Amaicha del Valle has lately been the gem of the Calchaquí Valleys. A place where, even today, it is possible to interact with one of the purest indigenous communities in the country.
There are three hundred and sixty days of sunshine. It never rains. What is more, there are some residents who have never seen real rain. “It is always sunny” in Amaicha del Valle
, claim its residents. This beautiful settlement, which is part of the Tucumán
Calchaquí Valleys, enjoys one of the mildest climates in the world with 360 days of sunshine for its visitors.
One of the oldest indigenous communities in Northwestern Argentina survives in this quaint little settlement.
Today, its residents devote themselves both to ancient activities that were handed down from generation to generation that have bonded them to the land and to develop products like pottery, looms, wine, cheese and alfajores
which are offered to visitors.
The residents are so proud of their origin that every year they celebrate the traditional festival of Pachamama
(tribute to Mother Earth) which takes place in February. The festival gathers thousands of visitors coming from nearby Amaicha and the surrounding valleys to be part of the celebration which includes baguala
singing. The oldest woman in town is also paid tribute to and has to parade in front of everybody showing her vitality. An Exemplary Museum
Apart from the rivers, ravines and mountains, upon entering the city, a local museum stands above the rest of the small buildings and displays art from every corner. It is the Pachamama Museum
, a monumental stone project that houses many exhibits. Among them, is the history of the place and its surrounding areas, the popular beliefs, Geology, Anthropology and art exhibits, apart from a vision of the world for tourists to interpret by themselves or with the help of a guide or employee of the museum.
Artist Hector Cruz, descendant of this ethnic group that has inhabited this valley for thousands of years, has a display in the museum capturing part of his culture. It is brilliantly portrayed in stone, metal and even unconventional shapes which at times look as if coming from another planet.
Huge courtyards, strange constructions and even stranger drawings show tourists a different view of the world from the one they are used to and give an account of the culture of those who inhabited the Calchaquí Valley. The museum also has one room dedicated to Geology, and another to Natural Science. In separate rooms, the indigenous cultural legacy is highlighted with paintings and sculptures which captivate tourists while touring around the courtyards, murals and huge sculptures.