North of Jujuy, the memorable Quebrada de Humahuaca snakes north toward Bolivia. It’s a harsh but vivid landscape, a network of dry yet river-scoured canyons overlooked by mountains with sedimentary strata that have been eroded into spectacular scalloped formations revealing a spectrum of colors in undulating waves. The palette of this World Heritage–listed valley changes constantly, from shades of creamy white to rich, deep reds; the rock formations in places recall a necklace of sharks’ teeth, in others the knobby backbone of some unspeakable beast.
Dotting the valley are dusty, picturesque, indigenous towns offering a fine variety of places to stay, plus historic adobe churches, handicrafts and homey restaurants serving warming locro and llama fillets. It's no surprise that the region has experienced a tourism boom in recent years, but it remains an under-the-radar world-class destination. You won't be alone here, but with landscapes this magical, it will hardly matter.