Salta is a province of Argentina, located in the northwest of the country. Neighboring provinces are from the east clockwise Formosa, Chaco, Santiago del Estero, Tucuman and Catamarca. It also surrounds Jujuy. To the north it borders Bolivia and Paraguay and to the west lies Chile.
Before the Spanish conquest, numerous native peoples (now called Diaguitas and Calchaquies) lived in the valleys of what is now Salta Province; they formed many different tribes, the Quilmes and Humahuacas among them, which all shared the Cacan language. The Atacamas lived in the Puna, and the Wichis (Matacos), near Chaco Province.
The first conquistador to venture into the area was Diego de Almagro in 1535; he was followed by Diego de Rojas. Hernando de Lerma founded San Felipe de Lerma in 1582, following orders of the viceroy Francisco de Toledo, Count of Oropesa; the name of the city was soon changed to "San Felipe de Salta". By 1650, the city had around five hundred inhabitants.
An intendency of "Salta del Tucuman" was created within the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata. In 1774, San Ramon de La Nueva Oran was founded between Salta and Tarija . In 1783, in recognition of the growing importance of the city, the capital of the intendency of Salta del Tucuman was moved from San Miguel de Tucuman
Tucuman to Salta.
The battle of Salta in 1813 freed the territory from Spain, but occasional attacks were mounted from the Viceroyalty of Peru as late as 1826. Gervasio de Posadas created the Province of Salta in 1814, containing the current provinces of Salta, Jujuy, and parts of southern Bolivia and northern Chile.
Exploiting internal Argentine conflicts that arose after the Argentine Declaration of Independence, Bolivia annexed Tarija in 1826. In 1834, Jujuy withdrew from Salta and became a separate province. The borders of Salta were further reduced in 1900, with the loss of Yacuiba to Bolivia.
The National Government of Los Andes, constituted from the province in 1902 with a capital at San Antonio de los Cobres, was returned to Salta Province in 1943 as the Department of Los Andes.
Antonio Alice's painting, La muerte de Guemes, which received a Gold Medal at the Centenary Exposition, is on display at the offices of the Salta Provincial Government.
Geography and climate
To the West, the Puna's arid high plains with salty lakes has few inhabitants, and its main city is San Antonio de los Cobres.
High snowy Andean peaks lower to the North-east and hold valleys such as Quebrada del Toro, Valles Calchaquies and the Lerma Valley. This is the most densely inhabited area, and where the Salta city is found. The climate of the area is of hot summers and cold winters with temperatures well below freezing point.
To the east, near the Gran Chaco area, the more humid subtropical climate is home to the Yungas jungle in the El Rey National Park.
The main rivers of the province are the Pilcomayo, Bermejo and the Juramento, which later becomes the Salado River. Salta Province is located at a geologically active region, and suffers from occasional earthquakes. Fairly destructive were the ones that occurred in 1692 and 1948.
Salta's economy is relatively underdeveloped, yet diverse. Its economy in 2006 was estimated at US$5.1 billion, or, US$4,760 per capita (over 45% below the national average).
Agriculture and its derived industries are still an important activity in the province, adding over 10% to output. Tobacco, sugar cane and viticulture are the most important and produce most of the exports from the area. Other crops mostly for local consumption are maize, beans, citrus, bananas, and tomatoes. The sugar cane is processed in plants in Salta before it is sent to the rest of Argentina and other countries. The plant in San Martin de Tabacal is the most important of them. The famous wines of the Valles Calchaquies region near Cafayate are produced in numerous vineyards of diverse sizes .
Gas and petroleum from the Tartagal, Aguas Blancas, Madrejones and Campo Duran centres is transported to Buenos Aires and Rosario by pipes. Campo Duran also has an oil refinery located in the province. In all, manufacturing plays a significant role in Salta, adding 20% to the economy. Mining includes sulfur extraction at the La Casualidad mine, and uranium at Iruya, La Poma and San Carlos.
American breeds of cattle are raised only on the humid sub-tropical east, along with some sheep and goats.
The Salta Province is home to a number of natural, social and historic attractions.
The city of Salta "La Linda" ("The beautiful") is both an important tourist destination, and the centre point for visiting the rest of the province. The city holds different attractions; among them are her colonial houses and cathedral, and the Museo de Arqueologia de Alta Montana de Salta that holds the 3 frozen Inca mummies found at the 6,700 meters of the Llullaillaco volcano.
Also from Salta, the Tren a las nubes crosses canyons and cliffs before arriving to the 3,775 metres of San Antonio de los Cobres. The red-rock formations of the Valles Calchaquies and the wine-town of Cafayate are the second most visited place in the province. Many visit the Cachi mountain and the villages (such as Payogasta) around it.
There are three national parks in Salta: El Rey National Park in the Yungas jungle, Baritu National Park and Los Cardones National Park.
The province is divided in 23 departments .
Anta (Joaquin Victor Gonzalez)
General Guemes (General Guemes)
General San Martin (Tartagal)
La Poma (La Poma)
La Caldera (La Caldera)
La Candelaria (La Candelaria)
La Vina (La Vina)
Los Andes (San Antonio de los Cobres)
Metan (San Jose de Metan)
Oran (San Ramon de la Nueva Oran)
Rosario de la Frontera (Rosario de la Frontera)
Rosario de Lerma (Rosario de Lerma)
San Carlos (San Carlos)
Santa Victoria (Santa Victoria)
1948 Salta earthquake
Official Page (Spanish)
Tourist Secretary (Spanish)
Nuevo Diario de Salta (Spanish)
Universidad Nacional de Salta (Spanish)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Salta Province