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PASO JAMA

JUJUY

ARGENTINA

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JUJUY

PASO JAMA

Located 349 kilometres from San Salvador de Jujuy, you will find the International Border crossing of the Jama Pass. Leaving Purmamarca, crossing the area of Patacal, you enter the Salar, which will take you through this Pass into northern Chile. It can be crossed during any season of the year.

It is located in the Altiplano or Puna highland plateau area, with particular characteristics and great similarities to its Peruvian- Bolivian counterpart. Set in the Andes, Jama is a highland plateau with an average height of over 3000 m.a.s.l.

Daytime temperatures will reach up to 30 °C, while at night temperatures will tend to drop very low, even below freezing point in winter. There are often also b winds in the area. There is a border police delegation to control the border traffic to Chile and the Pacific Ocean.

The crossing Paso de Jama was officially inaugurated in 1991. Most of the road from San Salvador de Jujuy to Jama, including the occasional down slopes, is uphill. We recommend an early start, to better use the daylight hours.

Soon one leaves the green areas of Yala behind and the climb goes on. The road follows the course of the Río Grande River. After approximately 60 kilometres, always following the Ruta Nacional Nº 9 National Route, there is a sign showing where to turn off to the left, down a road which three kilometres later reaches the village of Purmamarca, a small magical place which is virtually unchanged since the XVII century, when it was founded at the foot of the Seven Colours Mountain - Cerro de Siete Colores.

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Quebrada
- Coctaca
- Huacalera
- Humahuaca
- Maimara
- Paso de Jama
- Posta de Hornillos
- Punta Corral
- Purmamarca
- Tilcara
- Tumbaya
- Uquia
- Volcan
On the horizon we will soon see the village of Susques. Full of ancient ruins, its houses and streets the colour of earth and with an adobe church dating back to the year 1670. Furthermore there are interesting places like reserves for llamas and vicuñas, and also the possibility to go angling for trout in the close by lakes of the Taire Ravine - Angosto de Taire. In the first hours of the afternoon one can feel the proximity to the border.

In the distance one can see a chain of inactive volcanoes seemingly sleeping off old furies.

The almost frozen over Lake of Jama, is full of flamencos and herons. This is the only part of the whole road, which could be classed "risky". There is almost 300 kilometres to the nearest town in Chile and there are no support facilities available. However, there is one possibility and that is the village of Jama.

It is, in reality a police station. Here you can find a bathroom and have a cup of hot coffee, all travellers are treated with great courtesy.

After crossing the International Pass border crossing at close to 4700 m.a.s.l. there is still a trip of 160 kilometres till you reach the Chilean town of San Pedro de Atacama. This last part is on a very firm road and also downhill. Here the landscape turns into a very beautiful desert. It sometimes looks like a lunar landscape with its rocky outcrops.

Once having passed the border formalities one enters the small but welcoming town of San Pedro de Atacama, known as the "Archaeological capital of Chile". Its museum, holding more than 380 thousand pieces is considered one of the most complete collections in Latin America. The town of about 2000 people has all the amenities a tourist may want and need to enjoy a beautiful place like this.

A further 300 kilometres will take you to the shores of the Pacific Ocean and its beaches.

WE RECOMMEND
  • Please remember that you will be crossing the Andes, travelling through a semi desert area with few people and will be travelling at an average height of 3000 m.a.s.l.
  • Leaving Susques on the Argentinean side till you reach San Pedro de Atacama in Chile, there is a distance of 320 kilometres of good standard gravel road, and we recommend that you carry two spare tires, if travelling in your own vehicle and that the car is in good shape.
  • In Susques you should check on your fuel supply, oil and water. All types of gasoline can be found here to fill up any type of vehicle.
  • Apart from topping up the radiator do not forget to take along drinking water for yourself and the people with you.
  • Take along warm clothing to wear when necessary.
  • To avoid feeling ill do not eat in excess before you go up into the high mountains.

CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS
You will go through customs and immigration on the Argentinean side in Susques. It is open between 07:00 AM and 09:00 PM. You will need a national ID card or passport, vehicle documents (Green card in the name of the driver or authorisation by the owner by a notary public). Children below 18 years travelling without their parents will need a notarised permit authorised by the association of notaries. There is a border police checkpoint in the village of Jama, checking passengers and vehicles.

SERVICES
The Argentinean Automobile Club - El Automóvil Club Argentino (A.C.A.) offers mechanical aid on the road to the Paso de Jama from the special service unit JUJUY.
Tel.: (0388) 4.226.568 / 4.223.865 (San Salvador de Jujuy).

In the village of Jama there is a public telephone booths Nº 19, allowing for long distance calls run by Telecom.

If you suffer a mechanical breakdown on the road please contact the Provincial Office for Roads - Dirección Provincial de Vialidad in Susques.
Tel.: (0388)-4226704
Fax: (0388)-4221068.

ACCOMMODATIONS
In Purmamarca and Susques you can find accommodations in family homes. In San Pedro de Atacama, on the Chilean side there are hostelries.

 


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