San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca - Photos: Pablo Etchevers
Capital City of the province, San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca is situated in the northwest of the country, by Del Valle river and at the bottom of Ambato Hill.
Semiarid region, at 543 mts. above the sea level, it is located in a valley surrounded by Ambato and Ancasti Mountains. High mountains, rivers and lagoons make this area an ideal place for excursion lovers.
The climate is continental mild with an annual average temperature of 20ēC in the East and centre with maximum temperatures of 45ēC in Summer, according to records. In Winter, the temperature goes from 20ēC to 5ēC and, in the area of the high mountains, minimum temperatures reach 25ēC below zero.
One can get to San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca by plane to "Felipe Varela" airport only a few kilometres away, operating daily inter-provincial flights of three companies and three weekly regional flights.
Catamarca is a quechua word that means "Fortress in the Side" and refers to the topographic location of San Fernando del Valle City.
The place is chosen by tourists from all over the world due to its many natural and cultural attractions. Activities like hiking, mountain-bike rides, horse riding, quad excursions and fascinating historical and archaelogical circuits are offered.
The architecture of San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca shows typically colonial red roofs with big entrances and patios of sun. It is framed by four avenues that embrace the city rhythm. It is suggested to visit the Cathedral with its neoclasical style, the Main Square called "25 de Mayo" and having a special design, the Archaeological, Crafts, Art, and Sports Museums, apart from the well-known Cavern of the "Virgen del Valle".
In the Winter, San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca celebrates the "Fiesta Nacional del Poncho" (The Poncho National Festival) where ponchoes, decorated strips, tapestries, blankets, carpets and other regional weaves are shown.
Towards the mountains, a few kilometers away from the city centre, one can visit dream places like "La Cuesta del Portezuelo", "La Puerta", "El Rodeo" or "El Juncal" and "Las Pirquitas" dams, where water activities can be enjoyed.
There is no doubt that San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca is an excellent place to enjoy its landscapes and its people's hospitality.