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Quebrada de Humahuaca

The “Rainbow Mountains” of the valley of Quebrada de Humahuaca are a natural miracle of Argentina, especially beautiful in the mornings when the first rays of the sun fall on the valley


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Quebrada de Humahuaca is a narrow mountain valley in the eastern part of the Cordillera, in the north-west of Argentina, through which runs a major cultural route—the Camino Inka. Along the breathtaking valley of the Rio Grande, the Inca-paved strategic road included a vast network of paths of the ancient Empire.

This valley is the most beautiful in the north-west of Argentina. Its territory is 155 km in length and belongs to the province of Jujuy.

The Rio Grande becomes very shallow in the autumn and it can be crossed in some places. But when the rainy season comes, it reincarnates into deep water and confirms its name, which means "Big River."

In the valley of Quebrada de Humahuaca, one can’t help but notice the cliffs that are particularly colourful in this area. The most striking attraction of this area is Mount Cero de Los Siete Colores (Mountain of the Seven Colours), which is covered with multicoloured horizontal stripes. There are also archaeological remains in this area: the remains of fortresses, Catholic churches, abandoned settlements where indigenous populations lived, and traces of wars for the independence of Argentina.

The most famous landmark is the fortress of the ancient culture of El Pucara de Tilcara, which was built before the heyday of the Incan empire. The fortress is located on a hill near the city of Tilcara, in the province of Jujuy. The wonderful botanical garden is on the Hill of the Devil's Throat, where an impressive panorama of the surrounding lands opens up. Among the indescribable natural beauty, there are small settlements—Uquia, Chulin, Coctaca and Penas Blancas, whose local people honour the traditions of the indigenous people, their religious beliefs, rites, celebrations, art, and folklore.

The best time to visit the Quebrada de Humahuaca is from May to August when there is less chance of rain and the temperatures are a bit cooler.

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