Quebrada de Humahuaca is located in northwestern Argentina, in Jujuy Province, about 1,500 km from Buenos Aires. It is an Andean valley of 155 kilometers in length, flanked by high mountain ranges and laboriously dug by the Rio Grande, located at over 2000 meters high.
Quebradeños linking the villages history and traditions with ancestral roots. This is a unique cultural landscape in the world, as the Indian peoples of the area retain religious beliefs, rituals, festivals, art, music and farming techniques that are a living heritage, major reason for that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003.
Quebrada de Humahuaca is the perfect combination of spectacular scenery and archaeological riches. Upon arrival one feels he has truly entered the American continent.
Its current inhabitants are mostly ethnic barbimaloy. The creek was the setting for different cultures of 10,000 years old, including Omaguaca, which gave name to lugar.Humahuaca usually translated as “holy river”, ancient symbol of what is simply to remain the same.
Can be reached through the RN 9, Argentine leg of the Panamerican highway that connects La Paz to Buenos Aires. You can also go by flight to Salta and Jujuy cabotage and then road to Humahuaca (176 and 146 km. Respectively)
In order to arrive by RN9 from Jujuy Salta, or the path of cornice El Carmen (Jujuy) La Caldera (Salta). However there are a couple of rare exotic options. The best is undoubtedly come from San Antonio de los Cobres in Salta province, crossing the Salinas Grandes and reaching Purmamarca. Once we Purmamarca in the Quebrada de Humahuaca with all the attractions, Tilcara, Humahuaca, etc to the north, without having to go back. This connection is a little traffic. Other entries, to experiment and leave the tourist track, are: San Antonio de los Cobres Susques to the RP74 through the site Sey, SA Cobres to Susques for RN40, and RP38 through Cobres place and cross the Salt Caucharí by RP27 Salta spot reaching the elbow, and eventually Susques. On a trip to usual constraints of time only to try the traditional route 9 and a variant SACobres Purmamarca. In the border area, there are baggage checks are common for these smuggling and drug trafficking.
Corniche road from Salta to Jujuy
Those who are already bored with the RN9 may choose this picturesque corniche road, also paved. This is from La Caldera, Salta, El Carmen, in Jujuy. Its narrowness is panic and some others marean as if they were to 4000 meters. The scenery from the Dique La Cienaga to the Abra de Santa Laura is not wasted.
Tour of cultural and archaeological interest. Trekking, mountaineering, horseback riding. Observe the flora and fauna.
Color Landscapes give your frame a set of villages with mud houses, chapels and historical pre-Hispanic ruins, where time seems to stand still.
One of the most beautiful is Purmamarca, framed by the indigenous population of Cerro Siete Colores, which reflect different geological ages strata. Later in Maimará, there is an extension of bands of color on the mountains, called “The Painter’s Palette.” One of the main attractions in this ravine is the Pucara de Tilcara, a fortified town built by the native Omaguaca in pre-Columbian times.
El Pucara de Tilcara
The monolith marks the Tropic of Capricorn is where the day is celebrated June 21 Inti Raymi (Festival of the Sun), a celebration of ancient Aymara is, when it begins the winter solstice, for the new cycle agriculture. Humahuaca was founded by the Spaniards in the late sixteenth century. In his Church and the Museum of Northern Carnival is a complex picture of the habits and customs of the region. A 12 Km are the mysterious ruins of the platforms for growing Coctaca with many grids pircas.
We can find many remnants of pre-Hispanic past, including pucaras, Antigal and rock paintings are scattered throughout the area. Habits persist in the area prior to colonization, marked in community celebrations. One of them is associated with the agricultural calendar, such as the Ming and brought others to the patron saint festival, the misachicos, the cult of the dead, the living manger. One of the most important ritual is the cult of Pachamama. Something to recommend in this area are the carnivals, with a rapid cycle between dig and Burial, with enthusiastic participation.
Quebrada de Humahuaca provided a route to the Inca, was passage of settlers and explorers and a major trade route in the Colonial stage. The settlements of the colonial era acquired great importance as it developed alongside the Pre-Hispanic settlement in the area also produced a cultural exchange with neighboring countries in South America, interaction that began 10,000 years ago and persist today . Its real importance is that the Creek has functioned as a permanent means of interaction, linking distant lands and different cultures, from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Andes to the southern plains, a clear example is acting as a channel of trade between Rio de la Plata and Potosi through the Camino Real.
The richness and multi-cultural elements that characterize it give a strong meaning for a plural reading of history and world culture. These important data influenced Argentina to run this region as a World Heritage Site, which awarded him the honor of the UNESCO Committee on July 2, 2003
Customs of the place
In villages that are part of the gorge jujeña, most restaurants and dining in the home and work are attended by entire families who are struggling in the preparation of locro, humitas, roast lamb and tamales, among other local delicacies. Tamales are typical foods that have corn and pork wrapped in leaves of chala.
The locals are very friendly and enjoys taking the tourists to enter a store purmamarqueño is a whole new experience, after exchanging greetings the owner of the establishment and their families each uno.Generalmente on the desk are stacked bags of leaves coca. The coqueo “as it tells the act of chewing the leaves, is a technique inherited from the aboriginal ancestors still used by villagers to resist hard days work or to accompany the drinks in the evening meetings. Since time out of memory, coca leaves were in the rites of the Inca people. The coca (who chew coca leaves) is called a bolo with them acuyico (mask) and place it between the cheeks and jaw, leaving it there for hours, causing extensive salivation. The sheet should not be split or crumbled, they tangle with the language, one above the other, methodically. In northwestern Argentina, especially in Jujuy and Salta, there are numerous followers of this gentle alkaloid, is used to combat sleep, hunger, thirst and fatigue. Tourists buy them out of curiosity or to avoid pointing a loss of oxygen caused by the height.
It is in places where youth travelers (from any corner of the country and the world) are grouped around a guitar and takes place round mate, typical drink based argentina yerba mate, which, according to experts, not should have much or as little stick, and whose container is a container of pumpkin or wood, cylindrical in shape and slightly flared at the base. Drink with a bulb that has a small metal filter at the tip and placed into the mate. Seconds before the break the boil, the water must be removed from the fire and it can be “prime” (serve) the mate, from hand to hand, respecting the shifts.
What to buy
Omaguaca pottery: vases shaped like faces of bulls, or male or female.
Goldwork jujeña: votive offerings, mates and household utensils. Silver filigree, unique in the country.
Fabrics: ponchos hair sheep or tissues of llamas and alpaca fiber.
Crafts: wood carvings of lignum vitae or cardón, basketry, leather work and musical instruments native.