Purmamarca may be a small town that most people come to visit for one day to see the Cerro de los Siete Colores, but there is definitely more to it than that. If you have a chance, stay a couple days and soak it all in. So what is there to do, you ask? You came to the right place!
If you’re interested in day trips from Purmamarca, check out my blog posts about the Salinas Grandes and Tilcara & La Garganta del Diablo.
CEMENTERIO DE PURMAMARCA: This desert cemetery is a straight shot from the bus station. Just go straight down the main Rivadavia street until the end and you’ll run into it. It’s definitely on the edge of town, and you won’t run into it unless you go there on purpose (or if you pass through on the way to Cerro de los Siete Colores). It’s quite interesting to take a stroll through to see the DIY mausoleums, headstones, and gravesites, all situated with a backdrop of the beautiful red mountains.
IGLESIA SANTA ROSA DE LIMA: This large church sits right in front of the main plaza. You’ll pass it on the way to the cemetery. It’s a very small, quaint church with a very simple interior. The pews and ceiling are made from cactus wood, as you can see by the many holes in the wood.
GO SHOPPING: If you’re looking for textiles, clothing, masks, slippers, rugs, etc. this is the place to come for shopping. There are several venders lining the entire main square, off on many side streets, in store fronts, and in designated market sections. The colors are bright and offer great prices. I got two alpaca sweaters. A solid black for 2200 pesos ($11) and one with the Alpaca design for 2600 pesos ($13).
EAT AT A PEÑA: Most restaurants in Purmamarca have live music while you dine, both for lunch and dinner. It’s definitely a unique experience. They play traditional Argentine folklore music, and you can watch as all the Argentines clap and sing along. Often, the musicians will engage the diners, asking each table where they’re from, and everyone will clap for one another. My favorites were Ruta 52 and Los Tientos.
MIRADOR CERRO EL PORITO: You can easily find this lookout as it’s just a couple minutes from the main plaza. It costs 50 pesos ($0.25 usd) to enter. You can get a great view of Purmamarca down below. You don’t need much time up here, but it’s certainly worth it. While you’re up there, look towards the red mountains and you’ll see a path that goes up a valley. Once you leave the Porito, head that way to get another view of the city down below.
CAMINO AL CERRO DE LOS SIETE COLORES: This is the main reason so many people come to Purmamarca. Without stopping, it would probably take about 30-45 minutes to walk the entire loop, though you’ll definitely want to stop several times to take photos and videos of this marvelous place. Check this blog post to learn all the details about seeing the Siete Colores!
PANORAMA OF THE SIETE COLORES: So maybe you walked through the path in the middle of the mountains, but now you want to see the whole picture from a distance. Well, I’ve got the spot for you! Head back to the main entrance of the town. Across the highway, you’ll see a couple signs, and a slight opening. Go through there, up the path by the pink house, and continue up the zigzagging path as far as you can go. Voila! You’ve got a great panorama photo spot!
HAVE A COFFEE BY THE PLAZA: There are a ton of restaurants around town, but the best spot for people watching and enjoying the sunshine is in the south-west corner of the main plaza. There are a couple small cafes there where you can get juice, coffee, or snacks. From time to time, a street musician will come and play the guitar there as well. I loved sitting there and reading my book.
TRY A TORTILLA RELLENA: Purmamarca was the first spot I came to in the north where I saw them selling tortillas rellenas on the street, and I was hooked. They are filled with ham and cheese, cheese and corn, or onion, tomato and cheese. Absolutely divine. Grab a tortilla for 200 pesos and take a seat in the middle of the plaza to watch everyone shop.
Purmamarca is one of those fantastic gems in the north of Argentina, and I highly recommend making a stop here, whether it’s for just an afternoon or several days.
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