Of the trinity of northwestern cities, Jujuy lacks the colonial sophistication of Salta or urban vibe of Tucumán, but nevertheless shines for its livable feel, enticing restaurants and gregarious, good-looking locals. It’s got the most indigenous feel of any of Argentina’s cities. The climate is perpetually springlike; the city is the highest provincial capital in the country.
San Salvador de Jujuy (now commonly known simply as Jujuy) was founded in 1593 as the most northerly Spanish colonial city in present-day Argentina. It was the third attempt to found a city in this valley, after the previous two incarnations had been razed by miffed indigenous groups who hadn’t given planning permission.
On August 23, 1812, during the wars of independence, General Belgrano ordered the evacuation of Jujuy. Its citizens complied in what is famously known as the éxodo jujeño. All possessions that could not be loaded on the mules were burned, along with the houses, in a scorched-earth retreat. Belgrano reported that most citizens were willing. They were able to return to what was left of their city in February 1813. The province of Jujuy bore the brunt of conflict during these wars, with Spain launching repeated invasions down the Quebrada de Humahuaca from Bolivia.
The city’s name is roughly pronounced hu-hui; if it sounds like an arch exclamation of surprise, you’re doing well.