If we travel to Tilcara, this means that the visitor receives a range of alternatives under a sky always clear. Hiking with llamas that recall the ancient Inca caravans, hiking to hidden waterfalls, a piece of history in Pucara, night clubs and religious festivals to celebrate among multicolored hills and friendly people who are struggling to keep their roots in the middle of tourist flood.
Tilcara is a party. Events like the carnival and the village overflow Tilcareño January each summer. The procession of the Virgen del Abra de Punta Corral attracts thousands of pilgrims every Easter Monday, days before the famous Via Crucis Tilcareño Easter, where the gleaming shrines worked. Long ago, Soda Stereo ruins of Pucara chose to record one of their most memorable video, “When the shaking” icon of the ’80s, when he still was far from the declaration of the Quebrada de Humahuaca as a World Heritage Humanity. Another rock band, Divided we chose to bring this magical two memorable concerts: the latest was last year, for the presentation of his new album ’66 Poppy. Intoxicated also shot the video girl Tilcara, composed by their leader Pity Alvarez during a long stay Tilcara. In lands where folklore is king, the rock also found a place for their masses.
But the charm Tilcareño not ends here. Beyond the crowded celebrations, this beautiful village quebradeño is an ideal place to embark on the adventure, taste the local culture and removed a little over 80 kilometers from San Salvador de Jujuy.
Ruins and Throat:
Arriving at Tilcara Route 9 are distinguished at the top of the hill, the ruins of Pucara, which means “strength.” This architectural, about 900 years old, was built by the Tilcara, Omaguaca belonging to the culture, in a strategic position to fend off invaders: on one side the Rio Grande and the other large and steep hills.
The site was discovered by Juan Bautista Ambrosetti ethnographer in 1908, who cleared the site and began a reconstruction would resume in 1948 the archaeologist Eduardo Casanova, who was then in charge of the chair of American Archaeology at the Faculty of Arts (UBA ). The works were completed only in 1966.
The complex, which housed dwellings, corrals and sanctuaries, now part of a must for anyone visiting these payments. From the center of town is easily accessible on foot in about twenty minutes walk, crossing the bridge over the Rio Grande. At the foot of the ruins is a small craft fair and a nice little bar to sit and enjoy a good coca tea and mitigate the effects of altitude.
Those who like the natural beauty can not fail to visit the Devil’s Throat. Returning from the ruins, again crossing the bridge but return to the center, take the road from the Plant to the end and walk on a mountain road about five miles. Also be accessed by car to the entrance to the Gorge, where some people charge a few dollars for access. From there, go down this beautiful canyon located in the upper river channel Huasamayo, which hides a secluded natural waterfall where, in times of strong rain, the water falls with crushing force. A pen domesticated llamas for sightseeing around.
Photography by Libertinus
El Corral de Llamas:
Lost among the quiet streets of Tilcara has its charm. And walking around is also possible to run into a corral full of nice flames. This is aventure that began Manfredi Santos, Buenos Aires Tilcareño birth and adoption, about ten years.
Santos has developed a technique of domestication to carry the flames at different trips you make with tourists around Tilcara. And farther, as the journey of several days that organizes both to Calilegua, thus moving the creek to the Yungas jungle high.
Las Llamas (native animals) are domesticated from birth until they enter adulthood. People love the contact with the flame. It is an animal that is not free. This camel is a natural reluctance to touch. At first suspicious. They are animals that live at 3000 meters in height within the clouds, and the only channel they have to know who is in the group is the ear which is very sensitive. We recommended speaking much at first contact and recognizing your voice. Also touching them and repeat the name several times. Then on the way, we must be tolerant.
Several excursions can be made at the Caravan of Llamas. In all, three stand out: Salinas Grandes, Maimará and ditches. To access to the salt flats, where we visit the community of Pozo Colorado, traveling by car. It’s two hours of hiking with the flames, which summarizes the existence of the camel in the Puna and the history of this community survives salt 70 years ago. The crossing takes about seven hours in total.
The output leads instead to Maimará a five-hour walk of medium difficulty carrying the flames to reach the highest point (at 2550 meters) from where it dominates the landscape to the south. Then it descends between areas of cultivation to Fernando Dupont winery to taste some wines. Arriving at Tilcara Route 9, are distinguished above the ruins of the famous Pucara.
Photography by J-Cornelius
Nights in rocks:
Hosted by its owners, La Peña de Carlitos is one of the busiest Tilcara. In folklore to the surface, the same Cabrera Carlos “Carlitos”, as is known here, was up night after night on stage to offer a wide musical repertoire, preceded by legends, stories, customs and religious festivals in the area. Carlitos accompanied for many years prominent musicians of the region, and Ricardo Vilca Quipildor Zamba.
In the same local family atmosphere, located in a corner facing the main square, worked for many years, the dining room The Pucara, parents Rosa and Juan Cabrera, who revealed the secrets of an exquisite regional cuisine can be enjoyed today the rhythm of the show: locro, quinoa stew, tamales, tamales, meat flames, empanadas, dulce de chayote.
North Point, also facing the square, is a place recently opened two plants. Upstairs, from the 23 live music every night, with performances by renowned musicians and exquisite Tukuta Gordillo. On the lower floor, nicely decorated with crafts and fabrics of the place, serving the most delicious local dishes. This floor serves as rock until midnight. For its part, Kuntur (“Condor” in Quechua) is the local musician Gustavo Patiño, who after living several years in Europe, and despite being Buenos Aires in 2007 decided to come to this beautiful spot in the Northwest and start their own place. A bit further from the center, here are also made documentary cinema and theater. And how could it be otherwise, the site has a varied menu of regional cuisine, which highlights the soup, homemade bread with flavored sauces and homemade custard cayote. Tilcara is a party. For all the senses.
How to get there? Aerolineas Argentinas and Andes Airlines flying to San Salvador de Jujuy. Since there is no daily frequencies, another option is to fly to Salta. From the capital of Jujuy are 90 miles down the RN 9.
Good luck in your journey through Jujuy!