Culture: Salta and the northwest
This region of the country is famed for its Incan influence and indigenous heritage and is well worth a look
On the surface of it, the northwest of Argentina appears to be more about the rugged beauty of the landscape, and the stark beauty of many if its rock formations and locations….but this would be wrong. The thing that keeps those in the know coming back time and time again to this region of Argentina is the people and the culture of the place, with strong influences from the Incan and other indigenous cultures.
Today, much of the culture of the region is centered around the capital of the Province, Salta. Today, this growing city is a mix of indigenous peoples from all over South America and so is a fairly interesting place to head to anyway (Argentina is almost exclusively populated by foreign immigrants and, as such, it is very rare to encounter large populations of tribes folk anywhere other than the very northwest). The main interest surrounds the central square, the Plaza 5 Mayo, with the MAAM museum, the cathedral and the square itself taking centre stage.
One of the more interesting artifacts in the museum are the three Incan burial remains that were found both here and over the border in the Chilean Atacama desert. The museum gives a fascinating insight into the practices and agricultural technologies that the Incans brought with them…along with showing a few of their more gruesome traditions.
Outside of the city, again, there are plenty of interesting locations to seek out. To the north is the city of Jujuy and, beyond that, the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a snaking valley along which are a series of interesting towns and villages that still harbour all sorts of interesting churches and squares.
To the south of the city is the famous Quebrada de Cafayate and the simple Abode villages of the region. As mentioned in the Salta overview section, weaving is a tradition that is still very strong in this region and so, along with potentially staying in somewhere like Colome, one of the oldest vineyards in northern Argentina, a trip to this region will not disappoint.