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The region of Argentina known as the Northwest (in Spanish: Noroeste Argentino, or abbreviated NOA) borders Chile and Bolivia and includes the provinces of Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán, Catamarca, La Rioja and Santiago del Estero.
In the NOA there is a great variety of landscapes of stunning beauty, ranging from the subtropical mountain forests of the Yungas in the east to the fertile basins of the Valles Calchaquíes and sub-Andean mountain ranges with sometimes bizarre rock formations, the dry high plateaus of the Puna and large salt lakes, all the way up to the peaks of the Andes, which are over 6,700 meters high.
In Pre-Hispanic times, the northwest was the most populated area of what is now Argentina. Parts of the ethnic groups living there (among others Diaguitas, Omaguacas, Atacamas) were dominated as of the 1470s by the Inca Empire, which was expanding southward. After its collapse, the Spanish began conquering and colonizing the northwestern regions of Argentina in the mid-16th century.
In the towns, villages and landscapes of the NOA, there are countless testimonies to its rich heritage, including a multitude of archaeological sites and buildings from the colonial era and the period since the country's independence. To this day, ancient traditions and roots have remained alive in syncretized form, finding expression in festivals, processions, music, handicrafts and other areas of popular culture.