Sergio Dubrosin, a reader of Ser Argentino, tells us the best way to take advantage of a trip through Tucumán
Yeah, I know, I'm sure Quilmes pass by often, and they don't see much tourist attraction we say. But I mean the “Sacred City of the Quilmes” in Tucumán, a beautiful area of the Calchaquíes Valleys where the Quilmes native communities resided. History tells us that they remained there since the year 800 of our era. They were first conquered by the Inca Empire (included within the province of Collasullo) until, in 1667, when despite defending themselves for years from the Spanish realistic advances, they finally clauded. 1,700 survivors were translated/banished on foot, as the only way to definitively bend them, to the vicinity of Buenos Aires (present-day city of Quilmes, origin of its name), where barely 400 of them arrived. Appreciating this space and being in the Calchaquíes Valleys, with its landscapes, mountains and wines is a gift for the spirit. The tour of the restored enclosures takes no more than an hour, with a service of well-trained community guides who know perfectly the history of the place and the region.This duration is for those who choose to take the tour in “basic mode”, but recently an Interpretation Centre for the Sacred City of Quilmes was inaugurated. This place was created entirely to generate an interpretive space that transmits and perpetuates the ancestral memory of this original people. It has four rooms that relate through different visual, auditory and tactile resources various aspects of the life of the Quilmes. It is really worth experiencing it. My suggestions:
- Touring this space is amazing, but the visit is incomplete for those who stay looking at the ruins from the base where it is accessed by car and on foot. I recommend investing two more hours and climbing to “the watchtowers” (on signposted trails of low/medium difficulty), which were the spaces of the defensive infrastructure of the Sacred City, panoramic points where the environment was monitored, and as such, offer very wide views of the part today restored and of which is still intact under the earthen mounds, waiting to be uncovered and restored by archaeologists and architects.
- If you can, enter early in the morning type 9 a.m. and bring plenty of water, after that it is quite hot, especially during the spring and summer months.
- There are good bathrooms, but the restaurant and hotel are closed. The tender to reopen them is already underway, but I don't think it is available until spring 2019. There is not a good place to sit down and refresh and recover. Alternatively there are only small kiosks that offer handicrafts, something to drink and also eat (I recommend empanadas) in the “semi shade”.