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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Tucuman Province, weather and tourism

Map of TucumanTucumán is the smallest province of Argentina. Its capital is San Miguel de Tucumán, and it has a population of 1,338,523.

History: The land was inhabited by the Diaguitas, Lules and Toconotés before the Spanish arrived on the middle of the XVIth century. On July 9, 1816, the Congress of the United Provinces ("Congreso de las Provincias Unidas") declared independence at the province of Tucumán.

Geography: It has two different areas: to the east there are flat lands; to the west, mountains. El Bolsón Mountain, with 5,550 m is the highest peak.

Climate: Tucumán is known as the "garden of the republic" because it has a zone of abundant vegetation where rain falls in great quantity. The weather is subtropical with dry station, but there are different microclimates according to variations in relief. The average temperature at the plains in winter is 52 F; in summer, the temperature can go up to 95 F.

Economy: Sugarcane production was traditionally the biggest activity of the province. But a few years ago, lemon culture became a very profitable activity. Now, Tucumán is the largest world producer of lemons.


San Miguel de Tucumán was declared historic city in 1999. The house where the Congress declared independency from Spain can be found in the city. On Independency Square you can see a sculpture of Lola Mora (who was a famous artist from Tucumán): the Statue of Liberty.

"Calchaquí" Valleys: You must visit Tafí Del Valle, a village standing 2,000 m over sea level with 2,600 inhabitants. There you can find the Jesuit ruins of La Banda, which was founded by the jesuits on the XVIIIth century. In Amaicha Del Valle you can learn about Pachamama, a celebration linked with fertility rites.

Quilmes Ruins: It was one of the most important pre-Hispanic settlements of Argentina. Its population rose to 13,000 at its peak. You can visit the museum and see the pieces found in the zone; you can also take a guided tour of the fortress.

Archeological Reserve of Menhirs: It has 500 stone menhirs of the Tafí culture. The proper term would be "huanca", or "wanca", a word in quechua language that refers to these monoliths as protectors of cultures and cattle. They are 2,000 years old.

Forest of Yungas, an exuberant forest with molles, lapachos, tipas, laureles and jacarandaes.

The Food: You can taste traditional food from the province, like empanadas, locro, tamales, humita, and cayote.

Sport fishing: Tucumán has a lot of resources for fishers. Most of the mountain rivers have salmon; and in the rivers of the plains you can find other fishes like bagres, bogas, carpas, tarariras, sábalos, and dorados.

Golf: The province has 6 golf courses, all of them of the highest quality.

You can also do cavalcades, canoeing, mountaineering, paragliding, rappel and trekking over the province.

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