Escape from Salta

I hung out in Salta City for several days before leaving for Cafayate, and then foolishly planned another full day in Salta before leaving for Tilcara, Jujuy (pronounced roughly “hoo-HUEY!”).

Kids, Salta is indeed linda. Salta is also a 2-day town.

 

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But it’s pretty at night.

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In the next hostel, the Antigua Tilcara, I arrived later than I’d thought I would and they do not enjoy a 24-hour reception. After a few hundred knocks and rings of the doorbell, a hostel GUEST eventually let me in. I believe we woke the owner together, and I was tucked into a room in which my TWO GERMAN FRIENDS FROM THE PRIOR HOSTEL WERE ALSO THERE. Hashtag, tourist circuit. Hashtag, welcome to Salta. Hashtag, Germanic hivemind.

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The view from the hostel, and indeed, from everywhere in Tilcara, was stunning.

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Tilcara is not a huge town. Jujuy is the most heavily indigenous province of Argentina, and far enough north that the culture starts feeling fairly Andean (a la Peru). It is close to 100% Catholic (except the many, many tourists).

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Yes, the below photo features road signs pointing to specific hostels. No, this is not far from the “downtown.” I am told that there are fewer than six thousand residents in the entire area.

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Behold, the downtown.

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Filled with foreigner bars, friendly locals and a whole lot of nothing, it would be the perfect Andean town if you could get a cup of coffee for love or money. 

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The end of town that contains the bus station. It’s around half a mile from the other end of town.

I tried to track down a fancy restaurant featured by Lonely Planet. I went to a restaurant that was open (it was not peak season).

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The weather was sublime.

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Tilcara was probably one of the highlights of my time in Argentina. Far from being just a quiet tourist town, it gets lively and excessively Catholic sometimes–but we’ll get to that…

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Come back next time for the famous Quebrada de Humahuaca!

 

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