Aeropuerto Internacional de Salta "Martín Miguel de Güemes" (SLA) is the airport of Salta (city), about 10 km’s from the city center. For transport to your accommodation you can use a minibus, taxi/remises - all organised at a desk just outside the luggage claim hall - or a pick up service from your accommodation.
The Airport is serviced by a couple of carriers like Aerolineas Argentinas, LAN Argentina and Andes Lineas Aereas. Almost all flights are domestic ones to/from Buenos Aires (AEP) and some other Argentinean cities (check the websites of the carriers).
Argentina is a huge country and the distance between Buenos Aires and Salta is more than 1.500 km’s. The most convenient and fast way of travelling is by airplane, which will take about 2 hours.
We prefer flying with LAN Argentina, which was - at least for us - more reliable than Aerolineas with its 'on again off again labour problems'.
Aerolineas and LAN have 'airpasses':
LAN has a 'South America Airpass' for travellers reaching South America with LAN or an other OneWorld airline: http://www.lan.com/en_ue/promociones/data/europa/todo_europa/saairpass.html
There is also a One World South American Air Pass, sometimes with better deals than LAN:
Aerolineas has 'Visite Argentina' fares for foreigners arriving with an international ticket to Argentina. This ‘airpass’ can be affordable if you intend to make more flights within the country: http://www.aerolineas.com.ar/arg/main.asp?idSitio=EU&idPagina=49&idIdioma=en&id=170
Some remarks while flying in Argentina:
- If you have a domestic flight after your international arrival in Bs As, be aware almost all domestic flights do leave from the airport Aeroparque (AEP), about 40 km’s from the international airport Ezeiza (EZE). By taxi or remise it will take 45 to 60 minutes TRAVEL time !!
- If you can not get affordable tickets, try a package deal; mostly they offer great value for the money.
- Travelling by plane is 3 à 4 times more expensive than by bus, but it is 10 times faster !!
(for instance Bs As - Salta: by plane 2 hours, by bus 22 hours)
- The luggage franchise on domestic flights of Aerolineas is officially 15 kg’s !!
(although we carried 20 kg’s and never had any problem); with LAN it is 20 kg's.
I did the trip from Calama to Salta (i came from Lima,Peru, crossing by Arica to Calama) all by bus. It was a really interesting journey. But you have to make sure that you have the right schedules for the buses. Now if you wanna do the way back, from Salta to Calama, there are 2 buses : Geminis (www.geminis.cl) and Pullman (www.pullman.cl). Both run only three times a week: Tuesday, Thrusday and Sunday at 7am. And it takes more than 10 hours. You can check the web page of each one and try to get some more information and also the prices. Or if u are in Salta and have some time to check around go to the Terminal (address: Hipólito Irigoyen 339) both companies leave from the same place, Pullman (stand 15) Geminis (stand 16).
Hope i helped you a little bit.
In one of the emails we had about the reservation of the accommodation in Carpe Diem (Salta city), our host Silke mentioned she could make a reservation for our car rental.
She was doing business with Europcar (a reliable company) and I felt quite comfortable to have some assistance in case of (language) problems. We got (2009) a much better quotation than the one through their website:
- 1353 Arg pesos (taxes and insurance included)
- 10 days rental of a Gol or Corsa with 3 doors
- 2600 km's free /
(or 1800 pesos with unlimited kilometers)
- franquise 2500 pesos for minor accidents and 10.000 pesos for a roll-over
(we lowered the frranquise till 1000 pesos for 300 pesos; franquise for a roll-over is always 10.000 pesos)
- free pick up and drop off from the B&B in Salta (even on a Sunday afternoon)
Normally the Europcar office - Cordoba 20, close to the main square - is not open between 1 and 5 pm (siesta) and not on Sundays, but they do deliver cars and take them back also on Sundays. Europcar doesn't have an airport office either, but for an extra of 30 pesos, they deliver or take the car back from the airport.
If you want to speak English talk to Gonzalo or Marcelo (tel. 0387-4218848).
