We left San Pedro de Atacama, Chile for Purmamarca, Argentina and were a bit worried crossing the border in the middle of nowhere with a newly acquired kitten. Sierra was really worried when she saw a poster on the wall of the immigration and customs office "No cats or dogs" allowed. But as it happened they did not even care about our kitty and the border crossing was very easy and took less than an hour. For other travelers doing this in the future the two countries have combined both immigration facilities in the same building. Also There is a clean gas station on the Argentinian side of the border. The drive was spectacular through the high Andes, seeing mountain lakes and salt flats. The Bolivian, Chilean, and Argentinian borders all intersect in this area with 15 to 18 thousand foot peaks everywhere.
Descending into Purmamarca and the mountain of seven colors is every bit as beautiful as southern Utah with all of its colorful landscapes. Purmamarca is a small pueblo and easy to walk around no matter where you stay. The food and wine here are both wonderful and cheap, a great combination for a visitor. A bottle of moderate wine and a bottle of water for instance, are about the same price at a restaurant.
Food and wine aside, the reason why people come to this remote part of Argentina's northwest is the spectacular colorful scenery. The colors of the mountains changed with the sun's angle. Many people say before 8 in the morning is the time to see the colors. We thought the colors were intense until 10am so rushing out first in the morning was not as critical as we originally thought.
|The Martian landscape as we were ascending to Paso Jama|
|A marshland at 14,000 foot (4,300 meters).|
|This unassuming rocks were bigger than two story houses.|
|This was in Argentina on the way down the backside, it reminded us of Tucson, Arizona.|
|Parched and dried salt lake.|
|A 10 foot (3 meter) tall salt Alpaca.|
|People driving on the salt flats.|
|Crystal clear salt water just below the surface.|
|Purmamarca is a nice walking community.|
|Our earth friendly adobe house that we rented.|
|Some stores in downtown enjoy amazing views of the surrounding mountains.|