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Salta Province


Salta Province

Flag of Salta
Coat of arms of Salta
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): La Linda (The beautiful)
Location of Salta Province within Argentina
Location of Salta Province within Argentina
Country Argentina
Capital Salta
Departments 23
Municipalities 58
 • Governor Juan Manuel Urtubey (FPV)
 • Deputies 7
 • Senators 3
Ranked 6th
 • Total 155,488 km2 (60,034 sq mi)
Population (2010[1])
 • Total 1,214,441
 • Rank 8th
 • Density 7.8/km2 (20/sq mi)
Demonym(s) salteño/a
Time zone ART (UTC−3)
ISO 3166 code AR-A

Salta (Spanish pronunciation: ) is a province of Argentina, located in the northwest of the country. Neighboring provinces are from the east clockwise Formosa, Chaco, Santiago del Estero, Tucumán and Catamarca. It also surrounds Jujuy. To the north it borders Bolivia and Paraguay and to the west lies Chile.


  • History 1
  • Geography and climate 2
  • Economy 3
  • Tourism 4
  • Political division 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Before the Spanish conquest, numerous native peoples (now called Diaguitas and Calchaquíes) lived in the valleys of what is now Salta Province; they formed many different tribes, the Quilmes and Humahuacas among them, which all shared the Cacán language. The Atacamas lived in the Puna, and the Wichís (Matacos), in the Chaco region.

The first conquistador to venture into the area was Diego de Almagro in 1535; he was followed by Diego de Rojas. Hernando de Lerma founded San Felipe de Lerma in 1582, following orders of the viceroy Francisco de Toledo, Count of Oropesa; the name of the city was soon changed to "San Felipe de Salta". By 1650, the city had around five hundred inhabitants.

Colonial Cabildo in the city of Salta.

An intendency of "Salta del Tucumán" was created within the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. In 1774, San Ramón de La Nueva Orán was founded between Salta and Tarija (Tarija was added to the intendency later, in 1807). In 1783, in recognition of the growing importance of the city, the capital of the intendency of Salta del Tucumán was moved from San Miguel de Tucumán to Salta.

The battle of Salta in 1813 freed the territory from Spain, but occasional attacks were mounted from the Viceroyalty of Peru as late as 1826. Gervasio de Posadas created the Province of Salta in 1814, containing the current provinces of Salta, Jujuy, and parts of southern Bolivia and northern Chile.

Exploiting internal Argentine conflicts that arose after the Argentine Declaration of Independence, Bolivia annexed Tarija in 1826. In 1834, Jujuy withdrew from Salta and became a separate province. The borders of Salta were further reduced in 1900, with the loss of Yacuiba to Bolivia.

The National Government of Los Andes, constituted from the province in 1902 with a capital at San Antonio de los Cobres, was returned to Salta Province in 1943 as the Department of Los Andes.

Antonio Alice's painting, La muerte de Güemes, which received a Gold Medal at the Centenary Exposition, is on display at the offices of the Salta Provincial Government.[2]

Geography and climate

La Caldera Valley, Salta.

The province is located on the tropic of Capricorn, and receives both tropical and temperate influences. There are five main climates in the province: the climate of the Impenetrable to the east, the Yungas, the climate of low valleys (Valles Calchaquies, Valle de Lerma), the climate of the Altiplano, and the climate of the highest peaks.

The Impenetrable region has one of the most extreme climates in South America. Winters are pleasant but short, with high temperatures usually between 18°C and 25°C (64F to 77F) and lows between 7°C and 14°C (45F to 57F). Temperatures can soar to 35°C (95F) or reach below 0°C (32F) on occasion. The main feature of the cool season is its marked dryness. Spring is even dryer than winter, and high temperatures quickly reach averages of 28°C (82F) in September, 31°C (88F) in October and 34°C (93F) in November. This, combined to the extreme dryness, produces a very severe drought. Summer runs from November till April, and is characterized by the extreme heat and the severe thunderstorms: 80% of yearly precipitation falls in this season, and average maximum temperatures reach 37°C (99F) with lows of 23°C (73F) and very high humidity. Thus, extremely oppressive weather lasts for over 6 months in the region. During heat waves, over 45°C (113F) are reached. Fall arrives suddenly in April with more pleasant, dry weather, and by late May, winter conditions settle. Precipitation ranges from 500 mm (20 in) to 700 mm (28 in).

The first slopes of the Andes force the moist, easterly winds to rise, provoking very high condensation. At low altitudes, the climate is still hot during most of the year, but the increased storminess greatly moderates high temperatures: the average high in midsummer is 33°C (91F), and total rainfall ranges from 900 mm to over 2,000 mm, creating a thick jungle called Yunga. At higher altitudes, the weather is much cooler and there is a layer that is constantly immersed in a cloud for several months, creating a unique environment with ferns, mosses and parasitic plants growing on trees. As we reach over 1,000 meters, frost is much more common and the jungle starts giving way to a temperate forest, and at higher altitudes, snow may fall in the winter, and trees give way to alpine meadows.

The overwhelming majority of Salta's population (including the capital city) lives in the valleys at altitudes between 1,000 and 1,500 meters above sea level. The climate here is known for being pleasant and suitable for agriculture and human settlement: winters are mild during the day (average of 19°C, 66F, occasionally over 25°C or 77F, but sometimes staying below 5°C, 41F), cold at night (3°C, or 37F, with temperatures below -5°C (23F) often recorded), and very low precipitation falling mostly as light rain (although snow is possible, but very rare). Summers are rainy and very moderate, with highs of 28°C (82F) and lows of 15°C (59F), very common thunderstorms and intense solar radiation. Precipitation ranges from 750 mm to 1,000 mm.

