Tucumán is one of the provinces of Argentina that you have to include in a trip through the Argentine Northwest (composed of the provinces of Catamarca, Jujuy, La Rioja, Salta, Santiago del Estero and Tucumán). In this post you’ll learn what to visit in Tucuman in 3 days.
One of the main goals when I started my blog in 2016, was to share not only my trips to other countries but also to show the incredible places that Argentina has to offer. So I was very happy when I was invited to this press trip to Tucumán, a province I’ve visited once when I was about 10 years old.
Tucumán is the smallest province in Argentina, but it has many things to see. It is known as “the garden of the Republic”, and it’s a province with natural landscapes, history and culture.
How to get to Tucumán
It is very easy to get to Tucumán from any province of Argentina by plane, bus, car or train.
- Train: The train service connecting Buenos Aires with Tucumán (with stops in Santa Fé and Santiago del Estero provinces) is the cheapest way to get there. The journey time from BA to Tucumán is around 28 hours. Click for more information about trains to Tucumán.
- Bus: There are many bus companies that make daily trips to San Miguel de Tucumán (Tucumán capital city) from all the provinces of Argentina. Website of Tucumán bus terminal.
- Airplane: Flights to Tucumán are available daily from Buenos Aires, Rosario (Santa Fé), Córdoba The airlines that operate this route are: Aerolíneas Argentinas, Latam, Austral and the low costs Flybondi and Jet Smart. The airport is located in San Miguel de Tucumán a few minutes from the city center.
- Car: Tucumán is connected to the rest of the country via the national routes 40, 9, 38, 157, and 65.
What to visit in Tucuman in 3 days
All the activities of this trip were made on the press trip organized by Tucumán Tourism Office.
↣San Miguel de Tucumán
San Miguel de Tucumán is the starting point for any trip through the province. The capital of Tucumán is much bigger than I imagined. The first thing we did after leaving our luggage at the hotel was to tour the center of San Miguel, where we saw some points of interest such as: Plaza Independencia, 9 de Julio Park, the Basilica of San Francisco, the Government House and of the famous Historic House.
- Historic House
This is probably the place by which every Argentine identifies the province of Tucumán, the most famous house in the country. The Historic House of Tucumán is the building in which Argentina’s declaration of independence was proclaimed on July 9, 1816. Today the Historic House of Independence is a museum. Here’s some information for the visit:
- Admission is free
- Opens from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- There are guided tours available, you can see the schedules here.
- El Cadillal
About 20 minutes from the city center of San Miguel you find El Cadillal, a landscape that I honestly didn’t expect to find in the Capital city. Located on the Salí river, Dique El Cadillal is the perfect place to stroll, eat, and do activities such as kayaking, mountain biking or windsurfing.
- Other places to visit in San Miguel de Tucumán: If you have more time you can visit Cerro San Javier, an ideal place for trekking, paragliding or horseback riding.
Where to stay in San Miguel de Tucumán?
- Garden Plaza: We stayed one night in this hotel and I really liked it. It is modern and has the greatest location, just in front Plaza Independencia which is the heart of the city. Click here to see prices for Garden Plaza on Booking
↣Tafí del Valle
The route between San Miguel de Tucumán and Tafí del Valle allows you to understand why the province is known as the Garden of the Republic. Along the way you cross beautiful landscapes and you will literally stop every a few minutes to take photos and admire such scenery.
The town of Tafí del Valle is very picturesque and surrounded by stunning green landscape. Tafí is an important tourist destination in the Argentine Northwest so you will find several lodging options.
How to get to Tafí del Valle? Day tours to Tafí del Valle run daily from San Miguel de Tucumán.
↣Amaicha del Valle
Just in between Tafí del Valle and Amaicha del Valle you wil find Parador El Infiernillo, the highest point with an altitude of 3040 meters above sea level. This is the place where the Tafí Valley joins the Calchaquíes Valleys.
Amaicha del Valle is the oldest indigenous communities in Northwestern Argentina. Every year the residents of Amaicha celebrate the Festival of Pachamama (tribute to Mother Earth) which takes place in February.
In Amaicha (and around) you can visit vineyards, the village of Amaicha, the Pachamama Museum, the Ruins of the Quilmes and Tio Punco.
Where to stay in Amaicha del Valle?
- Finca Albarossa: a beautiful winery founded by italians who fell in love with the valley. Check out Finca Albarossa prices on booking.
- Tio Punco
To close this amazing day, we visited Tio Punco, a place that few people visit. It is a desert and arid landscape, with few vegetation but simply incredible. We spent hours here until the sun went down.
How to get to Tio Punco? The access road to Tio Punco is sandy so it is only possible to reach with a 4×4 vehicle.
↣Sacred Ruins of Quilmes
The Ruins of Quilmes is an archaeological site in the middle of the Calchaquí Valleys. It is the largest pre-columbian settlement in Argentina. The area dates back to ca 850 AD and was inhabited by the Quilmes people who resisted for 130 years the Spanish conquest. Some information for your visit:
- Opening times: 9 AM to 6 PM.
- Entrance fee: ARS $100 (April 2019)
- How to get there? If you have a car you can reach the ruins via the legendary Route 40. Otherwise, you can take an excursion from San Miguel de Tucumán, Tafí del Valle or Amaicha del Valle (easy access by bus).
- Be sure to visit the interpretation center located at the base of the ruins. There’s a lot of information to understand the history of the Quilmes civilization.
- There’s a trekking which you can take to have a total view of the ruins. Remember to wear suitable footwear, comfortable clothing and bring water (it can be purchased at the entrance of the ruins).
Tafí del Valle and return to San Miguel de Tucumán
After visiting the ruins of the Quilmes we returned to Tafí del Valle to witness the representation of “The Passion of Christ” which takes place every year for Easter and gathers thousands of spectators.
We then took the route back to San Miguel de Tucumán where we spent the last night of the trip.
Alternative: if you have free time in Tafí del Valle you can trek to Cerro de la Cruz or Cristo Redentor, visit Lake El Mollar or dam La Angostura and visit the ancient Jesuit missions.
If you have some more time, I strongly suggest you visit the province of Salta, you can read more in this article: Road trip from Salta to Quebrada de las Conchas
- Food in Tucumán
I don’t want to finish this post without mentioning that in Tucumán you can try many of the typical foods of Argentina.
One of the most famous is the Tucuman empanada. The classic empanada tucumana is made with meat and served with lemon. The town of Famaillá is considered the “National Capital of Empanada” because every year the National Empanada Festival is held there. Other delights you can try are tamales, humita and locro.
I hope you found this post about Tucumán useful. This trip was an invitation from Tucumán Tourism Board, which I thank for showing me this beautiful province!
More Argentina posts:
- Quebrada de las Conchas, road trip from Salta to Cafayate
- Things to do in Salta city
- Wine tasting in Cafayate: Bodega Piattelli Vineyards
- Buenos Aires City Guide
- Where to stay in Buenos Aires
- What to see in Puerto Madryn in Patagonia Argentina
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