- Tilcara
- Nuestra Señora del Rosario Church
- Hermitages´ Museum
- Main Square and Back Streets
- Dr. Eduardo Casanova Archaeological Museum
- Pucará de Tilcara and High Botanical Garden
- The Garganta del Diablo
- Huichairas Archaeological Deposit
- La Isla Archaeological Deposit


It is one of the biggest towns in the quebrada de Humahuaca, with about 3000 inhabitants. From the chain of pucaras along the Quebrada, the Pucarà of Tilcara was partially rebuilt, according to the studies. It is located one kilometer from Tilcara, after crossing a bridge and climbing up.There you have a total view of the access to the Quebrada. The part which has not been rebuilt shows us the starting point of the archaeologists. At the bottom, the high botanical garden gives us a complete view of the native species.

The church of Tilcara was built around 1797, but it was finished and opened in 1865. The Museum “Ernesto Soto Avendaño reminds you the sculptor who made the monument to the Independence of Humahuaca. The Native Paiting Museum is called Jose Antonio Terry. At the Archaeological Nuseum, Dr. Eduardo Casanova, from the University of Buenos Aires, it is showed an important collection of archaeological remains from different times and sources.

On Wednesday, during Holy Week, the pilgrims bring the Copacabana Virgin overpraise down from Punta Corral; on Holy Friday, people make the stations fo the Cross in front of the hermitages, artistically beautiful huge standards made up by the neighbours with flowers and dry fruit. These standards are renewed every year and then they are showed at the respective museum.

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It was built in 1797, but finally oponed in 1865 and as all the churches and chapels in the area, it was rebuilt several times. The outer walls are made of mud and on the inside you can see the paintings of the Six Scenes of the Virgin, belonging to the “cuzqueña” school. The Church has been declared National Historical Monument. During Holy Week, on Wednesday, some people bring the Copacabana Virgin overpraise down from Punta Corral; on Holy Friday, pilgrims make the station of the Cross in front of the hermitages, artistically beautiful huge standards made up by the neighbours and native people with nice flowers and dry fruit. These standards are renewed every year and then they are showed at the Hermitages Museum.

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At this special Museum you can see, works of art made with flower petals and fruit seeds, which are used for the different scenes of the Cross. They are religious allegories. Its address is n/n Rivadavia Street (between Ambrosetti st. and Jujuy st) and it can be visited all the year round.

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As in all the sities of the area, there is a craft market round the square, where native products, such as sweets, “ponchos”, vessels, musical instruments and varied hadn made adornments can be purchased. It is important to point out that, in one of the corners, facing the main square in this historical city, there is a poster that shows the house in which General Juan Galo Lavalle´s funeral took place, when he was murdered in 1841 by the Federal Army. After that his body was taken to the north to avoid his outrage and the flesh was removed in Huacalera. This city is well known by the low buildings with its steep streets on a slope to the grande River.

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Dr. Eduardo Casanova Archaeological Museum, from  the National University of Buenos Aires, was created in honour of the person who made the restoration of the Pucará de Tilcara. in 1948, rebuilding with his coworkers the houses which now can be appreciated. The Museum belongs to Tilcara Interdisciplinary Institute, which depends on the Philosophy and Letter Faculty, from the University of Buenos Aires. There you can see prehispanic culture materials from the Andean area of Tiahanaco in Bolivia and “diaguita” culture from the northwest in Argentina.

Inside the museum you can see an interesting object collection from different times and sources, but above all this, the prehispanic culture materials stand out, and specially those from Inca term in the Andean area. It is located in 445 Belgrano Street.

The time and visit days are all over the year from 9 a.m. to 7p.m-; on holidays in January and July it is from 9a.m. to 12,30 a.m., and from 2p.m. to 6p.m.. The ticket also allows you to visit the Pucará de Tilcara and the High Botanical Garden.

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You can get to it after crossing a typical steal rail bridge and climbing up the heights. It is one of the four fortified towns built over promontories on the bottom of the Grande river by the early inhabitants of the Quebrada de Humahuaca. From north to south, these pucaras are called: Calete, Yacoraite, Campo Morado and Tilcara. There are also other indian towns with difficult access, but located on flat lands over transverse valleys. This Pucara is the result of the partially rebuilt ruins of an early town called Tilcaras, inhabited by shepherds and farmers.

It is over a hill of about 70 mts which appears in the Grande river bed , with a total surface of 15 hectares (1h=2.471 acres). It was really an ideal place to defend themselves from attacks. By one side, there were cliffs over the Grande River and by the other side there were rough slopes, with defensive walls in the accessible paths. On these slopes they built their houses at intervals, making thus a series of bastions very difficult to be reached by any raider. At the bottom there are several restored yards.

