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CACHI

SALTA

ARGENTINA

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SALTA

CACHI

Wrapped in multicoloured sierras and blessed by the Calchaquí River, Cachi is a balsam to the spirit. Located 157 kilometres away from the City of Salta, and 165 from Cafayate, it is a picturesque town of narrow pitted streets, in the middle of a valley of fertile lands and surrounded by alfalfa and red pepper plantations, which, when drying in the sunshine, constitute a flashy and colourful scenery.

Standing at 2280 metres above sea level, Cachi receives its guests with a particular essence that distinguishes it as a Calchaquí town frozen in time. With its ever-snowed summit, the Cachi Mountain or "White Rock of Solitude" (that has nine peaks being the highest at 6720 metres) is one of the treasures creating a special stage to a town comprising 1500 people.

Its origin dates back to the year 1673. The plaza, enclosed by a stonewall, emulates the meeting centres of the Chicoana people, ancient inhabitants of the zone. Standing at one side is the church of Cachi, declared a National Historical Monument in 1945. This neo-gothic temple exhibits a singularity of the valleys: Its roof, main altar, confessionary and the frames of the paintings, are all made out of cardón, a typical cactus wood of the area.

On the other side is the Museo Arqueológico "Pío Pablo Díaz" Archaeological Museum, where about 5000 pieces narrating a more than ten thousand? year history, from 800 B.C. to 1600 A.C.?, are kept.

Cachi means salt in the Quechua language, and the legend goes that the Inca conquerors mistook the silver summit of the Cachi snow-capped mountain with a salt mine. Another etymological line argues that the word comes from the Kakana language of the ancient Diaguita people - who settled in these valleys - where the word "kak" means stone, rock or craggy rock, and the word "chi" or "chin" means silence, solitude.

SPANISH VERSION
SALTA - ARGENTINA
Salta Argentina
Salta Pictures
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Subdestinations in Salta
* Northeast Circuit
* West Andean
Circuit

* Southeast Circuit
* Valleys Circuit
- Angastaco
- Animana
- Cachi
- Cafayate
- Chicoana
- Coronel Moldes
- Dique de
Cabra Corral

- La Poma
- Brealitos Lake
- Molinos
- Los Cardones
National Park

- San Carlos
- Seclantas
Peaceful and traditional the town conserves big old mansions, many of them from the colonial period, sitting at the edge of narrow streets coming on up from a luminous background of sown fields and plantations, framed by snowed peaks and sierras. The Fiesta Patronal de San José Patron Festivity is celebrated on the 19th of March, with diverse popular and religious activities.

HOW TO GET THERE
This town can be reached going through the Ruta Provincial Nº 68 Provincial Route up to Chicoana, and then through the Ruta Provincial Nº 33, that runs along the Escoipe ravine to penetrate then into the winding Cuesta del Obispo (Bishop's Slope), flanked by velvety mountains and a vertiginous precipice.

The highest point is at Piedra del Molino (Millstone) at 3348 metres above sea level. Further ahead, the famous straight line of Tin Tin (a part of the 23 thousand kilometre long Inca Trail) is crossed, as well as the Parque Nacional Los Cardones (The Cordon Cactus National Park). Finally, after a three-hour drive, travellers arrive to the town, which is sleeping alongside the Calchaquí River.

Another way to get to Cachi is going through the Ruta Nacional Nº 40, that connects with La Poma and Los Andes towards the north, and Molinos and Cafayate towards the south.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
One of the main attractions is the Museo Arqueológico, located at the Cacique Juan Calchaquí street, which opens Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Pottery objects made by the ancient Pulare people, who inhabited the region before the Spaniards, can be admired. It is facing the plaza as is usual in an urban layout of colonial style. Its construction began in the middle of the 18th century, and was the private prayer chapel of the Aramburu family during those years. Father De la Zerda had its façade refurbished around 1884. The façade we currently know is from 1947.

WHAT TO DO
Besides the admirable enchantment of its natural beauties, Cachi is an ideal locality for the practice of adventure tourism. In its surroundings travellers can fish trout, take a horseback ride or a hike, or maybe make excursions to the archaeological sites, such as a place called La Paya, where a pre-Hispanic indigenous city was established long ago.

RIDES
Cachi Inland (6 Km)
A place of running streams and beautiful landscapes. At the place called Las Pailas, a kilometre away, ruins from pre-Columbian civilizations can be found.

Payogasta (11 Km)
Ancient settlement once inhabited by the Pule people. Sport fishing of lluscas, a native fish from the Andean rivers, can be practiced.
Eight kilometres away, in the direction of La Poma, stands the Potrero de Payogasta, a National Historical Monument holding the ruins of a pre-Hispanic compound supposedly occupied twice, the last time by the Incas.

La Paya (10 Km; followed by 4 Km of pathway)
Access is through the Ruta Nacional Nº 40 and Provincial unnumbered. It holds ruins from a pre-Hispanic indigenous settlement. It is important for travellers to hire the services of a guide. The black or purple pissankkalla (a type of corn) is cultivated in the area.

Laguna de Brealito Lagoon (30 Km; followed by 12 Km of pathway)
Access is through the Ruta Nacional Nº 40 and Provincial unnumbered. It is a private 70-hectare lake of volcanic origin. Here, you can sport fish for atherine. The homonymous hamlet holds a traditional sanctuary.

Molinos (48 Km)
Very old town with a church dating back to the 17th century. Access is through the Ruta Nacional Nº 40.

 


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