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Quebrada de Humahuaca


Quebrada de Humahuaca, a World Heritage site, safeguards over 10 thousand years of history and some of the most beautiful landscapes in Argentina. 

Between the towns of Volcán and Tres Cruces, along 150 km, National Route 9 connects colourful mountains and small villages, the perfect basis to explore the region. 


Open to visit all year round. The best time to visit is from December to March.

What to see

Located 65 km from San Salvador de Jujuy, it stands as one of the most beautiful towns in Argentina; it is famous for the Cerro de los Siete Colores (Hill of the Seven Colours), the charm of its adobe constructions and the mythic artisan fair at the main square.

From the centre of Purmamarca, you can take the Paseo de Los Colorados, a low-difficulty walking tour of approximately 1 hour, and the Sendas de Viltipoco, a walk through a dry riverbed that leads to a natural cave.



Located 20 km away from Purmamarca, Maimará reveals its own colours at Paleta del Pintor (Painters’ Palette), a hill with slopes of various nuances. 

If you want to watch the landscape from above, you can walk 3 km to a viewpoint from where you will see the Grande River, the vineyards and the amazing landscapes of Maimará. Although this trail has an intermediate difficulty, it is really worth trekking, just as pilgrims and Sikuri bands do every year to arrive at Punta Corral Virgin Sanctuary.



It is one of the most visited towns of the Quebrada. Located 8 km away from Maimará, it is home to one of the most important archaeological sites in the north-east: Pucará de Tilcara, a pre-Hispanic settlement with self-guided trails.

From Tilcara, you can visit the Cueva del Wayra (Wayra Cave) and the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) cascade. In addition to horse riding, you can enjoy several days of trekking to the Salinas Grandes or the Yungas.



On the Tropic of Capricorn and 17 km north off Tilcara, Huacalera celebrates Inti Raymi or the Sun Festival every winter solstice (June 21). This ceremony embodies the spirituality of Andean villages, the recognition and respect for the Sun’s sacred energy. Inti Raymi also coincides with the Andean New Year.

Angosto de Yacoraite indigenous community

To the north, 7 km away from Huacalera, a detour takes you to this town, home to pre-Hispanic descendants. Families living in this community work in agricultural, livestock and artisanal production. They offer an opportunity to learn first-hand about their work, techniques and ancestral traditions. 

Yacoraite is a good place from where to visit the archaeological site of Los Amarillos and Mesón de Yacoraite, a hill of impressive beauty, also known as Pollera de la Colla. A privileged view can be enjoyed from the top. 


A small town, 12 km north of Yacoraite, famous for its paintings of the 17th century harquebusier angels, an artistic treasure exhibited at San Francisco de Padua Church.

In Uquía starts the trail to the Quebrada de las Señoritas, a rocky outcrop that unveils various geological eras. It is recommended to take a light walk to watch the colourful landscapes and gorges inhabited by the old Uquías. You can also visit the Blanco hill, where dwellers follow the tradition of unearthing the Carnival devil, and the colourful local cemetery and its geological formations.

Humahuaca and the Hornocal mountain chain

About 12 km to the north lies Humahuaca town, where the road diverts leading to the impressive Hornocal mountain chain, 27 km along Provincial Route 73. It is an ideal visit during sunset to appreciate the colours in all their glory. 

Moving a little further along the same route, you can do bird watching at Laguna de Leandro. In the north of Humahuaca lies the community of Hornaditas (15 km away), Inca Cueva (pre-Inca caves with paintings, 41 km away) and the town of Tres Cruces (57 km away) - from where a trekking trail begins to the curious and striking Puente del Diablo (Devil’s Bridge); all worth visiting.


Iruya (Salta)

While Iruya is a village in Salta province, access is only possible from the province of Jujuy. Some 26 km north of Humahuaca, you should take Provincial Route 13 and move along a dirt road leading to Abra del Cóndor, the border between both provinces, at 4,000 m.a.s.l.

Amid the mountains and surrounded by an impressive landscape, the architecture in Iruya depicts its pre-Columbian origin of great cultural and historical value. From Mirador de Iruya viewpoint, you can see the whole town and its surroundings. Mirador del Cóndor can also be reached along an intermediate-difficulty trail, offering a spectacular view of the mountains and valleys. If you wish to go on a half-day trekking, the town of San Isidro, with 350 inhabitants and hidden in the middle of the mountain, is located 8 km away from Iruya.


Gateway to Puna Route 

From Purmamarca, National Route 52 runs along the Cuesta de Lipán slope and reaches Salinas Grandes, one of the most important salt flats in Argentina. 

After only 40 km along a winding road, you will find the highest point of the hill in Abra de Potrerillos (4,170 m.a.s.l.), where you must stop to gaze at the breath-taking views or take pictures of the vicugna herds that are normally close to the road.

How to get there and move around

You can travel across Quebrada de Humahuaca through National Route 9, starting from San Salvador de Jujuy (40 km away) or from the city of Salta (190 km away). There are several buses every day connecting the villages in the gorge from San Salvador de Jujuy. 

In each village, you may find local guides to take tours and discover the attractions.

Where to stay

There are some hostels and inns along this route. Tilcara and Purmamarca offer the largest number of lodgings and services in the gorge. Some towns offer camping sites.

More information