Catamarca is a province located in the Northeast of
Argentina, bordering Salta to the North, Tucumán to the
Northeast, Santiago del Estero to the East, La Rioja to the
Southeast, Córdoba to the South, and Chile to the West. This
is characteristically a mountainous region, with high
elevations in the eastern part of the province. It can be
divided into three major geological zones:
La Puna: in the northern part of the province with
high elevations and mountainous regions, including the
mountain range of Calalaste, salt flats and dormant
volcanoes, such as the Antofallal Volcano.
La Cordillera Central: in the southeastern part of the
province with high mountainous peaks such as Monte Pissis
(6882 m), Ojos del Salado (6864 m) and Tres Cruces (6749 m).
Sierras Pameanas: the rest of the province consists of a
series of rolling hills and fields. This region is also home
to the Pinanaco Salt Flats.
By way of the Inca Trail:
Try to imagine a place where the voices of the land and of
man sing the same song. Try to imagine this song of fertile
lands, rocks, stones, water and sun. It is a song of
adventure and mystery where the world of nature and the
world of man collide. This is what you will find in
Catamarca’s landscapes offer uniquely vast and contrasting
geographic elements. The East and North are categorized by
mountain ranges and deep caverns that, in the blink of an
eye, grow into wide valleys running alongside the peaks of
the great Andes Mountain Range. To the Southeast, the
rolling hills cover the landscape, where as in the Eastern
region, these same hills lend to green pastures and fields.
The marked differences between the area’s mountain peaks and
gulleys make for breathtaking panoramic views.
Its capital, San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca, a year-round
tourism hub, is a city that should be visited unhurried and
unrushed to enjoy its colonial style to the fullest. You can
still find old mansions with windows covered by iron bars de
complicada tracería y recios portales que dejan entrever
amplios patios de baldosas rojas. It is worth a visit to the
city’s cathedral and to the Camarin of the Virgin of the
Valley, patron saint of Northern Argentina. You also should
not miss the notable museums in the city, such as the one
created by and dedicated to Adam Quiroga, which holds a an
important archeological collection.
The average annual temperature of Catamarca is 20.4º C (or
Agricultural production is a large and important part of the
economy of Catamarca. In particular, the province produces
olives, olive oil, walnuts, regional wines, grapes, liquors,
sweets, dried fruits, tomatoes, chilies, cotton, tobacco,
citrus fruits, and a number of spices. The newly developed
route to Chile through the Andes Mountains called El Paso
Cordillerano de San Francisco, guarantees that agricultural
commodities reach the Eastern and Pacific markets. Therefore,
there is access to both external and internal trade markets.
In order to fully discover Catamarca, one must take the time
to visit the land and to gain an understanding of the
complex, intimate relationship between the land and its
historic past. This is an historically, agriculturally and
archeologically rich region that manages to maintain its
customs and traditions of the past while taking the bold and
necessary steps to move forward into its promising future.