Pre-Columbian inhabitants, who later mixed with the Incas during their expansion period, practiced agriculture and domesticated theguanaco. They had huts made of mud, and erected stone fortresses to protect their villages. An example of such fortresses is Pucará de Tilcara, Pucará meaning "fortress" (word also used for the Argentine combat aircraft Pucara).
In 1593, a small settlement was erected in the Jujuy valley by the effort of Francisco de Argañaraz y Murguía. In spite of the attacks of the Calchaquíes and Omaguacas aborigines, the population and activity of the village consolidated and grew.
During the May Revolution and the battles for the independence of the United provinces of the South, many confrontations took place in Jujuy because the Spanish concentrated their forces in Peru. The people of Jujuy had to endure the Jujuy Exodus, a massive evacuation with a scorched earth policy, led by General Manuel Belgrano. Finally the Spanish surrendered, but the war seriously affected the economy of the area.
After a series of internal conflicts, the province declared its autonomy from Tucumán and Salta Provinces on November 18, 1834. Jujuy started a gradual process of economic and social improvement, and at the end of the 19th century, the sugarcane industry arose. At the beginning of the following century, the railway already connected the province with Buenos Aires, and La Paz, Bolivia.
Heavy industry first arrived in Jujuy at the hand of General Manuel Savio, a presidential economic advisor who, in 1945, had Argentina's first modern steel mill installed in Jujuy. In 1969, Jujuy joined oil-rich neighboring Salta Province with the discovery of petroleum by the state-owned YPF.
There are 3 main areas in Jujuy; the Altiplano, a 3,500 meters high plateau with peaks of 5,000 meters, covers most of the province. The Río Grande of Jujuy cuts through the Quebrada de Humahuaca canyon, of heights between 1,000 and 3,500 meters. To the Southeast, the sierrasdescends to the Gran Chaco region. The vast difference in height and climate produces desert areas such as the Salinas Grandes salt mines, and subtropical Yungas jungle.
In spite of the different areas, the terrain of the province is mainly arid and semi-desertic, except for the El Ramal valley of the San Francisco River. Temperature difference between day and night is wider in higher lands, and precipitations are scarce outside the temperate area of the San Francisco River.
An important and still growing activity, tourism in the area brings a number of Argentine tourists (80%), tourists from other South American countries (12%) and Europeans (7%). Most tourists head for San Salvador de Jujuy to start their exploration of the province. The Horacio Guzmán international airport, 34 km from San Salvador, connects the province with Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and some destinations in Bolivia.
Apart from the fantastic contrast of land colours and formations, tourists are attracted also by the strong aboriginal roots in the culture of Jujuy. Aymará and Quechua cultures coexist in the area, and ruins of the Incas are well conserved.
Tourists who come to Jujuy visit the area of the Quebrada de Humahuaca and its Cerro de los Siete Colores, Pucará de Tilcara, Salinas Grandes and many small towns. Other less frequent destinations include the Calilegua National Park in the Yungas jungle, La Quiaca, Laguna de Pozuelos, and Laguna Guayatayoc.
Ruins of the Pucaránear Tilcara
Cerro de los Siete Colores, Purmamarca
Calle de Tilcara, Jujuy, Argentina
Patio inside the Jujuy Cathedral, San Salvador de Jujuy.
National Route 9between Jujuy and Salta