What to do in Purmamarca & Salinas Grandes

Purmamarca

Seven Colors Valley in Purmamarca - Quebrada de Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

Purmamarca is one of the most beautiful villages of the Quebrada de Humahuaca. It is located on national route 52, at the foot of the wonderful Seven Colors Valley ("Cerro de los siete colores" in spanish). It is the smallest boutique village of northern Argentina. Its relative isolation made its tourist development more gradual, thus preserving an autochthonous architecture. We recommend visiting Purmamarca during the morning to appreciate better the colors of the hill when the sun illuminates it from the east. You can take two short walks, one to the Cerro Morado, which is crossing the route 52 and the river, just in front of the town, and another by the path of the colored, all around the "Cerro de los siete colores" (approx. 3 km). Do not forget to walk the nice streets, visit the Church and the craftsmen stalls.

Recommendation: You can go from Tilcara via local bus to Purmamarca and then take a transfer to Salinas Grandes. There are taxis near the main square that gather people (in case they are not 4). Currently it costs AR$200 per person (Last Update: 10/28/2017). The only issue with these vehicles is that not all are enabled for passenger transportation.


Salinas Grandes

Salt Flat in the Puna region, Jujuy, Argentina

Salinas Grandes is a salt flat of approx. 200 km2. It is located in the region of the Puna and divides, in that region, the provinces of Salta and Jujuy. Generally it is accessed from Purmamarca by car or in combis/taxis that departure from Purmamarca´s Bus Station. The hole tour takes 3 hs approx. It is convenient to keep in mind that in Salinas Grandes during the afternoon it raises a lot of wind and it becomes quite uncomfortable to walk all around it. Remember to take fruit, water, sunscreen, black glasses and a hat or cap.

Recommendation: Currently local communities are charging AR$150 per person to enter the salt flat (Last Update: 10/28/2017). There is still no regulation of the authorities for this type of decisions that are unilateral of the communities.


Optionals

In case you go with car we recommend you to visit the small town of "Tres Morros", a typical village of the Puna. In it there are only 7 houses and live 18 inhabitants. It has a chapel with old bells and its inhabitants are very cordial. Remarkable are the crafts that they make. Another option to visit is a farmhouse located near km 10 of route 52. More precisely between kilometer 10 and 9 there is a gravel diversion on the left where you can see parks of cactus and at the end a small hamlet. It is a beautiful fertile valley. When you get there ask for Emilce who lives in the first house. She prepares exquisite goat cheeses and has an extraordinary facility to tell the stories of the place.

Finally, returning to Tilcara, if you are in a car, we recommend you to stop at the "Posta de Hornillos", over national route 9. It is an old post that received some Argentinian heroes like Belgrano and San Martin during their campaigns. And you can visit also the Pucara of Hornillos which, unlike Tilcara´s, is not rebuilt.


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