Salto On a BudgetSalto is in the citrus growing region of Northern Interior Uruguay, on the east bank of the Rio Uruguay. It is closely connected to the neighboring Argentinian city of Concordia that lies across the river on the western bank. Salto is Uruguay's second-largest city and the most northerly crossing point to Argentina. Salto is a very picturesque city that has a relaxing feel the entire year. However, people mostly come here for the nearby hot springs and the recreation area above the enormous Salto Grande hydroelectric dam.
SightsThe Represa Salto Grande is a source of national pride in Uruguay. This massive hydroelectric dam 14 km north of Salto, about a 20 minute drive, provides over 50% of Uruguay's electricity. You can visit both the Uruguayan and Argentine sides of the hydroelectric dam with free 90-minute guided tours. A taxi from Salto to the dam will cost you about USD$20. On the way, check out the stands selling homemade empanadas and freshly squeezed local orange juice. If at some point of your visit to Salto you wish to get to know a bit more about the history of the city, join the city's free walking tour on Plaza Artigas. If you need to ask locals where it is, don't be surprised if they know it as "18 de Julio" or "Plaza Nueva", its older name.
ActivitiesThe most popular activity around Salto is to spend a day or more in the Termas del Arapey, which similar to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, maintain an excellent temperature and have therapeutic properties. These hot springs were the first ones to be set up in the Salto region and they are still running their waters for visitors looking to have a relaxing time. It's a little bit far from the city, but the travel is worth it for the beautiful nature surrounding the park and the opportunity to get to know the area better. Other waterparks and spas in the region include The Dayman Hot Springs, the Acuamania Waterpark, the The Salto Grande Hot Springs and the Horacio Quiroga Complex. You can also visit the Museo del Hombre y la Tecnologia. Housed in a historic market building, this museum features excellent displays on local cultural development and history upstairs, and a small archaeological section downstairs. The Museo de Bellas Artes y Artes Decorativas is a real haven for art-lovers. You will find a nice collection of Uruguayan painting and sculpture in a historic two-story mansion with a grand staircase, stained glass and a back garden. Head to the wild zoo of the city of Salto, which has over 150 different species. It's a beautiful place to be out in the nature too, with extensive vegetation and green areas.
You also probably know that Uruguay is a great country for fishing and Salto is not left behind. Right on the Uruguay River is one of the best regions to go fishing.
Food and DiningUruguayan cuisine may not be as well known as that of other South American countries, but that just makes discovering the country's dishes even more exciting. Both the indigenous Charrua people and those of several European countries influence the cuisine of Uruguay, which features many meaty-heavy dishes. Alongside a large selection of grilled meats, you will also find great snacks including gnocchi and empanadas, both popular foods in Uruguay.
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