Day 1

Day 1 in Purmamarca: we recommend leaving the car and walk. Everything is close from here, so you will be able to easily orient yourself and find the pedestrian areas. Regarding eating options, there is a great number of restaurants, with a wide range of prices and menus.

What to visit around Plaza 9 de Julio: the Cabildo histórico (historical township building); the church Iglesia Santa Rosa which dates from 1648; the Algarrobo histórico (the Historic Carob Tree); the fair and handicrafts stores located in nearby streets. In order to get the best pictures of the mountain Cerro de Siete Colores, we advise you to do it from the following spots: from the church’s door, from the Mirador geológico (Geologic Viewpoint) at the access of the town, or from the viewpoint Mirador El Bobal, which allows you to go up the hill Cerro Morado and take amazing aerial photos (walking to the Mirador and climbing the hill takes about 45 minutes. Difficulty: medium. Not recommended with small children or elderly people.Suggestion: Hiring a guide – in accordance with local regulations.)

At the reception you can buy the books “Purmamarca” and “Identidad”, where you will find more information, secrets and stories from each of the most emblematic places and buildings of our town and surroundings.

Day 2

Day 2 in Purmamarca: what undoubtedly can not be missed is the Salinas Grandes Circuit, 60 km from Purmamarca on Cuesta de Lipán, ascending through the National Route 52. The tour takes 3 hours approx. In Aguas Blancas, 35 km (21.75 miles) from Purmamarca on the same Route 52, you can take a photo of the “Tortuga Gigante” (Giant Turtle), a strange rock formation that resembles a turtle walking. The second recommended stop is Abra de Potrerillos, located at 4170 m AMSL (13,680 ft.), where there is a sing indicating the highest spot on the hill. From there, the road starts going down until it reaches the salt flat, 3200 m AMSL (10,498 ft.), where you will be able to see the salt workers.

Today salt extraction is a cooperative work among people from surrounding villages. During their free time, workers make “arbolitos” (little trees) and other handcrafted figures in salt to attract tourists. To enter the salt plain, you shall hire a guide from the aboriginal communities in charge of tourists’ visits. It is advisable to bring water because there are not many services in the area (except for some craft stalls and basic food-and-drink stands). In addition, don´t forget to bring sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the intense sunshine and the brightness of this white expanse.

At the bus station (on Rivadavia Street), you can find taxis that make this ride every day for a reasonable price.

During the afternoon, we suggest going up to the viewpoint “Mirador El Porito” with a very easy access and then follow the Paseo de los Colorados, a 3 km (1.86 miles) path that will surely take longer than expected, due to the great beauty of the landscapes. This walk would take 1 hour approx. and it is also of low dificulty. For the rest of the day, you could continue visiting every single corner of the town and go shopping: there is plenty to see.

Day 3 and 4

Starting from Purmamarca and driving on National Route 9, you can visit all the villages and attractions in the Quebrada de Humahuaca ravine. The ravine starts in a town called Volcán, 20 km (12.47 miles) south of Purmamarca, and it stretches up to a little beyond the town of Humahuaca, 60 km (37.28 miles) north. Visiting the most important touristic places can take one day, but it is advisable to take two days if you have enough time.

To the south, in the town of Volcán, you can visit the Feria Campesina (Peasant’s Market), located in an old building in the Old Railroad. There you can find clothing and handcrafted products made of sheep wool and llama fiber. These are made by using both ancestral hand-weaving and loom techniques. There are also ceramic and pottery products made from local raw materials.

Tumbaya is the next stop. This town is not widely visited and time seems to stand still in its quiet streets. Tumbaya´s church becomes increasingly prominent when the famous pilgrimage to the Virgin of Punta Corral is held during Holy Week.

Next, you can visit Posta de Hornillos: It is located 12 km (7.45 miles) from Purmamarca, heading north, on Route 9. It is not a town but a Museum of History. It was once a coaching inn during Colonial times. The local guide will take you to the kitchen, the bedrooms, the courtyards, and the dungeons that belonged to the old house. There is also an outstanding exhibition of furniture and objects. Not far from the main building, you will see a tiny chapel, signaling the end of the tour. You can also catch sight of the spring that provides water to the place and the surrounding fields. (Check opening hours. Highly recommended with children.)

