Just a few hours by bus from lovely but touristy Salta you get to the twin villages Ledesma/Liberator General San Martin. Here is the gateway to the Calilegua National Park national park.
Very few tourists come here and those are mostly Argentinian.
The village is small but you gan still get a nice dinner or some outdoor gear for when you go to the park. The tourist buro consists of 4 very nice middle-aged ladies who dont speak any english but will help you find a hostel even if you any know a tiny bit of spanish.
There is a bus that goes through the park and up the mountians once a day. It must be really beautiful and cool up there but the road is unpaved and we didn't care for another bus ride. So we took a taxi to the park entrance (8km from the village).
The trails are well marked and some of the rangers speek english. This type of rain forest that grows up against mountain slopes is called 'yunga' and it's spectacular.
We saw blue bird of prey and tracks of various animals in the mud by the river.
The river is fed by warms springs so the water is always luke-warm. Not that you are likely to get cold :-) but it was something new for us to stand in streaming clear water, warm as if from a tap.
This is a great place to visit but whatever you do, bring musquito repellent!
Places to stay:
We stayed at the Aeries del Norte hotel on the main entrance road to Ledesma/LGSM. A decent hotel with WIFI and very friendly service (and they speak english).
You could also try the nearby Calilegua village where the mangos grow from trees along the roads. Or if you bring camping gear, in the National Park itself.
Though often associated with Freemasonry, the Eye of Providence has been used throughout the ages in various different cultures, most often symbolizing the eye of God watching over mankind.
One explanation for the inclusion of the symbol on the cathedral of Salta is that it was common in the European Renaissance, used to symbolize the Holy Trinity. In this tradition it is usually surrounded by a sunburst, which as you can see in the picture, it is in this case.
Still, the Freemasons started using this symbol around 1787. The Cathedral of Salta was constructed in 1858 after the destruction of the previous structure in an earthquake.
one of the heroes of Independence, San Martin, was reputed to be a freemason. Evidence to substantiate this supposedly is that San Martin was not buried within the Cathedral itself, rather in a mausoleum off to the right side, one not decorated with religious items.
which is it?
Ricardo Clark and Mario Mosquiera are two renowned guides for naturalists and birdwatchers. They are often busy taking groups from universities, etc., around Argentina and Chile, but if you can manage to get them to lead you on a tour of the cloudforest parks near Selva you are in for an incredible treat. But book very early. They are also spearheading the new nature reserve at San Lorenzo. More on this at
San Lorenzo Reserve
Marcelo Zambrano is a guide living in Salta who delights in showing people out-of-the-way corners of the province of Salta, ranging from the high mountains to the cloudforests and canyons. You will need some Spanish to communicate more effectively but he is happy to help you meet interesting people, find archaeological sites, hike into hidden valleys, or study the flora and fauna of this incredible region..
A daytrip via the "Cuesta del Obispo" to the National Park located at a height of 3300 meters,
another experience in northern Argentina
A platform on the Andes Mountains, a moon alike landscape with more than thousands of
"Chandelar like Q"
The road to the park is tuff ( unpaved streets and street working still going on ), curving small roads doesn't make it easy to get there, but the views are breathtaking.
Various colored mountains, loal wildlife like horses and lama's will make your day, and not to forget a look through a window on a snowed roof of South America
As we turned left from our Hostel, Backpacker's Soul at San Juan 413, we passed by a tienda that said "Mortuario." Of course, we reason it to mean, "mortuary." However, upon a 2nd or 3rd glance, one will notice, behind the divider, are PORNOGRAPHIC videos. No joke. We didn't step foot of course, but we now know a "secret" of this small, quaint town.
Now we wonder, do the signs that say "pharmacia" really mean "pharmacist?"
For a change of pace, you might walk through this huge market. Go where many of the locals shop. Its all indoors, so if you want to duck the hot sun or a rain shower, this could be the place. Cheap chicken, meats, fruits, veggies, spices, etc are all to be found here.
We saw 2 chickens for less than $3. Two kilos (over 4 pounds) of tomatoes for 1P/$.33US. There were several places in the market to eat or get a drink.
Its located on the Florida pedestrian mall and Av San Martin.
Gerald is my friend... When he lives in Salta, he also displays its art (drawings and paintings) on the pedestrian street of Aribaldi. From 9 in the evening... Go there and have a look, it’s worth it !
Gerald est mon pote... Quand il vit a Salta, il en profite aussi pour exposer son art (dessins et peintures) dans la rue pietonne de Aribaldi. A partir de 9 heures du soir... Allez y et matez le tout, ca vaut le coup !