Finca Valentina

near Salta Salta & Northwest, Argentina Book from Book from £76 per night

Chic but relaxed: a beautifully designed guesthouse just southwest of Salta, which offers breathtaking tours
It was Fabrizio who fell in love with the Argentine northwest first. He’s so passionate about the beauty of the dazzling high altitude plains of the Puna that he left Italy and started a small company taking guests up across the salt lakes and into the sculptural desert of the Andes beyond. He then wooed Valentina away from designing Chelsea interiors, and together the Italian couple have created a beautiful little country house with some very chic rooms in the main house, as well as a charming self-contained cottage and a villa in the grounds. All buildings sit in a lush garden fringed by distant mountains.

Valentina has brought light and space to traditional Salteño style, combining white walls and lofty ceilings with classical modernist hallmarks: a whole wall of paned glass in the dining room, a soaring minimalist fireplace and a stunning swimming pool. Mid-century modern classics are everywhere, but so are antique chairs, and the hall is hung with ancient woven ponchos. The result is delightfully crisp and airy, but you know you’re in Salta. All bedrooms mix high-end comfort with vintage finds, and the bathrooms are gorgeous little havens. Bowls of roses abound. The food is superb.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.


  • Beautifully designed - rare for Salta - and yet excellent value for money
  • Personalised service: this is a small place so you create the schedule
  • A great base, and really excellent activities on offer: Fabrizio knows the area intimately, and takes visitors to the wildest parts of the northwest, as well as conventional tours to Cachi and Cafayate
  • Great location: really handy for Salta city (you will need to get a taxi to and from if without a car) and Salta airport (10 minutes’ drive, with free transfers)


  • Service is relaxed: don’t expect city speed or efficiency
  • Some of the Standard Rooms and the Villa Deluxe are more recent additions and we haven't had the chance to view them yet
  • There's only one other restaurant within walking distance at a nearby hotel - Houses of Jasmines

Best time to go

Finca Valentina is open all year round. The best season is from September to May, though be aware that downpours in the rainy season (from the end of December to February) may make roads to the remoter parts of the Calchaquí Valleys impassable. Winter (July and August) is still beautiful in the Puna, though it can be cold at night.

Our top tips

Book Suite 3 for its views, and stay here at the end of your trip, for a spot of relaxing before your flight back to Buenos Aires. Definitely book a trip to the Puna: you’ve never seen anything like it.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 9 rooms and 1 villa
  • Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available


The airy rooms are designed with sumptuous high thread-count bed linens, locally woven blankets of the softest llama or lambswool (chic not scratchy), and a choice of pillows - ours were both firm and soft, and all are anti-allergic. As well as modernist lamps, there are woven ponchos and baskets made by local craftspeople, plus old sepia photographs of the 1920s construction of the Tren a las Nubes (the famous Salta 'Train to the Clouds'). There’s underfloor heating for winter and fans for summer (you really don’t need air con).

Bathrooms are made for those who need these things to be perfect: powerful showers, soft high-quality towels, soaps made with locally grown herbs, and decent toiletries. More surprisingly, there’s local pumice from volcanoes in the Puna and loofahs grown in the garden! And each room has fresh roses from the garden, too.

The Standard and Superior Rooms are spread between the ground-floor of the main house and various outbuildings in the gardens. All have ensuite shower rooms but the Superior options are bigger and have patios.

On the first-floor of the main house, the Suite Deluxe with terrace awaits. The outside space has loungers and lovely views onto the gardens and mountains in the distance. The bathroom has an antique basin, a spacious bench and a huge mirror, and there’s a separate rainhead shower room.

The Family Suite is also on the ground-floor of the main house. It has a separate entrance from the hall, 2 bedrooms and a shared bathroom with a bath and overhead shower, as well as a private patio with 2 loungers and a small table. This is ideal for a family or friends. One room has a queensize bed, the other has a double or 2 single beds.

As of 2019 there will be a private Villa available for up to 5 guests. It's set 60 metres from the main house so is a great option for families after some added privacy.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi


The set menu for main meals changes daily: expect Italian recipes mixed with traditional Salteño ingredients. Everything is handmade, from the fresh pasta to the mango ice cream. Meals are eaten at separate tables (or all together if you prefer), and the food is superb.

Have a glass of wine before dinner, with a selection of cheeses and hams as picadas if you’re peckish. You might start with a risotto of quinoa with peppers, followed by fillet of beef from local farms, which will be succulent as butter, cooked the Italian way on a hot dish, and served with rocket salad with parmesan cheese. There’s also brasato, an Italian dish of beef slow-cooked with vegetables, or fish from Chile. Puddings include Amaretti ice cream, a pear tarte tatin, or a yummy pear and chocolate crumble.

Lunch is usually light and delicious - think salads, soups, fresh pasta, vegetable tarts and fresh fruit salads. There’s usually an asado (a traditional Argentinian barbecue) on Sunday lunchtimes in the outside quincho (covered eating area).

