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Arial
Intermediate Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 125
Registered: 10-2006


Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2008 - 8:56 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am all excited. I am revving up to my annual trip to Argentina to maintain my legal residency. Looking again this trip for a place to settle. Some of you may recall that I lived in Bariloche for a while--loved it--but rules about foreigners buying there are an obstacle as long as I remain rated a "foreigner."

Spent time last time in San Rafael and loved it too. But getting caught in an awesome hailstorm and all the netting over the rows of vines was a total turnoff for an important member of my family. I am not talking about a normal, average hailstorm either. I am talking about baseball size hail that locals told us have been known to kill people caught out in it! I know it is rare but, as I said, it ruled the area out for one family member.

Can anyone give me info about Cafayate (in Salta Province) both positive and negative? Wine producers there claim that because of the altitude, climate, rich soil, their grapes require no insecticides and are truly organic. I like organic! Supposedly there are 10,000 people in the town. I prefer 100,000 but you can't have everything. One Internet blogger writes of Argentina that Cafayate was the nicest town they had seen--very "Mendoza-esque," etc.

I am thinking of making that area my focus this time although I have never seen the north part of Argentina. All based on armchair research. Also, does anyone know anything about the type of people that live there? Are they similar to those in Buenos Aires? Or are they intellectually challenged, as sometimes happens in more isolated areas? Does anyone know if high speed Internet is available there? I am interested in a wide range of information and I am grateful from any and all input, as always!

Arial
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WTMendoza.com
Intermediate Member
Username: Welcometomendoza

Post Number: 105
Registered: 7-2007


Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2008 - 2:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Arial,

Good luck on your hunt for a living environment here in Argentina - I really did enjoy the hunt as much as the move. I remember when we did the same thing, and having already known BA for a long time , we knew in our case, becuase of our young kids, we wanted something in a smaller city. Pretty soon it became clear for us that somewhere along the Andes would be the best, becuase we knew the mountain activities would play a big part of not just our kid's life but ours.

After factoring weather, culture, and activies available, it was a no brainer for us for the suburbs of Mendoza City.

San Rafel does indeed get hammered by hail much of the time. Yes there are periodic hail storms here too but not even close to what San Rafael gets. San rafael is also very far away from the mountains as you know. Something we notice here is that when weather fronts move across the Andes and spill out into the plains, they seem to need about 60 kilomteres to truly form into monster thunder and hail storms. So where we live, at the base of the Andes, we watch in amazement every day in the summer as the tall cumulous storm clouds that have formed out in San Martin, Riviadavia, and even the eastern edges of Maipu, while we have calm and blue skies above us.

Good luck!
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1451
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2008 - 7:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Arial, not Cafayate but some of the poorest areas can be found in northwest Argentina. In the past, we sent truckloads of toys and clothes to many tiny towns in Jujuy, very close to the border with Bolivia, and Erna traveled there personally to distribute them. As a contrast, these were the nicest people on earth. Cafayate does not fall within this description (as in poor) and Salta is a whole different story than Jujuy. Being that it is located in the southern part of the state in close proximity to Tucuman it has seen more progress than the average town in the Puna and the "valle Calchaquies".

Cafayate itself has a higher reputation than surrounding towns/cities and it is indeed known for its excellent wineries (Etchart, Michel Torino) and many, many smaller family bodegas. My first impression is that this will not have the universal appeal that places like Bariloche and Mendoza may have. At 1600 mts above sea level it is actually the lowest point of the Calchaquies valley that runs north-south. The geography can be stunning like in Las Conchas ravine. Not exactly the same but the scenery of the mountains in the back reminds me of Las Vegas sometimes. The entire region shares similar characteristics (Cafayate, Tafi viejo, Tafi del Valle) of tectonic valleys formed as a result of the upward push by the Andes. And as a temporary visitors it provides the greatest attractions. But this will not help you if your are trying to decide on a permanent move.

Here, I believe you will find more people of a different complexion than those living in Bariloche. This general area is ancient and has been populated way before the time of the Viceroyalty, specially the nature rich valleys. In addition to its preincaic background, there is also the added history of the Jesuits and Fransiscans missions. A nice plus that makes Cafayate very unique. It never followed the growth of the rest of the province which helped in keeping many of its rich past intact. In turn, this attracted and still does plenty of international visitors that also helps keep the town *up to date*.

In general, once you are away from Buenos Aires visitors come across nicer and friendlier folks. I think this is even truer in a place like Cafayate. The "intellectually challenged" inquiry is open for debate... Does this mean less sophistication than in BA or Bariloche? Or a general environment with less cultural activities? In spite of having lesser growth than areas like the ones you are familiar with I can't see Cafayate as being really backwards.
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Arial
Intermediate Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 138
Registered: 10-2006


Posted on Monday, February 04, 2008 - 9:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Does anyone know if Cafayete has hail?
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1501
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 06, 2008 - 7:48 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Arial, couldn't find any information on hailstorms but apparently there are electric storms (lightning) and plenty of rain during the rainy season (December through March). Also, that during strong storms there are cave-ins in the quebradas (Las Conchas and Escoipe). Below is a picture of the "Valles Calchaquies"

Valles Calchaquies

Photo credit: www.ruizmorenorentacar.com.ar
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1502
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 06, 2008 - 7:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

WTM, the discussion about Mendoza was moved to real estate Mendoza

(Message edited by admin on February 06, 2008)

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