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Mutquin, a paradise in the mountains of the Ambato

I recommend this wonderful place in the heart of Catamarca.
Catamarca
01 October, 2019

I visited Mutquin, in the heart of the province of Catamarca, more precisely in the department of Pomán. The village, with just over a thousand inhabitants, rests on the western slope of Mount El Manchao, the largest summit (4561 MSNM) of the Ambato Cordon. It is called Manchao (and not Spotted), because it means manch = fear, ao = place, that is: Place of Fear. Some unsuspecting may think it’s because of the spots on the hill, but no. It is a “place of great wind and bad fame because it frightens me with its noises”, tells me José Barrionuevo, director of tourism of the place.

Mutquin is perfect for visiting all year round as the activities offered to tourists are heterogeneous. Due to its altitude, Mutquin has a fairly cool microclimate, even on summer days, where in the evenings the temperature usually drops below 15º C. If you visit it at that station you can enjoy not only the Nut Festival but also a real Northerncarnival .

How to get there?

The town is located 172km from San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca. From the bus terminal there is a public transport that takes you regularly. I, on the other hand, did the tour by car. I took national route 38, like going to La Rioja. Upon reaching the RN 60, I turned right to cross the Ambato through the ravine of La Cébila. Twenty kilometers of mountain road that winds with the Salado River, something as beautiful as it is indescribable.

Once crossed, turn right along the route provincial 46. After a nondescript path I returned to the adventure of the roads zigzagging. They were 12 km ascent to get to Mutquin, by a beautiful questecilla, as you’re told around here, which is provincial route 133.

What’s Mutquin like?

The village is in a place of peace and tranquility. A people that you will make you feel like you’ve come to earthly paradise. The green of its walnuts is amalgam with the aroma of herbs coming down from the hills. Precisely from there. comes on behalf of the region. Mutki in the language of the peoples originates means to smell. All this combined with the quiet gait and the friendliness and simplicity of its people, make your stay comfortable.

In Mutquin you can develop different activities, from the Full rest watching, lying on the grass, setting the sun on the hills. Up to the dynamic mountain activity. For the most seasoned there are excursions to make a summit in the Manchao, with a medium degree of difficulty. If you are, like I, among those who like hiking trails this is the place Perfect.

In search of Los Chorros

The Mutquin is a river that comes from a secluded ravine in Manchao. It glides west and crosses the village. They use their water for irrigation and consumption. This torrent leaves on its way waterfalls and waterfalls, which locals call Los Chorros.

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