I've heard from many that Argentina is in easy running for the most beautiful country in the world. With the lush green hills of the north, the falls of Iguazu and frozen south, it's easy to understand. Salteño's will tell you that Salta is the best province in Argentina. It is, after all, called Salta La Linda, a beautiful woman.
So then, when, across the board, I am told by everyone I meet that Cachi is the most beautiful, must-visit place in the entire province of Salta, it only logically follows that Cachi must be, hands down, the single most perfect place on this planet.
So here I give you the top three things to see in the most beautiful place that exists:
It’s a fairly long trip to Cachi, far longer than it should be as the crow flies, so relax, slow down, stop along the way to take pictures and explore. The longest part of the journey winds around and around through Valle Encantado or Enchanted Valley. It is in this same valley where our favorite spicy peppers are grown. This drive can be harrowing at times, narrow unpaved roads running along a steep drop. Often, you’re asked to navigated these roads with traffic moving in both directions. Yikes!
But ultimately, the best word to describe this drive is simply Wow!
The Cachi Cemetery
Take a walk to the cemetery just before sunrise when it is still cool, and you’ll catch the sun dancing across the valley. Each moment the light changes bringing you a different and more beautiful view of Cachi, the valley and off in the distance, impossibly high mountains show off their snow crested tops.
The cemetery itself is a fascinating juxtaposition of opposites. There you'll find simple graves marked with handmade crosses beside great marble mausoleums. You'll see decrepit tombs with broken walls and broken glass flanked by neatly tended graves bearing cups, flowers and other gifts. Trash litters the entire area in the most profane manner, yet I very much understand why someone might pick this spot to spend eternity.
Taller de Orfebreria: Kaptus
Lila brought me to see the Kaptus jewelry shop, found just off the main plaza of Cachi. She says she wanted to buy a gift for me.
The jewelery is unique. Sandra and Adrian, the two Porteño owners, travel then bring their finds back to their store where they make the jewelry themselves. Seeds from Bolivia. Stone from Chile. But everything in the store has been inspired by the plants, birds and feel of Cachi.We watched as Sandra fashioned one such piece of stone and silver.
Lila picked up one bracelet and very shyly went to ask Sandra how much it cost. Then a ring. A pair of earrings. A necklace. Sandra was absolutely charmed by the soft and sweet way Lila gently cupped whatever piece of jewelry in her two hands and shyly asked for a price.
I ended up getting a ring for Lila and a pair of earrings for another friend back in Salta. Meanwhile, Sandra sized the bracelet she was working on to fit Lila's wrist and gave it to her as a present.
COMING SOON: More images of Cachi, including a section of photographs taken by Lila. Be the first to know when this new feature posts by signing up to my e-mail subscription list or subscribe to my feed.