Transport in Salta is convenient and fairly priced, but make sure you have small change for almost everything!
Most bus journeys cost ARS$1.75, but the system requires you to have that in coins — and coins are hard to come by in Argentina, with many shops offering you a few sweets instead of change. Walk past the driver and drop your coins in the machine behind him before taking your printed ticket.
If you are stuck, offer ARS$2 (as a single note) to another boarding passenger, and have them tag you onto the bus using their SAETA card. Make sure you get the ticket that the machine prints out though: you don’t want to be caught without it.
The SAETA cards are a tag-on system, which can only be bought at a few locations then recharged at dozens of small shops and kiosks. There are places to buy them near Plaza 9 de Julio and the San Martin markets — ask around.
BTS – Tourist bus
There are a fleet of open-topped tourist busses that circle the main sights in Salta. Buy a daily ticket to take advantage of this route, and do all your sightseeing at once. Doesn’t run on Mondays, rainy days, and days after holidays. At either ARS$40 or $50 per day pass, local transport is much cheaper (call it 10 rides at ARS$1.75 each), but you do have the advantage of a clearly signed bus. Seems expensive for the convenience.
Taxi drivers in Salta are not know for ripping off tourists, so you can relax more than in many other South American cities. However, always hail a marked radiotaxi and ensure the meter is running.
Traffic seldom reaches extreme levels of congestion, but there are a few points that get jammed up during the day, especially around the centre of town. When driving in Salta, be careful at uncontrolled intersections and keep your eyes and ears open for other road users — needless to say, busses give themselves right of way at all times.
When parking in the city, you might find yourself approached by a parking warden wearing a hivis vest. They will take $2-5 pesos from you, and issue you with a parking ticket. Some times you will be required to pay an hourly rate when you return to the car.
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