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PUNA CIRCUIT

JUJUY

ARGENTINA

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JUJUY

PUNA CIRCUIT

Immensity and splendour are the first two impressions that the travellers receive when he visits the Puna highlands in the Jujuy Province for the first time. It is an area of clear skies and clean air, where one can but look with admiration into the peaceful and deep eyes of the innumerable llamas, guanacos and vicuñas that he encounters on the road.

The word Puna comes from the old Inca Quechua language where it means plateau or cold country. Its inhabitants are quiet, silent people, with ancient knowledge and roots, which still shows in their clothing, food and customs. The Puna is the old Inca Highway.

It is located in the northern part of the Province of Jujuy and comprises the Departments of Cochinoca, Rinconada, Santa Catalina, Susques and Yavi. Its highland steppe like geography with arid soils makes it a difficult place to live in and you will find most inhabitants living in the villages of La Quiaca, Abra Pampa and Mina del Aguilar.

In the vast territory that the Jujuy Puna encompasses it is a common sight to find its inhabitants herding sheep and llamas, always under the protection of the mythical Coquena, a fairy of the highlands. At night when the vicuñas, flamingos and the ostrich suris sleep, the black immensity of the sky seems perforated by the incredibly luminous stars.

One of the characteristics of the area are its alpine lakes, such as Pozuelos, Guayatayoc, Vilama and Runtuyoc, as well as the presence of immense salt flats, such as the Salinas Grandes (department of Cochinoca), Canchari, Jama and Olaroz.

The Natural Monument Laguna de Pozuelos Lake is like a pearl in the midst of the barren highland, as also the Olaroz-Canchari Reserve, with its important vicuña herds.

The local rivers, such as Cincel, Santa Catalina, Miraflores, de las Burras, Piscuno, Rosario, San Juan Mayo and San León) are closed systems and their waters do not run down into the ocean but into the lakes and salt flats mentioned above.

You will find archaeological remnants wherever you go: from the cave paintings at Inca Cueva and the Laguna Colorada Lake, the Siete Hermanos mountains and pre-Columbian sites such as those at Pucará, Yavi and Tres Cruces.

The region constituted the southern part of the immense Inca Empire. Its peoples, mainly the Chicha, Atacama and Omaguacas, contributed to its greatness through their rich cultural diversity, which can be perceived even today.

SPANISH VERSION
JUJUY - ARGENTINA
Jujuy Argentina
Jujuy Pictures
Attractions in Jujuy
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Nature in Jujuy
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How To Get to Jujuy
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Puna
- Abra Pampa
- Casabindo
- Casira
- Cochinoca
- La Quiaca
- Pozuelos Lake
- Rinconada
- Santa Catalina
- Santa Victoria
- Susques
- Tres Cruces
- Yavi
Later on, during the conquest and colonial times, the resulting cultural exchange created a new fountain of Andean resources that mixed with the mysticism prevalent in the area.

Surrounded by tall mountains, it has a climate showing very wide temperature ranges during the day. The southern hemisphere winter is cold and dry, in summer it is hot and less dry; one thing is certain, whatever the season, the traveller will find sunny days.

The local Patron Saints Days and the pilgrimages will draw multitudinous crowds of local people. On each of theses occasions you can count the worshippers by the thousands. On the other music plays a very important role during these occasions, played on local indigenous and criollo instruments locally known as sikuris, Pan flutes or zampoñas (air instruments), quena and jerque (air instruments of cane reed or bone), caja or uancara (membrane percussion instruments), sistro or sonajero (mouth harps) and charango (string instrument).

 


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