Tilcara Travel Guide

  • Tilcara
    by GentleSpirit
  • Things to Do
    by GentleSpirit
  • Things to Do
    by GentleSpirit

Tilcara Things to Do

  • Watch the llama

    The llama is the standard beast of burden in this part of the country. It is used for transport in this high altitude environment. There is a very good tour out of Tilcara that takes you on an excursion with the llama. However, if you just want to watch them at a safe distance, here you can..Near the entrance to the Pucara de Tilcara I had a bit of...

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  • Tropic of Capricorn marker- Huacalera

    Ordinarily you might be tempted to bypass some of the tiny villages you see on the way. In this part of the country that would be a big mistake! Huacalera is a little village 16 km from Tilcara. In terms of tourist infrastructure and such it is a world away. The village only has about 300 inhabitants. The main reason most people stop at Hucalera is...

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  • Pucara de Tilcara

    A kilometer or two out of the city is the one true "must-see" sight in Tilcara. This is the pre-Inca fortress called the Pucara de Tilcara, built by the Omaguaca around the 12 century AD. The fortress is located in a strategic place, overlooking the entire valley, so the defenders could easily see an enemy approaching from a long ways away. That...

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  • Archaeological Museum

    Right off the main square in Tilcara is a very nice Museum of Archaeology, named after Dr Eduardo Casanova, who took over the lead researched/archaeological responsibilities after 1948. It was thanks to him that the Pucara site was opened to the public and the creation of the museum came to be. Lovers of archaeology and museums will be quite happy....

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  • Botanical Garden

    Near the entrance to the Pucara complex there is a very nice exhibit of the giant cactus and some of the varieties of plant life that can be found here in the Puna. Walking around the complex and looking out into the distance you will not miss the sight of the giant cactus, the cardon as it is called here. One of the guides mentioned that sometimes...

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  • Garganta del Diablo

    The hike to the waterfall "La Garganta del Diablo" was recommended to us by the tourist office and by our guidebook so we decided to give it a go. We had a very brief description of the path but it was fairly easy to find the way. It's 8km from Tilcara by the main road though you can take a short cut by hiking, making it about 4km by our...

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  • Botanical Gardens

    Next to the Pucara de Tilcara are the Botanical Gardens, which are included on the same entrance ticket. There are some interesting plants and cacti in the Botanical Gardens, though perhaps the most impressive sight is the excellent view of the Pucara.

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  • Pucara de Tilcara

    Tilcara's most visited sight is the hillside fortress 1km south of the town, which is the sight of a pre-conquistadores settlement. It's an evocative place, with many restored stone houses, the remains of a church and at the highest point a monument. The hillside is also covered in cacti which look spectacular against the backdrop of the mountains....

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  • Museo Arqueologico de Tilcara

    Discover the ancient way of living. In this Museum you can see ceramics pots, totems, an incredible mummy (with his original hair) and a lots of traditions and history.Descubra como vivían en aquella época. En este Museo se pueden hallar cacharros de cerámica antiguos, vestimentas, monolitos, una momia increíble y mucha tradición e historia.

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  • The Pucara/ El Pucara de Tilcara

    This is a rebuilt historical site that was inhabited by the Omaguacas, indigenous of the region.The place was discovered in 1908 by Juan Bautista Ambrosetti, an argentinian ethnographer. Although the constructions are not originals, you can have a good idea of the way of living of this community, and of the ways of protecting themselves from The...

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  • Archaeological Museum

    The archaeological museum is the most impressive of Ticlara's museums and contains a good collection of pre-Columbian art and artefacts from regional native settlements. Some of the exhibits have inscriptions with English translations (quite rare in rural Argentina). Entrance to the museum is on the same ticket as the Pucara.

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  • Fortress of Tilcara

    Partially restored ruins of a native city- a hommage to the Inca,s and called "Puchara" in Queshua, an Indian language.An almost inaccessable hill.Buildings were made of stone, not cemented, each placement of a stone was a puzzle, the roofs were made of clay and straw, pressed on thistle strutsRemarkable aswell is the height of the doors, rather...

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  • TILCARA & HUMAHUACA : QUEBRADA DE...

    Yet another fabulous valley lined by colourful canyons by the side is Quebrada de Humahuaca, along Route 9. This route up north will ultimately take you to the border town with Bolivia, La Quiaca. As a result, the towns along this route, Tilcara and Humahuaca, have an utterly different flavour from the other towns in Argentina. There is a very...

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  • PUCARA

    Once in Tilcara, the main thing to visit is the January festivities where there are exhibitions, folklore dancing and reciting of rhymes. these festivities take place during the 2nd fortnight of January.Both the Pucara and the Jardin Botanico de Altura are open everyday from 9 to 12.30 and from 2 p.m. to 6p.m., except on the 1st of May , the 25th...

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  • Relax In a Cool Andean Town

    Tilcara is one of the larger villages along the Quebrada de Humahuaca with a whopping 3500 people. The town has good facilities and accommodation and is situated in an excellent location to explore the surrounding country side and nearby villages of Miramar and Purmamarca.There is a nice pre-Colombian fortress here call El Pucara. They can't tell...

