All year daily 9, 14:30.
Adults ARP 1,500.
Cueva del Waira: L=50m.
Cueva del Aguirre: L=40m.
Runa Tour, Belgrano Nº 481 - Local 3, 4624 Tilcara, Tel: +54-388-495-5388.
Dirección de Turismo Tilcara, Belgrano Nº 366, 4624 Tilcara, Tel: +54-388-495-5720.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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The Cuevas de Waira are actually two small caves named Cueva del Waira and Cueva del Aguirre. Waira is sometimes written Wayra. They are located high up on the mountain side above the town Tilcara. The visit is a cave trekking tour which is organized by the tourist office or by Runa Tour at Tilcara. Its best if you ask them and organize the tour, probably a day before.
The tour is a long hike uphill through arid hills until the two caves are reached. The ascent takes two to three hours, is often very exposed, even dangerous, and requires surefootedness. The cave exploration is quite easy, but a little climbing and crawling is required. The caves are dry and there is no mud involved, but the tour requires sun protection. A hat, sun protection, and enough water are essential. For the caves a helmet, headlamp, additional light, gloves and knee protectors. The operators do not offer such equipment and there are numerous pictures of visitors with basecaps and candles. That's no reason for you to make the same mistake. While the caves are definitely not demanding, the hike up is, it requires physical fitness and stamina. On the other hand you are rewarded with exceptional views.
Tilcara is located on the eastern side of the Andes range in the Rio Grande valley. You can reach it on Highway 9 from San Salvador de Jujuy. The eastern side of the Andes is in the rain shadow and thus very dry, bad weather is rare. The mountain range to the west, where the caves are located, is named Quebrada de Humahuaca. Tilcara is located at 2,460m asl, the caves approximately 2,900m asl. We could not find out what type of caves this are, we guess they are erosional caves in volcanic tufa, formed along a bedding plane.