Up North in Jujuy!!

Alia McLaughlin headshot
Alia McLaughlin
April 17, 2024

If you are a newbie travel planner like me but still want to see a new area of Argentina, then you should definitely participate in the trips hosted by IES! Early April, we took a trip to Jujuy, which is a province North of Argentina near the Bolivian border and near the Salta province. I would no doubt put this trip as one of my highlights and I wanted to share what Jujuy was like (for those looking to go), and also give a run down of what an IES trip looks like! (Spoiler alert, it’s super fun, well organized, and memorable!)

Below are some few highlights of each day.

Day 1:

We start our day nice and early, with our plane departing at around 7am, so we were asked to be at the airport at 5am. I simply ordered a taxi using an app called DiDi, as it was a Friday and many people came back from the Boliches, so taxis were readily available. After a nice snooze on the plane, we arrive in Tilcara, where we are immediately greeted by the smiling faces of llamas!! We walk along a river and familiarize ourselves with the area and our new found friends. Fun fact, the company we used recently did a photo campaign with the company Cotopaxi!! We end our day early, and many resort to their hotel rooms to get a good nights sleep. 

Day 2:

The next day we are invited to visit the home of Clarita Lamas, where we learn how to make bread, tend her goats and spend time with the llamas and other various animals. It was a heartwarming experience to learn about her family, all while feasting on a home-cooked meal outside with the view of the mountains, rivers, and grazing animals. I feel that these experiences help to form connections between different cultures in a meaningful manner. This was definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip.  After visiting the family, we head to the Tantanakuy cultural center, where we view some of the stop motion animation videos created by the students attending the cinema classes there. We  also had plenty of laughs when we attempted to play notes off of the Sikuri and even enjoyed a private concert held by musicians over some tea and cookies. 

Day 3:

The energy was at a high along with the altitude as we had a full day of exploring! We eat our usual breakfast at the hotel and head to the mountains. After taking a group photo at the highest point of the region, we climb back down the mountains to a completely different scenery of the salt flats. After a picnic, we played to our strengths to learn the process of salt extraction where we worked with the axes and shovels. To extract a whole square takes twelve hours…a whole day's work! We finished the day off with a hike in the town of Purmamarca where we admired the colored stripes naturally forming on the rocks and wandered around the town square in search of souvenirs. In celebration of our last night, we feast over a delicious meal of a delicious hearty soup and a chicken and vegetable dish at a nearby restaurant.

Day 4:

Despite this being our last day, we were able to pack a full punch into the morning (thank you to the careful planning of our IES staff). The last day was dedicated to our last walk, in which we explored the Quebradas de las Señoritas. It reminded me a lot like the Grand Canyons, but yet the rocks and the significance of the mountains were unique in their own way.  The walk gave us time to reflect on a poem that our tour guide also shared with us, along with interesting facts about the region. As a surprise, we visited the house of the tour guide, where he showed us his pottery pieces made from the same clay from the Quebradas. The trip closed with a tour of an other artist’s home where we enjoyed a nourishing meal made up of meat and organic vegetables from the garden. We learned about his art work and even got to make our own masks from different materials. As a bittersweet goodbye to the beautiful region, we took a scenic ride back to the airport. 

While I am writing this blog post a week later, I am still thinking about the mountain ranges, the beautiful flora and fauna, and especially the  stories of those we met along our journey. I hope to visit the area again and other regions!



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Alia McLaughlin

Hi! I'm Alia and I am from Park City, UT. I love meeting new people and hearing about their stories, yummy food, running, and learning new languages. I'm psyched to study abroad and I hope to continue these hobbies and try some new ones too!

2024 Spring
Home University:
St. Olaf College
Political Science
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