La Quebrada de Humahuaca: A watercolor landscape

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  Tangol 30/07/2019

Mountains painted by the years, ancestral routes and winds of andean music cross the Quebrada. Between rites and carnival, the valley sings its sorrows and falls in love with its gualicho.

The Quebrada de Humahuaca is an extensive and irregular mountainous valley of approximately 155 km. long across the province of Jujuy from north to south. In 2003 it was declared a National Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO thanks to its great natural and cultural wealth. Its imposing landscapes keep more than 10,000 years of history. Their paths are marked by aboriginal traces of all ethnicities that have left rites, customs, festivals and traditions.

Closer to heaven. La Quebrada begins 39 kilometers north of San Salvador de Jujuy and encompasses picturesque villages framed by a unique natural setting. Between 2,000 and 4,000 meters above sea level, a chain of valleys and mountains that paint a watercolor landscape unfolds.

Of all the colors. At 2,192 meters high, Purmamarca appears, the first most important town in the Quebrada. This enchanted place has as a backdrop the "Hill of 7 colors", product of marine, lake and river sedimentation elevated by tectonic movements. This rainbow-painted mountain is the perfect place to contemplate the immensity of the landscape and enjoy your eyes.

The tour continues at the Craft Fair located around the main square. In it, the visitor will find beautiful native handicrafts of the Argentine northwest, among which the loom carpets, blankets, ponchos, tapestries, native musical instruments and typical clothes of the region stand out.

To finish the visit, the best is waiting for us: the “Salinas Grandes”. 126 km. from Purmamarca, there are more than 12,000 hectares of open salt. This white desert hallucinates the eyes of the traveler and immerses him in a dream that vanishes the horizon.

Archaeological Capital. Tilcara is another of the unmissable of the Quebrada for preserving and reviving the aboriginal tradition. Just 1 kilometer from the town, stands the "Pucará de Tilcara", a building that the omaguacas aborigines built over 900 years ago in order to have a panoramic view of the valleys and all their access routes. In these imposing ruins you can see the interiors and pens of the time and on the eastern slope there is a large necropolis composed of numerous funeral pyres. To know Tilcara is to travel to the past to know the cultural richness of our native peoples.

Sacred River. Is the meaning of Humahuaca, the historical capital of the Quebrada. For the omaguacas, this “river that will always be” symbolizes the things that only change to remain the same. Like a river that runs to always return to its channel, Humahuaca revives its origin. Years after year, the town celebrates and dresses up as a carnival. From its narrow and cobbled streets the music of the land sprouts and the cholas sing their songs. A true party where the native is reborn from the depths of our roots.


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