The best season is autumn (March-April), when you'll find clear skies and warm days. The area is also a good option in winter (June to August), when other areas of Argentina such as Patagonia are under snow. The Valles Calchaquíes and La Puna enjoy all-year sunshine; just watch out for chilly nights at high altitude. Book way ahead if you’re planning to hit the best fiestas - Easter in Tilcara and the Pachamama celebrations in August. Avoid mid-September in Salta, when the pilgrims flood in for the Milagro procession, and there are no beds anywhere. The rainy season lasts from January to February, when roads can be impassable.
Note: flight, boat, train and bus timetables change constantly, and airlines come and go, so please do not rely solely on this information for your travel planning. Check with relevant companies, or a flight search engine like Skyscanner, first.
There are several flights a day to Salta from Buenos Aires with LAN, Aerolineas Argentinas and Andes Airlines. Direct flights take 2 hours, and some stop in Jujuy. Salta is also connected to other cities in Argentina, including Puerto Iguazú and Mendoza, via Austral's circular route, and to Santiago in Chile.
Long-distance buses (20 hours from Buenos Aires) are greener, but make sure you choose the coche cama services, which have fully reclining seats. See Flechabus.
For information on international travel to Buenos Aires, see our guide on getting to Argentina.
Consider hiring a car to get around the region - see our car rental recommendations. We'd suggest you book a 4x4 if you’re going into the mountains, and make sure you have a good map and plenty of water.
If you want to explore but are daunted by the idea of organising everything yourselves, get in touch with these recommended tour operators. Most can arrange private tours with your own vehicle and guide/driver, which is often the best option for the more remote parts of the region.