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Dique Las Pirquitas - Boating San Fernando Del Valle De Catamarca - Argentina

A few kilometers from Las Pirquitas village is Dique Las Pirquitas, a 276-hectare (682-ac) artificial lake. The dam was built in the 1960s, using indigenous techniques of stone and earth. In summer, it is one of Catamarqueños’ favorite get-aways from the sweltering city. At 755-meters (2,477-ft) altitude, the weather is cooler, with an oft, soft breeze.

Fishing is excellent at Dique Las Pirquitas. Anglers may cast their line for pejerrey (silverside) and trout. Other aquatic activities are taking a boat tour and canoeing.

Camping allows travelers to truly immerse themselves into the tranquility that reigns after the day trippers leave. Early morning or late evening hikes along the shore and creeks allows prime observation of birds and other fauna. One trail from the dam leads to the top of Cerro Mirador from where there is a panoramic vista. Below shimmers the blue eye of Dique Las Pirquitas. To the west is the Sierra Ambato-Manchao and to the east Sierras de Graciana.


Ruta Provincial 1, 25 kilometers (15.5 mi) north of Catamarca

San Fernando Del Valle De Catamarca, Argentina


Getting There

From Catamarca’s bus terminal, catch Línea 201A-Ramal 1 from andén (lane) 13-18 (every 20 min, last return 11:30 p.m; $0.80). Take the bus as far as Hostería del Turismo, from where it’s a two-kilometer (1.25 mi, 45 min) walk to the lake.

Travel Tips:

With droughts, the lake dries considerably. In summer (November-February) rains fill the lake to capacity, allowing vistors to fully enjoy its splendour. In the village is the riverside Camping Municipal Las Pirquitas (Fray Mamerto Esquiú s/n).

Relative price: Budget

Travel Skills: None

You Need to Bring:

Bring along water, snacks; sun protection (hat, sun block, etc), sweater or jacket in case it gets cool; fishng tackle, confortable hiking wear, swimsuit or other necessary gear.

Visit Catamarca’s archaeology, art, history and other museums. Escape for the day to El Rodeo for some hiking, fishing or horseback riding. Make a circuit of Valle de Catamarca to visit the village churches. Check out Pueblo Perdido.

Currencies accepted
Argentine Peso

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

14 Oct 2010

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