Travel guide & tours in Jujuy province

Travel informations of Jujuy province.

San Salvador de Jujuy

The city of San Salvador de Jujuy is the capital city of the eponymous province. Port of entry from the Andes at the North-West, we enter into the more authentic Indian Argentina. Situated at 1260 meters of altitude, the city is a great stop to discover the surrounding sites, especially the Quebrada de Humahuaca which is very close. San Salvador de Jujuy keeps a chaotic history : the Spanish settled in before the Calchaquies Indians destroyed in 1563 the first buildings of the colonists. The Spanish crown imposed itself again in this territory, but it had to face Indian uprisings up to the XVIII century. The city was also the theatre of confrontations during the Argentine war of independence, which started in 1810.

Quebrada de Humahuaca

The Quebrada of Humahuaca is a deep pass between two mountain ridges of 155 km (96 miles) and a natural access between the Pampas lowlands and the highlands. It was declared a Natural and Cultural World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its uniqe landscapes, but also for its numerous small villages and citadels that conserve a great amount of Pre-Columbian and colonial vestiges, such as those of the Omaguaca culture, semi intact. At the Inca Cueva site, remains from 10,000 years ago were found. A number of villages line the road of the Quebrada: Purmamarca, with its Hill of the Seven Colors, Maimará, Tilcara and Humahuaca.

Purmamarca

56km (35 miles) north of Jujuy, Purmamarca is the first town of the Quebrada de Humahuaca, far from the road and bundled at the foot of the Hill of the Seven Colors. The mountain owes its name to the most absolute reality of the colors which make it up and gradually go from beige to red, passing through green, grey and yellow; this mountain can be circled along a path. The town itself is charming, with its adobe houses, its white church, its cactus carpentry and its cemetery of multicolored tombs.

La Cienaga

Group of colorful young mountains, La Cienaga is located about ten kilometers from Pumamarca on route 52 which leads to Susques. A wonderful area for trekking still not very well known, it charms trekkers with its geological richness and with its mountains which go from ochres, greens and mauves.

Tilcara

The colonial town of Tilcara, on the River Grande, is one of the most interesting of the Quebrada de Humahuaca. It blossoms with people who celebrate its folk festivals, the Carnival in January and then Easter. Close to the town, you may visit the ruins of the Pre-Columbian El Pucara fortress. The Tilcaras, from the Omaguaca group, built it approximately 900 years ago on a strategic hill which dominated the valley. Above a mountain botanical garden, the site was restored and today we can see the perimeter of the houses and the cemetery. The objects are exhibited in the town’s archeological museum. A few miles away, Devil’s Throat completes this circuit, a rocky precipice with a small dam.

Maimará

The small town of Maimará, in the north of Jujuy, is at the foot of another dreamy landscape: the Painter’s Palette, which is a series of big multicolored rocky plaques, with ochres, reds and greens which combine to form a magnificent natural painting. The town cemetery, on the side of the hill, is particularly picturesque.

Uquia

Situated on National route 9, in the Quebrada de Humahuaca, the small village of Uquia is located 116 km from the capital of the province, Jujuy. Uquia is 2858 m of altitude, and has a population of 500 inhabitants. The main attraction of the town is its small church of jesuit influence set up in 1691 and which is perfectly preserved, even if it seems that one of its towers has disappeared. Inside the church there are valuable paintings one of which is a portrait of San Ignacio de Loyola. Uquia is also one of the only places in the Quebrada de Humahuaca where vicuñas can be found.

Humahuaca Village

The last stage of the Quebrada: Humahuaca, the biggest town in the region (11,500 inhabitants), knew how to conserve lovely colonial houses among narrow tiled streets. Until the end of the 19th century, it was an important commercial trading post, almost 3000 meters (9843 feet) above sea level, on the route to High Peru. Its carnival is famous countrywide: for 8 days in February, the entire town dresses up, sings, dances and drinks to accompany the masked demons that parade around town. The last day, offerings to the Pachamama (Mother Earth) and the demons are buried in the mountain. In Humahuaca you will find quality handicrafts, mainly handmade native ponchos.

Iruya

Iruya is a small village at the end of the world, on a mountainside at 2780 meters (9121 feet), at the far end of a 50 km (31 miles) path which diverges from the main road connecting Jujuy with Bolivia, reaching 4000 meters (13,123 feet). Its landscape is dotted with stone and limestone houses, tiled streets and a native population which has preserved its traditions. Lovely hikes can be carried out through the multicolored hills or on the shores of the rivers which circle the village.

