Cordoba is not only Argentina’s second city, but also one of its most beautiful places. Surrounded by the Sierra region’s rolling hills with rivers, lakes and quaint mountain villages, the countryside here is a must-visit. Here’s our insider’s guide to the top spots.
> La Cumbre
The little town of La Cumbre, located in the Sierras mountain range, offers a wealth of attractions, from golfing, paragliding and horseback riding to cycling and trekking. Heads towards Villa Giardino through the Camino de los Artesanos for some amazing local crafts, all set in the spectacular landscape of the Punilla Valley.
> Los Terrones
Los Terrones is a thing of natural wonder. A recreational park and nature reserve, it has some of the best hiking and trekking in the area. Walk among the imposing red earthen pillars and green vegetation, or explore the many ravines and undulating crevices that abound in the region.
>Villa Carlos Paz
Situated on the shores of the San Roque lake, this picturesque little town is a tourist haven for those looking to experience both the urban settlements and natural beauty of the Cordobese countryside. Villa Carlos Paz is less than 40km (25 miles) from Cordoba and boasts incredible lakes, rivers and hills as well as a quaint town centre with some delicious restaurants serving local cuisine.
>Villa General Belgrano
Known for its Bavarian architecture and German influence, this quaint mountain town was founded in 1930 by two German agriculturalists and has a distinctly Alpine feel. Well worth a day trip if you have a car, or if you’re a serious Europhile, come in October when Villa General Belgrano hosts its very own version of the Munich festival, Oktoberfest. Perfect for all those beer lovers.
Uritorco Hill has a particular sort of fame. Drawing hippies, mystics and believers from all over the country, and indeed the world, this nearly 2,000m (6,562 feet)-high hill has become a thing of legend due to apparent UFO sightings, secret portals to other dimension and magnetic energy fields. One of the most visited attractions in the area, the Uritorco Hill has a pretty river running along its base and incredible views out over the landscape once you reach the summit, so it is worth the trek, even for the sceptics out there.
>Capilla del Monte
The small town in the Sierras Chicas mountain range from which the Uritorco Hill is accessed, Capilla del Monte is the perfect place to spend a few days and really get to know the area of the sierras surrounding it. Explore the Calabalumba River and the El Zapato rock formation, and the world’s only roofed street in the middle of town.
>San Marcos Sierras
A veritable hippy haven, San Marcos Sierras is a great spot to relax and enjoy the idyllic countryside of Cordoba. Boasting two rivers, numerous hills to hike around, thermal springs close by and even a hippy museum, the small town offers visitors everything they need for some real RnR.