We had no plans of coming to Purmamarca nor had we even heard of this northern Argentinian town, but once we saw its “Mountain of Seven Colors” on a postcard, we re-routed our journey north to include a visit. No buses went directly there but we were told if you tell the bus driver to let you off at the “cruce” or the fork in the road that goes left to Chile or straight to Bolivia, you can walk from there. Lucky enough, a cab driver got wind of the gringos that do this and he was waiting at this large intersection in the middle of nowhere, seemingly just for us.
The town was also the first place in Argentina that we experienced a more indigenous influence. The sea of colorful textiles and handmade goods sold around the market was a welcome departure from the more cosmopolitan or touristy places we’d been.
After a loop around the square we set off (little did we know in the wrong direction) toward the Cerro de Siete Colores. At our roundabout trailhead we encountered this cliff side cemetary of house-like tombs.
In a square meter of ground, we collected well over seven shades of stones.
Everything about this landscape was surreal, even the mud.
We woke up early the next morning to hike the hill across from town for some pueblo views–only to realize the Cerro de Siete Colores was in front of our face the entire time! It literally shoots up from the center of town, we just needed a little distance to realize it. We made it to the top of the hill just in time to see the sun slowly light up the town, inch by inch, color by color. As a non-religious person, I don’t say this lightly but see the sun unveil this amazing natural phenomenon was nothing short of spiritual.