Quebrada de Humahuaca means Valley of Humahuaca, and the importance of this region as a major trade route known as the Camino Inca and who’s history extends as far back as 11,000 years ago is recognized by UNESCO on their World Heritage Site list!
Our bus left early in the morning from Salta and slowly climbed up the long narrow valley with the Rio Grande running downing through the middle! As we approached the first town of Purmamarca, we could see in the distance the brilliant mountains for which it has become such a tourist destination!
This northern region’s people are descendants from the Indigenous ancient tribes which is still noticeable in their arts, crafts and tools.
I was surprised to see an artistically built cob construction here! AND it’s a place that people can stay at! Beautiful!
There are several hostels in this small village, but they’re not as inexpensive as down in Salta!
Our tour continued north towards Humahuaca near the Bolivian border, but first we stopped along the roadside at this major tourist attraction – a clay pot factory and gift store!
This clay worker gave us a demonstration on pot making, and in less than ten minutes he had made several different types of containers!
The outdoor kilns were wood-fired.
Inside the many-roomed ultra-large gift store, the various types of crafts seemed to go on forever!
Back out into the sunshine, the front entrance was equally stunning in its artistry!
There was a small paddock with a group of llamas!
And a restaurant bar that wasn’t in service at this time!
A small outside market was open, though.
And then on we went to Humahuaca where our van stopped along a back street where a host of restaurants were – we all wandered to the one of our choice for lunch! I went to this one. La Puerta Verde means ‘the Green Door’.
Later, I walked around town a little. The small alleyways often have markets tucked up in them!
Humahuaca’s main plaza attraction is called Monumento a los Heroes de la Indepencia!
Here’s a view from the top of the Monumento looking back down!
The backdrop artwork for the band stage was incredible! Wish we could have been there for the evening’s performance!
The indigenous-style artwork was much different from the other styles I’d seen in any other town or city in Argentina!
One small coffee shop I passed had these incredible paintings of the painted mountains we would see at our last stop on this day tour!
Leaving Humahuaca, we headed south and stopped at a site that designated the crossing of the Tropic of Capricorn! The Tropic of Cancer is it’s twin in the Northern Hemisphere. These lines of latitude designate the spot on Earth where the sun will be directly overhead during it’s high season!
Yet another stand at that stop – they’re EVERYWHERE!
Our last stop – on the roadside above the town of Tilcara – we were able to view the brilliantly colored eroded hillsides that have brought the tourists and travelers up this valley for so many years!
It had been a great day of many interesting sights, and as almost ALL Argentinians do, they drank the green tea called Mate (pronounced mah-tay) on the return route! And they shared theirs with the driver, which is also very common – everybody shares the same tea cup around!
A fantastic day, and I still had one more to do in this region! I would be taking a day trip to the high mountain town of Cachi tomorrow!