THE ROAD OF THE BIG LAKES
The areas of Paravachasca, Calamuchita and the Sierras del Sur, located at the southern zone of the capital, also called the Road of the Grandes Lagos, are one of the largest and most beautiful tourist regions of Cordoba. Each of these areas possess its own characteristics, but as they actually remain geographically linked, it is possible to present them as a pack without offending any of them.
It is a road filled with valley and sierra landscapes, bonded to some of the best testimonies of colonial times in Cordoba. It is speckled with plenty rivers and large lakes strewn across a highlander scenario, with a number of different locations which are ideal for the practice of adventure tourism and eco-tourism. These assets are improved by Centre-European migrations, which brought along their own cultural and cooking traditions.
AREA OF PARAVACHASCA
The peaceful Valley of Paravachasca lies close to the South of Altas Cumbres, fancied by trekking and mountain bike fans. Within its grounds stand the Bosque Alegre Observatory, the Oscar Cabalén Car Circuit and Los Molinos Reservoir, among other attractions.
Coming to Paravachasca is like entering into its indigenous roots, surveying history by the hand of its main characters and witnessing the architecture of its main settlements within a frame of colours and scents. Every single season of the year has its peculiar and distinctive hues, welcoming all kinds of visitors.
At the south of Alta Gracia lay a bunch of towns at both margins of the Anisacate River. La Paisanita is a locality almost hidden among the highlands and situated few kilometres away from Alta Gracia across a dirt road. This place has many hotels and lodging facilities, standing at a very close range from the great Colony of the Union Ferroviaria, which remains open for all kinds of visitors.
AREA OF CALAMUCHITA
Calamuchita: This is a typical region of Cordoba encircled by many lakes and mountains from the Sierras Chicas and the Sierras Grandes Mountain Ranges, and situated at the shores of the Calamuchita River. Among its main attractions we can mention that it is the western doorway to the Champaquí Mountain, the Rio Tercero Reservoir and the Cerro Pelado Reservoir. In this area you will find the largest collection across the entire region of water mirrors, rivers and water streams, and a number of picturesque villas and towns cradled by the greenery of the sierras. If we use our imagination and picture how this place was like back in historical times, we will find that this zone was a constituting part of the famous Santa Rosa Ranch during colonial times.
This explains the development of such Spanish cities as Santa Rosa de Calamuchita and the small Yacanto and Amboy, along with others with clear central European origins as Villa General Belgrano, Villa Berna, La Cumbrecita, Villa Alpina, Villa Rumipal and Villa del Dique. The latter of which is the perfect place for resting due to its attractive Tyrol-like landscape within uneven mountain ranges, compelling tourists from all around the world to come. This region can only be described as a little Europe, with its cabins, its delicious chocolates and the best breweries of the region.
Some towns have the particularity of being situated around reservoirs, such as Villa La Merced, at the shores of the Los Molinos Reservoir and the Town of Embalse, beside the lake in which nature comes along the technological advance of hydro electrical and nuclear powered plants, both of which supply electricity to the entire Nation of Argentina. Villa del Dique and Villa Ruimpal, located over the shores of the Embalse de Rio Tercero, are ideal for the lovers of nature and nautical activities, having a complete display of lodging facilities and tourist services.
This region, with a population mainly composed by descendants of Central-European immigrants, is the main location of the National Festival of Beer, one of the most important festivities in the Country, but also of the Festivity of the Viennese Pastry, the Festivity of the Alpine Chocolate and many others.
The multiplicity of landscapes offers the ideal location for the practice of nature or adventure tourism. The wide arrangement of possible activities is a blend of peacefulness, fun and first-quality services. The many water mirrors scattered over this area are ideal for practicing all kinds of nautical sports as well as fishing.
Sierras del Sur: This lands contain several small villages which lay hidden between the Comechingones Mountain Range, with its half-bred Spanish and indigenous origins. Some of which, as the town of Achiras, were born at a crossroads in 1574 and preserved throughout the passing of times, due to its location besides the road to San Luis, Mendoza and San Juan. The Town of Rio de los Sauces, which was founded at the early years of the past century, stands out for the charming beauty of its river. Another town worth visiting is Alpa Corral, or "Stone Corral" as is its name in quechua language.
The Inti Huasi Mountain or the "House of the Sun", has a lot of pictographs which remind us of the ancient aborigines that dwelled in these lands. The Albahacas and the Cachay Mountains are the guardians of these lands, while the locality of Rio Cuarto, situated at the lower flatlands, stands as the most important city at the south of the City of Cordoba.
Its farming and stockbreeding production, its commercial activity and its National University are some of its main characteristics. Rio Cuarto was the seat of the General Borderline Headquarters during the times of the Conquer of the Desert, and it still keeps some reminders of those long gone times.
On general accounts, its weather can be divided in two major areas: the lower zone, constituted by scattered towns mingling with reservoirs, magnificent rivers and a benign climate; and the higher areas of the Sierra de Comechingones, crowning the highest peaks in Cordoba.
There is a well supplied lodging infrastructure, besides campsites and all the commodities and attractions for the benefit of the visitor. This area is pure history, landscape and an invitation for adventure.
Jesuit Compound of Alta Gracia: The UNESCO has declared this place Cultural Patrimony of Mankind.
Museum of Manuel de Falla: The 'Los Espinillos' Chalet, last residence of the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla, who lived here between 1942 and 1946, cherishes some of the belongings of the celebrated music composer, as manuscripts and scores.
The Bosque Alegre Observatory: This astrophysical station is located at an altitude of 1,290 metres above sea level. It includes a mirror telescope 1,45 metres in diameter. It was once the third largest among its pairs in America and the fifth of its kind around the world.
Earth Station of Bosque Alegre: It is a satellite transmitting station, the second of its kind to be built in the Country, with a 32 metre diameter antennae disc. It contains an amphitheatre for the exhibition and screening of documentary films concerning communications.
Los Molinos Reservoir: It was built between the years of 1948 and 1953. It has a total surface of 2,451 hectares, a volume of 399 million cubic metres and a maximum level of 57 metres. Provincial Route 5 winds by the shores of the lake, rewarding all the passers-by with an arrangement of very beautiful scenarios.
Villa General Belgrano: This is a highlander locality with strong resemblances of the Tyrol. The nearby town of Los Reartes is located at the margins of a river with natural resorts and a chapel that was built in the year of 1818. At 42 kilometres from this location stands La Cumbrecita, a mountainous scenery with all kinds of services for the tourist.
Cerro Champaquí Mountain: With its 2,790 m.a.s.l., this is the highest mountain in the Province of Cordoba. The ascent to its summit can be done starting from the nearby Villa Alpina without facing any technical difficulties.
Santa Rosa de Calamuchita: This is an important tourist village crossed by the Santa Rosa River. Its history can be traced back to very ancient times, being its foundation date circa 1575. Inside it is a chapel that was built around the year of 1785.
The tour through Paravachasca starts at the town of Alta Gracia, which is located at only 36 kilometres from the City of Cordoba. It is complemented by several other localities clustered at the shores of the Anisacate River at the eastern skirts of the Sierra Chica Mountain Range. This is the case of the locality of San Clemente and several other towns at the southeastern zones of this river.