[EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS IS AN UPDATED AND ENHANCED PREVIOUS POST AS I IMPROVE MY WEBSITE]
[JUJUY PROVINCE, ARGENTINA] — Northwestern Argentina is one of the most surprising and under-visited part of the country. Right on the Salta/Jujuy provincial borders are two must see stops: the muddy Andean town of Purmamarca and just around the corner, the incredible Paseo de los Colorado, a two mile amusement ride of colors that wrap around behind Purmamarca. Stop in for a lunch in town, dominated by the stratified colors of the Hill of the Seven Colors — you’ll see why they named it that.
When I read about this place in the NYTimes, I knew I had to go there. You should, too. Here’s a great article in the Wall Street Journal about Salta. When I read that article, I booked my trip to Northwest Argentina.
I mean, Jujuy and Salta are like a giant Crayola box of Earth…all bracketed around Burnt Siena. Go on The Google and look down. “Enhance… Enhance… Enhance.” Then start making plans. Hurry, before everyone else figures it out.
Where else can you read a unanimous five-star rating on TripAdvisor??
Okay, let’s go to the Land of Stripey Things. The Humahuaca Gorge in Jujuy (pronounced “hoo-hooey”, such a hoot to say) A UNESCO World Heritage site that deserves every letter of it. Humahuaca in Jujuy. Say that three times… First up, the stripey town of Purmamarca and its Cerro de los Siete Colores (Hill of the Seven Colors) staring right down over the town. Count ‘em.
You can see the Hill of Seven Colors before you even get to town
The town of Purmamarca close up against the Andes and can be dusty or muddy depending on the day.
There’s actually a pretty cool Andean market with local handmade goods. I didn’t see another American on my whole trip in 2013.
Insane on the membrane. There’s an awesome loop trail out of Purmamarca called the Paseo de los Colorados that leads you up to the craziest colored red and green rock formations (green rock!) Colors so intense they vibrate. Or maybe it was the coca leaves…
Have you ever seen colors like this?
You almost have to wipe your eyes clear, the colors are so snapping and bright. So glad the clouds lifted.
I mean, seriously…this is stupid ridiculous. Who ever heard of green and purple mountains? Another Geology class I slept through…
This Humahuaca Gorge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In case you think I juiced the photos, watch this unadulterated video!:
— Last Visited March 2011, Updated November 2019 —
Here’s a great article of the whole Jujuy region from Culture Trip.
You can do this in a guided day trip out of Salta. Here are some other posts from Salta and Jujuy Provinces in Northwest Argentina. Here is Fodor’s guide to Purmamarca. And Lonely Planet’s guide. And a really good guide from The Crazy Tourist. And a good overview from The Real Argentina.
Here’s a great article in Conde Nast Traveler about crossing the Andes from Chile to NW Argentina. And also, a great article from The Telegraph on driving through the Andes of Argentina.
Jujuy province is in the way upper Northwest corner of Argentina, tucked up against the Andes and the borders of Chile and Bolivia. You fly into Salta and then it’s just an hour or two drive north through the most stunning geography you’ve ever seen.
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