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Things to Do in Northwest Argentina - page 2

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Cultural Center of the Americas (Centro Cultural America)
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The Cultural Center of the Americas is a building and organization dedicated to celebrating and promoting cultural events in Salta, Argentina. Events held here include concerts, art exhibits, educational workshops, and cultural, social and business groups. The building was designed by renowned architect and engineer Arturo Prins, and it was built in a French Neo-Baroque style in the early 1900s. Its original intent was to house the 20th of February Club, but the building was expropriated by Ricardo Durán, the governor of Salta at the time. It was a government building for about 40 years after that.

In 1987 the building underwent renovations and became the cultural center it is today. Artists from around the world come here to present their work in art shows, musicians perform here, political and economic conventions are held here, and many other organizations use the cultural center as an entertainment venue.

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Calchaqui Valley

The Calchaqui Valley in northwestern Argentina is one of the country’s most spectacular natural wonders—an often overlooked gem replete with picturesque vistas, ancient ruins, friendly locals and good local wine to wash it all down at the end of the day.

Perhaps the most famous attraction in the Calchaqui Valley is Cafayate, an up-and-coming wine region famous for growing Argentina’s native grape, torrontés. Cachi, a small village on Ruta 40, serves as a popular base for exploring the archaeological sites and smaller valleys within the northern portion of the Calchaqui Valley. In the Tucumán segment of the valley, you’ll find the Ruins of Quilmes, the archaeological remains of one of Argentina’s largest pre-Colombian settlements.

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Quilmes Ruins
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Located amid the vineyards and cacti-dotted ravines of the Calchaquí Valley, the Quilmes Ruins are a collection of ancient walls and fortifications perched on a hillside. The ruins are the remains of Argentina’s largest pre-Columbian settlement, which dates back to AD 75 and once housed 5,000 people.

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Acsibi Caves

Tucked in the Calchaquíes Valley lie a series of caves carved by Mother Nature from the red sandstone of the area. Accessible only on foot, the caves were formed thousands of years ago and are famous for their unusual formations and for the light that filters through gaps in its ceiling, creating an abstract vision of shape and shadow.

The trek to the caves begins near the mouth of a canyon along the River Montenieva. As the trail climbs, the canyon narrows and the trees and cacti begin to disappear. The otherworldly landscape — dotted with historic landmarks from the ancient civilizations that once lived in the area — culminates at the caves, made all the more impressive by their secluded location.

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Salado River (Rio Juramento)

Running for some 715 miles (1,150 kilometers) from its source in Salta, the Salado River (Rio Juramento) is famous for its Class III rapids, which offer a medium level of intensity that’s ideal for white-water rafting and kayaking.

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