Trip to Quilmes and the best climate of the world

For one day I went for a journey from Tucuman to the Andes mountains. This trip was full of with breath-taking lands and lots of stories from the past. We even passed through the best climate of the world.

A chauffeur picked me up from my hostel in the morning, and with two other tourists we drove up from Tucuman to the lower hills of the Andes at 3000 meters. As we were going up the flora changed significantly. First we passed the yunga (humid rain forest) and as we got higher, the trees gradually disappeared, and less and less plants covered the mountains.

Getting higher, after the rain forest we saw grassy fields, which later also disappeared and rocky mountains changed them with huge 3 meter long cactuses. I felt like in the Wild West, a new and isolated world. I could not believe how much the flora can change within only 30 minutes of driving. 

Rain forest in the Andes
In a few minutes the rain forest converted to a desert
I also saw lamas on the road

On the way we passed by a little village, Amaicha del Valle, which stated on big transparents that they had the best climate of the world. I would not have imagined that the best climate would be in a valley with bald landscape, but never judge for the first sight! Our chauffeur, who used to be a track driver in the mountains before retiring, told us that the village enjoyed 360 days of sunshine throughout the year, and the dry micro-climate of the area was good for those with asthma. I had also heard rumours that the locals are so sure about this fact, that if the weather would turn bad in the village, they would pay back the price of accommodation.

The Ruins of Quilmes lay in a big valley. There used to be around 5000 Quechuas living here who were able to defend themselves from the attacks of the Inca tribes. In the 17th century, however, they were defeated by the Spanish conquistadors. The Spanish took the survivor Quechuas to Buenos Aires on foot. Those 400 people who survived the journey was settled in a district of the city, which is now called Quilmes. Today there is only a few Quechua people living, some of them volunteered to maintain the ruins in the valley. Walking up on the ruins I could see the big valley. There was perfect silence, only I could hear the wind blowing. I liked to imagine that the Quechua people used to watch the valley from here.

The ever-sunny Amaicha del Valle
Ruins of Quilmes from the top of the hill

In Quilmes one can walk around easily in one hour. So if you plan to come here, it is the best if you plan other places to visit the same day. Our next destination was Tafí del Valle which is a popular ski resort during winter. During summer it is popular for its fresh air and pleasant weather. Do not forget, we are still in the best climate of the world. :) We visited a Jesuit farm (estancia) and I bought my first lama wool pullover in the bazaar!!

Later on we checked out the Menhires Park on the other side of the valley. The park collected all the obelisc-like sculptures from the valley to protect them from corrosion and from generous graffity-painters. These sculptures symbolize fertility, have the shape of a penis and has the character of a human face. Nice combination!

At the end of the day we started to drive down from the Andes, we left the Western, deserted word, dipped in the jungle, and I said good-bye for the Andes till my next journey in Salta. 
Horses blocked our way to Tafí del Valle

Jesuit farm in Tafí del Valle
One of the sculptures in Menhires Park

About Tiny Girl With Big Bag

Hobby writer and autodidact photographer whose passion is to travel and get to know new people and cultures. She has been on 4 continents and 30 countries, and the outcome is this travel blog where she shares travel stories, thoughts, tips and photography always through a subjective eye.

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  1. Wow the rain forest was sure green and lovely! Ruins are very intriguing. My favorite picture was the one of the Jesuit Farm! Well done.