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Catamarca, in the footsteps of a miracle worker

Traveling our country as travelers puts us in the face of unexpected surprises. The province of Catamarca is one of them, its natural beauties, villages, culture, gastronomy and traditions. It is a province that should be visited at least once in a lifetime, although surely once it is visited there will always be a desire to inquire a little more. In this note we will immerse ourselves in the religious fervor of his people and punctually in his patron saint, Our Lady of the Valley. The “Virgin Morenita” , as Jorge Cafrune decided to call her in a zamba, celebrated very recently the 400 years of its discovery.

Shall we start the journey?

The city of San Fernando del Valle has a beautiful circuit to tour the road to the Virgin of the Valley. This begins in the grotto where the image was found. It is reached there from the center by Avenida Camino de la Virgen, in a 15-minute drive. It is also possible to take a tour with local guides or board a line collective.

The Choya grotto, alluding to the nearby village, is located on the slopes of the Ambato, a mountain range located to the west of the capital of the province. It has a temple, built in 1941, which covers it in its entirety, as well as a simple stone altar and a small sacristy. Promising people leave their offeringson the mountain, from which stories emerge that they thrill.

On the same avenue you go back and at the second roundabout, on Avenida México, turn left road to San Isidro, department of Valle Viejo. That's the second stop on the route. This is the Hermitage, a construction that originally was made of adobe and straw. As the passage of time deteriorated, what we see today is a replica made in 1926. There we can also see the statue of Manuel de Salazar, who was the Spanish landowner who collected the image of the grotto and built that little shelter for the virgin.


In this place the travelers will learn about the miracle that happened with Salazar. Legend has it that in front of a fire in the cotton tank they had on the farm, Salazar pleaded for a favor to the virgin and she was pleased. The fire stopped and there was virtually no material loss. From that place you return along the only asphalt road of the city until you reach Avenida Presidente Casti

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