Amaicha del Valle

A stunning landscape, an enormous historical and archeological legacy, one of the best micro-climate in the world and many years of tradition are some characteristics of Amaicha del Valle which is another must-see destination in Calchaqui Valleys Road.
               
It is located at 164 km (102 miles) from the capital of Tucumán and 2000 m above sea level. Average temperature in Amaicha del Valle is around 20ºC (68º F) and it has a semi-arid climate, with 360 sunny days around the year. In order to get here from San Miguel de Tucumán, tourists have to go through National Route Nº 38 and in Acheral town they have to take the Provincial Route Nº307. Finally, they have to travel 60 km until Tafí del Valle and after that, 50 km more until Amaicha del Valle.

Every year, thousands of tourists choose this place in order to wander and to get to know its unprecedented archaeological legacy.

Due to its lands and weather conditions, it is possible to develop viniculture activities. This made possible to create the first Communal Vinery of South America, and the third in the world, called Los Amaichas. Its activities began in 2011.

The construction of the vinery was made by the native inhabitants. They used an ancient technique of dry-stone to build the walls in order to create small interconnected rooms. Being in permanent interaction with nature is the main characteristic of its construction.

During the process of construction, many architects from different places were involved, from Tucuman to Mendoza. The experts gathered together to design the facilities, under the supervision of the community members. Materials were, naturally, extracted from the area.

Those who enjoy adventure activities could participate in 4x4 excursions in “Tiu Punco” desert; “Tiu Punco” means “the desert door” or “the sandy area door”. It is located at 20 km from Amaicha del Valle main square and there it is possible to observe Petrified Forest remains and native fauna species.

Los Zazos dyke is another unmissable place in order to enjoy beauty and calm. It is located at 7 km from the main square. From here, tourists are able to go on with the journey through the main road and 5 km away, they will find Amaicha River. In case they go on foot, they will find Remate Waterfalls among the stone walls which are parts of the ravine. This is an ideal area in order to relax and refresh on its natural slope.

Almost 15 km away from the main square, there is a place called Las Salinas (The Saline). It consists on a desert made of salt from which the inhabitants take this product for medical or domestic purposes. It is possible to get there on foot, by horse-back or by all-terrain vehicle due to the sandy paths and loose stones. It is highly recommendable to go with a tourist guide.

Another landmark of the area is the carving wooden Virgin. It is located only a few blocks away from Amaicha downtown. This sculpture was made by a German artist called Ludwing Shumacher who lived in the town until he finished it. Before settling down in the North of Argentina, the sculptor had made other similar sculptures in Europe, Russia and U.S.A. After leaving Tucumán, the artist had plans to do new projects around the world.

According to Shumacher, the Virgin is leaning forward and God avoids her fall.  The sculpture also has a dove which represents the Holy Spirit.

There is a typical museum in Amaicha del Valle called Pachamama Museum (Pachamama is the equivalent to Mother Earth). It preserves the ancient traditions and customs of the Diaguita-Calchaquí Culture. It was open in 1998 and it covers 10.000 square meters. There are four rooms for ethnology, geology, tapestry, pictures and a patio full of sculptures.

During Carnival season, the tourists will be able to be part of a well-known celebration in Amaicha: La Pachamama. This celebration is held every year and there they honor the Mother Earth. Its origins are related to cattle and farming fertility. Pachamama (the oldest woman in the town), Ñusta (symbol of fertility), Yastay (protected deity of animals) Pujillay (carnival devil spirit) are elected on this festival.

This town has a wide variety of accommodations, typical food and outdoors activities. What is more, friendly local people and stunning landscapes wait for tourists during the whole year.