A fresh mood of optimism seems to have taken hold in Argentina. The new president has started to tackle the corruption plaguing the government and to repair the economic damage inflicted by the previous administration. Despite these positive changes, the peso has yet to recover its value after last December’s 30 percent fall, which makes Argentina remarkably inexpensive for American travelers. With the country’s fortunes changing for the better and the peso still weak, it seemed an opportune moment to return.
After my delightful stay in Mendoza's wine region last year, I was keen to revisit Salta, a northern province known for its high-altitude vineyards and stupendous landscape of rugged mountains and dramatic quebradas (canyons), centerpieced by the unspoiled colonial city of Salta. There, the grand neoclassical façades of 18th-century buildings decorate the pedestrian-friendly historical center. Tourists certainly visit this part of Argentina, but nowhere does it feel that the economy entirely depends on tourism, which gives Salta (both the city and the province as a whole) a refreshingly authentic atmosphere.