A stroll through Andean culture
Pachamama, Mother Nature, is the most important symbol in north Argentina, south Bolivia and Peru. But there are numerous Andean symbols, including crosses, flags, the chakana, Mama Quilla, and the goddess of fertility. These elements are the protagonists of legends, and are drawn on garments and carved in the streets.
After about 65km, Jujuy is far behind, along the Nacional 9 motorway. The bus stops, but there is still some way to go on foot. Purmamarca, a small village of pre-Hispanic origin, founded in the early 17th-century, is reminiscent of a western movie, with its adobe buildings with teasel and mud roofs. We are in the ‘Town of the Virgin Land’, according to the Aymara language.
You can regather your strength in the local cafés, before embarking on the climb. Behind the town is the hill that gives sense and colour to Purmamarca. It is a circular route, where the walker goes up and down small hills with views of the mountains. There are bursts of violet, fuchsia, orange and a host of other colours, which geologists explain through the materials in the ground, such as clay or limestone.