San Miguel de Tucumán - commonly known simply as Tucumán - is one of Argentina's largest cities. Spanish conquistador Diego de Villarroel founded it during an expedition from Peru in 1565, and today Tucumán is the most important city in northern Argentina. It's the gateway to the north and the capital of Tucumán Province, situated to the east of the impressive Sierra del Aconquija mountains. The region's subtropical climate is perfect for growing tobacco, lemons and sugar.
Quilmes, one of Argentina's most important archaeological sites, lies to the northwest of Tucumán in the scenic Calchaquí Valley. The pre-Inca ruins date back to 850 AD and were once home to more than 5,000 people, who held out against the Spanish for over a century. The terraces and stone foundations give a sense of what Quilmes would once have looked like, and visiting them is an enjoyable excursion from Tucumán.