Cafayate – Argentina
Cafayate is located in the middle of the Calchaqui valleys in the Puna region of Salta, perhaps the most beautiful province of the Argentine north. The town dates back to 1840, year when was founded at the site were stood the old mission of Rosario de Cafayate. Nowadays, thanks to its colorful surroundings and its placid and relaxed air, Cafayate has become known as one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Salta.
The best way to describe Cafayate is as picturesque. At first sight, it shows a colonial style typical of the Argentine north. The cathedral is the most outstanding building. It stands beside the main plaza and it is unique among Argentine churches for having five parallel aisles. The main plaza is populated by flowers and the fair that functions there is an excellent place to appreciate northern argentine handicrafts, like wooden llama ponchos and caps or earthenware jars. Cafayate also has interesting ruins of Diaguita-Calchaqui origin nearby. You can visit these ruins in a relaxed hike from the town.
Two interesting festivals take place every year in Cafayate. In February Cafayate hosts the Serenade to Cafayate the most important folklore festival of the argentine north. In November it is the time to become drunk with the eagerly awaited Torrontes Festival, an excellent excuse to sample the exquisite wines of the region.
Cafayate also is an ideal gateway to explore the impressive sights of the Calchaqui valleys. Many of the most remarkable views in the area are alongside the Cafayate ravine (las Conchas River valley). Places like the waterfall of the Colorado River, the sand dunes of Los Médanos, The Amphitheater or the Devil Gorge, surely will fill your mind with wonderful memories of this unforgettable red rock land.
Argentina has many tourist attractions, and the average traveler suffers to pick among them. However, surrounded by colorful hills, dunes, rivers and vineyards, the little town of Cafayate is a place that nobody traveling to Argentina wants to miss.