From Argentina to Bolivia: Salta – Humahuaca – La Quiaca – Villazón – Tupiza   2 comments

Thursday 11 September – Salta to Humahuaca, Argentina

After an opulent breakfast we leave the Hotel del Antiguo Convento and head for the bus terminal, passing the old convent itself.

The bus takes us north zigzagging through Güemes, Perico, San Salvador de Jujuy, Tilcara and, climbing gently from 1,190 to 3,240 metres above sea level, to Humahuaca, our destination today.

Some impressions from the road –

We still contemplate taking the train occasionally

In Jujuy we have to change buses – the one in front is probably better suited to cope with the altitude. As it is quite a logistical challenge to shift all passengers and their luggage we wonder why they didn’t use the newer model in the first place.

Mmm, it was probably a good idea to stick to the bus…

Welcome to Humahuaca

We find a nice little hotel in the middle of town –

– then we set out to explore the city, which has its own distinctive culture and where the heaviest fighting in the country during the Wars of Independence between 1814 a 1821 took place.

Monumento a los Héroes de la Independencia

Of course, such a special place is also quite touristy

The Town Hall

La Quebrada

The much contemplated railway…

In the evening we enjoy the regional cuisine: aubergine with goat’s cheese and a Quinoa casserole


Friday 12 September – Humahuaca to La Quiaca, Argentina, and on to Villazón and Tupiza, Bolivia

Breakfast is rather frugal – but typical for the region

The bus to La Quiaca, the most northerly town and starting point of the famous Ruta 40, leaves at 10.10 hrs – or 10.40, but we don’t really mind; we are on holiday.

And promptly, half a mile further down the road…

5121 kilometres to Ushuaia…

From the bus terminal it’s less than a kilometre to the border, so we cross La Quiaca on foot to see a bit more of the place.

Ok, we admit defeat – travelling by train is definitely not an option

Both Argentinean and Bolivian immigration offices are conveniently in the same building; we fill in the necessary formularios, get our stamps and walk over the Río La Quiaca into Villazón in Bolivia.

The Dakar Rally has been a huge event in Bolivia

We rest for a few minutes on the main square –

– find the only cash point in town relatively quickly (thanks to Open Street Map on my phone) and head for the bus terminal. We have just asked a local señora if we are in the right place – like in many towns, there are different terminals for local and national/international connections – when we are approached by another lady: Van a Tupiza? Great, that’s exactly our destination today!

We pay the stately amount of 15 Bolivianos (£1.34 / €1.69) for the 90-kilometre journey…

Our luggage is securely fastened on the roof rack

We sit right in the front next to our ‘chofer’…

… and enjoy splendid views

It seems that our chauffeur has spent a bit too much time watching Formula 1 but at least they have paved the road since I’ve last been here on my bike, and so we already arrive after 1.5 hours in Tupiza. One of the many demonstrations in Bolivia blocks the first bridge into town.

Fortunately the activists decide to abandon their protest and let us through. While I am dealing with our luggage, Johannes makes friends with the locals.

The Hotel Mitru, where I’ve stayed in 2010,  is only a few streets away and we get an excellent spacious room on the first floor. And the receptionist, Edgar, even remembers me and gives us a good rate.

We feel quite tired from the journey and only leave our accommodation to have dinner at the Churrasqueria Moises – a huge mixed plate with beef filet, chops, chorizo, salad, potatoes and rice.

Tomorrow we will grant ourselves a rest day – Tupiza is such a lovely place.

Posted 16 September 2014 by Pumpy in Argentina, Bolivia, The 2014 Rucksack Trip

2 responses to “From Argentina to Bolivia: Salta – Humahuaca – La Quiaca – Villazón – Tupiza

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  1. Thank you for blogging, it helps give perspective to the endless filling of honey jars! Seems like you are on a mission, are you going to stop anywhere for a few days and chill out?
    Anyway, it looks fabulous, enjoy. x

    • Hi Patrick, thank you very much for your nice comment. You are probably right, we are indded on a mission – we’re planning to do a similar loop to my bike trip and have ‘only’ three months this time… But we try to allow ourselves the occasional rest day: we had one in Tupiza, in Uyuni we stayed two nights to visit the Salar, today we are in Potosí and tomorrow we’ll carry on to Sucre, where we will have another break for sight-seeing, a haircut, catching up with the blog etc. Btw, they even make honey beer in Bolivia – maybe you could justify a business trip? 😉 Besitos, Ela x

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