Only some miles away, you will see the farming town called Maimará. The town is surrounded by Route 9, but it is also possible to follow the main avenue to go through the town and reach Route 9 again at the other end. At the northern access of the town, on Route 9, we suggest stopping and taking some pictures of the cemetery, which stands on a slope surrounded by an amazing mountain landscape: La Paleta del Pintor (The Painter’s Palette.) Opposite the cemetery, Museo de la Vida Campesina (Peasants’ Life Museum) was reopened, showcasing local farmers´ work, rural families´ antiques, main Andean crops, and medicinal herbs. It is very interesting for a visit with children. This is also the location of Cauqueva Cooperative´s factory – made up of 150 small producers from Quebrada de Humahuaca, mostly belonging to Pueblos Originarios (native peoples) of the region. For sale, visitors will find all kinds of Andean products – mainly glutten-free foods – such as quinoa, amaranth, papines (little potatoes), alfajores, among others. A few meters away, there is also a local shop where you can buy high-quality weavings  commercialized by the organization Red Puna.

Then, between Maimará and Tilcara, on the left, you will find the way to Quebrada de Huichaira, (on the left, going past Sumay Pacha Neighborhood and a bus stop), where there are amazing rock formations and sandy areas. If you enter this ravine from Route 9 and drive 4 km (2.48 miles) on a dirt road, you will see the Museum of Pictures MEC (Museo de los Cerros). Placed on a deserted area with beautiful surroundings, this museum offers a permanent collection of photographic works of art by great artists. In summer, the road may be impassable due to the rainy season. (Check opening hours on Instagram: @museodeloscerros)

Coming back to National Route 9, and only 1 km (0.6 miles) away, you will get to Tilcara (a gas station will mark the entrance). This is a fast-growing city, which offers plenty of stores, museums, and exhibition halls, and all kind of facilities to spend the day. The biggest attraction here is el Pucará, an omaguaca archeological site, located on a neighboring hill, which was rebuilt by archeologists from the University of Buenos Aires.  (You can get there by car, and then go up on foot. Visiting hours: Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Difficulty: low. Tour duration: 1 hour 30 minutes).

At the base, you can visit the high-rise Botanic Garden that displays a wide number of cacti and native plants. With the same ticket required to enter “el Pucará“, you will be able to visit the Archeological Museum located opposite the “Big Square,” downtown Tilcara. Only a block from there, at the “Small Square”, you will find the church Iglesia San Francisco, with paintings from the Cuzco School, like others you will see along the Quebrada, and which are all worth visiting.

Another highly recommended tour is Garganta del Diablo (The Devil’s Throat), on the outskirts of the town, where you can get an amazing view of the Quebrada de Humahuaca. You can drive a few miles by car on a mountain road (7 km or 4.35 miles, 35 minutes approx.), and then, you can walk until you reach a water spring, which is the source of this ravine (Difficulty: medium, 35 minutes). Summer rains may affect the good conditions of the road. At the tourist information office, on Belgrano Street, you can consult other circuits to make on your own or with a guide, as there is a wide range of attractive options for everyone.

Day 5

Following Route 9 for another 15 km (9.3 miles), you will get to Huacalera. Before arriving in this town, you will see the monolith “Reloj de Arena” (Hourglass) that signals the tropic of Capricorn. The church in here (17th Century) is a jewel of colonial architecture, which hosts unique paintings from Cuzco School, such as “El casamiento de la Virgen” (The Virgin’s Wedding) and “El Bautismo de la Virgen” (The Virgin’s Baptism).

