How much money will you need in Tilcara?
AR$3,019 ($72) is the average daily price for traveling in Tilcara.
The average price of food for one day is AR$832 ($20).
The average price of a hotel for a couple is AR$3,200 ($77).
Additional pricing is in the table below. These average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.
Tilcara On a Budget
Tilcara signifies shooting star in Quechua. At 2465m of altitude, the little town of Tilcara is one of the most animated place of the area of the quebrada de humahuaca. Many South American backpackers and tourists from all around the world come to visit Tilcara and its pucara, the forteresse built by the Incas at the top of the hill, providing a stunning walk around the town. Tilcara hosts many festivals for different occasions such as the celebration of the Pachamama in August, the semana santa (Holy Week) in April, and the Enero Tilcareno, held in January as its name indicates, which is probably the busiest month of the year for the little town. If you enjoy concerts, parades and folklorique parties then definitely try to visit Tilcara during a festival month and avoid them if you prefer a calm and more relaxed holiday. There are many available activities around Tilcara including horseback riding, VTT, and you could also even try a ride in a caravan pulled by llamas.
One block away from the main square of Tilcara is the Iglesias de la Virgen del Rosario y San Francisco de Asis
. Built in 1797 and renovated in 1865, the church is rather unique in the region for its important size and its two bell towers. After exploring the small town, you can walk in 15 minutes to the Pucara de Tilcara, a fortress on the top of a hill from the pre-Columbian era that was renovated by archaeologists of the university of Buenos Aires. The fortress forms a series of labyrinthine stones houses. It is opened every day from 9h to 19h and until 18h in winter with a break from 12h to 14h. The entry is free on Mondays and costs USD$3.20 during the rest of the week; it includes entrance to the Museo Arqueologico. You can also access the fortress by car. You will find a small botanical garden at the entrance of the fortress, which holds the famous piedra campana, a weird looking rock shaped like a bell. Also, if you decide to visit Tilcara, hiking to The Garganta del Diablo is a must. It is the most famous hike near Tilcara (USD$1 to access the main site). You will need to count 4 km by foot and 8km by car to reach the car park of the Garganta del Diablo and then 2 hours of hiking to reach a beautiful waterfall found in a hollow of the canyon. Another option is to visit the Cuevas del Waira, on inscription with the tourist office, which organizes departures every day at 9h and 15h from the office for USD$13. Only 4 km away from Tilcara, you will find these impressive caves in which you will walk about 4 hours with lanterns and accompanied by a specialized guide.
There are three great museums worth visiting in Tilcara. First, the Museo Arqueologico, which is opened every day from 9h to 18h and until 19h in high season and has an entry fee of USD$3.20 per person (free on Mondays) that also includes the entrance to the pucara. The museum holds an important archaeological collection that shows the evolution of the popular culture of the region. Jewelry, masks, mortuary vases, pre-Columbian stone houses with family vaults and many other objects of the Argentinian, Peruvian, Chilean and Bolivian culture are exposed at the Museo Arqueologico of Tilcara. Otherwise, if you wish to learn more about the sculptor of the XX century, Soto Avendano, who made the famous Heroes of the Independence of Humahuaca, you should definitely have a look around the Museo Soto Avendano. Opened from Wednesday to Sunday, from 9h to 13h and 15h to 18h, the entrance is only USD$0.50. Finally, we recommend that you visit the Museo Regional de Pintura Jose Antonio Terry, where you will discover the artist's work including portraits of women and Andean scenes, in his own house. You will see the studio in which he worked and a few of his personal objects. The museum opens from Tuesday to Saturday from 9h to 19h and on Sunday from 9h to 12h and 14h to 18h.
Food and Dining
Because Tilcara is the major touristic centre of the Quebrada de Humahuaca, you will find many restaurants in town serving simple to more elaborated food including Western cuisine but mostly specialized in Andean food. You must try out some of the local Andean specialties, which are very different from Argentinian cuisine. Some typical dishes are quinoa, papas andinas, llama stew, empanadas jujenas, sweetened pumpkin, sopa de mani (peanut soup) and a spicy tomato spread.
There are two ways to reach Tilcara, by bus or by car. There are three buses leaving every day from Buenos Aires, usually two in the afternoon and during night-time and the journey lasts 24h. There are also many buses leaving from Salta, which will bring you to Tilcara in 4 to 5 hours. If you are already travelling in the region, you can also easily take a bus from Humahuaca. There are buses leaving every hour, from 6h30 to 22h10. The same applies to, Jujuy, with buses leaving every 30 minutes, from 6h to 23h.