Turismo en La Rioja , Argentina
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From Patquia to Chilecito for the RN74
Mogotes Colorados











Iglesia de San Buenaventura

















Traveled by the arid south of the valley of Antinaco The Colorado , where the legendary Caves of the Chacho are. The particular behavior hídrico of the territory has given place to agricultural colonies with watering underground and wings interesting galleries filtrantes of Vichigasta. To know them will carry out a walk from the village.


Trip of 128 Km . of good pavement, with stations of service in Nonogasta and Chilecito. There are hotel and services in Chilecito.

Leave Patquía (Km. 0) for the RP74, like it indicates the Plane, outlying areas of the sedimentary flat riojanos that are introduced by the south in the voucher Antinaco The Colorado traveling. The entrance doors are the mountains of the Colorado , very next, to the right, and the mountains of Paganzo, to the west.

In the Km. 17, to the left, an is indicated on the way to 5 Km . toward the Mogotes Colorado

Mogotes Colorado


They are formations of gritty red, erosionadas in attractive and enormous natural sculptures that offer a journey to delight. During last century they had tactical value in the commander's fights montoneras Angel Vicente Peñaloza that moved among The Rioja in speedy movements, San José of Jáchal, Chilecito and their camp in Olta. The location of these natural bastions was strategic and its high, solid and labyrinthine form facilitated the receipt, the ambush and the visual domain at great distance.

A sign, in the Km. 20 to the left, it indicates the place that the tradition calls Cave of the Chacho. To find it it follows the course of the stream and crossing for under the railroads.

The following 50 Kms. they are the arid entrance south of the valley that extends toward the north as a long corridor, among the imposing mountains of Sañogasta Famatina to the west, and of Velasco, to the east. It is an almost empty environment, crossed by a road that parallelly is accompanied by strong, telegraphic and electric lines. It forms a complete lineal system of communications, spread at the beginning of century toward the mining emporium of then, in Chilecito.

The courses of water are scarce and this has limited the poblamiento. Only Catinzaco, with their watery one (Km. 65), it facilitated in 1667 the seat of the Indian antapas, eradicated of Famatina and Batungasta after the wars calchaquíes. In this tract, recent jojoba cultivations are profiled as the main of the country; there are also vines, olive trees and fruit-bearing. In the Km. 92 will arrive to Vichigasta.




It is located in a deviation of 2 Km . to the west of the route. It is a humble town, but with interesting works hydraulicses for watering called Filter Galleries.


Filter Galleries


They represent a valuable historical patrimony of the towns with oasis culture and they testify the genius of their inhabitants. They date of the time Jesuit (probably of beginnings of the XVIII century), although a prehispanic origin is not discarded; they are used until today. They are based on an intelligent use of the water that is presented with shortage in permanent superficial courses, dispersed springs, sporadic growing underground and torrential glides, caused by the rains of the summer.

The galleries filtrantes consist on tunnels dug under the channel of the river, following their course. They have walls filtrantes (the original ones wooden, the current of concrete), with interstices for where water coming from diverse sources enters that is driven by the galleries to superficial ponds, in bench marks of lower levels. The growing ones that are terribly destructoras in the conventional systems of watering because they raze with bocatomas and canals, they are very taken advantage by the galleries filtrantes if they are supplemented with rustic dikes of piled stones that allow to retain them some time. The muddy water is purified and gently driven to the ponds.

The distribution among the regantes is another topic of interest: it counts the tradition that the award of lands, with its corresponding rights of water for watering, was established according to the participation that had each neighbor in the one it dismounts and preparation of the earth for the cultivation. Based on the carried out work, each one became worthy of rights on the property of the earth and the water that then were transmitted by inheritance until today. At the moment the watering is followed rigiendo by the «stagnated» as measure unit.

To know the galleries, request a villager that guides him. These they are located in the proximities, but it is not simple to discover them. In Vichigasta, also visit the Church of San Buenaventura .


Church of San Buenaventura


It is one of the few cases of the region in that the building, is inside a square atrium. It dates of the XVIII century, but it has been reformed. It conserves the Patron saint's valuable image, small, of fine features and delicate it embodies.


Next to the route, in the surroundings of the old Vichigasta, new vineyards are observed, not included in the area watered by galleries filtrantes. They are agricultural colonies, established toward 1970, during Guillermo's lribarren government. They take advantage of the underground water with modern extraction methods for electric pumping of wells. In the valley an enormous aquifer potential exists under the surface. Observe the countless badenes of the road and think of the quantity of water that it is slippery for the mountain skirts toward the first floor, where it is absorbed naturally and stored in big underground napas.


In the Km. 113 will arrive to the connection with the RN40. Continue heading for the north to arrive, in the Km. 128, to Chilecito.

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