Calchaquí Valleys

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Quebrada las Conchas, also known as Quebrada de Cafayate.

The Calchaquí Valley (Spanish: Valles Calchaquíes) is an area in the northwestern region of Argentina which crosses the provinces of Catamarca, Tucumán and Salta. It is best known for its contrast of colours and its unique geography that ranges from the mountain desert to the subtropical forest.

There are a number of valleys and rivers within the Calchaquí Valley that have their own name, such as the Quebrada del Toro (Gorge of the Bull), Valle de Lerma (Lerma Valley) near Salta city, the Quebrada de Escoipe formed by the Escoipe River, the Valle Encantado at the feet of the Cuesta del Obispo, the Quebrada de las Conchas of the Conchas River near Cafayate, the valley of the Santa María River, and the Calchaquí River itself.

These valleys were once inhabited by a number of tribes. Ruins of the Quilmes can be found in Tucumán. Other tribes of the area included the Calchaquíes, Tafí, and the Yokavil (Santa María). Decades before facing the invasion of the Spanish colonization, the natives of these lands suffered the invasion of the Inca Empire.

Among the most visited tourist attractions of the valley are Tafí del Valle, Cafayate, Molinos, San Carlos, Santa María and Cachi at the western end of the valley, as well as the Los Cardones National Park, and the Los Sosa Provincial Park in Tucumán. In several parts of the valley there are numerous vineyards, specially in the Cafayate area.

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