The town of Humahuaca is in the northwest of Argentina, in the north of the province of Jujuy. It is the capital of the departments Humahuaca. Together with its suburbs has about 15,000 inhabitants, of whom descended the majority of the natives of the Kollas and Omaguacas. The city was in 1591 (other sources: 1594 ) by Juan Ochoa Zárate founded. She was by the end of the 19th century an important trading center of the so-called Alto Perú.

Location and Geography

The city lies on the Rio Grande de Jujuy in the Quebrada de Humahuaca 2950 meters. Because of the great variety of ores of the surrounding mountains are multicolored. The climate is desert-like with a short rainy season in the summer.


The economy is mainly on two pillars: the mining in the neighboring El Aguilar Mine and tourism. Points of interest also modern intensive agriculture. Unemployment in the city and region is high because of the deep crisis of mining. The city is in spite of their tourism potential of the poorest in the country, but this is slowly changing due to the rapid growth of this economic sector.


Thanks to its well-preserved colonial center, the town is a popular tourist destination. The most famous buildings are the cathedral and the town hall, but almost the entire center is still held in the architecture of the early 19th century. Also located in the city's Monument Monumento a los Heroes de la Independencia ( Monument to the Heroes of Independence ), which is dedicated to the Argentine Army of the North, which has struck near Humahuaca during the War of Independence against Spain fourteen battles.

In the center there is a market.

In the Archaeological Museum and Museum Folklórico regional customs of the region is shown, including the production of chicha, a fermented corn drink.

East of Humahuaca is the suburb Peña Blanca with a lookout point and the sanctuary " Virgen de la Medalla Milagrosa "

About 10 km northeast of Humahuaca are the ruins of Coctaca.


  • Cathedral " of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria ". The church in 1641 celebrates its patronal feast on 1 and 2 February. In the church there are the figures of the Virgin and of the twelve apostles, carved by Marcos Sapaca from the cuzquenischen school.
  • Cabildo de Humahuaca. The town hall of the place, which was inaugurated on February 2, 1940 at the initiative of Ernesto Padilla, pulling every day at 12 noon clock sightseers from all over the northwest by. At this time ( and at midnight ) opens in the town hall tower over the heads of tourists and citizens of the place, a double-leaf door and San Francisco Solano moves one step to the amount in order to bless them. Then he pulls back again and the doors close. Movement and mechanics come from Nuremberg and weigh around 1,800 kilograms.
  • Monumento a los Heroes de la Independencia (1950). The monument commemorates the battles for independence against the Spanish and serves every year as the backdrop for the " Tantanakuy ", a local music festival.
  • Torre de Santa Bárbara. The Santa Bárbara tower on a nearby hill is one of the remains of a Spanish fort from the 19th century and was the scene of a battle against the Peruvian- Bolivian Confederation in 1837.


Especially the city is known for its traditional carnival, a festival in which Christian and indigenous elements have mixed (see also Pachamama ). The colorful processions are accompanied by the traditional folk music of the region.