Coranzuli village & road

On the route between Humahuaca and Iruya (50 km), a 10km detour takes visitors to Colanzuli. This city of the province of Salta has a main square with its church with a blue dome. Its surroundings offer landscapes with white rocks which contrast with the ochre and orange earth. It is an alternative to the main route of Iruya.

Tres Cruces & Azul Pampa

Azul Pampa, Tres Cruces, Argentina 40/50 km to the North of Humahuaca, on route 9 which goes to Abra Pampa, Azul Pampa and Tres Cruces offer a good example of Puna landscapes (desert of altitude). A reddish mountain range borders the uninhabited valleys scattered with water courses and shepherds cabins.

Laguna Pozuelos

Declared a Natural Monument, the Pozuelos Lagoon is in the midst of the Puna, 50 km (31 miles) from Abra Pampa, in the north of Jujuy province, at 3600 meters (11,811 feet). This reserve protects a rich colony of aquatic birds, with 44 species and 25,000 pink flamingos (Chilean flamingos, Andean flamingos, Puna flamingos). They build their nests on the edge of the lagoon, which extends over 15,000 hectares.

Casabindo, Fiesta del toreo de la Vincha

Located on route 11, 55 km to the south-west of Abra Pampa (3.377 m), the village of Casabindo celebrates every year on August 15th the day of the Virgen Mary, saint protector of the place. Besides the vespers, dances, processions, this celebration became famous for its corrida, a combination between catholic tradition and customs inherited by the Spanish conquest. It is the only bull demonstration in Argentina. Men face the animal without using flags. The valor act in homage to the saint consists of the bullfighter taking off a bandeau/ kerchief with silver coins from the bull’s head.

La Quiaca Village

A sign reminds us that La Quiaca is the last town before Bolivia, located 5121 km (3182 miles) from Ushuaia! A bridge built on the Quebrada will enable us to get to Villazon, in Bolivia. Commercial trade between both towns never stops. But, what is really interesting is to see the road which leads us there, crossing the whole highland plains from the Quebrada de Humahuaca. At about 15 km (9.3 miles), the colonial town Yavi is known for its cave art and symbolic designs of its grottos, as well as its lovely 17th century church.

Cuesta de Lipan

On national route 52, a stretch of route connects Purmamarca and Salinas Grandes, before continuing towards Paso de Jama, in the border with Chili. This winding and zigzag road is about 17km long, at a height of 2.192 m (Purmamarca) up to an altitude of 4170 m, at Abra de Potrerillos. Some hundred meters before reaching the summit, a viewpoint allows you to get a breathtaking view.

Salinas Grandes

The formidable Lipan’s Steep, which goes from 2200 to 4200 meters (7218 – 13,780 feet) in 30 km (18.6 miles), joins Purmamarca with Salinas Grandes, a saltwater lake located in the midst of the Puna covering 12,000 hectares. It is an immense desert of salt which you can cover by car while admiring the workers, who still gather salt in the traditional way. The workers also sell objects made of salt to the tourists.

Susques

Located on route 52, the small village of Susques is a very ancient one. Perched at an altitude of 3.886 m, its origins go back to the times of the Atacamas Indians (the Lickan-antay), well before the Incan empire arrived to the current Argentine territory. The Spanish colonists, very few on this very hostile landscape, have built in this town the oldest christian sanctuary in the province of Jujuy. The church Nuestra Señora de Belén de Susques was consacrated in 1598 and features adobe walls and hay roof. Inside, the walls are decorated with paintings representing flowers and animals from the region. A peculiar organ enthrones the church : its exceptionally low keyboard obliges the organist play it by kneeling down.

Paso de Jama

The Pass of Jama is a border post between Argentina and Chile and one of the few crossing points between the countries. Route 16 can be driven all year round, even when it snows. It is an essential part of the roads connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, called the “Bio-oceanic Development Corridor”, along the Tropic of Capricorn.

El Calilegua

The Calilegua National Park was created in 1979 to protect part of the Yungas Forests in Jujuy, which undoubtedly constitute one of the richest biodiversities in Argentina. The pluvial Yunga forests grow between 400 and 3000 meters (1312 – 9843 feet) altitude. They are characterized by the density of the vegetation and numerous rivers and torrents. The yaguarete, a jaguar close to extinction, still inhabits these woods, as well as the tapir, the bat, the taruca and the brocket deer. Four hundred bird species have been accounted for in these lands, such as the toucan, the woodpecker and the Sparkling violet-ear. At 3000 meters (9843 feet), at Alto Calilegua, remains of Incan fortifications can be seen.