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Located in the highlands of the northwest of the province of Catamarca , La Puna Catamarqueña is one of the most imposing Andean landscapes in Argentina. With its salt flats, volcanoes and hills, this immense desert is a range of surprises. Whether it's crystal clear lagoons, the pumice stone field and flamingos, Antofagasta de la Sierra is a destination that leaves anyone breathless.
The village seems stopped in time and is conducive for visitors to get accommodation, try a typical dish, cheer up for llama meat or taste a good wine. A tour of its small historic center allows you to admire the buildings that match the geography of the area. Houses of adobe, the main square and some farms where agriculture and livestock are the means of subsistence of its inhabitants. It should be noted that the town of Antofagasta de la Sierra serves as a starting point for most circuits.
The region is home to an imposing salar, with two interesting facts. One that is the longest in the world (163 kilometers) and the other that its width does not exceed 12 kilometers. It is located between Antofagasta and Calalaste. Although it has an average altitude of 3900 meters above sea level, in some areas it reaches 4600 meters above sea level. The most attractive thing about this salar lies in a few small lagoons called “Ojos de Campo”. There are three and are interconnected and each has a different color. One is reddish, the other is blue and the other is black.
Getting to this wonderful place is not a simple task, it is only accessed through 4x4 vehicles and with authorized guides. This is because the area is inhospitable and isolated . A real adventure for those looking for less conventional tourism.
Another of the places worth knowing is the Campo Piedra Pomez , this natural area is 35 kilometers from the town of Peñón. It is a unique protected Natural Area in the world, with an area that exceeds 75 hectares. The landscapes offered by the Pumice Stone Field seem to be taken from a science fiction film and give your eyes some flamingos or flamingos that walk along the highlands. It is advisable to wear warm clothes, sunscreen and appropriate footwear.
In the city it is worth taking some time and visiting the Mineralogical Museum of La Puna, here are exhibited mineral varieties of Antofagasta de la Sierra and La Puna Argentina, taking into account that Catamarca is a mining province. The Museum is part of the cultural heritage of the province and has an artisanal workshop that is equipped with machinery to work the mineral samples.
Finally, and no less shocking, you can tour the Galán Volcano , it has a crater that is within the largest of the planet. Inside it houses the Laguna Diamante , which contrasts with its crystal clear waters before the imposing dryness. Once there you access the Galán geothermal field from where you can see the boiling and thermal waters.
The adventure proposed by Antofagasta de la Sierra is inexhaustible. Its tourist offer is undoubtedly one of the most attractive in northwestern Argentina, so those who are willing to embark on this amazing trip will not be disappointed.
Publication Date: 12/08/2020
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