Another local attraction is the famous mountain landscape called “La pollera colla” (The Colla Skirt) or “Mesón Yacoraite“, which features fantastic colors and shapes containing a geologic history of millions of years. And 15 km (9.32 miles) further, you can enter the small town called Uquía. Downtown, you will find the square with some artisans, and the chapel that stands out due to its beautiful altarpiece, which is carved and laminated in gold, and the painting collections belonging to the most important Cuzco School of the country: los Ángeles arcabuceros (“ángeles armados” or “Harquebusier Angels”). Behind Uquía, going up the hill, you will come across a truly stunning place: la Quebrada de las Señoritas (The Ladies Ravine), which features strange rock formations. (3-hour walk. Difficulty: medium).

Finally, and after travelling another 10 km (6.21 miles) from Uquía, you will arrive in Humahuaca. This is the biggest town in Quebrada, which offers a wide number of services: two gas stations, a bank, a post office, and plenty of stores where you can shop and eat. At the main square, every day at noon, the Colonial Town Hall Clock actions a mechanic statue of Saint Francis Solano that blesses all the people present. Be sure to visit the church, which also has paintings and pictures belonging to Cuzco School, and the Monumento a los Héroes de la Independencia (Monument to the Independence Heroes), with several steps you can climb. Once at the top, you can take amazing pictures of the square, the mountains and the old Torre de Santa Bárbara (Saint Barbara Tower). We also advise you to discover the narrow streets with cobblestones, and the houses downtown, which keep the colonial style and reveal the magnificence once present in this town. 10 km (6.21 miles) from the town, there appears the archeological site Coctaca, which covers 40 hectares, although it is not very popular, as it is has not been fully excavated and restored yet. In summer, the way to the ruins can be impassable due to the heavy rains. Another neighboring site you can visit is the natural viewpoint Peñas Blancas (2 km or 1.25 miles from Puente de Río Grande. Difficulty: low. You can also go by car.)

To finish the ride, this is a must-see: Las Serranías de Hornocal, 25 km (15.53 miles) from the city of Humahuaca; 40-minute ride up to the main viewpoint. The rubble road can be passable by car, but it is not safe for buses. During summer, we advise not to venture into the road before consulting about its condition. This mountain range, at 4300 m (14,107 ft.) AMSL, shows a unique spectrum of colors, due to the height and width of its veins, from the base to the top of the mountain chain. This is a heavenly and moving landscape.

Día 6 y 7


BARRANCAS: Abdón Castro Tolay (also known as Barrancas) is a town in the department of Cochinoca, province of Jujuy. It is located on Provincial Route 75, 3,580 m.a.s.l. in the valley of Barrancas River (190 km or 118 miles away from San Salvador de Jujuy.) There you will see giant natural walls of rock which inspired the name of the place, guarding the archeological heritage of the region. Rock formations represent a real canvas featuring artistic cave paintings made thousands of years ago through engraving and painting techniques. It is a natural, cultural and anthropological reserve of immense value.   To get to Abdón Castro Tolay, you must take National Route 9 heading North, by the Quebrada de Humahuaca. Then, you must continue on National Route 52, going up Cuesta de Lipán. There, you will go through Salinas Grandes and will reach Provincial Route 75, where you will have to continue driving 13 km (8 miles) more, until you reach the town of Barrancas. A must visit is the Archaeological Interpretation Center – inaugurated in 2020.

INCA CUEVA: This is the oldest cave painting site in the NOA (Argentina´s northwest). Visitors can find paintings dating back to more than 10,000 years ago and many others from different periods – including some depicting the Spanish. The site (3700 m.a.s.l,) holds seven caves although only one is open to the public. A scene of indescribable beauty lies there with unique rock formations, oasis, and even small lagoons on the heights. To get there, you have to travel north 100 km on Route 9 from Purmamarca. Then, stop at the sign indicating the entrance to Inca Cueva (km 1857), cross the Río Grande and start trekking across the old railroad bridge called “La Bóveda“. You will find a family living in the place. They offer guided tours of CUEVA I and the possibility of camping in their property. Unaccompanied visitors will not be allowed in the cave where most rock paintings are located. An entrance fee is charged for the place´s maintenance. It is recommended to hire a guide to access the most beautiful sites and get a detailed explanation of every nook and corner. Bring a hat, water, sunscreen, good footwear. The walk lasts approximately 6-7 hours. Medium difficulty.

