Quebrada de Humahuaca...
Argentina's Northwest at its best

Pucara de Tilcara. Jujuy, Argentina
Pucara de Tilcara - © Secretaria de Turismo Buenos Aires

Quebrada de Humahuaca (Humahuaca ravine), Argentina, is a 150 km. long Andean valley over two thousand meters above sea level, not far from the border with Bolivia.

It's named after de Omaguacas, one of the ancient cultures that inhabited the area in pre-Hispanic times, together with Quechuas and Aymaras.

Today, you'll find mainly the ethnic group known as Collas.

That region of Argentina's NW is known as Puna (means plateau or cold country in Quechua language).

Home to the Inca influenced cultures, and pretty similar to what we find in Peru and Bolivia, Puna is a region of rugged terrain, adobe houses and terracotta tinted canyons, where many pre-Hispanic customs still survive.

Take, for instance, the cult of Pachamama (Mother Earth, is celebrated in July, when meals, drinks and coca leaves are given to the earth as offerings, pretty much as the Incas did.

Their main celebration is Inti Raymi (Sun festivity), held every 21st. of June to worship Inti (Sun God). That date marks the winter solstice of the Southern Hemisphere and celebrates the beginning of another agricultural season.

quebrada de Humahuaca. Pucara de Tilcara
Quebrada de Humahuaca: Pucara de Tilcara - © Secretariat of Tourism Buenos Aires

Quebrada de Humahuaca was a very important canyon for communication and transportation reasons.

First, it was part of the Inca highway and later became a commercial route in the vice regal period.

For strategic and military reason, Pucaras (fortified towns) were built along the main road.

Today, the best reconstructed Pucaras in Humahuaca is Pucara de Tilcara, just outside the town of Tilcara.

Tilcara is the best place to establish your base camp. It has all the comfort and amenities you will need. You may as well use San Salvador de Jujuy (capital of Jujuy province) for that matter, around three hours away by bus.

San Salvador de Jujuy or Tacita de Plata (Silver Cup) as it's called because of its peculiar topography, is a beautiful city with lots of colonial architecture. Full of history all over it. It was founded three times, the last one was in 1593.

Music plays and has played an important role in the local culture, with native instruments like pan flutes and quenas (air instruments), caja o uancara (percussion instrument) and the unmistakable sound of charango (string instrument).

Just don't miss the town of Purmamarca (means "town of the Virgin Earth" in Aymara language), at the base of Cerro the los Siete Colores (Hill of the Seven Colors).
Of amazing beauty, it has made the tourist image of Argentina to spread worldwide. Is also birthplace of famous artists and musicians.

The different color layers that characterize Cerro de los Siete Colores are the result of marine, lacustrine and fluvial sediments that started to form a deposit in the area around 600 million years ago.

 Village in Humahuaca. Argentina
Village in Quebrada de Humahuaca - © Secretariat of Tourism Buenos Aires

Expore Quebrada de Humahuaca in your next journey to Argentina. Best time to visit: Spring time -September to November - , to avoid the intense heat of summer and cold nights in winter.

How to Get There:

From Buenos Aires, Argentina, there are regular flights to Jujuy (1600 km. away). Try Aerolineas Argentinas or Southern Winds.

For more info on airlines and airports please visit Argentina airports.

You may as well - time permitting - take a long distance bus from Estación Retiro (Buenos Aires), or other main cities in Argentina.
Once in Jujuy, a regular bus is perfectly adequate.

Where to Stay:

Find and compare the best hotel rates in the city of San Salvador de Jujuy or in Tilcara.

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