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COCTACA

JUJUY

ARGENTINA

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JUJUY

COCTACA

Located 10 kilometres east of Humahuaca you will find the Gorge or Quebrada of Coctaca. You can reach this area, forming part of the Quebrada Circuit by a dirt road. Here the roads that lead to Ronque, Siquiza, Rodero and Pucará branch off. The area is flat, with mountainous areas surrounding it and covered in giant cacti. Coctaca is famous for its old pre Hispanic cultivation terraces.

Today you will find a church, a primary school, a medical post and small police station. The daily life of its people is wrapped up in a legendary past and an imposing landscape.

In the area you will find a very important agricultural ceramic archaeological site of the Omaguaca civilisation. There are several dwellings, long time fallen into ruins, but its most spectacular feature is its cultivation terraces, perfectly discernible, the largest in the region.

This is a valley with an exceptionally fertile soil. It is 35 kilometres long and 12.5 kilometres wide.

It is very obvious to the visitors eye the huge engineering work done by the pre Hispanic cultures that lived here in order to get the most out of their water supply for irrigation purposes of their intensive style agriculture. In this context it is well to remember that these people lived in an almost meatless society.

Everywhere one can see how the fields have been meticulously cleaned of stones and rocks which have then been laid out in long wide walls, with the largest ones used to lay out the sustaining walls of the terraces, which are of two types: the most common with a height of around 30 centimetres (minimum height needed to contain the soil) and others up to 1.5 metres high, possibly used to protect young plants from the wind and to offer shade in order to avoid a too rapid evaporation of the water, brought there at such effort.

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JUJUY - ARGENTINA
Jujuy Argentina
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Quebrada
- Coctaca
- Huacalera
- Humahuaca
- Maimara
- Paso de Jama
- Posta de Hornillos
- Punta Corral
- Purmamarca
- Tilcara
- Tumbaya
- Uquia
- Volcan
Location: In the gorge - Quebrada by the same name, east of Humahuaca.
How to get there: By dirt road.
Best Season for Visitors: During the whole year round, although the road may suffer temporary interruptions after heavy rains during the southern hemisphere summer.
Activities that can be practised: Observation, photography, treks and horseback riding.

 


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