Although the airport is rather close to the city center (about 10 km’s) there was (March 2009) not a direct and frequent public bus service. Still there are buses running between the central bus station and a bus stop at the end of a drive way to the terminal; would be a 6 or 7 minutes walk.
We - and most other visitors from our flight - ordered transportation at a central desk, just 5 meters outside the luggage claim hall. Depending on the number of visitors for an accommodation/destination you will get a minibus or remis. They work with a list of accommodations and do have fixed prices.
Our accommodation in San Lorenzo wasn’t on the list, but ‘of course’ we got our remis. The driver had to ask a couple of time how to drive before reaching Casa Hernández. It took about 30 minutes and we had to pay 47 pesos.
We stayed in Salta itself the last night of our holiday. For our transport to the airport we ordered a remis. I think the driver was in a hurry and was ‘flying’ to the airport. It took 15 minutes and we paid 25 pesos.
We arrived in Salta after a long, overnight journey from Asuncion in Paraguay to Salta, a trip that took us almost 24 hours. For anyone else considering this journey, there are no direct services from Asuncion so you need to change at Resistencia, from where the companies La Nueva Estrella and Flecha Bus have daily services at 6.30pm and 7pm respectively. Both are semi-cama and both arrive very early in Salta (at 7am and 7.45 am respectively).
The bus station in Salta is about 8 blocks east of the main square and is well set up for arrival, at any time of day. It´s a nice, modern terminal with left-luggage, cafes, ATMs and locutorios (i.e. phone and internet access).
There slogan : travel different with the "Movi Track" transporter
The particular condition of the mountain roads in northern Argentina and traveling with those special types of vehicles must be a unique style of traveling. In fact a rolling hotel with 24hr service and all facilities.
The central booking agency is located in Salta.
Trains in Argentina are no travel option - except in the surroundings of Buenos Aires. Most railways were laid down under the last decades. But an interesting railway connects Salta with Socompa in Chile. Under the very dry winter season a special tourist train ("train to the clouds") is going from Salta up the mountains close to the highest point (more than 4000 m above sea level) and back again. It is quite an expensive experience. The other option on the same route is to try to get a ride on a cargo train to Socompa in Chile but that seems to be sometimes difficult and the trains are passing the most interesting parts of this route during the night.
You can get almost anywhere by bus from Salta -- even Peru. But if you don't want to spend your afternoon at the bus station, I have put some times and other information on the following webpage:
I hope it's useful!
Contrary to what I read in my guide book, you can NOT fly from Salta to Bariloche in the south. You must fly first to Buenos Aires and then pick up a another flight. No wonder flying is expensive in that part of the world.
You can save a lot of money by shopping around the various airlines offices in Salta. We tried Aerolineas Argentinas and Southern Winds as shown in Lonely Planet. Both seemed costly and (worse!) required a layover in Buenos Aires for the night before picking up the Bariloche leg of the journey the next morning. Luckily, we stumbled across the American Falcon office in Salta. It was cheaper than the other two and did not require a lengthy layover.
This 'mystery' airline turned out to be OK. Our 2 flights were uneventful and we wouldn't hesitate to fly with them again. I would however, be very careful of their lunch. A nice tender piece of beef covered with a really nasty fish smelling gravey. Whoa! That was bad.
TIP: The taxi from the Plaza 9 de Julio to the airport was 8 pesos (less than $3US) for two. The airport was pretty new and very clean. Restrooms very nice. As usual in airports, the food was expensive. A cup of coffee (Nescafe) was 3.5P.
OK - let's say you need to land your plane but there is no runway - solution : Build your own! The photo shows our plane landing on the gravel runway we built. It is very difficult to get a plane to take off at 12,500 feet elevation - our runway was over two miles long - take off was a real trill ride (if crashing in the Andes is your idea of a thrill) We landed at sunrise before the thermal made the runway unusable. Guys pile out of the plane and rush to board, unloading and reloading takes about two minutes - then it's off to Salta for a beer.