San Pedro de Colalao

San Pedro de Colalao, one of the best summer villages, is framed by rivers Tipas and Tacanas.  There is an amazingly wide range of tourist attractions here.

In order to arrive, tourists should take National Route Nº9 to the north from the Tucumán City. They have to travel 65 km (40 ½ miles) approximately until Provincial Route Nº311 intersection. Then, they have to travel 25 km (16 miles) to get to the village. The journey finishes with 90 km (55 ½ miles) as a whole.

Its weather is dry with minimum temperatures between 18ºC and 25ºC (65º F and 77ºF). Thus, it is possible to enjoy sunny days and chilly nights. In winter, rains are not frequent. Besides, the high peaks are part of a stunning view, especially when it has snowed. They make contrast with the clear blue sky.

At the end of XVII century, Captain Pedro de Ávila y Zárate and priest Luis Marañon established San Pedro de Colalao with forty-seven native inhabitants. That was the origin of this village, which is surrounded by stunning farms. In 1858, local inhabitants donated lands to the church. Later, those lands were sold and a population nucleus was formed. In 1901, the village commune began and in 1902 San Pedro church was open. Jesuits used to teach local dwellers agriculture and handcraft there. Inside the church, there is a 300-year-old bell that monks lost in a storm and later it was found on the riverbed.

Archaeological remains are possible to be found. They belong to Ayampitin, Ampajango and Candelaria culture in their early, middle and late stages. The main square, Leocadio Paz, is surrounded by ancient large houses with classical Italianate characteristics built in XIX century. Besides, the Tipuanatipo trees, San Pedro temple, the museum, the library, the commune and other buildings stand out in this place. In San Pedro Museum, there are some petroglyphs (figures engrave on rocks) and millenarian rocks.

One of the most famous landmarks includes Piedra Pintada (Painted Stone) which is an archaeological site located at 9 km (5 ½ miles) from the village. Signs were carved on stones by ancient cultures to honor fertility and crops. This petroglyph has more than 45 curved petroglyphs and it was discovered at the end of XIX century on the bank of Tipas and Mayu rivers. It is recommendable to go with local guides.

Another landmark is Virgin Lourdes Grotto, located at the entrance of this summer village. It is a replica of the French model. It has an original inserted stone in one of the walls. In February, thousands of believers get together in order to witness “The Miracle of Virgin Lourdes” performed by professional actors and local volunteers.

Chulca River is located at 9 km northwest. It portrays stunning landscapes to spend some time with family. Lots of visitors come here especially during summer. Its access is through dirt roads.

Moreover, it is possible to visit a wildlife sanctuary called Reserva Fotozoológica Dr. Carlos Pellegrini where visitors can spend the day surrounded by nature. They will immerse in a perfect rain-forest and will appreciate more than 150 exotic species, such as; toucans, lions, Bengal tigers, flamingos, among other native local species like foxes, eagles, pumas and tapirs.

For adventure lovers, San Pedro offers Puente del Indio (Native Aboriginal Bridge) excursion. It is a natural bridge created by the time and water erosion. However, rumors say it was built by the ancient native aborigines. It is recommendable to go with a tourist guide.

Monte Bello is a natural overlook where the whole village can be seen in all its splendors.

Different fests are held throughout the year. Tourists will be able to participate in the Humita Fest (a traditional local dish) in January or the Walnut Fest during Holy Week, among others.

San Pedro has a wide variety of accommodations and foods.  It is also an ideal place to go trekking, mountain bike, horse-riding among some others .