Now looking back through our photos of Cordoba, I realise we didn’t really take too many of the actual city and probably didn’t document it as well as we could have. Not because we didn’t enjoy the city but probably more because we were having too much fun and were too busy enjoying all the sites it had to offer. We actually really really loved Cordoba city and it kind of reminds us of Sydney, a big city but 100% safer and more relaxing to be in than Buenos Aires.
Our amazing friend Maxi was our tour guide for the 4 or so days that we were there, taking us and showing us around all the places that needed to be seen of Cordoba and its surrounding areas, including Villa Carlos Paz, La Cumbrecita and Villa General Belgrano.
Im sure you can get buses to all these areas but if you plan to make the most of it I think it would be beneficial to hire a car so you can take your time and enjoy the views along the way.
Villa Carlos Paz is only 36km from Central Cordoba and is well known as the party town once a year when thousands of school kids gather from all over argentina to celebrate, it just so happened that the day we arrived was right in the middle of the celebrations and the place was full of young kids, bands playing and a whole lot of noise. During the time that the Schoolies aren’t taking over Carlos Paz is more of a retreat for city dwellers where they can relax by the lake and enjoy the views and peaceful atmosphere.
Even though Maxi didn’t like La Cumbrecita he was nice enough to take us there anyway, I had never heard of the place before but apparently it is quite popular with tourists. Focused on eco-tourism you get stopped before you enter into the town and have the option of parking your car and walking the rest of the way or paying 40 pesos and being able to drive a few kilometres more before parking your car at the entrance. No cars are allowed in the actual town itself.
As soon as you enter the township you get the feeling you have been transported to Europe, all the signs for restaurants, accommodation and shops are hand carved in wood and mostly in German. The types of food include Goulash, Strudel, Swiss Chocolate and Sauerkraut and there are many signs for German Beer.
We didn’t want to spend too long here as we were on our way to Villa General Belgrano but you could easily spend half a day to a whole day here exploring the area, eating and taking the little steam train to see the views it has to offer. The place is quite big so we tried to take a short cut by following the river instead of going back the way we had come. Not such a good idea! I don’t know what we did wrong but we got a bit lost and it turned into quite the adventure trying to hop across the river and rocks and not get too wet!
So after we finally got out of La Cumbrecita we drove for another 40minutes on to Villa General Belgrano which is well known in Argentina for their Oktoberfest Celebrations and is another town that almost seems as though you have crossed over to Europe with its Bavarian style architecture, Swiss ice cream, chocolate shops and German delicacies. Apparently the church services are even in German and Spanish! Anyway it is definitely a touristy town but a beautiful touristy town, really nice artisan shops and hundreds of options for eating… If we hadn’t already committed to accommodation in Cordoba we would probably have stayed here for the night to explore some more.
So that was our trip to Cordoba, there are also a whole heap of other sites to see and do in Cordoba city itself, filled with many Shopping Malls, Museums and Art galleries. Maxi even found us a Vegetarian Restaurant to try out Sol y Luna which was really nice. The food changes daily and is more like a buffet, kind of reminds me of Hare Krishna style food. Anyway you get to fill up your plate with what you want and then have it weighed, as the food and desserts are all priced per kilo! Strange but interesting :)
The last highlight of Cordoba is the Feria Artesinal which is located on the corner of Calle Rodriguez and Belgrano and in the Barrio Guemes, 5pm to 10pm Saturday and Sunday. Mum and Dad especially loved it here with lots of original and good quality arts and crafts. The area is also known for their Antiques stores which are all open at the same time as the markets so you can visit both at the same time.
After Cordoba it was time for us to head to Neuquen and for mum and dad to meet Gastons family. We were worried we were running out of time so decided to fly instead of taking the bus. We flew with Sol Airlines and it ended up to be around 1190 pesos for 4 adults which is around $230aud.