Breakfast has no fixed time so you can get up when you like. You get fresh juice (we had mandarin), croissants from the local bakery, homemade bread and jams, freshly baked cakes, eggs to order, plus goat's cheese from the local farm and ham. Cereals, tea and an excellent traditional cappuccino are also on offer.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Breakfast
  • Children's meals
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu


  • Lounge by the pool - there’s a chic infinity pool (open November to April; not heated) in the garden, with views of the mountains and loungers to take the sun

  • Take a cooking class with Finca Valentina's chefs, who will teach you how to make traditional Salta dishes such as humitas, empanadas and locro from scratch. Then eat your creations for lunch afterwards

  • Have a massage - expert Swedish massage is offered, as well as lymph-drainage, facials, waxing, manicures and pedicures

  • Birding here is superb (look out for lapwings, horneros, parrots, eagles, owls and tanagers); there's a bird book in the house, and professional tours can be arranged

  • Go walking - there are paths around the gardens and along tracks to the rivers. You can borrow bikes, too

  • There's a nature reserve in San Lorenzo, 15 minutes' drive away; the resident botanist gives guided tours and it's great for birding

  • Go horse riding - Finca Valentina can arrange for a gaucho to take you riding (book the night before) to the river and up on the cerros (mountains) to see wild horses, tobacco plantations, and the traditional tobacco drying houses

  • Other activities nearby include fishing in an artificial lake 45 minutes away, rafting on the Juramento river, and tennis at courts close by

  • Guests can be taken on really fabulous trips to the Puna and beyond, through the hotel owner's company Socompa Travel. These are run by expert guides and explore places where no other agency ventures: definitely worth booking up as part of your Argentina itinerary. Most highly recommended is the trip to the ancient ruined city of Quilmes, hiking at Tolombón, and then continuing up the Calchaquí valley

  • More conventional trips can also be organised to Cachi and Cafayate for wine tasting, and a very cultural Salta city tour with stops for handicraft shopping, silversmith visits and museums - the MAAM (Museum of High Altitude Archaeology) is highly recommended, it poignantly houses three Inca child mummies

  • Socompa can also take you in off-road vehicles to explore the extraordinary rugged desert landscapes around Tolar Grande and Antofagasta de la Sierra

  • Uniquely, its guides take guests up into Bolivia to the Salar de Uyuni, and over into Chile to the Atacama. These landscapes really have to be seen to be believed

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Rafting
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being


Children are welcome and the owners have 2 of their own (they live in the house next door, but on-site). There are lots of toys for kids to use and dogs to play with. There's a pool and the grounds are great for romping around in, discovering wildlife (we saw some really cool moths!) and birding (burrowing owls put on a display for you as you drive in).

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The Family Suite is made up of a double and twin, has a bathroom and a private patio, ideal for a large family party. The new Villa Deluxe, set 60 metres from the main building, has 2 bedrooms and sleeps up to 5. Baby cots are available in every room.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chair
  • Changing mat

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Smaller portions of adult meals can be made for children, and special requests are easily catered for if you tell the cook or Valentina in the morning

Kids Activities on site:

  • Pool
  • Swing
  • Bicycles
  • Toys
  • Rabbit
  • Gardens
  • Dog to play with
  • Cooking classes tailored for specific ages

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Our daughter absolutely loved the MAAM (Museum of High Altitude Archaeology) in Salta because of the Inca child mummies; it is a very respectful and well curated exhibit and the museum is small enough that younger folk don't get bored
  • Older kids and teens would like horse riding and bike tours locally

Families Should Know:

The swimming pool is fenced. Keep an eye out for bees in the garden or the very occasional (harmless) snake in the long grass


  • Airport: 10 minutes
  • Hospital: 15 minutes
  • Shops: 5 minutes
Kid Friendly:


Finca Valentina is very close to Salta airport (about 10 minutes’ drive) and 20 minutes’ drive southwest of Salta city. It’s in a sweet and chic little town called La Merced Chica (not La Merced), on Ruta 51.

By Air:
Fly into Salta's Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport (also known as El Aybal Airport). There are frequent flights from Buenos Aires (a flying time of 2 hours) and other Argentine cities - click on the links below for a list of airlines.

From the Airport
Fabrizio meets guests at Salta airport, and it's a 10-minute drive to Finca Valentina. Transfers are included in the rate if you stay at least 3 nights.

By Car:
There's no need to hire a car here (Fabrizio can arrange transfers to and from Salta city), but if you do want your own vehicle, see our car rental recommendations. Head out of Salta on Ruta 51; Finca Valentina is just off the road at Km11.

By Bus:
Bus no.6 goes to and from Salta every 20 minutes, and it takes 25 minutes to get into town.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through

More on getting to Argentina and getting around


  • Salta (Martín Miguel de Güemes / El Aybal) 7.0 km SLA


  • Beach 999.0 km
  • Shops 4.0 km
  • Restaurant 10.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests


Although as stated this is a simple hotel, it is full of charm - the staff were all very helpful and the room was lovely with a great view of the Andes. Would definitely recommend Finca Valentina as somewhere to stay in Salta.


We have stayed for 3 nights and it was a wonderful stay. The house is comfortable, beautiful and full of charm, in a beautiful landscape. We definitely recommend, a much better option than to stay in Salta!


The house and rooms, set in the garden, are beautifully laid out with regional artefacts dotted around giving a sense of the local culture in this part of north west Argentina. The surrounding country side is a great backdrop for a relaxing sip of local wine from your private patio.
The home cooked and locally sourced food was excellent and beautifully served by the helpful / friendly staff.
A lovely place to spend a few days. It is a fair way outside of Salta though so you'll need a car, to use taxis or book trips to explore.


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