Municipality and village
|• Presidente comunal||Sergio Alejandro Villanueva|
|• Total||5,322 sq mi (13,785 km2)|
|Elevation||11,509 ft (3,508 m)|
Tolar Grande is a village and rural municipality in Salta Province in northwestern Argentina.
The climate is typical of the puna area and more precisely of the very dry Puna de Atacama, with very little rainfall, moderate-temperature summers and harsh winters. A significant characteristic is the great diurnal air temperature variation, which can reach a difference of 30 °C between the minimum and maximum temperature of the same day.
According to estimates, by 2015 the population amounted to 210 people. This notable increase was due to policies promoted by local authorities with the aim of reversing the emigration process and the consequent depopulation.
Tolar Grande had its period of maximum expansion towards the 1940s. At that time, the town constituted the end of the railroad branch to Chile, projected to unite the city of Salta with the city of Antofagasta. It is estimated that at that time, around 5000 people lived in the town, mainly dedicated to railway activity.
At the same time, during this period the La Casualidad Mine was in full activity, transporting the sulfur cargoes from Mina Julia to the Tolar Grande railway station, to be shipped from there to their final destination.
The closure of the mine, the interruption of the railway project, and then the total closure of the branch led to the depopulation of the region, with the consequent deterioration of the living conditions of the few residents who decided not to leave the town.
The village is located in the middle of the Puna de Atacama, 357 km far from the city of Salta and near the Salar de Arizaro. It is served by the Salta–Antofagasta railway and is 170 km from Chile and borders at Socompa. The tourist attraction Ojos de Mar lies nearby.With a municipal area of 13,785 km2, it covers at almost half of the Los Andes Department territory.
The Antofagasta Region is one of Chile's sixteen first-order administrative divisions. The second-largest region of Chile in area, it comprises three provinces, Antofagasta, El Loa and Tocopilla. It is bordered to the north by Tarapacá, by Atacama to the south, and to the east by Bolivia and Argentina. The region's capital is the port city of Antofagasta; another one of its important cities is Calama. The region's main economic activity is copper mining in its giant inland porphyry copper systems.
Catamarca is a province of Argentina, located in the northwest of the country. The province had a population of 429,556 as per the 2022 census [INDEC], and covers an area of 102,602 km2. Its literacy rate is 95.5%. Neighbouring provinces are : Salta, Tucumán, Santiago del Estero, Córdoba, and La Rioja. To the west it borders the country of Chile.
Jujuy[xuˈxuj] is a province of Argentina, located in the extreme northwest of the country, at the borders with Chile and Bolivia. The only neighboring Argentine province is Salta to the east and south.
Antofagasta is a port city in northern Chile, about 1,100 kilometres (700 mi) north of Santiago. It is the capital of Antofagasta Province and Antofagasta Region. According to the 2015 census, the city has a population of 402,669.
Calama is a city and commune in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. It is the capital of El Loa Province, part of the Antofagasta Region. Calama is one of the driest cities in the world with average annual precipitation of just 5 mm (0.20 in). The River Loa, Chile's longest, flows through the city. Calama has a population of 147,886.
San Pedro de Atacama is a Chilean town and commune in El Loa Province, Antofagasta Region. It is located east of Antofagasta, some 106 km (60 mi) southeast of Calama and the Chuquicamata copper mine, overlooking the Licancabur volcano. It features a significant archeological museum, the R. P. Gustavo Le Paige Archaeological Museum, with a large collection of relics and artifacts from the region. Native ruins nearby attract increasing numbers of tourists interested in learning about pre-Columbian cultures.
Aracar is a large conical stratovolcano in northwestern Argentina, just east of the Chilean border. It has a main summit crater about 1–1.5 kilometres (0.6–0.9 mi) in diameter which sometimes contains crater lakes, and a secondary crater. The volcano has formed, starting during the Pliocene, on top of a lava platform and an older basement. Constructed on a base with an altitude of 4,100 metres (13,500 ft), it covers a surface area of 192.4 square kilometres (74.3 sq mi) and has a volume of 148 cubic kilometres (36 cu mi). The only observed volcanic activity was a possible steam or ash plume on March 28, 1993, seen from the village of Tolar Grande about 50 km (31 mi) southeast of the volcano, but with no evidence of deformation of the volcano from satellite observations. Inca archeological sites are found on the volcano.
