South America Living

Purmamarca, Argentina Travel Guide

Backpacker From Buenos Aires in Purmamarca

San Salvador de JuJuy is a transportation hub and bustling with busses yet not an abundance of things to see or do. Unless, that is, you hop on one of those busses for a short 1 1/2 hour ride to the town of Purmamarca.

Purmamarca is the first ‘tourist town’ from Jujuy on the popular, scenic Quebrada de Humahuaca circuit.

For more information about the indigenous villages read: Quebrada de la Humahuaca

      View Photos       Interactive Map       Where To Eat       Where To Stay

As you leave Jujuy the the stress starts to fade. Looking out the bus window is brushed-pastel colored rock formations in hues of rust and blue set behind an expanse of desert brush. A river runs through it, yet is dry most months of the year minus a trickle here and a little stream there. YouTube video of the Town of Purmamarca:

There is one main plaza in town – Plaza Principal – that is surrounded by artisan stands selling tapestries, hand-knitted clothing, artwork, sculptures… you name it. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to around 7 p.m.

You do not have to hike from this location to enjoy up close views of the hill of seven colors (el cerro de los siete colores in Spanish) – the town is snuggled next to it – but if you like to trek there are two miradors (lookout points in English) on Caminata Morado (Morado walking track). One is a short 10 minute walk and the other around an hour. Next to the plaza is a tourist office with free maps and directions. There is also an International LINK ATM to get cash. Video of Purmamarca from Morado Viewpoint:


If you aren’t going into Chile or Bolivia for a trip to the Salar de Uyuni and want to visit a salar (salt flat) you can from Purmamarca. Salinas Grandes de Purmamarca spans approximately 212 square km and is only 65 km (40 miles) from town. Salt from this ancient dried-up lake is harvested and transformed into sculptures that can be admired and bought in Purmamarca.

There is WiFi in town at the Mama Coca Hospedaje (right in front of where the busses drop you off) which also has a restaurant and at upscale hotels such as Terrazas de la Posta.

Local specialties in restaurants are llama meat (smothered with sauce in a pile of potatoes or roasted and served as a shish kebab) as well as queso de cabra (goat cheese) and choclo (corn) empanadas; huge yum.

Where to Stay in Purmamarca

Name: Mirador Del Virrey, CabaƱas Boutique   Book Now
Address: Ruta Nacional 52, Km 4,4
Website: Fully-equipped modern rustic-styled cabins with WiFi, DVD player, living/dining area.

Name: Casa De Piedra   Book Now
Address: Pantaleon Cruz #6
Website: Large rooms with sitting area and balconies overlooking the mountains, WiFi, tours to Purmamarca Salt Flats.

Name: Mama Coca Hospedaje
Address: Rivadavia street – entrance to town, right where the busses drop you off.
Website: None. Restaurant with small hostel in back, dorm room, Wifi, hot showers after 6 p.m. (due to no access to natural gas during the day…).

Where to Eat in Purmamarca

Name: Terrazas de la Postas Restaurante
Address: Samiento street (no number)

Name: Entre Amigo Resto Bar Pena
Address: Libertad street (no number)
Website: None. Guiso de lentejas or quinoa (lentil or quinoa stew), lasagne (chicken or beef), chicken, pizza, canelone (cannelloni in English) and the house specialty: lomo de llama. Live folkloric music everynight except Monday.

Name: Miski Pacha
Address: Libertad street (no number)
Website: None. Menu del Dia served from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. and 8:30-11:30 p.m. consisting of a main dish and large bowl of soup for 22 pesos ($5.25 USD). Also has tamales and empandas plus other dishes such as locro – a thick soup with hominy and bits of meat.

Interactive Map of Purmamarca

View Larger Map

Photograph & videos by Molly McHugh, all rights reserved.

Logo Header Menu