Once back in Salta, I had just enough time to visit the fascinating MAAM (Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña de Salta, Salta Museum of High Altitude Archeology), experience some of the incredible local restaurants and head off to the trek I had been waiting to do for years: Trekking to the Clouds!
Our first afternoon back in Salta we headed directly to the MAAM located on the main square. The last time I visited Salta I did not have a chance to visit this museum and it was something I always regretted. This unique museum is a homage to the Incan high-mountain sanctuaries as well as mountaineering. It has a serious and informative exhibition focusing on Inca culture and, in particular, the child sacrifices left on some of the Andes’ most imposing peaks.
The focus is the mummified body of one of three children (rotated every six months) discovered at the peak of Llullaillaco in 1999. It was a controversial decision to display the bodies and it is a powerful experience to come face-to-face with them.
I had a peaked interest in this museum, as, after Salta I was going to be making an attempt at reaching the summit of Llullaillaco where these Incan mummies had been found.
(For more information on summiting Llullaillaco and/or using it as a starter mountain before attempting Aconcagua or Ojos del Salado, contact us!)
In the evening, we waited patiently for the doors of the famous, La Casona del Molino restaurant, to open. This unsuspecting house-converted-restaurant already had tantalizing aromas of grilled beef, boiling tamales and scrumptious empanadas wafting out of the windows and doors. The humble beginnings of Salta’s gastronomic cornerstone are still apparent; the rooms of the house circled around a large courtyard and all the simple wooden tables and chairs seemed like they had been there since the opening, decades before. Each table was adorned with one small, white candle and the menus were one sheet of paper listing off all the best of Salta’s unique dishes. Small signs above every door listed the house rules, one of which reminded patrons that they would be asked to leave after 5AM.
As we stuffed ourselves with each new extraordinary dish that came our way, a musician started to sing and strum his guitar playing national folkloric tunes while locals joined in on the choruses. The night was magic and the perfect way to ready-myself for the trek to come!
Stay tuned for the rest of my Trekking to the Clouds adventure in our blogs coming out over the next weeks.
Want to explore Salta on your next adventure? Check out these itineraries:
- 5-Day Northwest Argentina: Culture, Food and Mountains
- 5-Day Northwest Argentina: Wine and Canyons
- 4-Day Northwest Argentina: Trekking to the Clouds
Don’t see what you want? Want to customize your experience? Contact us!
Your friendly Argentina expert,