After a few days in Salta, we hit the road with Roberto Junior (Stig’s car… reminds me a lot of my own baby car which I miss dearly!) and made our way straight to Purmamarca. The road is absolutely beautiful and we had the perfect mix of music (thanks to our driver music tastes) for the roadtrip. We stopped for lunch in Purmamarca before heading out for about 1h-1h30 walk around the Cerro de los siete colores just at the end of the village. The mountain is small but the colors always pretty impressive. There is a 3km walk-road you can take that goes all around the Cerro – I recommend walking it if you have time.
After enjoying the views we got back on the road and headed up North again until Tilcara. I was told Tilcara was the best village to stay in the Quebrada as there are a lot of places to sleep and eat. We stayed at the Tilcara Hostel – comfortable and quiet, quite centrally located. At that point we also started running into other travelers we met in the previous cities… small world. We stayed 2 nights in Tilcara and went to visit the Garganta del Diablo (for the record, this is our 3rd one in Argentina… Iguazu, Quebrada de las Conchas and Tilcara… they need to step it up a notch on the creativity level for the names!). We parked at the intersection of the roads for the car/walking path and walked the 4km up to the site. The entrance was 10 pesos and there are a few paths you can follow to go down to a waterfall and viewpoints to see the canyon.
On our way back up we crossed the bridge and headed to the Cerro de la Cruz. It is about 30min to hike up and you get a 360 view of the surrounding mountains and the village of Tilcara. The village itself is located at 2460m, so at this point any hiking or long walks for me become quickly a struggle. I think I am just starting to be tired in general and the altitude is definitely working on my body. After we wanted at first to go visit the Pucara de Tilcara, which are old ruins near the village. The entrance is 60 pesos, so we decided not to go as we already had a nice view of the entire area from the top of Cerro de la Cruz. Instead we spotted a random road between two mountains and decided to take a roadtrip there. We were welcomed with some rain and a complete rainbow before we returned to the hostel to relax and cook a gastronomic dinner (special shout to Baptiste for being our designated cook).
As time flies quite fast, we decided to hit back the road and made our way to Humahuaca where we will be staying one night before heading to Iruya.