Shopping in Salta, Argentina: Handcrafts, Souvenirs & Malls
Salta is a beautiful city that has colonial architecture, breathtaking scenery, delicious cuisine, and an array of wonderful things to buy and take back home with you. Because it is the largest city within the Salta Province, it features the largest variety of arts and crafts on offer in the region. You can find silver items, leather goods, wrought iron furniture, knits, as well as pottery and basketry in the different shopping areas in town.
Three of the most recommendable places for shopping are the Mercado Artesanal (Craft Market) on Avenida San Martin, numerous shops near the historic downtown district, as well as the feria artesanal (craft fair) on Calle Balcarce.
Something to keep in mind is that most of the shops here, if not all, as well as museums and churches, usually close from 1:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon, but they stay open until 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. in the evening, as it is the custom in northern Argentina. Although the local currency is the Argentinian peso, it is also possible to pay in American dollars or euros just about anywhere you go shopping. Most stores are closed on Sundays.
Sunday is a good day for going out to explore the different areas for shopping in the city. There are quite a few places called ferias (fairs) where numerous vendors gather to sell their goods to locals and tourists alike. These fairs are all over town, especially on Sundays, when most of the shops are closed. One of the most popular craft fairs in on Calle Balcarce.
Typical Santenian Crats
Among the most representative arts and crafts from Northern Argentina, there are:
- Silver objects with indigenous, gaucho or religious motifs.
- Colorful Saltenian ponchos and llama and wool knits.
- Leather goods: jackets, shoes, hats, especially made of capybara (a large rodent, indigenous to the area) skin.
- Pottery from Cachi and Cafayate.
- All kinds of jewelry pieces made of rhodochrosite, also known as Inca Rose, a semi-precious rose-red crystal which is the national stone.
Wine from the region is another thing that is very much worth getting and it is also quite inexpensive. You can choose from excellent white wine from Torrontes, Chenin Blanc, Semillon or Riesling grapes, or red from several varieties of grapes, such as Tempranillo, Barbera, or the most popular Malbec.
Alto Noa is the only large shopping center in town. It is a modern mall featuring 100 stores (selling national and international brands), eight movie theaters, a kids play area, as well as a food court with regional food. It is located in North Salta on Avenida Virrey Toledo.
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