The most unforgettable sight in Purmamarca has to be the hill at the end of the town. They say it has seven colors, but depending what time of day you look at it and the tricks of the light, you may be able to to discern more than that. What you see are the different geological layers built up over time with different minerals. Earlier in the day...more
The white building at the edge of the main plaza is the church dedicated to the town's patron saint, St Rose of Lima. There is an engraving of 1648 here, probably meaning that the original church was started in 1648. In the small church you will see depictions of the life of St Rose as well as Cuzco school paintings. This church was declared a...more
The town patron saint is St Rose of Lima, the peruvian saint. The festival in her honor, which is the major festival in town, is held on August 30. Here you will be able to see the unique mixture of indigenous traditions mixed with the Spanish Christian traditions. There is the of course the traditional procession with the large carvings of the...more
Throughout northern Argentina you will notice the large cactus growing. When the plant dies it is dried and makes great wood as in this picture. This was a fairly large example of its use, most of the time I saw it used in trim for houses, and smaller furniture. You can buy picture frames and small carvings with this wood. Though somewhat light to...more
One of the best known symbols of Purmamarca is the ancient Algorrobo tree, which stands in the grounds of the church, on the main square.Purmamarca was founded in 1594, making it one of the earliest towns in Argentina, but the Algorrobo tree has been around far longer, with some estimates putting it over 1000 years old. It was supposedly under the...more
The busiest part of Purmamarca is the main square, where you can find cafes, a couple of restaurants, a small market and plenty of locals relaxing in the shade. The pictures accompanying this tip were taken during the siesta, when the market was closed and the strong sun forced most people indoors, but at other times the main square is bustling....more
Purmamarca's small, simple church is beautiful. It's brilliant white colour contrasts with the colour of the town and the mountains behind. The church is situated on one corner of the main square, and is one of the oldest buildings in the town, dating from 1648. Though it wasn't open when we visited (like many churches in the area) it´s still well...more
The Paseo de los Colorades is a 3km walk around the Seven-Coloured Mountain. Surprisingly, it doesn't give great views of this mountain, which is better seen from afar, but it does offer excellent views of the nearby peaks and the surrounding region, one of the most picturesque areas in the Quebrada de Humahuaca. The changing colours and the play...more
The biggest attraction in Purmamarca, and perhaps in the entire Quebrada de Humamarca, is the seven-coloured mountain which overlooks Purmamarca. It's a beautiful sight, best seen by climbing Cerro Verde, a mountain across the road from the village. An easy climb leads you to a couple of lookout points from where there is a superb view of the...more
This path it can be do it by car or bycicle or just walking.......I think is amazing walking by, you can see seven differents colors, that belong to different ages of the earth... but all that in a majestic silence.... I couldn't stop to take pictures, and I feel a deep feeling when I saw the landscape arround me.... I will try to put the best...more
Ruta Nacional 52, Km 4,4, Purmamarca, 4618, Argentina
Good for: Couples
Santa Rosa N0 4, Purmamarca, 4618, Argentina
Good for: Couples
Ruta 52 Km. 3.8, Purmamarca, 4618, Argentina
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
Many places in Purcamarca were advertising meals but every place we tried was either too expensive or not-serving food that day (for some unknown reason). A friendly man on the main square recommended Restaurant Algarroba (named after the 500 year old Algarroba tree beside the church) to us, and I´m glad we asked as it was very cheap, good value...more
The restaurant is clearly one of the nicest in town. Spacious in colonial style.This is about one block off the main plaza in town. Emphasis is on Andean cuisine- lamb and llama for meats..potatoes/beans and quinoa. Portions were generous and the food was delicious. (Remember, here you are at altitude, you dont need large portions!!!) Llama...more
Twice I tried llama when i was in this part of the country with somewhat different results. Llama that was part of a caserole like dish was delicious, sliced and very nice. Llama served like a steak ended up being less pleasant an experience. The meat itself is tasty but rather fibrous, so its a LOT of chewing. the benefits of llama is that it has...more
If you like to hear folklore music while you are in the north regions of Argentina then you shall eneter a local concert and sometimes some restaurants have that.
By public transport the easiest way to get to Purmamarca is from San Salvador de Jujuy (65 km away) Buses cost 7 pesos and take 1¼ hours, leaving every one to two hours; Purmamarca is also a stop on many/most of the major tourist buses. They will stop there usually for an hour on the way back from the Cuesta de Lipan or Quebrada de Humahuaca. If...more
Regular buses run between Jujuy and Bolivian border, along Ruta 9, the main road through the Quebrada de Humahuaca. Many of these stop at Purmamarca, which is 3km west of the main road, and 65 km north of Jujuy. We based ourselves in Tilcara for 4 days and took the scenic route down to Purmamarca, travelling by bicycle. It was downhill for most of...more
34 Reviews and Opinions
In the central market on the plaza the vendors all have stalls all selling weaving and local crafts. Weaving is an old tradition in this area and the designs and colors can be lively. Bear in mind the brighter colors (ie. orange) are much more likely to be fairly new. If you look carefully you can find some very nice pieces. For example, i found an older blanket for a llama. I was also lucky to find some old woven belts the gauchos (cowboys) wore, which have not been used in years. You can find some lovely old belts and domestic items. Prices were not expensive, perhaps somewhat less than comparable items elsewhere.
Purmamarca is also a good place to find articles from throughout the region. It is fairly close to Bolivia and the Salinas Grandes and the merchants often trade with people from villages farther away.
What to buy: Hats, sweaters and personal items are all common and fairly cheap. Bear in mind that the alpaca wool is very scratchy and isn't always a good gift (needs to be hand washed)
but is warm and excellent quality. when buying common t-shirts and souvenirs like that you might want to consider buying one size larger, my experience is that they shrink quite a bit.
Purmamarca is at 2324 m above sea level. Usually they recommend that you carefully monitor your activity level. You want to limit your exertion and be careful not too eat too much. If you feel very dizzy or lightheaded you can get tea (te de coca) which is made from the coca leaf, which will limit the effects of altitude sickness.
I live at sea level basically, and already having had a few days around Salta to let my body get used to the altitude it wasn't much of a problem really.
You must not forget to go along the los colorados, a long way of gorgeous red hills, even walk a few along it, apreciate that view, dont lose it. It s for me what is important about Purmamarca, the village is as the others.
Miscellaneous: You will definitely want to take a look at your spanish language books that you probably still have somewhere. A good phrase book will be helpful. Out this far, you will find few people that speak much english. Most likely your hotel staff will and the tour guides, but beyond that be prepared to carry on mostly in spanish.
Beyond Purmamarca the road climbs steeply through the remote highlands to the Chilean border pass at Paso de Jama (4230m). Four months after first visiting Purmamarca, we did this journey in reverse, from San Pedro de Atacama in Chile all the way down to Salta, before we turned north again for Bolivia. The scenery along the way was spectacular, but...more
The best views of the seven coloured mountain are from lookouts on the hill across the road from the town. The only map we had of Purmamarca was the one given to us by the man who hired us the bikes, and he calls this hill Cerro Verde, so I'll do likewise. A fairly obvious path leads up the mountain, and climbs steeply to the first of a couple of...more
The salt deposits come from the evaporation of an interior sea or lake, under the effect of the drought. The water lies under a thin (about 10 cm) "crust" of salt!!! The activity of the operator of the "salinas" is more important in winter, since in summer, rains regain the salt marsh of water. Water doesn't interrupt all activity however, since...more