The north-west of Argentina is known for its extreme landscapes and hospitable people. This is the most traditional region of Argentina, and an area where the size and influence of the indigenous population are still significant.
The region around Salta and Jujuy was the first to be settled by the Spanish. Apart from the colonial architecture there are also many pre-Hispanic ruins from the Inca period. Salta itself has many fine churches and is a centre for the sugar cane industry.
North of Salta one climbs through the arid UNESCO world heritage site of Quebrada de Humahuaca valley, a long gorge of coloured rock scattered with giant cacti where lovely layered colours are visible in the rocks.
Towards the Chilean border lies the stunning scenery of the altiplano, at over 4,000m. The endless salt plains, beautifully-coloured mountains and snow-capped volcanic peaks make this a fascinating area to visit.
To the south of Salta the Calchaquiés Valley offers more dramatic scenery with pretty towns and high-altitude vineyards. One can visit Cafayate (many vineyards), Cachi and Molinos, with beautiful landscapes and cactus deserts.