Tucumán is the most densely populated, and the smallest by land area, of the provinces of Argentina. Located in the northwest of the country, the capital is San Miguel de Tucumán, often shortened to Tucumán. Neighboring provinces are, clockwise from the north: Salta, Santiago del Estero and Catamarca. It is nicknamed El Jardín de la República (The Republic Garden).
Before the Spanish colonization, this land was inhabited by the Diaguitas and Calchaquíes, who practiced agriculture.
In 1533 Diego de Almagro explored the Argentine Northwest, including Tucumán. By 1565 saw the foundation of San Miguel de Tucumán by Diego de Villaroel, and the creation of the Provincia de Tucumán, Juríes y Diaguitas, whose first governor was Francisco de Aguirre. San Miguel de Tucumán was refounded in 1685 by Miguel de Salas some 65 kilometres from its first location, in order to avoid the constant attacks of the aboriginal malones.