Most visitors to Purmamarca come for El Cerro de Los Siete Colores (Seven Colored Mountain), and for good reason. This mountain range is absolutely stunning! Everywhere you turn, it feels like the perfect photo opportunity. In short, this place is magical. Whether you come for just one day to Purmamarca or stay a few days, getting up close to these mountains is a must. Purmamarca is full of fantastic places to eat as well.
CERRO EL PORITO:
The easiest and quickest way to see the mountains is from the Cerro el Porito, which is a small viewpoint at the top of the town.
HOW TO GET THERE:
It takes 5-10 minutes only to reach this viewpoint from the main plaza. Just walk up Calle Florida, and it will become very obvious once you reach the top of the street. It costs just 50 pesos ($0.25 usd) to enter and you can stay as long as you want, though you won’t need much time. But you will get some great shots from up above Purmamarca.
While you’re up there, look towards the red mountain where you’ll a path going up right through the valley. Once you leave the Porito, I definitely suggest heading in the direction of the valley, and walking up to the peak. Treat yourself to another view of the city from a different perspective. While you’re up there, you can also look down the other direction to see part of the main path that goes through the mountain range.
TIME: Open 9am- 7pm
COST: 50 pesos
CAMINO DEL CERRO DE LOS SIETE COLORES:
A circular path goes out of the town of Purmamarca on one side, through the mountains, and back into the other. The two starting/ending points are the Cemeterio de Purmamarca and Cerro el Porito. You can start from either spot. It’s a big loop so you won’t get lost.
Walk one way in the morning, and then walk the route again one more time in the afternoon but in the opposite direction. This will allow you to see the path from different perspectives, but it also allows you to see how the mountains change color throughout the day as the sun crosses their path. If you just walk straight through without stopping, the circuit would take about 30 minutes. But plan for longer since you’ll want to stop and take some photos along the way.
TIME: No open/close time, the circuit takes about 45 minutes
PANORAMA OF EL CERRO DE LOS SIETE COLORES:
If you’ve gone through the circuit and are still yearning for more, then I have one more hike to suggest to you. It doesn’t take a long time, but it is a bit more challenging. Rather than walk through the middle of the mountain range, this time, you can take a step back and see it from a distance.
To get there is super simple, though less common. I didn’t see anyone else try this route. The only reason I know is that I asked a local shop owner if there was a path that would allow me to see a different view of the mountains.
First, go back to the entrance to the town, where the traffic booth is. Look across the highway and you’ll see a small opening in the metal traffic fence, along with a couple sign posts. Cross the highway and go through that opening. Go across the dry river bed in the direction of the pink house. Just in front of the pink house you’ll see the start of a path. Follow that path.
There are a couple of different routes you can take, but they all zig-zag their way up. I followed one path as far as I could possibly go and was treated to a spectacular view of the entire Cerro de los Siete Colores. It is worth it. It is not a circle, so you’ll need to take the same path back down and into town.
TIME: No open/close time, but only do this in the light. About 30 minutes.
PACKING FOR EL CERRO DE LOS SIETE COLORES
SPF– it gets sunny out there!
A hat– Definitely useful for said sun.
Sunglasses– Again, for the sunny sun!
A jacket– even though it’s sunny, it can definitely get windy at times.
Water– You’ll be doing a lot of walking, stay hydrated!
Money– You’ll need at least 50 pesos to pay the entrance to the Cerro el Porito.
Camera– For the obvious hundreds of photos you’ll take.
Tripod– Especially if you’re traveling alone.
Drone– Bring it if you’ve got one. Lots of good shots.