Monday, 8 April 2013

Salta Gaucho Festival

Every year the city of Salta in the north of Argentina has a ‘cowboy festival’. The city is a popular tourist and backpacker destination. There are plenty of things to see and do in Salta. There is an historic centre with old architecture as well as large universities. Salta is an attractive spot for those foreign students wanting to study Spanish.

It is a fairly large city. Hostels and hotels are dotted around the city. The dominating feature of Salta is the hill that towers above everything else. It takes about an hour to walk to the top, or there is a funicular train you can take. At the top there is a pleasure park and promenade taking in the views.

The gaucho festival is part of a month long cultural festival in April. The events attract both local and distant Argentines as well as tourists. One of the highlights is a long procession through the town. The main stage is at the foot of the hill where there is a statue of a liberation hero. The parade has plenty of local gauchos, armed forces, girl guides and numerous other associations. It is a fun occasion with lots of families in the crowd.

In the evening various bars host gaucho parties. These feature a lot of barbecued beef and traditional singing and dancing. Naturally, there is also a lot of drinking and carousing going on in and around the city during this time.

It is worth climbing the mountain and seeing the festival. Salta also makes a good stop over point on the journey up the Andean incline that eventually comes to the high Andes and Bolivia.