The northwest is the country's most historical and colourful region with its deep-rooted culture and traditions, and extreme landscapes. In the space of a day, a trip up the Quebrada de Toro takes you from the colonial city of Salta, with its plazas of tall waving palms, through forest-clad valleys, past mighty red mountains and on to the high altitude puna, dotted with llamas and shimmering salt flats.
Embedded between the inhospitable Puna and the endless plateau, lie the heavenly Calchaquí Valleys, known as the Sacred Valleys and the quaint Humahuaca Gorge, two regions that are full of contrasts: the dawn-light reflected on the Western Andean mountains and the colours of the sunset glowing on the Oriental Sierras; fascinating formations and ancient rock carvings, geological rarities, Inca ruins and petroglyphs; colonial churches and picturesque Indian villages; magnificent vistas and lonely roads; infinite extensions of desert country covered by gigantic cactus and unique flora species.