Catamarca Province

Coat of Arms

Geografical Location

Catamarca Map

Area: 102,602 KM2

Population: 333,661 (2001)

Main Cities: San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca, Andalgalá, Tinogasta, Belén.

The province of Catamarca is located in the northwestern region of Argentina. It is bounded by the province of Salta, on the north, the provinces of Salta, Tucumán, Santiago del Estero and Córdoba, on the east, the provinces of Córdoba and La Rioja, on the south; and the Republic of Chile, on the west.

Most of Catamarca’s territory of 102,602 square kilometers (2.7% of the country total), is covered by mountains (80%), which can be grouped into four clearly differentiated systems: the Pampean sierras, in the east and center; the Narváez-Cerro Negro-Famatina system, in the west; the cordilleran-Catamarca area of transition, in the western extreme; the Puna, an elevated portion, in the northwest.

Located in an arid and semi-arid climatic zone, Catamarca shows an evident scarcity of superficial hydraulic resources; this fact accounts for human activities and settlements. Advantage has been taken of intermontane areas, such as pockets and valleys, for agricultural activities. To the east of its territory there are several water courses, distributed through canals and irrigation ditches, around which the population is concentrated, with the most efficient network of facilities and services.

Average temperature recorded in the east and the capital city is 20°C/68°F, with extreme variations up to 45°C/113°F. Total precipitation for the same region ranges from 400 to 500 mm.

Hualfin Vineyard

San Francisco Cathedral

Weather in San Fernando

Weather Conditions in San Fernando

Political Organization and Demographic Structure:

This province, whose capital is San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca, is divided into 16 departments, with separate political and administrative powers.

Annual growth rate is 23.5‰, while density amounts to 2.6 inhabitants per square kilometer. Urban population represents 70%. (1991).

Economic Structure:

In 1995, the primary sector of the province contributed 9% to the value added of the total supply of goods and services; the secondary sector generated 28%, while the remaining 63% of the global economic activity corresponds to the supply of financial, transport and communications, commerce, tourism, and government services.

The main productive activities of the province are intensive agriculture and mining, with significant Industrial development in the last decade (food and beverage, textiles and household appliances).

The most important crops are cotton (with irrigation), tobacco, olive tree s and jojoba, which became significant in the last years through the economic promotion regulations. Production of gold, mica and silver is considerable. In 1997 “Bajo La Alumbrera” came into operation, which will be the most important deposit producing copper and gold in the country.

Cuesta de Miranda Catamarca

Hualfín Church