Salar de Atacama, located 55 km (34 mi) south of San Pedro de Atacama, is the largest salt flat in Chile. It is surrounded by mountains and lacks drainage outlets. To the east, it is enclosed by the main chain of the Andes, while to the west lies a secondary mountain range called Cordillera de Domeyko. The landscape is dominated by imposing volcanoes such as Licancabur, Acamarachi, Aguas Calientes, and Láscar, the latter being one of Chile's most active volcanoes. These volcanoes are situated along the eastern side of the Salar de Atacama, forming a north–south trending line that separates it from smaller endorheic basins.
Los Flamencos National Reserve is a nature reserve located in the commune of San Pedro de Atacama, Antofagasta Region of northern Chile. The reserve covers a total area of 740 square kilometres (290 sq mi) in the Central Andean dry puna ecoregion and consists of seven separate sections.
The Atacama Desert is a desert plateau located on the Pacific coast of South America. Stretching over a 1,600 km (990 mi) strip of land west of the Andes Mountains, it covers an area of 105,000 km2 (41,000 sq mi), which increases to 128,000 km2 (49,000 sq mi) if the barren lower slopes of the Andes are included.
The Puna de Atacama or Atacama Plateau is an arid high plateau, in the Andes of northern Chile (15%) and northwest of Argentina (85%). Geomorphologist Walther Penck based his Grossfalt landform association on Puna de Atacama.
Salín is a mountain at the border of Argentina and Chile with an elevation of 6,029 metres (19,780 ft) metres. Salin is within the following mountain ranges: Argentine Andes, Chilean Andes, Puna de Atacama. Its territory is within the Argentinean protection area of Provincial Fauna Reserve Los Andes. It is on the border of 3 provinces: Argentinean province of Salta; Chilean provinces of El Loa and Antofagasta. Its slopes are within 3 cities: Argentinean city of Tolar Grande, Chilean cities of San Pedro de Atacama and Antofagasta (Chile).
Mina La Casualidad is an abandoned mine and ghost town in Salta Province in northwestern Argentina.
Los Andes is a department located in Salta Province, Argentina. It is the second largest by area in the province, after Rivadavia Department, and its capital is the town of San Antonio de los Cobres.
La Poma is a department located in Salta Province, Argentina. It is the least populated department of the province and its capital is the town of La Poma.
The Salta–Antofagasta railway, also named Huaytiquina, is a non-electrified single track railway line that links Argentina and Chile passing through the Andes. It is a 1,000 mmmetre gauge railway with a total length of 941 km, connecting the city of Salta (Argentina) to the one of Antofagasta (Chile), on the Pacific Ocean, passing through the Puna de Atacama and Atacama Desert.
Salar de Arizaro is a large salt flat of the Andes in north-western Argentina. It is located between the villages of Tolar Grande and Caipe and near Mina La Casualidad, in Los Andes Department, Salta Province.
Ojos de Mar is a group of 3–6 small water bodies close to the town of Tolar Grande in Argentina and an important tourist attraction there. They are inhabited by extremophile microorganisms of interest to biotechnology; stromatolites have also been found there.
Salar del Hombre Muerto is a salt pan in Argentina, in the Antofagasta de la Sierra Department on the border between the Salta and Catamarca Provinces. It covers an area of 600 square kilometres (230 sq mi) and is in part covered by debris. During the Pleistocene it was sometimes a lake, but today only parts of the salt pan are covered by perennial water bodies; its major tributary is the Rio de Los Patos.
The Geste Formation is a fossiliferous geologic formation of the Puna Plateau in the western Salta Province and northern Catamarca Province of the Argentine Northwest, northwestern Argentina.
Media related to Tolar Grande at Wikimedia Commons