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SUSQUES

JUJUY

ARGENTINA

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JUJUY

SUSQUES

If the traveller manages to reach this out of the way place, which serves as the border crossing to Chile, he or she will find that the historical documents surviving from colonial times only mention Susques for the first time during the last quarter of the XVIIIth century, in spite of it then already being an important mining town in the Puna region of Atacama.

After independence from the Spanish Crown was gained, the Atacama region stayed with Bolivia, and in 1884, after the so-called Pacific War, between Peru, Bolivia on one side against Chile on the other, the region passed to the Chileans. At that time there were only about 300 indians left living scattered in the area, which only came together during the local religious festivities.

They had already changed their economic venue and were dedicated to livestock breeding and trade. After the arbitration in the border limitation conflict with Chile, the town of Susques ended up on the Argentinean side of the border, at first as part of the Governance of the Andes, and later on transferred to the Province of Jujuy.

The small town experienced a spontaneous growth after the edification of the church and the community hall. Another important element is the wide street running in front of the church, along which all the houses aligned.

However, the church in which the locals participate in religious festivities, and which has been declared a National Historic Monument, dates back to 1598, when the local people themselves raised it.

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Puna
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It is different from most churches in the region in its thatched roof and its tower. Inside there are wonderful paintings of the Cuzco School and an antique picture of Bethlehem. The bells you can her pealing in the tower were brought from Chuquisaca.

The Department of Susques, in the southwestern part of the Province of Jujuy, covers an area of 9199 square kilometres. Its capital of the same name has 671 inhabitants. The surrounding landscape is formed by three mountain chains and two rolling highland plains. There are hot springs like the ones at Agua Caliente de Coranzulí and Agua Caliente de Tuzgle.

The climate is dry and cold, typical of the Puna highlands, and vegetation is poor: represented only by tola, mallow and the so-called añagua. Wildlife is represented by vicuñas, condors, vizcachas and fox.

The economy of the area is centred on livestock breeding and mining: there are deposits of gold, silver, copper, iron and tin, as well as salt and borax.

It is the only route to cross into Chile through the Jama pass.
At the entrance of town you will find the Loma de Susques, an archaeological site, a place where the ancient inhabitants worked artefacts in the grey quartz stone of the area.

There are no hotels and accommodations is in private homes.

In Susques there is a customs checkpoint before you enter Chile. Please take note that it is also the last place where you can get gas for your car in the case of travelling tom Chile through the Jama pass, which is located 124 kilometres west of the town down Ruta Nacional Nº 52. Once in Chile, the closest town is San Pedro de Atacama, located yet another 165 kilometres from the pass.

 


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