Quebrada de Humahuaca in Argentina

July 18, 2016 Worldwide Travel

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Tilcara Festival Sweets

Tilcara Festival Sweets

2016-02-03 10.59.42The Quebrada de Humahuaca

 

The Quebrada de Humahuaca in the north of Argentina, is an extraordinary, mountaineous region, easily explored in a week and a brilliant way to absorb a stretch of amazing scenery, before crossing over to Bolivia

With the colonial town of Salta as a start point, hopping from town to town within the Quebrada provides you with a bite-sized highlight of your South American adventure.

The Balut bus from Salta offers a comfortable, regular service up Route 9, stopping off at the main towns of the region. North of the city of Jujuy a startling landscape kicks in of striped pink, yellow and green rock formations in a dazzling array of peaks and spires competing for grandeur with giant cacti. Even if you just stayed on the bus for the five hour journey all the way to the Bolivian border, this is a magical experience, but the true joy comes in exploring the region’s towns and villages.

It makes sense to choose Tilcara, the most tourist-friendly as your base and you won’t find a better place to stay than the Posada con Los Angeles, Goritti 156, Tilcara 4624

This cluster of attractive stone bungalow type lodgings is strewn around an inviting lawn dotted with apple trees. Rooms are cosy but airy with stone floors, big comfy beds and a simple décor highlighted by tasteful local artefacts.

The Posada is run by a friendly, gentle couple who offer a buffet style breakfast from six each morning to suit hikers. Fruit, bread, cheese, eggs and croissants are served with coffee as well as Coca tea to combat altitude sickness. There’s a spacious sitting area with a computer and TV or you can dream the day away in the garden, admiring the mountain views. A double room plus breakfast costs £50 a night. Make a reservation through booking.com or posadaconlosangeles.com.ar

Tilcara is charming, interesting, cosmopolitan and has plenty of cafes selling art books and above average gifts. Pleasant restaurants restaurants have live music in the evenings. There’s a sweet little bus station too, where you can pick up a bus to the border and beyond, as well as the other towns in the Quebrada. Bus travel is easy here and it makes sense to base yourself in one place and explore, rather than uprooting every few days

Bus timetables are clearly displayed at the station and soon, fares vary but are minimal.  Soon you’re off, bumping along through the Humahuaca mountains, gigantic pinkish or striped peaks in bewitching shades of pink, yellow and cream – as regulated as a sherry trifle. Below them farmland has been used to grow cauliflowers, melons and huge sunflowers.

Humahuaca is a well laid out town, capital of the region with pretty squares and adobe houses. The Iglesia de Candelaria is on Plaza Gomez and there’s a glorious festival called Virgen de Candelaria in early February with a dazzling parade of dancers and Gauchos.

Tilcara too has a splendid and joyous festival with street dancing and foam spraying. By the end everyone is covered with sticky foam and the good humour feels endless with maize beer from plastic bottles lightening the mood as everyone is hell bent on having a good time.

station too, where you can pick up a bus to the border and beyond, as well as the other towns in the Quebrada. Bus travel is easy here and it makes sense to base yourself in one place and explore, rather than uprooting every few days

Bus timetables are clearly displayed at the station and soon, fare vary but are minimal(£1) Soon you’re off, bumping along through the Humahuaca mountains, gigantic pinkish or striped peaks in bewitching shades of pink, yellow and cream – as regulated as a sherry trifle. Below them farmland has been cultivated to grow cauliflowers, melons and huge sunflowers.

Humahuaca is a well laid out town, capital of the region with pretty squares and adobe houses. The Iglesia de Candelaria is on Plaza Gomez and there’s a glorious festival called Virgen de Candelaria in early February with a dazzling parade of dancers and Gauchos.

Tilcara too has a splendid and joyous festival in February with street dancing and foam spraying. By the end everyone is covered with sticky foam and the good humour feels endless with maize beer from plastic bottles lightening the mood as everyone is hell bent on having a good time.

Spending time in the Quebrada is  a splendid end to your time in Argentina, soaking up the extraordinary scenery and culture before crossing over into Bolivia. Take the Balut bus(around three hours) from Tilcara to La Quiaca on the border and prepare to enter another world entirely.

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