If you ever visit Salta, a city in northwestern Argentina and Salta Province’s capital city, you’ll be struck by its blend of historic, natural and social attractions. This picturesque city is situated in the Lerma Valley, at the foothills of the Andes Mountains. Its 18th and 19th century colonial architecture has given it the nickname of Salta la Linda (“Salta the Fair”). It is strategically situated on the Tropic of Capricorn, which gives it tropical and temperate climatic influences.

The city was established on April 16, 1582 by Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma, who wanted it to be an outpost among Lima, Peru and Buenos Aires. Following the War of Independence between 1816 and 1821, Salta emerged in political and financial disarray. Between the late 19th century and early 20th century, trade and agriculture got a boost with Arab, Italian, Lebanese and Spanish immigrants.

If you spend a few days here, you must visit the 18th century Cabildo or neo-classical style Cathedral, and the Central Square. Salta’s museums have a large range of beautiful artifacts and art from older civilizations and 16th century paintings depicting the Spanish conquest.

Around the Ninth of July Square, you can see the Cabildo or town hall, the neoclassical Cathedral, the French style Museum of Contemporary Art and the neoclassical Museum of High Mountain Archeology, which displays Inca artifacts. Around this plaza is a beautiful gallery.

Night life is best on Balcarce Street, where you can get the pick of the pubs, cafes, restaurants and concerts.