Museo del Cablecarril

Top choice in Catamarca & La Rioja

This old cable-car station documents the extraordinary engineering and mining project that created modern Chilecito at the beginning of the 20th century. Yes, this town, like many in cowboy country the world over, was built on silver, gold and copper. The simple, picturesque museum preserves photos, tools (those mammoth wrenches are cool!) and documents, as well as communications equipment, including an early cell phone.

Peruse the museum on your own, then examine the cable-car terminus itself, where ore carts now wait fruitlessly in line. It's best in late afternoon when sun bathes the rusted metal and snowy sierras. With a car, you can investigate the second and third cable-car stations too. Guided tours visit the ninth and final stop of La Mejicana, high in the sierra.

The museum is on the main road at the southern entrance to town, a block south of the bus terminal.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Catamarca & La Rioja attractions

1. Cristo del Portezuelo

0.97 MILES

Head down Maestro from Chilecito's plaza to reach this relatively recent addition to the town: a huge statue of Christ on a platform accessed by a 203…

2. Molino de San Francisco

1.29 MILES

Chilecito founder Don Domingo de Castro y Bazán owned this 300-year-old flour mill, which houses an eclectic assemblage of archaeological tools, antique…

3. La Riojana

1.49 MILES

La Riojana is the area’s main wine producer, and a sizable concern; some 30 million liters a year are produced here thanks to fruit sourced from vineyards…