Maimará is located only five kilometers from Tilcara. Populated in the past by the Maimará and Tilcara Indians, today it still keeps the vestiges and customs of these cultures. Not to visit it is a sin.
Maimará, which in the Indian tongue means "falling star", is a small town in the core of the Humahuaca Ravine. Although cities like Purmamarca, Tilcara and Humahuaca are best known as regards tourism and communication, Maimará has some distinguishing elements. One of them is the quietness its dwellers enjoy every day. Another one, and maybe the most picturesque, is that its mountains have been painted by a divine hand.
"The Painter's Palette" is the Earthly name given to this magnificent geographical feature. The mountains are as colorful as if they had been painted on purpose, right opposite the small village.
Brownish, reddish, orangish, yelowish, ocher and pastel colors. Visitors stop and watch in a vain attempt to answer the great question we all ask: who made them?
Has some distinguishing elements
Only five kilometers from Tilcara
The Painter's Palette
An Unusual Cemetery
Other attractions which may be visited at Maimará are the ancient church, the Posta de Hornillos Historical Museum and the newly built church of Our Ladyship of La Candelaria, in honor to the patron saint of the village.
But what really catches both the visitors' and the passer-bys' attention lies on Route 9 on the way to Tilcara. It is a very unusual cemetery, nothing like the rest.
This is one of the most interesting necropolis in the Humahuaca Ravine. Architectural details from the early XXth century stand out with their curves, sharp and mix points.
What is curious about this cemetery is that it lies around a hill, populating its round summit with crosses, small vaults and even indefinite sculptures.
Every year, on July 26, a fair is organized to commemorate the celebration in honor of Saint Anne. Miniatures of all kinds of food and objects are presented there. A popular custom adopted by almost all the villages in the Humahuaca Ravine and in the Argentinian-Bolivian Puna.
Death has a very particular relation with the locals, there is no doubt about that. However, it is difficult to understand those codes. Whoever comes to Maimará will realize these codes exist.
Walking through Maimará is another local attraction. Its narrow cobbled streets, its colorful houses, an old abandoned railway station and the Grande River, carrying hardly any water, in the background.
At night, the sky turns into a real sanctuary of stars which, in the darkness of nights without moon, reveal falling stars from time to time, which get lost in infinity and which, maybe, just like it happened here once, fall down only to give shape to heavenly but unexplicable places.
Pablo Etchevers Eduardo Epifanio
See more points of interest in Tilcara