Tilcara is easily one of my favourite locations in Argentina, and South America for that matter. An absolute must-do for anyone visiting the country. Although it is situated in a very unique location that only certain people will be travelling to.
Tucked away in the far north of Argentina, Tilcara is usually only a destination for people either travelling North into Bolivia or vice versa. Travelling south from Bolivia into Argentina, making it a very niche location.
Tilcara is located a couple of hours North of Salta and a couple of hours south of the Bolivian border.
Tilcara itself is a small town, nestled between mountains and almost has a hippy-like element to it. With small boutique shops and vegan cafes scattered throughout the town.
When I arrived, I immediately fell in love. It was the perfect vibe to both spend a few days recharging the batteries and use as a base to explore the Argentinian Salt Flats.
Tilcara is small, yet has a few accommodation options. One upmarket hotel to cater for the very small tour group niche and a handful of hostels.
After a lot of research and walking around we found one of my favourite hostels in the world, literally. Alta Vista Tilcara was only a 5min walk from the bus station it is in an ideal location, as soon as we walked in it felt like home. So good even, we extended our stay.
Amazing beds, amazing views, amazing amenities, common areas and the best breakfast I had had in a long long time!
To be fair though, Tilcara itself does not have a lot going on. You can walk around the town in an hour, check out the local markets and do a few scenic walks. But, if you love food you will be in heaven.
Tilcara has many food options to satisfy anyone’s food cravings. This was where I first tried llama stew, which was delicious. But, there is one place YOU HAVE TO GO!!
Amuri!! Amuri is still one of my favourite restaurants in the entire world and I’m not joking. The fact it is located on Tilcara just blows my mind. We are talking about a Michelin Star like experience at an extremely affordable price. Any backpacker can fit this into their budget.
It honestly feels like someone went out and worked at all the best restaurants around the world and bought all they learnt back to Tilcara. I CANNOT RECOMMEND THIS ENOUGH.
Me and my girlfriend got a full 3-course meal and shared a bottle of wine between us and it only cost 35NZD. So good we went back twice.
Once you have had a hot second to take in the vibes, walk around and eat at Amuri there is one more thing you must do in Tilcara.
Hire a car for the day and go see the Argentinian Salt flats of Salinas Grandes. They are a much smaller version of the world-renowned Bolivia ones, but it is just as much about the adventure as the destination.
The drive will take you up and over some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in Argentina. Even reaching altitudes of 4000m plus. Along with passing through a few little towns similar to Tilcara.
We ended up spending 4 nights in Tilcara and could have easily spent longer. It’s just one of those places where you could get stuck as a backpacker. But the journey needed to continue north into Bolivia.
Tilcara is a must-do for me, even if it is in the middle of nowhere! Somewhere to spend at least a couple days if you find yourself in the north of Argentina.