After the trip in the over touristy Iguazu (still highlighting again, it is impressive!) we headed to a far less traveled area of Argentina: The North.
From Iguazu we flew to Salta Airport with Aerolineas Argentinas. There we had a car booked as we did not want to relay on public transport.
Our 'headquarters' was Purmamarca or the village of the mountain of the 7 colors. We stayed at Hostal Paseo de los Colorados, booked bia booking.com and i highly recommend.
What to do in Purmamarca?
Clearly not much as it is super small, but you do have some options:
1. Buy handmade products
If you love scarfs or Alpaca clothes, this is the place to buy them from. You should just have enough space in your luggage as they are super cheap. They also have a lot of cute other souvenirs such as llama key chains or colorful door/window wool ornaments.
2. Try Llama stake
it's not my favorite meat, but it's something interesting to try. Think about it in the direction of the lamb meat. So if you like lamb you might enjoy this one as well. If you are a cheese lover, bare in mind that Argentina is not the country for cheese. The only one I actually liked was the one you see in the picture below, which you can only find around this area.
3. Listen to local music, or not.
A lot of the restaurants have a live band playing during dinner time. The music is of local musicians and it is nice to experience, but watch out, there is extra charges on your bill for taking part of such shows and it's not cheap.
4. Try the 'local' tea
Coca tea is know to help with the altitude sickness & the headaches caused by it. You can buy packed tea and take it as a souvenir back home. Or locally you can also get the leaves which to me are even tastier. To read more about the benefits of the Coca Tea, you can check this link
5. take a hike
Wake up early, and take a hike. It's neither hard nor long but the result is quite good as it gives you the best view over the mountain of the 7 colors.
6. Go on a day trip: Salinas Grandes
During my trip in Bolivia, I visited Uyuni and I was wowed. So I made it into a must visit place for everyone in the trip. Besides the Salt flates themselves the road is also pretty awesome.
Stop 1: the mountains around
What will happen actually is that you will pass through the Serrania de Hornocal which is a "range of mountains located 25 kilometers (16 mi) from the city of Humahuaca in the Argentine province of Jujuy. Exposed in the range is the limestone formation called Yacoraite that extends from Salta, Argentina, through the Argentine Quebrada de Humahuaca and then through the Bolivian Altiplano to Peru. The mountains reach an altitude of 4,761 metres (15,620 ft) above sea level. The region Quebrada de Humahuaca was declared a World Heritage site in 2003, both for colorful mountain landscapes and the historic Inca caravan road running through the region" (Source)
Stop 2: the road - making it perfect for a roadtrip
If you love driving, this road will be an absolute dream. Hopefully you have a powerful enough car to enjoy the ride.
Stop 3: the fluffy llamas
remember that you are now close to 4000m, the oxygen is less around here and walking will become more difficult as you seem to be out of breath. I don't experience major problems, but I have friends that were not happy with the altitude. Thank god these animals are so cute and made them forget everything else.
Stop 4: the highest point on the routes @4170m
Stop 5: Salinas Grandes
"The Salinas Grandes are located in the north west part of Argentina, in the provinces of Jujuy and Salta, at an average altitude of 3450 meters above sea level. It covers an area of 212 km2 and is well-known for its vast white desert." (Source)
As per the information we got locally, you are not allowed to go in alone. This is probably because due to the big mass of white you can get lost. So you can "hire" a guide. This person will jump into your car and indicate where to drive then explain you a little bit about the formation and take some pictures.
It's easy to spend hours here as you can play around with the distance (flat surface) ;)