salt flats, known as las Salinas Grandes, which you have to access going up into the altiplano, and through the town of Purmamarca. They are about 200 km away from San Salvador, perhaps the most impressive salt flats of Argentina: they cover an area of 12,000 hectares and are considered the third largest in the world.

The region of Jujuy hides yet another unique resource: like much of the north, it has several natural hot water sources, which have given rise to the creation of many spas and tourism industry based on, well, relaxing. If you want a break from your backpacking adventure, head over to Termas de Reyes and let yourself be pampered while benefiting from the minerals of Andean spring waters.

Finally, there are several adventure tourism agencies that organize horseback excursions, or cabalgatas, and hiking or trekking trips. A couple can be found at the bus station, otherwise inquire at your hotel or hostel; many of them are partnered with an agency and can offer good rates.

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