Humahuaca Gorge, Argentina
Set off from Purmamarca, having first visited the village and enjoyed the Hill of Seven Colors from close quarters. You will pass through the oasis village of Maimara, with its onion and garlic fields and dramatic colored mountain backdrop, known as the Artist's Palette because of the range of hues visible.
The first stop will be at Tilcara, one of the largest (almost 3000 inhabitants) and liveliest Quebrada villages, which is interesting to walk around, and has an attractive church just off the main square, as well as a restaurant specializing exclusively in llama served in many different ways. Tilcara has a large hilltop fortress, the Pucara, which has been substantially restored, and offers a lovely panoramic view.
You can enter small dry stone houses, see the ceremonial altar, and the cemetery, as well as visiting the llama farm and cactus garden afterwards.
Continuing your journey, if the time is right, you can call into one of the most famous churches in the Quebrada; at Uquia, with its cactus wood roof, Peruvian paintings, and gold laminated altar. From here, it is a short distance through more spectacular gorge scenery to the town of Humahuaca, where you will have lunch in a local restaurant, and afterwards climb the steps to the huge and very impressive monument to the heroes of the Independence which dominates the town.
In the afternoon, there will be many chances to stop and photograph the Quebrada as you drop down towards Jujuy, and the surroundings become greener and lusher.
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