As 2014 comes to a close, it’s time to make travel plans for 2015 – and you may want to put Northwest Argentina at or near the top of your photography adventure list, as CNN Travel recently included Salta Province among the “10 Top Destinations to Visit in 2015.”
Northwest Argentina offers a unique blend of spectacular mountain landscapes and the deep, red-colored canyons of the Andes; pleasant, peaceful valleys; well-preserved colonial architecture; first-class wineries; and winding and open roadways that lead tourists to welcoming villages and bucolic scenery.
The city of Salta is the place to add to your architectural photography experience, with its many fine examples of Spanish colonial buildings. The Colonial Cabildo, the former seat of the municipal government, has a long two-story façade with multiple arched galleries, creating interesting shadows as the sun moves across the sky. It is just one of the city’s best-known attractions in the Ninth of July Square.
The Cathedral of Salta was built in the grand neoclassical style of tall spires and bell towers and the Museum of Contemporary Art reflects French architectural influences. Here is where the Museum of High Mountain Archeology is also located, celebrating the Inca civilization with its treasures and artifacts. A leisurely stroll from the Square will take you to the city’s three major streets filled with people and daily activities. At night, head for Balcarce Street to enjoy the best of Salta’s nightlife: excellent eateries, lively cafes and outdoor concerts under the stars.
When you're ready for true adventure, take to the Obispo Mountains and the Cuesta del Obispo Pass at 10,984 feet in elevation. One of the best ways to enjoy the amazing views and visits to scenic villages is the Argentina Activa cycling trip hosted by Ciclismo Classico, one of the world’s premier cycling tour companies. Unencumbered by car or bus, you become part of the landscape on which your camera will be constantly focused to capture all the beauty and wonder and excitement in the eyes of your cycling companions.
The ride from the Pass to the Los Cardones National Park will take into a land of richly colored sierras and rocky gorges, accented by the cardon columnar cactus. The park is also the home to many natural treasures from the dinosaur tracks that reveal the attraction of this habitat 100 million years ago to cave art that dates to before the Inca empire to the diversity of today’s wildlife that includes the northern gumel and vicuna.
Just when you thought your Ciclismo Classico Northwest Argentina tour couldn't become any more incredible, you arrive at Salinas Grandes. As far as the eye can see is an immense salt plain, rendered brightly white by the high mountain sun. Its otherworldly nature is the perfect subject for your camera. Capture its expanse as well as the detailed cracking and contours of the salt crust.
You can also experience and photograph all that is Northwest Argentina as a guest of Ciclismo Classico’s Vision & Vine Tour. You’ll travel by 12-person van instead of bicycle, so Ossian Lindholm, one of South America’s most famous photographers, can guide you to the best locations throughout the region and instruct you how to use the unique light at these high altitudes to take home truly great images.
Photography, however, is only half of the Vision & Vine Tour; the other half is touring and tasting Salta’s wine culture, which features the white Torrontes grape that becomes a bright white wine with excellent floral overtones. Among the many places to visit is the Piattelli Vineyards in Cafayate. Its location, at more than 5,000 feet above sea level, combined with clean, arid mountain air, pristine water flowing from the high Andes and its proximity to the Equator, produces premium Torrontes. The family-owned and -operated Piattelli Vineyards is also known for its Trinita, Malbec, Cabernet and Chardonnay.
Your Ciclismo Classico Vision & Vine Tour will also take you to museums and archeological sites, luncheons at family farmhouses and late-evening shooting sites to photograph this grand part of the world in subtle lighting. Throughout the tour, Ossian Lindholm provides daily instructional sessions to improve your skills and prepare you for the day’s photographic subject matter.
The Ciclismo Classico Vision & Vine Tour welcomes photographers of all skill levels and ages, as hikes are short and at a leisurely pace. To learn more about both tours, Northwest Argentina and the beautiful boutique accommodations, please visit:
Argentina Activa – http://www.ciclismoclassico.
Vision & Vine Tour – http://www.ciclismoclassico.
You may also call 800-866-7314 to learn why 2015 is the year you should visit Northwest Argentina.
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