[Argentina] Salta – The Conchas, Rainbow mountains and more

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Cafayate is slightly south of Salta and Purmamarca is slightly south of Tilcara

Salta:

How to Reach: Bus from Mendoza

Cost: ARS 1320 (As of January 2017)

I was so excited about visiting this area because of all the amazing pictures my friends had shown me right in the beginning of my trip. The mountains were too pretty to be missed. The only choice I had to make was moving north in Chile from Santiago or Argentina from Mendoza. I chose the latter.

The best thing about Salta was really the people I met. A lot of people from Argentina were traveling there (Argentines are my favorite people on the planet). There was a hike we went for but it’s really average. The fun part was It was raining and we had no clue where to head. That made it fun.

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With my geologist friends

Cafayate:

How to Reach: Bus from Salta

Cost: ARS 195

There are day tours available from Salta area and if the Concha is the only thing you want to see, it’s better to make a day trip there as I ended up spending more money than a tour. I took a bus to Cafayate then took a room. The hostels here are way more expensive than Salta. Had I taken a bus back, it would have been a loss situation, so I hitchhiked back. I also had to hitchhike because they didn’t accept cards and I didn’t want to withdraw more cash for another 2 or 3 days in the country. Every ATM in Argentina costs additional money to withdraw from.

The Conchas are very beautiful, the tour involves quite a bit of walking. It was very sunny that day so we had some difficulty. Some people from our bus did not return with us and instead took a bus directly to Salta from there as it would have saved them time. The canyons are on the way to Salta.

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Sun takes a toll on all of us

Also, you have to return to Salta from Cafayate. No direct buses to anywhere else you might want to go like Jujuy or Purmamarca. It’s a very small terminal

Purmamarka:

How to reach: From Salta take a bus to San Salvador de Jujuy then take another bus to Purmamarca

Cost:

  • Salta to Jujuy: ARS165
  • Jujuy to Purmamarca: ARS 67

This is the place of 7 color mountains. It is not as spectacular as the ones in Peru but the place was very beautiful and colorful. It seemed like a Disney movie to me. Especially if you’ve been traveling for long in Argentina, it would be a very good change. It was culturally more like Bolivia than rest of Argentina. Did I say it’s very colorful?

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Beautiful market with Rainbow mountains in the background
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Bus schedule with costs on the left bottom

Another place I would have liked to visit but couldn’t:

  • Tilcara
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