Tilcara and Purmamarca

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I recently spent a couple of days exploring the northwest part Argentina. I took the bus from Salta to Tilcara and decided to stay 2 nights there. Upon my arrival to Tilcara, I met a German girl named Stefanie at the bus terminal who was also traveling alone and we decided to explore the city together.  After the first afternoon hanging out we got along so well that we decided to travel together for an entire week!

On the first day, I arrived in the afternoon and spent the day going to the ruins in the city called Pucara de Tilcara which cost $100 pesos per person for tourists and afterward I hiked up to the hilltop cross nearby for a good view. It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon and was the perfect amount of time to spend in Tilcara. For dinner, we went to this great restaurant called Pena de Carlitos which was right on the main square and had local live music starting at 9pm! The next morning we took a bus from Tilcara to Purmamarca at 10am. Once we arrived to Purmamarca we walked around the market a little bit and got several of the street empanadas ($25 pesos per empanada) which were amazing! We then caught a cab to Las Salinas Grandes, the largest salt flat in Argentina, near the bus station. It was really easy to catch a cab to the salt flats, we simply walked towards the bus station and drivers asked if we wanted to visit the salinas grandes. They then waited until they had 4 people and off we went! The shared car cost $250 pesos per person which is standard. The salt flats were amazing and we spent the hour taking fun pictures and enjoying the beautiful scenery. Once we arrived back in Purmamarca, we went shopping in the market and waited to walk around the Cerro de los Siete Colores (Hill of 7 colors) until the late afternoon when the colors are better. The trail to walk around the mountain is only 3km and it is free. There is also another viewpoint of the mountain that costs money but the walk gave even better views so we decided just to enjoy that. The mountain was beautiful and I definitely recommend making the trip to see it!  While in Tilcara I stayed at the Tilcara Hostel which was okay but it definitely was not the best hostel I have stayed in. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to anyone traveling to Tilcara but it was cheap which was nice. Overall, I thought Tilcara was a really cute town and it was much cheaper to stay there and take the bus to Purmamarca versus trying to stay in Purmamarca. More posts about my trip to the north coming soon!

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View from the cross above Tilcara
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Walking around the ruins at Pucara de Tilcara
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View from the hike around the Seven Colored Hill

Author: jordansjourneys92

Hi! My name is Jordan Gurkin and I am currently traveling around the U.S. and working for a non-profit called Compassion International. I just finished spending a year backpacking and teaching English in South America. I'm a travel blogger focused on bringing you budget travel advice, travel tips, and some of my recommendations on places to visit!

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