You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*
Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?
*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?
Relaxed and easy-going. I bet that’s what you think what my travels look like. But every now and then, you need a “break from the break“, for instance after long and intense days of living the Mendoza Wine Festival experience, or equally fascinating days spent exploring the local Bodegas Wine Estates. Sleep in, go with the flow and enjoying my meals whenever I feel hungry: My visit to the high north of Argentina is set to start really comfortable and relaxed.
I reach Salta, the capital city of the province with the same name, after some crazy 18 hours and more than 1.000 kilometers (!) spent on a comfortable Andesmar coach, an experience well worth it when travelling such a vast country as Argentina in order to get a feel for its distances. Before I continue north-west towards the Andean Altiplano, I share with you my tips of things to do while enjoying Salta in style – calm and relaxed.
Salta boasts amazing colonial architecture conjuring up the times of the Spanish Conquistadores.
While walking around town, I meet these guys actually hanging out during a taxi strike for higher fares: They call out to me waiting for their picture to be taken. Well, here you go: True Saltenos, anyway!
At Plaza 9 de Julio, you can sit back and relax watching pigeons & people hurrying by.
Lunch break with delicious, juicy “Empanadas Saltenas”.
Going up in Swiss Gondolas and a visit to the “MAAM” Altiplano Mountain Museum in Salta
Actually, I am not really a fan of touristy things, but a ride with the Swiss cable car of Salta up the local mountain, or “cerro” is something I can definitely recommend just for the fun of it. So I let myself be carried up to around 2.000 metres of altitude and back, paying nearly € 8,- return as opposed to running out of breath before even reaching the Altiplano in the Chilean-Argentinian highlands close-by (more than 3.500 metres of altitude and more are waiting for me … well I’ll let you know how it all goes!).
This gondola is what makes part of the charm of Salta for me. Go and hit the ride here!
Looking down, it’s quite different from what I use to associate cable cars with (snow & winter): Here at this latitude, 2.000 metres translate into a pleasant 25°C, lush vegetation and birds twittering in the forest … slightly different to the Alps, then!
From up the hill, you get a wonderful view of the city of Salta.
In addition, I find these two lovely young men from Buenos Aires up here sharing two bottles of beer with and many a story about travelling and living in Argentina … “de buena onda”, or “on good waves”, is how they call our new friendship!
What you should not miss in Salta, and here I join in with the recommendations of all travel guides and local travel tips, is the Museo Arqueológico de Alta Montana, also called “MAAM” and roughly translated into Arquaeological Museum of High Mountain Areas. The museum is home to a fascinating collection of pre-Columbine artifacts offering unusual insights into the mighty culture of the Inca people, complete with two mummies of children having been sacrificed and buried on no less than 6.700 metres of altitude in this Altiplano highland … incredibly fascinating and a museum not to be missed!
We are here: The city of Salta is only a stone’s throw away from the massive Altiplano high mountain area of Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru further to the north.
Of the mummies and all further artifacts at the museum, we are not allowed to take any pictures – I’m afraid you will have to come here personally in order to see them! 😉
Last but not least, I head over to the local city market in search for a nice “calabaza”, or cup for my Mate …
… until I find this one: A nice piece that even includes my name!
Choosing Yerba Mate in the super market is another task altogether, the choice is pretty endless here. In the end, I buy 500 grams of packaged herbs for my Mate, with the intention of using it before returning to Eruope – could be a bit strange trying to cross the border with lots of herbs from South America 😉
Last but not least I will introduce you to this nice restaurant, Pasionaria not far from the centre of town. The food as well as the rooms are excellent and very comfortable here, the red wine from nearby Cafayate wine region is also worth a tasting.
Ready for learning even more about creative travel?
Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it