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Posted by on Dec 15, 2011 in Argentina, South America

Running into Carnival in Salta, Argentina

I do love the vibe of this city, its easy flow and its cheerful people. When I sat in the central plaza with the sun in the clear blue sky, all I hear is laughter and friendly conversations. The old man next to me calls out to about 10 of his friends who are passing by. This is the good life.

Carnival Anybody?

Yesterday as I wandered the Plaza 9 de Julio, people were gathering at one end of the plaza and music starting to play. As I made my way over, I started to listen more closely and realized that it was the Carnival celebration in Salta. Defiently not to the same caliber as Brazil, but a variety of dance groups dressed in beautiful costumes all started dancing and showing off their skills. It was a VERY exciting thing to encounter!

The people start dancing in brightly colours costumes. 20 different groups of dancers come out in their colours of red, blue, green, yellow, and orange. The music changes from reggaton to an upbeat hip hop. The dancers twirl and spin in the Plaza. I am captivated by the rhythm and inspired by the details of the costumes.


When the festivities came to a close, I spent the rest of the day wandering the streets of Salta. In the evening I hung around the Hostel talking to Miguel (an employee) and watching television – I need to keep practising my Spanish, and I love the relaxed vibe of the people in Salta and the North. An appreciated change from the high-stress lifestyle of Buenos Aires. The best part of staying at my hostel is always playing with Pocho the orange tabby cat that lives here. He is a delight. It was a lovely relaxing night.

Today I woke up early (naturally) around 7, finished up some work (always working), and headed out to explore the churches and other sights of Salta. Salta is famous for the red church pictured above. It is so vibrant in the sunlight, and a stark contrast to all neutral coloured buildings surrounding it.

At 11, I headed to the Museum of High Altitude Archaeology. On display was “The Lightening Girl”. She is a mummy. This six year old girl was found at the top of Mount Llullaillaco in the Salta province and was a human sacrifice. It is a tad creepy but extremely interesting to see how well preserved she is. The high altitudes and weather preserved her little body so well, she even still has her teeth.

Salta was filled with both the vibrant feelings of carnival and the relaxing meandering of a city with a lot of character and kind people who want to share it with you!


  1. I also loved Salta, such a pretty city with a great vibe.

  2. I am only going to be there a couple of days in July, and suggestions?

    • Salta is a wonderful place to just wander. The Red Cathedral and the Monastery are nice. I did some quality people watching in the central plaza. The city is quite small, so its easy to navigate on your own, walk everywhere, and not get lost! Have fun!