Hornocal, Multicolor Range

It does not lie within the typical circuits. The roads of the Puna are to be climbed in order to find it. The prize is an incredibly extensive scene.
As a result of the strong impact it caused among us, this account of Serranías del Hornocal goes backwards.

Silence. Only the wind was allowed here and there. We were petrified to see the view. Everything was vast in front of us. We were dazzled.

We were sitting because the height demanded all our strength. We attempted to fix our look and enumerate the colors we could see and then print them on our memories. That geometry featuring a repeatedly inverted V zigzagging as if electricity had taken part in that whimsical skyline was magnetic for us. We could not take our eyes off that view. We felt tiny before that grand nature.

We had the idea that there was a kind of gorge between the colorful mountains and us. However, we were not certain whether it was real or just part of the drawing. We did not dare walk along it.
  • An incredibly extensive scene

    An incredibly extensive scene

  • That geometry featuring a repeatedly inverted V

    That geometry featuring a repeatedly inverted V

  • We felt tiny before that grand nature

    We felt tiny before that grand nature

  •  4,000 meters MSL

    4,000 meters MSL

  • How had we got up there?

    How had we got up there?

  • The Humahuaca Ravine

    The Humahuaca Ravine

The sun was setting. After meditating immersed in the mountain scene for a while, we resolved it was wise to start our way back. Maybe the last sun beams highlighted the hues on the limestone. The colors, though, looked even stronger than what we had seen at the Ravine.

The spot we were standing on lies over 4,000 meters MSL and we could feel that, as we had not made any stop on the way. We were wearing warm clothes. Our jackets were zipped up and we could hear the effort we made to breathe. We returned to the car almost without uttering a word.

How had we got up there? By car, leaving from the City of Humahuaca. Who had recommended that destination? A local denizen who noticed we were interested in seeing an unusual attraction that cannot be found in the maps or brochures.

Even though it does not lie very far, the road to Hornocal has a lot of bends. It goes constantly up and is accompanied by unspoilt fields where the guanacos run free. "You should take the antenna's road”, our friend had said before we set out. We did not cross a soul on the road, either on the way to Hornocal or back.

We visited Hornocal Mountain Range and did not had the chance to thank the man who had advised us to go there. Maybe he already knew how we would feel once we stood right in front of that incredible fold in the Humahuaca Ravine.

Mónica Pons / Eduardo Epifanio

Useful Data

How to get here: Leave the City of Humahuaca and cross the Grande River over the bridge lying close to the bus station. Take Provincial Route 73 heading for Santa Ana and travel approximately 25 kilometers to reach the plain from where the mountain range is seen.

Bear in mind: It is advisable not to speed up along the gravel road and to take into consideration that the road will go constantly uphill up to the point where 4,200 meters of height are reached. It is convenient to make stops on the way to help the body become accustomed to the height and avoid the typical Puna dizziness. Services not available.


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