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Tilcara Hotels

See all 15 Hotels in Tilcara
  • Patio Alto

    Torrico 675, Tilcara, 4624, Argentina

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

  • Las Terrazas Hotel Boutique

    Calle De La Sorpresa esquina San Martin, Tilcara, 4624, Argentina

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

  • Hotel Vientonorte

    Jujuy 536, Tilcara, C.P. 4624, Argentina

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

Tilcara Restaurants

  • Fantastic Tilcara Restaurant

    El Patio Comidas was our favourite restaurant in Tilcara, though it was slightly more expensive than most of the places where we ate during our stay. On offer was a good selection of regional specialities like Locro, a meat stew, humites and tamales, as well as some excellent Llama dishes, and, of course, traditional Argentinian dishes like steak...

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  • Te y Mate

    This small cafe doesn't serve much food but it's always open and serves excellent mate and fruit juices. We called in here after returning from a 40km bike ride and the licurado de naranja (strawberry smoothie with oranje juice) was exactly what we needed, and very good value at 4 pesos.

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  • Good value meals in Tilcara

    La Rotiseria is one of the best value restaurants in Tilcara. There are local specialities like humitas (sweet corn and onion wrapped in the corn skin), tamales (corn-flour, meat & onion wrapped in corn skin) and locro (a thick stew), as well as traditional meals like milanesas, lomitos and pizza. We ate here twice during our visit and on both...

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Tilcara Nightlife

  • barryg23's Profile Photo

    by barryg23 Updated Dec 7, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lapena de Carlitos was recommended in our guidebook, so we tried it on our first night in Tilcara. However, the food here wasn't great, in fact it was probably one of the few meals in Argentina where the steak was poor. I had a llama steak with mashed potato while Ruth had Bife de Lomo with potatoes.

    Nevertheless, the wine was excellent and the whole meal was very cheap. I would recommend visiting here for a post meal drink when you can enjoy the music. The Carlitos, a local group playing traditonal music from the Quebrada region, play here most nights from 10pm onwards, and it's a good way to become acquainted with local Andean music.

    The Carlitos

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Tilcara Transportation

  • barryg23's Profile Photo

    by barryg23 Updated Dec 7, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are regular bus services to Tilcara and to nearly all the villages on the Quebrada de Humahuaca from San Salvador de Jujuy.

    We travelled with PanAmericano from Jujuy, and, as ever in Argentina, the service was excellent. We had comfortable semi-cama seats, and seats upstairs which gave great views as we travelled along Ruta 9 through the Quebrada. There were no videos or meals included but we din't really miss them on a short journey with such great scenery. It took just under two hours to reach Tilcara.

    View of the Quebrada de Humahuaca from the bus

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Tilcara Off The Beaten Path

  • Huacalera

    Huacalera is a tiny village in the Quebrada de Humahuaca, located about 16km north of Tilcara. The only thing to see in the village is the beautiful church, though, whether it's open or not is a matter of luck. When we cycled through here it was closed and I couldn't understand what the lady in the shop next door was telling me when I asked her...

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  • Tropic of Capricorn

    The Tropic of Capricorn crosses Argentina 16km north of Tilcara, just south of the tiny village of Huacalera. A large sundial and a sign mark the spot and it's a popular stopping point for travellers on Ruta 9. Buses will stop in Huacalera but there are very few facilities here so come prepared.We cycled from Tilcara to the Tropic, a difficult...

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  • Peaceful Village With Beautiful...

    Purmamarca is a tiny village along the Quebrada de Humahuaca in Jujuy Province. It a small village that has a nice albeit touristy central square, and quaint little 17th century church, Iglesia Santa Rosa de Lima. The square is full of locals trying to sell their crafts which is very similar if not identical to what you would see in the markets of...

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Tilcara Favorites

  • barryg23's Profile Photo

    by barryg23 Written Oct 20, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fondest memory: One of my favourite memories of Tilcara is cycling Ruta 9 as far as Purmamarca. This was a 50km round trip along the Quebrada de Humahuaca, one of the most beautiful areas in Argentina, and travelling by bike gave us the opportunity to see close-up the fantastic scenery on this route.

    The highlight was the seven-coloured mountain in Purmamarca (there are really about 70 colours!) though the scenery on route was incredible too, especially around Maimara where you can see the famous "cerro la paleta del pintor" (painter's pallet mountain). Ruta 9 is a busy enough national road, though you can travel off the road in sections near Maimara.

    We hired bikes from "Tilcara Mountain Bike", run by a friendly local, located 100 metres below the bus station on Avenue Belgrano. The bikes were excellent, and we were also given helmets, a map and locks. The owner speaks English, and he is very friendly and helpful.

    Contact Info:
    Phone: 0388 155008570
    Email: tilcrabikes@hotmail.com

    On the road to Purmamarca

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