The Ruins of Quilmes are a true cultural heritage of indigenous culture.The ruins of Quilmes can be reached from Cafayate (Salta) or from Tafi del Valle (Tucumán).
This location is just stunning, unique and majestic.
The ruins of Quilmes, as they are known, belonged to the Calchaquí natives who settled on the hillsides and on the mountain range called Calchaquí, from which the tribes got their name: Quilmes and Calchaquí.
The Ruins of Quilmes are a true cultural heritage of indigenous culture.About 5,000 people resided the area starting about 850 AD. For almost prior to the on the Spaniards, about 1530, the Quilmes fiercely fought the Incas who south from Peru.
The ruins are located at an of about 2,000 meters (6,500 + feet) .
The ruins were rediscovered about 1890. Work was started to restore the ruins in 1978.
My tour guide told me that only about 10 % of the ruins have been restored.
Satellite pictures of both the general area of the ruins and the restored are shown below.
Restored area of Ruinas de los Quilmes.
Only about 10% of the ruins have been restored. This view is courtesy of Bing Maps.
I did not know anything about the Quilmes prior to my visit to San Miguel de Tucuman. I think this was the most interesting part of the visit. RIQ is just not on the same scale of Machu Picchu (home of the ruler of the Incas).
What I did learn today was a better appreciation of how large the Inca Kingdom really was, the will the the Quilmes to maintain their freedom from both the Incas and Spaniards, and how in the end they were hauled away as slaves. It is a great story of the struggles of one of the many indian tribes in South American to maintain their independence for over 800 years.