After we made our way back from the remote pueblecito Iruya, we drove up to a viewpoint overlooking Hornocal, the “Hill of Fourteen Colors”.

We continued to Tilcara where we spent the next two nights in the beautiful Las Terrazas hotel.

Close-by is Pucará, the partially reconstructed ruins of a pre-Inca settlement that wonderfully overlooks the valley from its 2,500 m above sea level.

Contrary to Iruya, Tilcara proved to be far more lively, larger and welcoming. It felt like an alternative mountain village with distinct ethnic touch. Graphic Andean-style table runners, lama-fur covered chairs and colorful decorations were cheering at us from almost every single bar, comedor or café. And yet, it’s a functional, authentic indigenous community.