The Cabra Corral Dam is a favorite spot among the people from Salta when they want to enjoy the weekend. Anything goes there: fishing, bungee jumping, rafting, looking for native footprints and much more.
What is Cabra Corral?
About 85 km from the capital city of Salta there lies the Cabra Corral Dam. It was named after the title used on the folders of the project by the American company in charge of the topographic surveys. “Cabra Corral” instead of “Corral de Cabras” as the area was truly called (“goat yard” in English).
Nowadays, this construction, which was finished a long time ago, is an artificial dam that combines waters from all the rivers of the Calchaquí Valley region creating a dam of millions of liters of water. It has a Y shape and can be accessed by many sides.
The Panedille Brothers Company was in charge of the construction, carried out between 1966 and 1972. Made up by Italian and Argentinian capital, it was able to give life to one of the biggest constructions in the country.
A favorite spot among the people from Salta
An artificial dam
The lake has a surface of 115 square km and its aim was to allow the watering of almost a hundred thousand hectares in the Provinces of Salta and Santiago del Estero, both of which became part of the national link of hydroelectric energy.
The dam is 93 meters high and for a few years now one of the most symbolic activities of the dam has been practiced from one of its columns: bungee jumping. This is a new sport in which people jump head-first from a great height (in this case, towards the waters of the dam) attached to an elastic cord that enables people to experience the unique feeling of free fall. Hundreds of fans get together most weekends to practice this novel activity.
Rafting is practiced at the beginning of the Juramento River. This activity consists in going downstream through the rapids in rubber boats and rafts. Also, on the river banks people can fish rainbow trout and some dorados. However, the biggest dorados can be found in the dams created further down.
Sport fishing is the most popular activity in the waters of the dam. People use the big rafts or boats because at night they are ideal to fish with friends. Giant silversides inhabiting the dam are abundant.
Heading for the Rock Paintings
One of the excursions that attract everyone’s attention within the Cabra Corral Dam is on the banks of the dam, a land once inhabited by the native settlers of the area.
You can start at the Fisherman’s Club, where most of the boats and fishing rafts are anchored. There, our guide was waiting for us to navigate to an area where the vegetation of the surface of the water is abundant and we moored at the foot of a “weird” hill.
As soon as we got off the boat, we started to walk in circles around a wonderful circuit that slowly took us to a small rocky outcrop where we had a fantastic view: hundreds of petroglyphics and rock paintings near at hand.
Original settlers inhabited there and they had their own view of the world. Apart from animals, men, women and children there were other members of these tribes. They were the warlocks, gods and other beings worshiped by them.
One just has to lie down under these ancient rocks and look. Every visitor can make their own interpretation, what the artists wanted to share with us or leave for the next generations. A unique experience that amazes us all, even the most skeptical.
Pablo Etchevers Gentileza Eliseo Miciu
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