Salto is in the citrus growing region of Northern Interior (Uruguay), on the east bank of the Rio Uruguay. It is closely connected to the neighbouring Argentinian city of Concordia that lies across the river on the western bank. Salto has just under 100,000 residents.
There are regular buses from the Tres Cruces terminal in Montevideo, direct service arrives in 6 hours and costs 640 pesos (June 2012 price) per person.
On Sunday, there are no buses to cross into Argentina (Concordia), the only option is a taxi. (June 2012) The bus from Salto to Concordia, Argentina is about 1 hour and $85 pesos (June 2012)...this border crossing is quick and straightforward.
The crossing of the Río Uruguay from Concordia, Argentina takes just a few minutes, the fare is 90 pesos Uruguayos or 20 pesos Argentinos (2011 prices) with discounts for children under age 8. There are several departures each way every day. Note, you must clear customs and passport control on both sides of the river, as it represents the international border.
The weekday ferry schedule (effective Jan 2011) is as follows:
- Departures from Salto: 9:45, 11:15, 13:00, 16:00, 19:30 Uruguayan time.
- Departures from Concordia: 8:35, 12:00, 15:00, 18:30 Argentine time.
- The Saturday and holiday schedule is the same from Concordia; while morning departures form Salto are only at 10:00 and 13:15, continuing with 16:00 as normal. It is unclear if there is service on Sunday.
Taxis between the boat terminal in Concordia and the bus station take about 20 minutes and cost 15 pesos Argentinos. The boat terminal in Salto is close to the center but far from the bus station; Taxis to the bus station cost about 100 pesos Uruguayos.
This is becoming a popular way to travel between the Uruguayan coast and Iguazu Falls, without passing through Buenos Aires or Brazil. It is possible to catch a bus from Concordia's terminal to Iguazu Falls if northbound or Santa Fe and Córdoba if westbound.
There are local buses to the city's hot springs at Daymán every hour on the half hour; they travel along Calle Brasil, the fare is 14 pesos. They will deliver you to the water park or the front entrance of the main springs, where there are also several hotels, restaurants and trinket-sellers.
- Salto Grande hydroelectric dam, 20 km north of the city, is a popular tourist site. This giant dam was built as a joint venture between the governments of Argentina and Uruguay.
The famous healing thermal spa of Fuente Salto is just 6km north of the city.
The hot springs at Daymán are 6kms south, and are accessible by city bus (14 pesos, 25 min). There is a water park Acuamanía with a few slides, and a separate thermal spa which has three sets of pools of different temperatures plus various fountains and showers and a large grassy area for sun and lunch. Entrance costs 70 pesos Uruguayos for foreign travellers, rental of a locker costs 35.
Salto has a free, municipal zoo with almost everything except elephants. The conditions are not exceptional, but are better than at many South American zoos.
The main street in town is Calle Uruguay, which is pedestrian-oriented and has several shops and services including foreign exchange bureaux and banks with ATMs that accept foreign cards.
Restaurants are also located along Calle Uruguay, there are a number to choose from. Some have outdoor seating.
- La Parrilla Calle Uruguay 928, tel. 24997
- A.E.B.U Calle Brasil 768, tel. 30606
- Tia Hotel, Calle Brasil 566 (several blocks east of boat terminal), ☎ (073) 2 65 74. Check-in: from 7 am, check-out: 10 am - noon. Very basic hotel between the boat station and the center, along the bus route towards Dayman hot springs. Low prices and private bathrooms, plus the option of air conditioning, make it agreeable to budget travellers. 300 pesos pp.
The town of Bella Union lies 213km to the north on highway 3, while the city of Paysandu lies 121 km to the south on the same highway.