HUMAHUACA GORGE EXCURSION FROM SALTA, ARGENTINA
“170 kilometers of winding roads, imposing landscapes of colorfull hills and mud villages, folklore and joyful celebrations of ancient cultures and delicious flavors. This is the Humahuaca Ravine, declared World Heritage Site in 2003, located in the province of Jujuy, in the North of Argentina. A magical place, beyond time, where the fabulous natural attractions merge with the mystique of its people and culture, to delight each visitor. “ Sofia Tiphaine Across Travel Blog
The name quebrada (literally "broken") translates as a deep valley or ravine. It receives its name from Humahuaca, a small city in the heart of the gorge . The Grande River (Río Grande), which is dry in winter, flows copiously through the Quebrada in the summer.
The region has always been a crossroads for economic, social and cultural communication. It has been populated for at least 10,000 years, since the settlement of the first hunter-gatherers, which is evidenced by substantial prehistoric remains. It was a caravan road for the Inca Empire in the 15th century, then an important link between the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata and the Viceroyalty of Peru, as well as a stage for many battles of the Republican struggles for Argentinas independence of Spain (1810-20th century).
At 2465 meters above sea level, Tilcara is the touristic centre of the Quebrada de Humahuaca. On a small hill 20 minutes from the town lies a pre-Inca fortified settlement called the Pucará de Tilcara. In the Quechua language, ‘Pucará’ means fort and as the name suggests, the site was strategically chosen to be easily defensible as it overlooks a long stretch of the Quebrada de Humahuaca.
Another beautiful attraction is Cerro de los Siete Colores or “The Hill of Seven Colours” , one of the hills bordering the tiny village of Purmamarca. The hill is called such, due to the various pigments acquired by the minerals that make up the sedimentary layers. It is said that you can see seven colors in the hill, the colors are most clearly visible in the morning.
Among many beautiful sites down the world-famous Route 40 and close to the Quebrada de Humahuaca, are the Salinas Grandes at 3400 masl.
The ancient dried-up river remnants that create a salt flat leave a completely surreal image. You are surrounded by an immaculate white landscape, the only break in the horizon being the majestic Andes Mountains.