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Yavi

From La Quiaca, Ruta Provincial 5 heads eastward. Llamas graze on the puna studded with bare-faced hills of swirled rock. After eight kilometers (5 mi) is the turn-off for Laguna Colorada. Traveling six kilometers (4.8 mi) down this dirt road, one comes to a sapphire-blue lake surrounded by the red Cerro Colorado. The lagoon is a favorite haunt for flamingos. The hill is covered with hundreds of petroglyphs, giving evidence of past humans sojourning through this region.


Kilometer 16 of Ruta Provincial 5 marks the entry for Yavi. Turning right off
the highway is this colonial village’s main street, Avenida Campo y Carrera. Adobe and stone houses, many of them hotels and restaurants, line the avenue. Midway down is Calle 18 de Noviembre, which leads down to the village’s historic center.


Yavi began in 1575 as Hacienda San Francisco de Aycate (Yavi) on the most important trade route between Potosí and Buenos Aires. Later, in 1708, the large estate became the Marquesado del Valle de Tojo, which extended from Tarija in southern Bolivia to Cobre, west of San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina. This was a rich holding, with vineyards in the north and salt flats in the southwest. With the triumph of the Revolution in 1813, the marquisate was dissolved.

The Casa Hacienda de Yavi del Marquez de Tojo is now the Museo Provincial. Some of the rooms still have original furnishings, as well as reproductions of the numerous Cuzqueño school paintings the Ovando-Campero family owned. In another section of the mansion are exhibits on campesino life and indigenous rebellions in the zone (Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 2-6 p.m.; weekends 9 a.m.-6 p.m. 18 de Noviembre and Av Marquez Campero. Entry: $0.80).

Next door to the museum is the small village chapel, dedicated to San Francisco de Asís and the Virgen del Rosario. This white-washed church, completed in 1690, has a squat belltower and a breathtaking interior. (Monday 3-6 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m.-noon, 3-6 p.m. Entry: free).
Even before the Spaniards came, the indigenous peoples traveled through this region trading their products. These ancient journeyers left their marks on stone bluffs one kilometer (0.6 mi) from the village, along the Río Yavi. From the church and museum, a dirt path follows along the river. At the bend of the river is Cueva del Diblo (Devil’s Cave). The trail then follows the river’s bank another 600 meters (0.5 mi) to a bluff topped with a natural stone spire. Along this cliff are human, animal and geometric figures painted in red. Two kilometers (1.2 mi) further downstream is a waterfall best seen during the summer rainy season (December-February).

Yavi celebrates its founding day November 18, with a communal lunch, gaucho shows, horse races and other events. The first Sunday of October is the culmination of the novena for patron saints Virgen del Rosario and San Francisco de Asís. The feast day features a mass and procession. Easter Saturday and Sunday are other important religious occasions, marked by a big trading fair dating from pre-Columbian times.

Four kilometers (2.5 mi) north of Yavi is Yavi Chico, a small hamlet that has existed for over 2,000 years. The town is surrounded by archaeological remains and pictographs. Artifacts of these ancient peoples may be seen in the Museo de Antigales (Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-noon, 3-7 p.m. Tel: 03887-49-1138, E-mail: cochisan@imagine.com.ar).

(Altitude: 3,500 m / 11,483 ft, Population: 207, Phone Code: 03885)

Services


The friendly Informes kiosk has a pamphlet-map of the town’s attractions and services (Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-noon, 2-5 p.m., weekends 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; December-February daily 8 a.m.-1 p.m., 2-6 p.m. Ruta Provincial 5 and Campo y Carrera, URL: www.jujuy.gov.ar/index2/servicios.php). The town has one phone center, a first aid station and police post. There is no bank.


Artesanía

Mercado Artesenal
(Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 2-6 p.m.; weekends 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Museo Provincial, 18 de Noviembre and Av Marquez Campero)—locally produced ceramics, and llama and sheep wool clothing

Juliían Anco (Ruta Provincial 5, south side of road, before village turn-off)—woolen clothing


Tours

Posada La Casona (Campo y Carrera and San Martín, Tel: 42-2316, E-mail: mccalizaya@laquiaca.com.ar)—arranges horseback riding and guided hikes to local sites


Hotels


Many hotels are only open December-February. The rest of the year, these lodges are open:

Camping Municipal (Güemes, next to the museum)—bathhouse ($1.15 hot shower), tables, grills; $1.15 per person

Posada La Casona (Campo y Carrera and San Martín, Tel: 42-2316, E-mail: mccalizaya@laquiaca.com.ar)—common bath: shared room $7 per person, double $10; private bath: single $13, double $23

Pachama (Ruta Provincial 5 and Campo y Carrera, Tel: 42-3235, E-mail: infopachama@hotmail.com, URL: www.pachamahosteria.net)—single $17, double $29

Restaurants


During the high season, many restaurants are open. The rest of the year, meals must be pre-ordered.

Posada La Casona (Campo y Carrera and San Martín, Tel: 42-2316, E-mail: mccalizaya@laquiaca.com.ar)

Hostal-Restaurant El Mirador (Campero y Carrera)

Resto-Bar Carlitos
(Calle Ibarra s/n)

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Other places nearby Yavi: La Quiaca ,







By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

15 Aug 2011

Mapa
View Yavi Map




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