LA QUIACA AND YAVI: La Quiaca is located in the department of Yavi, in the north of the province of Jujuy, about 3500 meters above sea level. Its name comes from the Aymara language “Quisca,” which means “cutting stone.” You can get there through National Route 9, which connects this town with the rest of the country. Departing from Purmamarca, it will take you around 2 hours and 40 minutes to get there (approx. 225 km or 140 miles). The ancient town of Yavi is located 16 km (10 miles) to the east of La Quiaca, on asphalted route. The houses here are made of adobe, with typical roofs made of reeds, mud and straw— the appropriate shelter for the extremely cold nights in La Puna. An old building which belonged to the only marquisate of Argentina is located here. It is home to a Historical Museum that gives a glimpse of the Marquis of Tojo and Yavi´s family quarters. Visitors can see household equipment, art objects and furniture. This place holds Bernardino Rivadavia´s Library, which includes volumes of great antiquity. Opposite, there is the church of San Francisco de Asís, whose white walls have a bare exterior appearance – in sharp contrast to the rich-in-gold and Peruvian-baroque-style interior. It was declared a National Historic Monument in 1941. Undoubtedly, it is one of the gems to be visited in La Puna.

Five kilometers (3 miles) away from Yavi, almost bordering on Bolivia, you will find all kinds of cave paintings made centuries ago by the native people who inhabited these lands.

LAGUNAS DE YALA / TERMAS DE REYES: 2306 (1433 miles) m.a.s.l., Lagunas de Yala (lakes) and Termas de Reyes (thermal baths) are part of a privileged ecosystem in the heights. Potrero de Yala Provincial Park is a circuit of 25 km (15 miles) which starts in Yala and finishes in Villa Jardín de Reyes (or vice versa). Going through an extraordinarily beautiful path, full of bends and turns, you will be amazed by six lakes: Los Noques, Alizar, el Comedero, Desaguadero, Rodeo and Larga. 18 km (11 miles) from San Salvador de Jujuy, you will find Termas de Reyes (thermal baths), a place combining a magical and unique spot and subterranean waters with a temperature of over 50° C (122° F), full of mineral salts and nutritional components. Deep in the mountains, Termas de Reyes Hotel and Spa is a real emblematic place in Jujuy. It was originally built in 1939 and later restored in several opportunities for maximum comfort. If you want to visit this placid region, you will have to drive on National Route 9 until reaching Quebrada del Río Reyes (Río Reyes Ravine), then turn right on Provincial Route 4 (rubble road) and continue some kilometers until you reach the perfect place to rest and relax.

YUNGAS: The Yungas are part of a jungle area spreading from Tucumán to Bolivia, covering the east of the province of Jujuy in the Calilegua National Park. Yungas´ unique features are conditioned by the height of the land. In the lower parts, there is a dense and humid forest vegetation with great biodiversity; meanwhile in the higher parts, shrubs and grasslands make way into the highlands,  The Yungas are of paramount importance in the conservation of species in Argentina. The National Park is home to hundreds of trees, mammals and birds – many of them endangered species such as the yaguareté. From San Salvador de Jujuy, set off for the park and take Provincial Route 56, and then take National Route 34 at the junction. You will arrive in the city Libertador General San Martín – capital of the department of Ledesma. Ledesma department is widely known for its sugar cane plantations and sugar manufacturing companies. We recommend bringing insect repellent, enough water and what you need for consumption during your tour in the park. A guide´s service proves almost essential to discover all the riches here. After visiting the park, drive on Provincial Route 83 to San Francisco. In this town, you can do different activities such as birdwatching, trekking, horse-back riding, and thermal baths. Famous Termas de Jordán (hot springs) are surrounded by intense greenery that contrasts with turquoise waters. You may continue on horseback or on foot to Alto Calilegua. This town -located at 2,700 meters above sea level-  allows you to enjoy dreamlike sunrises above the clouds.