Further west, the Altiplano is a plateau at 3,000 m to 4,000 m above sea level. The climate is arid and cold: high temperatures vary little (since the warmer season is cloudy, and the coolest is sunny), ranging from 14°C to 21°C (57F to 70F), night temperatures go from 6°C (43F) in midsummer to -8°C (18F) in midwinter, and extremes under -15°C (5F) might be recorded. All rain falls exclusively in the summer, with values between 200 mm and 400 mm in total. Several salt flats exist in this area.

Finally, the highest peaks of the province reach over 6,000 meters above sea level: they are constantly snow covered, and temperatures rarely approach the 0°C (32F) mark, with constant high winds, extreme aridity and high solar radiation.

The main rivers of the province are the Pilcomayo, Bermejo and the Juramento, which later becomes the Salado River. Salta Province is located at a geologically active region, and suffers from occasional earthquakes. Fairly destructive were the ones that occurred in 1692 and 1948.


Salta's economy is relatively underdeveloped, yet diverse. Its economy in 2006 was estimated at US$5.141 billion or, US$4,764 per capita, 45% below the national average.[3] In 2012, its economy was estimated at $30.613 billon Pesos (about US$6.743 billion) or, 23,971 pesos (about US$5,280) per capita.[4][5]

Agriculture and its derived industries are still an important activity in the province, adding over 10% to output. Tobacco, sugar cane and viticulture are the most important and produce most of the exports from the area. Other crops mostly for local consumption are maize, beans, citrus, bananas, and tomatoes. The sugar cane is processed in plants in Salta before it is sent to the rest of Argentina and other countries. The plant in San Martín de Tabacal is the most important of them. The famous wines of the Valles Calchaquíes region near Cafayate are produced in numerous vineyards of diverse sizes (mainly Torrontés, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon).

Gas and petroleum from the Tartagal, Aguas Blancas, Madrejones and Campo Durán centres is transported to Buenos Aires and Rosario by pipes. Campo Durán also has an oil refinery located in the province. In all, manufacturing plays a significant role in Salta, adding 20% to the economy. Mining includes uranium at Iruya, La Poma and San Carlos.

American breeds of cattle are raised only on the humid sub-tropical east, along with some sheep and goats.


The Salta Province is home to a number of natural, social and historic attractions.

The city of Salta "La Linda" ("The beautiful") is both an important tourist destination, and the centre point for visiting the rest of the province. The city holds different attractions; among them are her colonial houses and cathedral, and the Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña de Salta that holds the 3 frozen Inca mummies found at the 6,700 meters of the Llullaillaco volcano.

Also from Salta, the Tren a las Nubes crosses canyons and cliffs before arriving to the 3,775 metres (12,500 feet) of San Antonio de los Cobres. The red-rock formations of the Valles Calchaquíes and the wine-town of Cafayate are the second most visited place in the province. Many visit the Cachi mountain and the villages (such as Payogasta) around it.

There are three national parks in Salta: El Rey National Park in the Yungas jungle, Baritú National Park and Los Cardones National Park.

The Train to the Clouds one of the highest railways in the world, taking its way across the high peaks of the Cordillera de los Andes, surrounded by striking sceneries.[6]

Political division

View of the Lerma Valley and the city of Salta.

The province is divided in 23 departments (Spanish: departamentos). Department (Capital)

  1. Anta (Joaquín Víctor González)
  2. Cachi (Cachi)
  3. Cafayate (Cafayate)
  4. Capital (Salta)
  5. Cerrillos (Cerrillos)
  6. Chicoana (Chicoana)
  7. General Güemes (General Güemes)
  8. General San Martín (Tartagal)
  9. Guachipas (Guachipas)
  10. Iruya (Iruya)
  11. La Poma (La Poma)
  12. La Caldera (La Caldera)
  13. La Candelaria (La Candelaria)
  14. La Viña (La Viña)
  15. Los Andes (San Antonio de los Cobres)
  16. Metán (San José de Metán)
  17. Molinos (Molinos)
  18. Orán (San Ramón de la Nueva Orán)
  19. Rivadavia (Rivadavia)
  20. Rosario de la Frontera (Rosario de la Frontera)
  21. Rosario de Lerma (Rosario de Lerma)
  22. San Carlos (San Carlos)
  23. Santa Victoria (Santa Victoria)

See also


  1. ^ "Censo 2010 Argentina resultados provisionales: mapas". Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  2. ^ Parker, William Belmont (1920). Argentines of today. Volume 5 of Hispanic Notes and Monographs 2 (Digitized May 22, 2008 ed.). New York: The Hispanic Society of America. pp. 637–640. 
  3. ^ "El déficit consolidado de las provincias rondará los $11.500 millones este año" (in Spanish). Instituto Argentino para el Desarrollo de las Economías Regionales. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Producto Bruto Geográfico–Provincia de Salta" (PDF) (in Spanish). Dirección General de Estadísticas de la Provincia de Salta. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  5. ^ The average exchange for 1 US dollar was 4.54 Argentine pesos in 2012 according to the World Bank
  6. ^ "Train to the clouds - ARGENTINEAN NORTH". Retrieved 2014-04-22. 

External links

  • (Spanish) Salta Province official website
  • (Spanish) Salta Province official portal
  • (Spanish) Tourist Secretary
  • (Spanish)
  • (Spanish) Nuevo Diario de Salta
  • (Spanish) Universidad Nacional de Salta
  • (Spanish) Welcome Salta

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