Is Salta Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On February 14, 2024
Salta, Argentina
Safety Index:
54
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Various sources indicate that Salta, Argentina was founded in 1852 by a Spanish conquistador.

The truth is that the Inca Empire once lived in Salta.

Once the Spanish conquistadors arrived, tensions rose, with skirmishes and wars often occurring in the area.

Today, Salta is the capital and the largest city of Salta province.

It is in the Lerma Valley, in the northwest part of Argentina.

It rises 3,780 feet above sea level.

Salta is a popular tourist destination because of its rich history, the archaeological sites of pre-Columbian and Inca cultures, and natural beauty.

Salta has safe places to visit and places to avoid, like most cities and countries.

Learning the risks and dangers helps travelers know safety tips when they visit Salta.

Warnings & Dangers in Salta

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM

The overall risk for travelers to Salta is low for some risks, but for others, there is a higher risk of travelers becoming crime victims. Violent crimes, including kidnapping and robbery, and other types of risks, raise the overall risk to medium for Salta. Check the current safety risks before booking a trip to Salta.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: MEDIUM

Pay attention to the color of the taxi at the airport or anywhere else in Salta. Get into a red taxi. Some taxis, such as black taxis, and yellow taxis, may have drivers that look for travelers. Salta's visitors may be overcharged or become victims of scams. Call and book a taxi from the airport or at the hotel.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM

Most crime that occurs in Salta are petty crimes, including pickpocketing. Do not put your wallet in your back pocket. Do not carry a purse that cannot be fully closed with a zipper or other means. Consider not carrying a wallet or purse when trekking around Salta. Travelers should consider only taking the cash or credit card that is needed when visiting the sites.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: HIGH

Several natural disasters have recently occurred in and around Salta. Earthquakes are the most common natural disaster. Earthquake List indicates that over 2,000 earthquakes have struck Salta over the last 10 years. Although many are smaller earthquakes, some have caused deaths, injuries, and destruction. Flooding may affect Salta, Argentina. The Provincial Minister of Safety recently announced the installation of “cutting-edge technology” to strengthen the emergency communication system.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM

Travelers should stay alert to their surroundings and the people around them wherever they go while visiting Salta, Argentina. Muggings do occur in Salta, especially when criminals think that someone is an easy target. Do not stray away from your group or your friends. Stay in open areas. Travelers should not hike or walk alone, especially at night. Do not carry a lot of cash, and never pull out all your cash. Use ATMs during daylight hours, and only in safe areas. Armed robberies and assaults sometimes happen, with both residents and travelers becoming victims.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

Salta has a reputation for corruption and drugs. Terrorists who live in Argentina or who come from other countries have carried out acts of terrorism. There is currently a low risk of terrorist activity. Some terrorist activities were thwarted by Argentina’s government or international agencies.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: MEDIUM

Scams are a risk for travelers throughout much of Argentina. One scam that Salta, Argentina travelers need to be aware of is that some street vendors or other people pretend that they are helping tourists exchange their money. They instead exchange fake bills for the traveler’s good ones. Make sure that you do not receive fake money for change when making a purchase. Do not hail a taxi on the street. The driver may be a scammer. The driver may demand that you pay an extraordinary amount of money for your ride.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: HIGH

Women should not travel alone to Salta and should not walk alone in Salta, Argentina. Indigenous women and female travelers have been victims of assaults, rapes, robberies, and murders. Young girls have even been sexual assault victims. Gender violence may be perpetrated by individual men, gangs, or well-off Salta men who may think that they can buy their way out of criminal charges.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: HIGH

Drink bottled water when visiting Salta. Tap water safety is an ongoing issue. Officials developed a water safety plan in Salta several years ago. Recent findings include that much of the safety plan was never implemented and that the city uses controlled water outages. Complaints against the water utility include excess chlorine in the water and water quality deficiencies. Researchers tested the water and samples indicated the presence of E. coli.

Safest Places to Visit in Salta

Consider traveling to Salta during the spring, which is from September through November.

Fall is another enjoyable time to visit the area.

Fall runs from March through June.

Walk the streets with your group or with friends to marvel at Salta’s colonial architecture.

The city also offers a free walking tour.

Adventurous travelers will likely enjoy taking a ride on the Tren A Las Nubes, a tourist train.

It winds through the Andes Mountains, delighting passengers.

The Tren A Las Nubes leaves from Salta in the morning hours, three days a week.

Head out to the Salinas Grandes Salt Flats for a unique place to visit while in Salta.

Volcanic action formed the salt flats several million years ago.

Weather patterns have formed a foot-deep layer of salt.

Local people sometimes harvest the salt to sell or to make souvenirs for tourists.

Visit the main city square and watch a Milonga performance, which is a freer version of the Tango.

Make sure that you tip the local performers.

Places to Avoid in Salta

Avoiding places known for crime, drugs, and gangs allows travelers to safely enjoy their Salta visit.

The Castedo Clan reportedly has taken over the area of Salta that shares a border with Bolivia.

