Cachi, the Land of the Inexplicable Salt
Located in the convergence of the Cachi and Calchaquí Rivers, the City of Cachi is part of the Calchaquí Valley, surrounded by Andean mounts and mountains.
In the Quechua tongue, the word “Cachi” means salt, but there is no reason for this name. A different etymology comes from the diaguita tongue, in which “Kak” means rock or stone and “chi” or "chin", silence or solitude. Another version speaks of a term from Atacama meaning beautiful valley.
Prior to the conquest, the diaguitas would dwell this land. They were sedentary farmers, expert potters and metallurgists and they also domesticated and raised the llamas. This Indian people had rejected the advance of the Incas, but in 1300, the Incan empire managed to impose a certain domination, although the diaguitas contined to develop their lifestyle.
When the encomiendas in Salta were distributed in 1673, doña Margarita de Chávez was assigned the land corresponding to Cachi. Years later, in 1719, the owner of the manor was don Pascual de Elizanda and then don Felipe de Aramburu, thus giving origin to what was known as “Hacienda de Cachi” (Cachi Estate), a huge property that enclosed the town for years.
The area was called Pueblo Viejo and had a great historical and tourist value for it was a colonial hamlet from the XVIII century, whose first building was the church, which is considered an architectural jewell, used to teach catechism and for the consolidation of the Hispanic tongue.
The new town was built around 1950 in lands that had been expropriated from the Hacienda Cachi in 1946 by the national government.
Close to Cachi, lies San José de Cachi, a small village on the banks of the Calchaquí River, under the jurisdiction of the district of Cachi, which has the privilege of having been the cradle of Dr. Victorino de la Plaza, one of the presidents of the Argentinian Nation.