This summer village is very near the capital of Catamarca. It is the perfect place to enjoy a weekend with family or friends. The many activities that can be done are worth a visit.
Fog Town, or rather, Niquixao
. That was the original name in Quechua
tongue of the beautiful tourist village known today as El Rodeo
and founded by the Spaniards in 1614.
Located at 38 km from the capital of the province
, this town with its dirt roads and chalets
offers incredible landscapes since it lies 1,275 meters above sea level on uneven ground run by small streams that provide color to the place in summer.
A mountainous formation called “El Manchao
”, which can be seen at first sight, gives origin to five rivers that end up in a very narrow ravine and join together as a plentiful watercourse.
El Rodeo is a must for those visiting the Province of Catamarca
, not only for its proximity to the City of San Fernando del Valle but also for its landscapes and benign weather in summer when the nights are cool despite the heat of the day.
Activities for Everyone
Good fishing –being the rainbow trout one of the most popular species in the area- and horseback riding, which lets visitors skirt the summits that mark the boundary of El Rodeo, are the most popular activities for those who come to the village in the warm summer months.
There is no doubt that hiking is the activity preferred by visitors since anyone can go for it. One of the most visited circuits is Cordón Ambato
, which goes up to 1,500 meters above sea level. From that height, the flight and the distressing movements of the condors can be observed.
Another visited circuit is the one called "the condors’ bathing place”, where nature has created natural pools and an outstanding six-meter cascade.
Another alternative practiced by most people is to go around the outskirts of town on rented bicycles and ATVs. Visitors may reach the only museum in the place (which used to house an old local store in former times) or to some of the chapels where thousands of people congregate during Holy Week.
A Town and its Traditions
Apart from its natural attractions, El Rodeo turns out to be a fascinating place because its 1,200 inhabitants maintain many of the traditions that keep the memory of the village alive and mesmerize visitors year round. The Flower Festival is in January while the Big Rodeo is held in February. This is a festival that includes doma and folklore besides plentiful and delicious asados. Something to remember: El Rodeo is one of the historical places with cattle activity in the Province of Catamarca.
The most important festival of the place is the one called Niquixao, which has been held every year on May 25th since 1988. During this day, the residents of El Rodeo reclaim the identity of the town, its customs and the feeling of belonging.
On summer nights, tourists can enjoy the typical food but also the music of various groups, particularly folk music. It is one of the most significant rhythms in Northwestern Argentina.
For those who love cultural tourism, El Rodeo offers several monuments, among them the Candelaria and the Concepción Churches and the Culture House, which was recycled at the beginning of the last century and which houses the Ambato Regional Museum, where permanent artistic activities are developed.