Last week I travelled with a group of 7 friends (8 including me) to Jujuy, a northern province of Argentina. We chose to discard the most obvious destinations such as Rio de Janeiro or Miami and venture to our wonderful northern Argentina.
We stayed at Rumiyoc, a small inn nestled at the foot of the hills with only 3 rooms. We had the whole place to ourselves, so let’s say it was no longer a quiet place hahaha. We arrived by night and the last part of the road to the inn was kinda complicated, we looked at each other and one or two wanted to go back… buuut when we finally got there, Rodrigo was expecting us with a delicious meal, tamales and empanadas, and we stayed up talking till 2 a.m.
The next morning, we discovered the green hills that surrounded Romiyoc and the dogs, who slept in front our doors guarding us, accompanied us to have breakfast. Coffee, mate and some homemade cakes were the kick off of a great day. We visited Humahuaca (this time I took every precaution to avoid height sickness, I’ve learned my lesson in Cusco) and when we got on the road the views were breathtaking. A clean turquoise sky and the hills painted in red, violet and ocher tones were a strong contrast for those who left only a day before the concrete jungle.
Once in Humahuaca we had lunch at a small restaurant with the coziest patio, wood benches and a large tree which sheltered us from the blazing sun. I was soooo relaxed that I forgot the name and location of this restaurant (I know, big mistake!). After lunch, some of us visited El Hornocal, also known as the 14 colors hill. By car you get to a natural viewpoint located at 4.350 meters above sea level and you can descend walking a quarter mile to face the hill and have better views. Friendly advice: getting down it’s easy but going up it’s hard, you feel like your heart is coming out of your chest… so if you plan to do it, go easy and slowly.
On the second day, we visited Tilcara and we did something quite special… a walk with llamas! They carried our lunch and backpacks as we walked through the valley and admire the landscape. We learned a lot about these beautiful animals and Adela, our guide, prepared a feast of homemade pies, toasted corn, cold cuts, goat cheese, dried bananas and the most exquisite organic tomatoes and strawberries. I walked with Yuraq (white in quechua language) side by side and I felt we almost became friends, especially when I scratched his neck. As we finished the tour, all the fears had dissipated and none of us got spited… yay! Then we visited an archeological site called Pukará de Tilcara, this site built by the Tilcaras was discovered at the beginning of the 20th century and restored partially. This spot has a magical energy, you feel a real connection with the Pacha Mama (mother earth) and the cactus are lovely!
For our last day, we visited the artisan fair of Volcan, a small town that was buried by a mud avalanche 3 years ago. This fair has true native crafts (yeah, indigenous crafts have been industrialized too) and we saw some women knitting pompons and blankets. We loved the crafts throughout the whole trip, so much that we got to the airport with excess baggage (don’t underestimate our shopping abilities). Our last destination is my favorite, Purmamarca, a small town located at the foot of the famous 7 colors hill. I’ve visited the town 7 years ago and, although it remains as beautiful as before, it grew a lot. We walked Los Colorados path, bordering the hills with a unique landscape and ended up in a restaurant with live music and the tastiest empanadas ever.
For 3 days Jujuy wasn’t a quiet place, everywhere we went we talked and laughed out loud. We had delicious food and wine, group therapy, laughter and the love of 8 women that have so much fun together. Viva Jujuy! Would you Enjoy this kind of destination with friends?