Trip Start Mar 29, 2010
Trip End May 24, 2010

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Flag of Argentina  , Northern Argentina,
Saturday, May 15, 2010

After an enjoyable stint in Purmamarca, we continued north towards to the Bolivian border towards the town of Tilcara.   With a population of around 8,000 people, Tilcara offers a few some services and varied accommodations than Purmamarca, but at the price of lacking some quaintness.  Fortunately for us, we managed to stay a lovely small B&B that felt like a little slice of heaven.

Tilcara, like most of the towns in this part of the world, has a distinctly U.S. Southwestern feel to it – both in its landscapes and housing.  As with the other mountain towns more south, the countryside is dry and reflects a palate of multiple pastel colors when the sun is out.   

We went for afternoon stroll to see the local pucara – an old pre-Columbian fort and then walked up a few kilometers into the mountains to see another waterfall and geological formation called the "Devil's Throat."  (I have no idea why this a population name for rock formations out here.)  The pucara was small, but interesting.  It looked like archealogists recreated a handful of living quarters that you can actually walk through.  Again, the buildings are simple – and may not even be representative of the originals – but we enjoyed the views and the opportunity to stroll through the mountain countryside.  

After the pucara, we walked up into the mountains along a mountain trail.   We hiked for about 10 kilometers (roundtrip), and as we got farther away from town, the colors in the mountains became more striking and apparent.           

At 8,000 feet above sea level, I was able to enjoy the mountain scenery without too much concern about the altitude.  It the next few days, however, we would be climbing higher – to over 13,000 feet – and the jury remained out about how I would handle the rarefied air. 

Traveling Notes

In Tilcara, we stayed at a fantastic B&B called Posada del La Luz.   All the positive online reviews you read about the place are spot on. There are only seven rooms, however, and they fill up fast.  So if you know you are going to be in Tilcara and want to stay there, make sure to make reservations in advance.
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