The province of Jujuy, bordering Bolivia and Chile in the extreme northwest of Argentina, is well-known throughout the country for its fascinating history and phenomenal natural landscape.
Since Jujuy is relatively small, it’s a wonderful destination for travelers pressed for time. There are several exciting options for those interested in Jujuy Day Trips.
One of Jujuy’s major attractions is the Pucará de Tilcara (Fortress of Tilcara), a beautiful mountain valley where the ruins of pre-Incan habitations still stand, in more or less their original form. The Pucará, a National Monument, is thought to have been constructed during the 12th century. Here, you can explore the cactus studded valley, enter the historical stone habitations and visit authentic sites that were designated for burials and religious ceremonies (i.e. scarifications). The amazing vistas that the site affords its visitors make it a popular choice for day trips in Jujuy.
Another highly-visited locationduring many day trips in Jujuy: the Salinas Grandes (Great Salt Flats), a stunning 130-mile stretch of salty flatlands between Salta and Jujuy that broadens out beneath the open sky.
Five to ten thousand years ago, these salt flats were covered by a giant lagoon of salty water (not a salt lake, contrary to popular belief). This isolated site is worth visiting for its natural beauty and vast photographic opportunities. But if you’re interested in seeing the Salinas Grandes, you’ll need to plan your starting point in advance: to give you a bit of direction, the flats are located approximately 78 miles from the town of Purmamarca.
The town of Purmamarca itself is worth visiting, if you’re able to make the trip. It is likely known best for its fascinating artisanal market and the Cierro de Siete Colores (Hill of Seven Colors). Believe it or not, there are actually seven different colors in the breathtaking mountains and valleys of the Cierro! Several easy treks are accessible from this area, including the recommended Paseo de los Colorados. The natural scenery you’ll see during your walk is truly unforgettable.
Not far from this distinctly authentic town is the Humahuaca Gorge, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its overwhelming natural beauty and archaeological significance. This ravine lining the Río Grande was a major Incan trade route for thousands of years, and is marked by the scattering ruins of ancient settlements. Today, the gorge is still utilized as a path between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Humahuaca is another lovely small village perfect for day trips in Jujuy. A historical town located 47 miles away from Purmamarca, it features an impressively large (and cheap!) artisanal market, interesting monuments and a gorgeous cemetery.
If you’re close to the capital city of San Salvador de Jujuy and are interested in a more relaxing variant of day trips in Jujuy, check out the Termas de Reyes (Kings’ Hot Springs), a hotel/spa built into natural groundwater hot springs that provide lots of natural minerals. The hotel is built into one of Jujuy’s gorgeous secluded hillsides.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re interested in hiking, culture, history, nature or just plain relaxation; a day trip in Jujuy is sure to satisfy. It is also a great place to start your Argentina to Bolivia, Uyuni Salt Flats trip.