La Quiaca – Argentina (the North)

La Quiaca is the last stop before entering Bolivia. It’s a small village about 190 km from Humahuaca at 3,442 m.a.s.l. It’s next to the Bolivian border, connecting via an international bridge.

You will be attracted by the way people live, the characteristic clothing of the women and men, and the active trade in local products. The Central Market is interesting to see, and from here there is local transport that takes you to the historic village of Yavi (it leaves all the time), situated only 16 km east of La Quiaca through a paved road.

A shop selling coca leaves in La Quiaca.

Yavi was founded in 1667 and has under 400 inhabitants that live in adobe (mud) wall houses with typical roofs made out of reed, clay and straw. You should visit the San Francisco’s Chapel, built in 1690 and the mansion of the Marquis of Tojo (converted into a museum). From Yavi there are walking trails around the nearby Cerros Colorados, including rock paintings and petroglyphs.

Five km south of Yavi, at the foot of the Siete Hermanos Mountains, you will find the Laguna Colorada with astonishing rock paintings of human figures, llamas, spirals and portrayals of the activities and customs, all painted by the primitive inhabitants.

Siete Hermanos Mountain range.