The alleged purpose is to control and store drugs coming into the area.

Gang activity and the violence that comes with large-scale drug operations means that travelers want to avoid the area of Salta that is close to Bolivia.

Do not hike alone. Stay away from areas that have a lot of trees or heavy brush.

Officials and locals have found dead bodies in these areas.

Do not wait around inside a public transport terminal in or near Salta.

Travelers who do should keep their belongings on them to avoid pickpockets and to prevent other theft.

Stay away from remote areas, even if they look safe.

Gender violence, rapes, and murders of women and girls have occurred in these areas.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Salta

  1. Hold on to personal belongings while at restaurants. Do not put your purse on the floor and do not hang it over the back of your chair. It may not be there when you reach for it. Keep it in your lap.
  2. Do not let others see your cash. Do not pull out a wad of money when paying for meals, drinks, or souvenirs. Take only the cash that you think that you will need each time that you leave your hotel.
  3. Do not accept cards handed out on the street. Do not accept the small prayer cards, information cards, or other cards that people often hand out on the streets of Salta. They may make a loud demand for payment.
  4. Do not leave drinks or food unattended. Do not leave your drink unattended when in a bar or restaurant. Criminals look for opportunities to spike drinks or food to commit muggings, robberies, or sexual assaults.
  5. Do not allow anyone on the street to hail a taxi or other driver for you. Ask a hotel employee to call you a taxi or car driver. Do not let a seemingly helpful person get you a taxi or another driver. You may become a crime victim.
  6. Stay in safe areas. Do not venture to areas that are not on your itinerary or that are far from your hotel. Know where you are going when sightseeing and stay with a group.
  7. Do not allow anyone to exchange money for you. Exchange your money at a reputable location. Do not allow anyone to offer to make the exchange for you, and do not allow anyone to help you count your money.
  8. Avoid streets known for criminal operations. Insight Crime indicates that Highways 9, 34, 40, and 50 are the key routes that drug kingpins use to transport drugs such as cocaine through Salta.
  9. Stay inside during protests. Protests occur for a variety of reasons in Argentina. The gender violence, poverty, and poor health of indigenous groups are some reasons that may lead to protests in Salta.
  10. Carry a photocopy of your passport. Do not carry your actual passport on you. Carry a copy. The U.S. Embassy receives many reports of stolen passports.

So... How Safe Is Salta Really?

Salta, Argentina is a beautiful place that is a destination for many travelers every year.

Tour groups, the free walking tours offered in Salta, and traveling with friends help to improve safety.

The known drug cartels, along with other criminal enterprises and gangs, move drugs, engage in human trafficking and human smuggling in Salta.

Most crimes that occur are things like petty theft.

Travelers to Salta should never leave their belongings unattended, even for a minute.

The U.S. State Department urges travelers not to place their cellphone on the table in a restaurant or other location.

How Does Salta Compare?

CitySafety Index
Salta54
Cordoba61
Buenos Aires60
Puerto Iguazu73
San Miguel de Tucuman32
Neuquen58
Ushuaia68
Vienna (Austria)88
Hong Kong (China)70
Manama (Bahrain)54
Tianjin (China)67
Brussels (Belgium)60
Shanghai (China)66

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

A tourist visa is not required for travelers who go to Argentina for stays of 90 days or less. U.S. citizens who travel on a cruise ship from Argentina which includes visits to other countries need to check the visa requirements for those countries.

Currency

Currency

The Argentine peso, denoted as ARS, is the currency in Argentina. Exchange currency at a bank or hotel. Avoid people on the street who offer to exchange money for you. Argentina has currency restrictions of $10,000 for people over the age of 16 entering the country.

Weather

Weather

Salta has nice weather year-round, but spring and fall are best for people who want to avoid weather extremes. Warm, rainy weather occurs during the summer months. Winter is usually dry and mild. It often gets cold at night.

Airports

Airports

The Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport is the only Salta airport. It is located a little over four miles southwest of Salta. Travelers have several options for getting to the city. Many people travel by taxi. Pre-book a private door-to-door transfer and go from the airport straight to your accommodation location. Taking a bus is an option, but it takes about 50 minutes to get to the city.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Purchase travel insurance before traveling to Salta. The U.S. Department of State warns that the agency “strongly” recommends that travelers purchase supplemental travel and evacuation insurance.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Salta Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 23° C
Feb 22° C
Mar 21° C
Apr 18° C
May 15° C
Jun 12° C
Jul 12° C
Aug 14° C
Sep 17° C
Oct 20° C
Nov 22° C
Dec 23° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
282726242120212325272829
Low
°C
1716161284358121516
High
°F
828179757068707377818284
Low
°F
636161544639374146545961

Argentina - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Buenos Aires60
Cordoba61
La Plata68
Mendoza68
Neuquen58
Puerto Iguazu73
Puerto Madryn70
Rosario32
Salta54
San Miguel de Tucuman32
Ushuaia68

Where to Next?

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