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IRUYA

SALTA

ARGENTINA

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SALTA

IRUYA

Way to Iruya Salta Argentina TravelStanding on a promontory in the valley of the Iruya River, and asleep in time, the homonymous picturesque little town is like a daydream postcard.

At 2780 metres above sea level, and at 307 kilometres from Salta, very close to the Jujuy Province, Iruya is closed in by mountains chains that appear to shield visitors from the din of the big cities, a place where the silence of the mountains undoubtedly moves the spirit.

Its name comes from the Quechua language and means something like "brave straw", or "site of the high pastures". Iruya was a transit town, for there rested the caravans and muleteers carrying goods from the Puna highlands to the Río San Francisco River, and vice versa.

Its church, its adobe houses, its narrow and steeped little pitted streets, are testimony of the typical way of life of its inhabitants, who preserve enrooted their most ancestral habits, shown during their different rituals and festivities.

Iruya Community  Salta Argentina Travel Iruya calls for rest and meditation, but for surprises as well through hikes and horseback rides. At the foot of Iruya, on the riverbed itself, the bartering commerce established between its residents and the people from the Alta Puna (High Highlands) and the neighbouring towns, still takes place.

There is no recollection of its foundation date, though some sources go back to 1741. There are very interesting cultivation terraces in the town's outskirts. The pre-Columbian town of Titiconte is nine kilometres away, going through dangerous chasms and hills with abrupt slopes.

SPANISH VERSION
SALTA - ARGENTINA
Salta Argentina
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Subdestinations in Salta
* Northeast Circuit
- Iruya
- Los Toldos
- Baritu
National Park

- San Ramon de
la Nueva Oran

- Tartagal
* West Andean
Circuit

* Southeast Circuit
* Valleys Circuit
Festivities
The Fiesta de Nuestra Señora del Rosario, the local patron, is celebrated every first Sunday of October; an occasion on which the ritual dances from the Cachís can be appreciated. Besides, hundreds of pilgrims, penitents and merchants gather together at the outskirts of Iruya to trade their products in a colourful festivity.

Hundreds of locals participate of the religious activities moved by their faith. They pray, sing and play autochthonous instruments (quenas, cajas and sikus - flutes, percussion boxes and sikus). They accompany the music with the typical Cachí dance; a group of locals disguised with masks whose dancing symbolizes the eternal struggle between good and evil.

Access
To arrive from Salta, travellers have to take the Ruta Nacional Nº 34 National Route, and then continue through the Ruta Nacional Nº 50. About 20 kilometres after Humahuaca (Jujuy) there is a right turn where a dirt road leading to Iturbe (Jujuy) starts, and later returns to Salta's territory until arriving to the "town hanging from the sky".

From Humahuaca, the towns of Iturbe and Chaupi Rodeo can be visited, as well as the Abra del Cóndor mountain pass at 4000 metres above sea level. .

Travelling towards the north, and passing beyond the imposing heights of Azul Pampa, visitors arrive to Tres Cruces; from this point and 48 kilometres onward, one will find the Aguilar mine, one of the richest deposits in America where minerals such as lead, zinc and silver are extracted.

Roads for self-propelled vehicles are scarce. A trip into the interior of the Department, where the mountainous scenery is shown in all of its aggressiveness and magnitude, is only possible by riding on the back of a mule. Going alongside the riverbanks cleaving the interior, ravines of different colours and shapes can be appreciated. In some areas, the slabs of stones have formed contention walls for the river.

Visiting Season
Iruya can be visited all year round. During the southern hemisphere's summer, due to the showers of rain, access can be difficult. But June, July, August, September and October are the ideal months to visit Iruya, thanks to the excellent weather conditions then prevailing in the area.

Activities
Secado de Pimientos Rojos en Iruya Salta Argentina TravelVisitors can choose between flora and fauna observation and photo safaris, to hikes and horseback rides.

 


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