The Red Pond and the Eight Brothers Mountain Range

We left La Quiaca and traveled 12 kilometers along Provincial Route 5 heading for Yavi in order to see these two wonderful manifestations of nature.
In order to visit the mountain range known as Ocho Hermanos (“Eight Brothers” in Spanish) and laguna Colorada (the Red Pond), well-trained visitors may choose to use a mountain bike, or else cover the stretch by car. We chose the second option.

This is an archeological site rich in rock carvings made by the Yavi culture in the first century. There is plenty of onyx, calcareous rocks and marble.

As we came close to our destination, we spotted eight peaks in line spreading in a southwest/northwest direction. To the north, they end at the District of Yavi and, to the south, at Mount Colorado (whose name stands for “red” in Spanish), on the Sansana River.
  • Provincial Route 5 heading for Yavi

    Provincial Route 5 heading for Yavi

  • The chipping and scraping techniques

    The chipping and scraping techniques

  • The arrival of a Spaniard on horseback

    The arrival of a Spaniard on horseback

  • Dating back from approximately 1,500 years ago

    Dating back from approximately 1,500 years ago

  • The source of man in Pre-Columbian times

    The source of man in Pre-Columbian times

  • Wonderful manifestations of nature

    Wonderful manifestations of nature

As we got there, we could observe that there were several ways to access the tops of the various mounts that make up the region. We could behold the entire territory of the Puna in Jujuy and identify the local villages.

We walked on and enjoyed each scene. We arrived at the foot of the last mount and found the magnificent Red Pond: according to season, a natural pool is formed which features a very particular hue due to the rocks on its bed and the clayey soil.

In general, the pond is full during the summer and, as winter approaches, the waters recede into the phreatic levels. Pink flamingoes, vicuñas and puna teals may be seen during the summer.

All around the pond, we could observe several carvings on rock layers dating back from approximately 1,500 years ago. They constitute an excellent sample of the source of man in Pre-Columbian times.

Besides, we witnessed the great diversity of the motifs and scenes worked with the chipping and scraping techniques. There are plenty of birds, camels and human figures featuring different attitudes carved in the rock.

The most relevant drawings were encircled by small walls that would reveal the presence of such work pieces. Some drawings stand out: those making reference to the possible sighting of a comet, the condors’ panel, a warrior and the arrival of a Spaniard on horseback.

Indeed, visiting the Red Pond and the Eight Brothers Mountain Range is a fascinating experience to be enjoyed while staying at La Quiaca. It is important to bear in mind that there are strong temperature changes during the tour and that the sunshine may be scorching at times. One tip: do not forget to pack some fresh water and sunscreen.
Read complete Outing...Marcelo Sola / Marcelo Sola

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