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June 3rd 2009
Published: June 7th 2009
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On first sight, Humahuaca and it's beautiful valley looked like my stereotypical idea of andean South America: dusty roads, abandoned railroad stations, 19th century houses, a whole lot of indigenous old women and massive coloured moutains with cacti. After spending some time in this town, it's over-authenticism started to annoy me though, i suppose Unesco declaring this region patrimony of humanity has triggered a tourism so massive that it has destroyed most of the essence of this patrimony. Humahuaca is very pretty and has a not too fake vibe, but it lives off tourism, and the centre is one big shopping centre for artesania (yes, i did buy lama gloves).
That being said, the setting is still breathtaking, and to enjoy it to it's fullest, camping Carolina is a fine choice. I put my tent in a field with a noisy donkey and some horses, had good talks with owner Luche, and though the night was very cold (-5 C, i put all my clothes in my sleeping bag and it was alright. my breath turned into an ice layer on my tent), it felt much nicer to be there than in one of the hospedajes. I had a wide view over town and the mountains, and was one happy camper.
Foodwise, the north of Argentina is quite a lot of fun for a vegetarian. There's tasty quinoa soup, and - a favourite - humita, corn leaves with a paste of pumpkin and corn (and more?) inside. And Humahuaca holds some very local comedores, where no tourist ventures, which is a pleasant change. A lot of fun as well is the municipal market, where i tried to buy goat cheese, but the only piece for that day had just been sold.


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