This lively Andean village is a great place for exploring the Quebrada de Humahuaca. There’s an excellent arts and crafts market and lots of places to eat in and around its charming central plaza. Evenings can be enjoyed wandering around, bar hopping and attending local peñas*. The well attended religious procession in January and the Pachamama (Mother Earth) festival in August are worth catching.
:: Pucará de Tilcara: a restored pre-Hispanic fortress located on a hilltop, where one can appreciate the astonishing views of the Quebrada landscapes.
:: Museo Arqueológico: hosts an extensive collection of pre-Columbian ceramics, masks and mummies.
:: Cuevas de Wayra: walk through this impressive formation of natural tunnels.
:: Garganta del Diablo: hike to Devil’s Throat, along old paths to the waterfalls, while taking in amazing views.
:: Castillos de Huichaira: natural sand formation where you can only arrive walking or horseback riding. Sandboard is possible here.
:: Purmamarca: 26km south and easy to reach from Tilcara, lies against the exceptional Cerro de los Siete Colores (Hill of Seven Colours), which has sedimentary rocks of different colours. Don’t miss the Paseo de los Colorados, a gorgeous three-kilometre walk, featuring naturally sculpted red cliffs, and the Salinas Grandes (Great Salt Flats), which are easy accessible by local taxi from the main plaza in Purmamarca.