The Archaeology Museum in Cachi is named after Pio Pablo Diaz, a local resident who from childhood had been fascinated by archaeological remains so easily available around him. Over time he became something of a collector. Wanting to find out the science behind it all, he contacted professional archaeologists.
The museum is dedicated to the preservation of the archaeological remains in the Valles Calchaquies. It covers a period of some 10,000 years from as early as the hunter-gatherer period through to the time of Inca domination over the region. The Museum is the custodian of the archaeological sites in the area.
The Museum opened in 1967. The collection is particularly strong in rock art (petroglyphs), pre-columbian ceramics, domestic and hunting instruments. It's an enjoyable smallish museum.
El Museo Arqueológico de Cachi esta nombrado por el Sr. Pío Pablo Díaz, un vecino que desde la infancia había sido fascinado por los restos arqueológicos tan fáciles de conseguir alrededor de él. Con el tiempo se convirtió en un coleccionista. Queriendo averiguar la ciencia detrás de todo esto, se puso en contacto con arqueólogos profesionales.
El museo está dedicado a la preservación de los restos arqueológicos de los Valles Calchaquíes. Abarca un período de unos 10.000 años, empezando con la epoca de cazadores-recolectores hasta la época de la dominación Inca sobre la región. El Museo tambien es responsable por el custodio de los sitios arqueológicos de la zona.
El propio museo fue inaugurado en 1967. La colección es se destaca en el arte rupestre (petroglifos), cerámicas pre-colombinas, instrumentos domésticos y la caza. Es un museo pequeño, pero vale la pena.
Museum Hours/Horas de Atencion
Monday-Friday 10:00 to 7 pm
Sunday 10-1 pm
guided visits can be arranged
The main church on the square was built n the 1600's with the arrival of the Spaniards and the eventual splitting up of the lands into smaller parcels. The Jesuits were in charge at the time. The church with its mission style facade is very interesting in the interior because here you will see much of the wood in the beams and trim is from the giant cactus.
La iglesia principal se empezo a construir en el 1600 con la llegada de los españoles y la eventual división de las tierras en encomiendas más pequeñas. Los jesuitas fueron los encargados en ese momento. La iglesia, con su fachada de estilo misión es muy interesante en el interior, porque aquí se ve gran parte de la madera de las vigas y el asiento es de los cardones.
The feast of the patron saint of the town occurs March 18 and 19th. The festival is fairly similar to most other festivals in that there is a church service and the icon is taken out in a procession. There is always music and some sort of competitions. There is usually a parade of gauchos as well.
What is different in Cachi is the burning of the cardon wood. The cardones are the name of the giant cactus that you can see throughout northern Argentina. It is hard to say if there is religious symbolism in this act, it could just as easily be interpreted as the remains of a pagan Pre-Christian practice. Perhaps it is uniting both.
Because the cardon is protected, only 20% of the wood burned at this celebration is from the cardon.
La fiesta patronal de Cachi occure el 18 y 19 de marzo. El festival es bastante similar a la mayoría de los festivales en que hay un servicio de la iglesia y el icono se muestra. Siempre hay música y algún tipo de competiciones. Hay desfile de gauchos también.
¿Qué es diferente en Cachi es la quema de la madera cardón. Los cardones son el nombre del cactus gigante que se puede ver todo el norte de Argentina. Es difícil decir si hay simbolismo religioso en este acto, que podría fácilmente ser interpretada como los restos de una práctica pre-cristiana pagana. Talvez se está uniendo ambos.
Debido a que el cardón está protegido, sólo el 20% de la madera quemada en esta celebración es desde el cardón.
Cachi and the surrounding area is agricultural. More than anything it produces peppers (the nice big red ones) as well as nuts. The harvest occurs between March and May. The peppers are then used in the production of paprika.
One of the classic pictures of this area that you will see is when they lay the peppers out to be dried, it is quite a picture, with the red of the peppers contrasting with the desert colors in the background and the bright blue sky above.
I would have loved to have come during this season.