On the base you can see the High Botanical Garden, which occupies three hectares. It shows an ample and complete view of the autochthonous species of the Quebrada and Puna. There is also a section for llamas and vicunas, camel animals, which adapt perfectly well to the area.

This town, using simple tools and human strength worked  the areas near the Grande River where the watering was easy, including the present town of Tilcara, and the big area of Alfarcito, where even today important slopes of crops can be seen. Water had to be carried from the river Huasamayo, the basin of which,  nowadays provides  drinkable water to Tilcara. The word “Pucara” means in quechua language, fortress generally located over difficult accessible hills. On the top of the hill, where the Monument is located, you can appreciate a complete view of the Quebrada de Humahuaca, which was declared Humanity Treasure in 2002. Besides, you can observe from the Angosto de Perchel in the north to Maimarà in the south, the Quebradas de Huichairas to  the west and Huasamayo to the east.

In Perchel as well as in Huichairas, there were smaller pucaras. A few kilometers away, after climbing up to the Garganta del Diablo, you can see the crop fields in Alfarcito. This is a privileged location, which allows the control of a big production area and population settlement.

Population evidence has been found, dating from the year 10.000 B.C, belonging to hunter-harvester inhabitants, who gradually tamed the cattle and  became farmers. However, the pucara massive settlement was done during the named late period, which stands from the year 1000 to 1480 A.C., and goes on during a little Inca time as far as the Hispanic settlement, that is consolidated in 1595, with the capture  of Tilcara´s chief named Viltipoco, whose empire extended from Jujuy to calchaquies areas and north of Chile. This jujenian chief had gathered more than 20.000 men with whom he intended to destroy all the foundations in the argentinian north, and redeem  the conquered indians, but he was surprised by Don Francisco de Argañaraz y de Murgia, who was in the service of the Spanish Crown, and shut off his campaign.

In the Pucara de Tilcara the buildings were made of stone, with fixed mud and straw roofs, over cardon ties. The houses, where inhumations were performed, occupied most of the Pucara surface, and were communicated by paths. The “llamas”, animals fit for this type of land, which gave wool and flesh, were kept in cattle pens (low part of the fortress assigned for animals). There was also a place for religious services, which was called the church by the archaeologists who restored the site, and finally, to the east, there was a necropolis (cemetery made by “cistas”, which are geometrical hollows over the ground, the inside part of which was covered with stones).

With the Spanish conquer these towns were submitted to the holding system. They were obliged to live in a certain place, and they had to work in the period for the holder. This caused a sudden decrease of the inhabitants, and when time passed they left the Pucaras. Tilcara people keep the memory of the Pucaraas their native town, called “antigal” or old people place.

Studies of the magnificent buildings started in 1908 and they are still on. First they were  restored by the archaeologists Ambrosetti and Debenedetti, in whose honour the “Part of the Monument” was erected: an incomplete pyramid, on top of the hill, which is the highest point with the greater number of houses.

Aborigines believed in life after death, so they gave much importance to the tribute of their dead people and they buried them in foetal position, with clothes and food; babies were inhumated in decorated  and covered boxes.

It is important to know that both, the Pucara and the High Botanical Garden open every day from 9 a.m. to 12,30 a.m and then from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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:: THE GARGANTA DEL DIABLO (8 km by car and 3 km on foot)

This important natural turistic attraction is a deep incision made by the water on the living rock, located in the superior bed of the Huasamayo river from which there is a magnificent  view along the Quebrada de Humahuaca and the “nevado del Chañi”. The access to the nevado is by ground road and you can get to it walking, treeking or driving. It can be visited all over the year. In Summer the access may be a little more difficult because of the rain. The available activities are observation, walks and horseriding. If possible, we recommend to have a local guide to visit this area.

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It occupies a little surface, which determines a dense group of houses, made of stones and rectangular plant. There are road remains and discontinuous walls.It is located on a plateau 100 mts high, on the right bank of the Grande River in front of the Pucara de Tilcara. The access is by ground, walking. It can be visited all over the year. In Summer the access may be a little more difficult because of the rain.

The available activities are observation, walks and horseriding. In this place you can book archaeological excursions and it is recommended to have a local guide to make them.

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House remains were found, with stone walls and groups of graves which provided about 300 objects. This deposit is composed by 5 sites. It is located to the north of Tilcara, on the left bank of the Grande river in the slopes and areas close to Black Hill. The access is by ground road, walking. It can be visited all over the year. In summer the access may be a little more difficult because of the rain.

The available activities are:
observation, walks, horseriding and (like in all the area) taking photographs. Other alternative activities: archaeological excursions, and like in other sites  of the Quebrada it is recommended to have a local guide.to make them.

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