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Central Mountains Route

Córdoba, La Rioja, San Juan, San Luis

In the heart of Argentina, the Central Mountains Route invites you to discover astounding landscapes, combining relaxation and adventure.

This route will amaze you with crystalline water streams, forest covered mountains, lagoons full of flamingos, desert landscapes and charming villages that invite you to relax or embark on various activities such as hiking, climbing, rappelling, horseback riding, bird watching and astrotourism.

This route will amaze you with crystalline water streams, forest covered mountains, lagoons full of flamingos, desert landscapes and charming villages that invite you to relax or embark on various activities such as hiking, climbing, rappelling, horseback riding, bird watching and astrotourism.

Discover

If your destination is Córdoba, you can set out from Villa Carlos Paz to visit the Punilla Valley, from Mina Clavero to visit Traslasierras or from Villa General Belgrano to reach the Calamuchita Valley. If your destination is San Luis, its capital city is a good starting point to travel around the province.

From Córdoba northwards. The traditional Punilla Valley, which stretches northwards from Villa Carlos Paz, is home to more than 30 tourist cities with good infrastructure and connections, where you can practice trekking, horseback riding and paragliding. Two other fascinating attractions in the area are the imposing Mar Chiquita Lagoon, with its natural richness and wide variety of bird species, and Salinas Grandes, a not-so-well-known but jaw-dropping salt flat sitting very close to San José de las Salinas.

 

From Córdoba westwards. This area will amaze you with the landscapes surrounding the scenic route that crosses the highest peaks in the province (Altas Cumbres) through Pampa de Achala (Provincial Route 34), Quebrada del Condorito National Park and the charming little villages, rivers and streams that make up the Traslasierras Valley. If you are looking for something different, you can explore Pocho and Chancaní volcanoes and the Taninga tunnels.

 

From Córdoba southwards. The Calamuchita Valley is characterized by the influence of Central European culture and cuisine, and a landscape featuring great lakes, where nautical activities predominate. This area boasts beautiful streams, rivers and mountains, and the most accessible trails to reach the peak of Champaquí Mountain. The more than 20 cities and towns that make up the valley offer attractions all year round, whether it is a beach where you can relax or a popular party like the National Beer Festival.

 

San Luis. With great land connections and asphalt-paved roads, San Luis Capital City is very close to Potrero de los Funes and the province’s Central Mountains. To the northeast, you can reach Villa de Merlo and the Comechingones Corridor, almost on the border with the province of Córdoba. Just 124 km away, you can immerse yourself into a completely different landscape in the Sierra de las Quijadas National Park, with its deep red deserts and a large natural amphitheatre.

How to get there and move around

The cities of Córdoba and San Luis are the main gateways to the region, receiving flights from different parts of the country. There are some flights to Río Cuarto (Córdoba) too.

 

The most populated cities in the region have bus stations and there are several companies that operate in both provinces. Some of them offer tours with stops at the most popular attractions.  

 

Most roads are asphalt-paved, but some of those leading to natural sites may be dirt or consolidated gravel roads, which may become impassable under heavy rain conditions. Always check before you travel. 

 

Where to stay

The region offers a wide range of accommodation options that include different categories of hotels, cottages, rural properties, campsites and even mountain refuges.

 

When to go

You can visit this region all year round. From December to March, its streams and beach resorts receive a lot of visitors. Between June and September, fog and/or snow may occur in the highest areas. Be careful.

Remember

Given the current health context, it is recommended that you find out the entry requirements of the province you are visiting in advance. Some attractions may have capacity limits and require prior reservation.

 

If you are travelling by car, drive carefully as the roads in this region have many curves and counter curves with precipices. When you get out of the car or off the bus at a viewpoint or inn on the side of the road, be careful when crossing.

 

Check the road condition in each city or town. Some are only suitable for 4x4.

 

Bring comfortable clothes, supplies and water for the excursions and activities. You will also need heavy and waterproof clothing in the highest areas.

 

Pay close attention when following mountain trails, as it is easy to get lost. It is recommended to do these excursions with a guide.

 

Be extremely careful when lighting a fire. Only do it in areas where it is allowed and make sure to put it out completely before leaving. 

 

Always leave the garbage in baskets or authorized places. If you cannot find them, put your trash in bags and take them with you.

 

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