Sunday, November 4, 2012

Tucuman, Argentina

Arrived in Tucuman Saturday afternoon. The best bus station we have seen yet, clean and like a mall. Over 50 bus terminals. On Saturday not much activity. Very few backpackers here, we saw only one backpack at the station - a change from town further North, only backpacks and young people. This a a rest stop for us before heading to Iguazu on Monday, a 21 hour bus ride in a large coach seat on the bottom of the bus. There are many old and interesting buildings in town and a lively center but not much else.

Tucuman is in the Andean Northwest region of Argentina. It's the smallest province of Argentina and is surrounded by Salta, Catamarca andSantiago del Estero provinces.
San Miguel de Tucumán (usually referred to as simply Tucumán) is the capital of the Tucumán Province, located in northern Argentina at 1,311 kilometres (815 mi) from Buenos Aires. It is the fifth biggest city of Argentina after Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Rosario and Mendoza, and it is also the most important city of Northern Argentina. It was founded in 1565 by Spanish Conquistador Diego de Villarroel during an expedition fromPeru, and was moved to its present site in 1685.
The main tourist section is right around the central plaza. Government buildings, old houses and churches abound. Two blocks south on Congreso Street lies the Casa Historica (historic house) where the Argentine independence act was signed. Inside, a small museum has artifacts from the colonial and revolutionary periods. Besides night action, the town itself has roughly speaking no outstanding features worthy a visit. What it is really valuable of Tucumán province is nature. Nicknamed "The Garden of the Republic", it is the ideal spot for those liking hicking, horse riding or mountain climbing. If one has the guts for getting out of the hitted path, coming into the rain forest or the highest peaks it is a must. Regretably the very locals are quite unconcious about this treasure, so they are not likely to recommend it. If you have a five days available, try "La Ciudacita" the southernmost ruins of the Inca empire; you will never forget it. Guides available.

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