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The Central Region of the province of Catamarca in Northern Argentina is the place of Gauchesque traditions, unforgettable landscapes, folklore and summer villas. The whole region is crossed by routes that lead to natural balconies and high valleys. Its interesting historical and landscape tour can be visited throughout the year: here are some of its must-see points.
Immortalized in the famous Catamarca landscape zamba , Cuesta del Portezuelo is located about 18 kilometers from San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca. It is a magnificent and winding cornice path that climbs up the Ancasti hill through beautiful landscapes and from the viewpoint of the summit the panoramic views of the Central Valley with wonderful. The road, which historically linked the east of the province with the Central Valley, allows you to appreciate the typical landscape of the area and sometimes even see majestic condors passing by unfolding their wings in impressive flight. At the summit there is a inn that provides both food and accommodation.
The Las Pirquitas dam is 27 kilometres from the capital city and is the largest in the province. Its name is due to the fact that it was mounted with the pirca system, that is, stacking rammed stones and cement-free roads, an ancestral technique of the native peoples. The lake that forms has an average depth of almost 700 meters. Its goal is to supply water for irrigation to more than 10,000 hectares, contain floods and generate electricity. Surrounded by mountains with unparalleled views, in its waters you can practice water sports such as rowing, kayaking, jet skiing and regatta races, as well as trout fishing and silvery fishing.
A few kilometers from the provincial capital, travelers can enjoy landscapes of enormous beauty with several villages and tourist attractions. This is the path called Vuelta del Ambato, which leads to the El Jumeal dam, the village El Rodeo with its mountains of different greens, the river Las Trancas, the towns of Las Juntas and La Puerta among others.
The summer village par excellence for the inhabitants of the provincial capital is El Rodeo its dirt streets make it even quieter, its location more than 1200 meters above sea level makes your nights cool. The place is in the midst of amazing landscapes crossed by small streams. The mountain formation of El Manchao stands out, from which five rivers descend into a narrow ravine and join in a beautiful torrent. Hiking, horseback riding, fishing, cycling tours around the village and quadricycles are some of the activities that travellers do.
Las Juntas, meanwhile, owes its name to the confluence of the Las Trancas and La Salvia rivers. The same activities are also carried out among landscapes of rich mountain rivers and native forests, where there are inns and cottages. The Gate, which bears his name because it is the gateway to the ravine of Ambato, combines the beauty of nature with recreational activities, history and ancient traditions.
Capayán was the site chosen by the oldest human settlements in the Catamarca Valley. In fact, its name comes from the Quechua “Capac Yan (or Ñan)”, that is to say Royal Road. The small towns of Capayán are located on the edge of the old RN38 and the railway line that connected these towns with the rest of the province. Its natural environment can be explored on foot, on horseback or by bike, discovering corners and enjoying its pleasant streams.
A unique attraction is the Arrayanes Forest, in the town of Concepción: they are part of the yungas strip that extends from Peru and Bolivia, passing through Jujuy, Salta and Tucumán, to end precisely in Catamarca. It is a dense vegetation with species such as cebiles, biscotes and the so-called “Arrayanes del Cerro”, a species different from that found in southern Argentina.
In the area there is an average difficulty hiking circuit of 11 kilometres long. It crosses rivers and ravines appreciating flowers, mushrooms, butterflies and a wide variety of birds. You can also visit places where the rural tradition comes to life in the midst of the unique natural environment. Another place of interest in Capayan is the small town of Los Angeles, which is accessed by a beautiful slope. The area is also part of the Northern Towers and Bells Circuit, which includes religious buildings of particular beauty, among which are the Circular Church of San Nicolás de Bari, in the town of San Pablo and the Corazón de Jesús Church in Chumbicha, departmental head.
Source: Secretariat of Tourism Management Catamarca. Photo credit: Carolina Cabrera
Publication Date: 06/11/2020
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