En la zona de Cachi hay mucha agricultura. Más que nada se produce pimientos (los grandes y bonitos los rojos), así como los frutos secos.
Una de las imágenes clásicas de la zona occure entre marzo y mayo. La cosecha se realiza a mano. Los pimientos individuales están listos cuando están completamente rojos. Luego, se dejan secar por un periodo de 30 días. es un buen cuadro, con el rojo de los pimientos que contrasta con los colores del desierto en el fondo y el cielo azul brillante arriba.
Me hubiera gustado haber llegado durante esta temporada.
In and around the main square you will see the common colonial architecture of the Spaniards. At its center is always the main church on the square, in this case San Jose. Next to that is the arcaded Cabildo, which housed government and administration. Today, the cabildo in Cachi houses the Archaeology Museum.
Alrededor de la plaza principal se puede ver la arquitectura colonial común de los españoles. En su centro se encuentra siempre a la iglesia principal, en este caso San José. Al lado del cual esta el Cabildo porticado, donde se encontraba el gobierno y la administración. Hoy en día, el cabildo de Cachi es el hogar del Museo de Arqueología.
Cachi has an attractive main square, Plaza 9 de Julio, covered in tall trees, providing a great place to hide in the shade from the relentless heat.
Most of the village's principal buildings are on the square including the only bank, the tourist information office, a couple of nice cafes, the church and the museum.
Cachi's archaeological museum is located beside the church on the main square in a beautiful white building, and though there's not a huge amount to see inside, it's worth visiting to see the interior of the building with it's quiet courtyards and impressive arches.
The displays feature items excavated from digs in the surrounding area, including El Tero, the archaeological site which we had seen the previous day. There is no entrance charge to the museum though a small donation is suggested.
The most important and attractive building in Cachi is the Church of San Jose, located on the main square, with a beautiful white facade crowned by 3 bells and a cross.
The church interior is fairly plain and simple, and contains paintings related to the stations of the cross, a decorated altar and an impressive pulpit. If it's a hot day when you visit Cachi the cool interior is a great place to escape the heat.
Some of the remains of a pre-Inca settlement can be seen 2km south-west of Cachi at El Tero, which is an easy hike from the village. The tourist office supply a map showing the route.
At first we weren't sure we had reached the correct site as it seemed little more than a few holes in the ground, but a local guide, Faviola, who was on hand gave us an interesting tour. She spoke no English but her Spanish was clear and easy to follow. She showed us all the ruins and explained what the various areas were used for. Only a small number of the ruins have been excavated and there are many similar sites around the area awaiting discovery.
To get the most out of this site it's best to have a guide and if you wait long enough one will probably show up. Or you could ask at the tourist office and see El Tero and the rest of the town's sites with a hired guide. Faviola also gave us some very useful information about Cachi and the surrounding region. We weren't really sure if we should pay her or not, and she said it was voluntary so we left her a 5 pesos tip.
Many villages in the Calchaquies Valley, including Cachi, have hillside cemeteries overlooking the village. According to a local we met in Cachi, the idea is to have a final resting place closer to God.
Cachi's picturesque cemetery is a short walk north of town and from the hillside there are good views of the village and of the surrounding region, especially of the stunning Nevado de Cachi, the largest mountain range in the area, whose highest peak reaches 6380m.
The road from Salta to Cachi climbs to Cuesta del Obispo. After this breathtaking trip
above the clouds, you will be balanced again and drive on a straight road with the funny name “La Recta Tin-Tin” which will bring you to the “Salinas Grande” and the
National Park Los Cardones .
Another amazing route!!
The road from Cachi to Salta climbs continuous to Cuesta del Obispo, passing a straight stretch of road La Recta del Tin-Tin which offers beautiful views of the Los Cardones National Park, an area with huge candelabra cacti scattered all over the desert.
At the summit of Piedra de Molino (3300+m), one finds oneself above the clouds and suddenly looking down at a ribbony road down Quebrada de Escoipe. A journey with incredible views.