The enormity of the endeavour escaped me as the bus devoured the last few meters of the 1700 kilometres ride from Puerto Iguazu to San Salvador De Jujuy in Northern Argentina. My impression about Jujuy was just as I painted an image on my mind by glimpsing through the vignettes on the long-haul journey. Jujuy’s modish bus terminal is located between Route 66 and Route 9 from where you could get connections to Purmamarca, Tilcara and up-to La Quaica in the Bolivian border.
Here’s how you can Explore Jujuy without spending much.
Stop by Purmamarca:
Purmamarca is 65 kilometres to the north of San Salvador De Jujuy and is located 2,192 meters above the sea level. Purmamarca is so small that the entire town can be explored in just a few hours by strolling through the dusty narrow streets unless you want to take an organized tour to Salinas Grande which requires an entire day. The bus from Jujuy capital terminates at a little plaza, walk towards the main square and you would find the tourism office to your left where the officials would look after your luggage for 10 Argentinian Pesos (60 cents) while you could grab a map and get absorbed in the grandeur of Purmamarca. The village is embraced by the hill called “Siete Colores” seven colours. Contemplate the colours of Mount Siete Colores and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of this area. The green, red, pink, white, yellow, violet and grey shades featured by this mount are created by minerals such as copper, iron, sulfur, dolomite, lead, hematite and lime respectively. Siete colores is the most prominent attraction in Purmamarca. It takes about an hour to hike the 3 kilometres long tourist trail.
- Bus from Jujuy to Purmamarca: 55 Pesos (USD 3.6)
- Baggage fees: 10 Pesos (60 Cents)
Stay in Tilcara:
Tilcara is an alluring village and is located 23 kilometres to the north of Purmamarca. The bus station is on Route 9 (next to the gas station) from where a walk to the centre would not be more than 15 minutes. Garganta Del Diablo is one of the most visited sites. It’s a four hours hike from the centre with stunning views from the height in a few kilometres. Where it is possible to appreciate the immensity of nature. There is an entrance fee of 15 Pesos (USD 1). Pucara is the prime attraction in Tilcara. This pre-Inca fortification was declared as a National Monument in the year 2000. Pucara is the only publicly accessible archaeological site in the Quebrada de Humahuaca. Its located about 2 kilometres away from the centre of the town. The cost to enter is 60 Pesos (USD 4) which also includes access to Archaeological Museum at the main town square and the Botanic Garden of Heights. Stop by La Peña de Carlitos for dinner. La Peña is a traditional restaurant where folklore musicians stop by and play traditional music in return for food and beverage. La Peña de Carlitos hosts live music shows every evening from 2030hrs. Hostel Waira and Camp Site is one of the top rated hostels in Tilcara. Known for its lavish breakfast and inviting ambience, it’s located in the centre of the town and offers dorms from USD 11 per night.
- Garganta Del Diablo: 15 Pesos (USD 1)
- Entrance To Pucara: 60 Pesos (USD 4)
- A night in the Hostel: USD 11
Take A Day Trip To Humahuaca
45 kilometres to the north of Tilcara lies Humahuaca. The quaint village is popular for cerro de catorce colores (14 coloured mountains). Humahuaca has a regular bus service to and from La Quiaca in the Bolivian border, Jujuy (Capital, Purmamarca, Tilacara) and Salta. In the centre of Humahuaca, there is a bell tower with a clock that chimes at noon. Later a small door opens and a figure of Saint Francisco Solano emerges and shows a cross sign. Cerro de catorce colores (14 coloured mountains) is located 25 kilometres to the north of Humahuaca, to get there you would need to flag down a 4X4 which would cost 120-150 Argentinian Pesos (USD 8-10) per person for a round trip. To get to the 4X4 stop from the bus station walk three blocks north and get to the bridge to the right side where you would find 4X4 drivers looking for passengers.
- Bus from Tilcara to Humahuaca – 30 Pesos (USD 2).
- 4X4 to Cerro de catorce colores – 120 Pesos (USD 8).