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Two hours north of San Salvador and 40 minutes south of Humahuaca, the lovely Tilcara is the heart of the Jujuy province, both geographically and culturally. It combines the tranquility of this mountain region with intense social and cultural activity. Here, one feels simultaneously at ease and ready for anything.


Tiny Tilcara has a wealth of museums, restaurants and lodgings that make it an ideal home base for exploring other towns and the natural wonders of the Quebrada. The blazing mountains that surround it beg to be explored on foot, bike, horseback or, even, by sand board. Within the town squat but picturesque adobe buildings and hilly roads give way to breathtaking views.


Tilcareños are a proud people, and have much to be proud of, including a rich cultural heritage. Though there is no specific founding date for the town, human presence in the region dates back 10,000 years. For evidence of ancient civilizations, one has only to make the twenty minute walk to the pucará, a pre-Incan fortress. And due to the wealth of artifacts still being excavated in its soil, the town is considered the Archaeological Capital of Northwest Argentina.


Although it was conquered by the Spanish in 1598, Tilcara has kept alive its ancient Andean culture and traditions. Its inhabitants are proud of their indigenous heritage and always happy to celebrate it through leaving gifts for the river after the first rain or the raucous street parties of Carnaval. And though in other towns Carnaval only makes its appearance yearly, here weekend dance parties, which often last all night, ensure that the Carnaval spirit lives here year round.

One thing is certain in Tilcara, visitors can enjoy themselves whether they have come to enjoy mountain views in a peaceful, woody hotel (that there are many), get acquainted with Mother Earth and Andean history or dance the night away at a peña.


(Tel. Code: 0388, Population: 10,388, Elevation: 2,465 m.)


Other places nearby Tilcara: Purmamarca, Humahuaca and Iryua.

27 Apr 2009

Things to do in Tilcara

Tilcara Cycling

So many attractions in the mountains outside the city make two wheels a great way to get around. The Bicicleteria is a small shop at 700 Belgrano, a minute from the tourist office. They are open from ...
Tilcara, Argentina


The sleepy village of Maimará, five kilometers from Tilcara, is dominated by the surrounding mountains. The mountains, rightly named La Paleta del Pintor (The Palette of the Painter) for their wash ...
Other Activity
Tilcara, Argentina

Plaza Prado

Plaza Prado is in the heart of Tilcara. The daily market sells a variety of regional crafts. Non-shoppers can visit the museums that line the square. Art lovers have their pick of three museums: the ...
Other Activity
Tilcara, Argentina


Each February, Tilcara celebrates its Carnaval. The nine-day festival begins with the Desentierro del Carnaval, during which a small devil figure is unearthed by masked revelers. Cigarettes and ...
Tilcara, Argentina
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