Villages of the Humahuaca Gorge
- Humahuaca: Your guide will lead you along the tidy cobblestone streets of the gorge's biggest town to the craft market and the impressive monument in the central square.
- Purmamarca: Just west of this picturesque town stands the amazing "Hill of Seven Colors," perhaps the best place to appreciate the remarkable geology of the Humahuaca Gorge.
- Tilcara: Explore a village that predates even the Incas, going back at least 10,000 years. See the ruins of an Incan fortress and learn more during a visit to the Archeological Museum.
About this Salta tour
Most places have customs and traditions they hold onto with pride. Few date back to when planting seeds and waiting for food to grow was still a novelty.
The Humahuaca Gorge has seen a lot of history over the past 10,000 years: an endlessly repeated cycle of discovery, settlement, war, conquest, calamity, and trade. But even that span is dwarfed by the multicolored mountains lining this 95-mile-long valley. They've been here since dinosaurs roamed, and would have been as astonishing to the region's first humans as they will be to you. That helps explain why Humahuaca is one of the oldest continually inhabited places on the planet (who wouldn't want this view every day?) and why it's an archeological mecca in Argentina. Every civilization that flourished and faded here left traces, as you'll see at the museum off Tilcara's main square.
You'll also see, on a hill just outside the village, where a lot of the museum's exhibits came from: the Pucara, a strategic military compound originally built by the fierce Omaguaca tribe, then taken over by the even fiercer Inca. At its peak, this defensive stronghold and strategic lookout point could house 2,000 warriors, with storage for food, water, and supplies.
You'll get a close look at the wonders created by Earth's tectonic forces at Seven Colors Hill, overlooking the village of Purmamarca. There, too, the long human presence is barely a blink in geological time. The hill got its rich rock tapestries when shifting continental plates shoved ancient rivers aside like uncooked spaghetti, leaving crisply defined layers of sedimentary minerals. All this happened about 75 million years ago.
At 12 hours from start to finish, this tour is longer than most GoBe excursions. But if you think about it, it's no time at all.
The people of the Humahuaca Gorge are descended from several pre-Inca cultures, and have amassed quite a variety of traditions. They celebrate a newly built structure with a ritual called la flechada, in which a ceremonial egg is hung from the ceiling and guests try to shoot it down with a bow and arrow. A hole is dug underneath to catch the egg's contents and feed Mother Earth. Oh, yes, there's plenty of drinking, too.
Please meet in the lobby reception area of your downtown hotel (must be confirmed prior with tour purchase at check out or with the GoTo Crew) and look for your guide who will be holding a GoBe logo sign.
Food and beverages can be purchased at stops on the tour.
Walking is at your personal discretion. You can also remain on the transportation if you wish.
Cultural, Private Tour, Walking Tour, Full Day
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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