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Friday, 30 April 2010

Cafayate

Cafayate is a small town with a population of about 12 thousand people that is in the mountains at an altitude of 1600m. The town is noteworthy for two things in particular. The first is its proximity to the strange rock formations of the Quebrada de Cafayate and the other is its vineyards. The altitude, soil and micro-climate make the area around Cafayate perfect for wine cultivation.

Cafayate feels like a small town. It is easy to walk everywhere. Around the main plaza are a series of restaurants and tourist souvenir shops. On the outskirts of town and in the nearby countryside are a number of Bodegas, many of which are open to the public. It has become a popular tourist activity to hire a mountain bike and head off for the day to visit some wineries and sample the local vintages. Care of course should be taken not to get too drunk if you are in charge of a bicycle.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Amaicha del Valle

Amaicha del Valle is a beautiful town 55 kms from Tafi del Valle. It is a sleepy small place with a micro climate that has 360 sunny days a year.

The town is high up in the Sierra de Aconquija and is the traditional home to the Calchaqui Diaguita Indigenous community. It is said that inhabitants of Amaicha have the purest indigenous blood in all of Argentina.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Tafi del Valle

Tafi del Valle is delightful small town in the mountains in the north of Argentina. Tafi del Valle is in the Sierra da Aconquija mountain range and is at an altitude of 1,976 m above sea level. It is about 100 km from Tucuman.

The great thing about Tafi is the scenery. The area is in a huge valley plain with a big lake and towering mountains. There are many treks to do. Within a few minutes walking you are out of town and in pristine countryside. Many Argentines come here during the hot summer months to escape the heat and crowds of the city. When you have visited Tafi it is easy to understand why – it is a tranquil area perfect for fishing, horse back riding, trekking, mountain biking, camping or just plain lazing around and having a barbecue or picnic.


Thursday, 8 April 2010

San Miguel de Tucuman

San Miguel de Tucuman or as it is normally referred to, 'Tucuman' is the eponymous capital of Tucuman Province and the largest city in northern Argentina.

Tucuman is not a particularly exciting city to look at but, nevertheless, Tucuman is of extreme importance to Argentine culture.

There are a few beautiful colonial buildings to visit, the most famous of which is the City Hall (Casa de Gobierno) which is lit up at night. Other places of interest include the Museo Folklorico Manuel Belgrano which displays artifacts from Indigenous cultures in the region, Casa del Obispo Colombres, an 18th Century House with agricultural exhibits, Le Mercad Church, Independence House (where independence from Spain was first declared) and Timoteo Navarro Museum on 9 de Julio.


Monday, 5 April 2010

Cordoba

Cordoba is a city of about one million inhabitants which was named ‘Cultural Capital of The Americas' in 2006. Not only is there a great many places of cultural interest to visit in Cordoba but also Cordoba has a great nightlife (thanks to a massive university student population) and nearby there are many adventure activity possibilities.

The center of Cordoba is quite compact. It is a short walk from the bus terminal to the city center and most of the accommodation options. The central plaza is San Martin Plaza. Near the central plaza there are several beautiful churches to visit including the Iglesia Catedral and the Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus. The Iglesia de Santa Teresa has a museum of religious art. Very close to Cordoba Backpackers is the Museo Provincial de Belles Artes Emilio Caraffa which has free admission to a stunning collection of paintings. On Rosario de Sante Fe Street is the Museo Historico Provincial Marques de Sobremonte. It was built in 1752 and is one of the oldest buildings in Cordoba.