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THE ROAD OF LA PUNILLA

CORDOBA

ARGENTINA

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CORDOBA

THE ROAD OF LA PUNILLA

The La Punilla Valley Cordoba Argentina TravelThe word 'Punilla' comes from the Quechua voice 'puna' (high mountainous lands), name given to the place by the exploring expedition of Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa, who related that during the times preceding the foundation of the City of Córdoba, his men felt somewhat 'apunados'.

Punilla is a large Valley, walled at its eastern side by the Sierras Chicas Ridge and to the West by different ridges that alternate with the plateaus and pampas (steppes) of the Sierras Grandes (as the Pampa de Olaen and the Pampa de San Luis), to the North by the cities of the Cuenca del Sol Basin and to the South by the Road of the Altas Cumbres. The Sierras of Córdoba are one of the greatest tourist targets of the Country.

The Valley has an exceptional weather, beautiful greenery and meandering rivers. Owing to the large numbers of the population within the Valley, its autochthonous flora and fauna can be found in the most mountainous terrains. There are pepper trees, coconut palms, orco quebracho (Schinopsis marginata), country apple trees, carob trees and thorny Espino (Acacia caven) Among the teros in the flatlands live two species of owls; and nearby the many streams it is usual to find herons, wood peckers and oven birds.

A number of settlements have developed in an almost linear pattern over the extension of this Route, in some cases in the form of clusters of smaller towns, within which are located the largest recreational, lodging and complimentary equipment and offering a great choice of qualified services.

SPANISH VERSION
CORDOBA - ARGENTINA
Cordoba Argentina
Cordoba Pictures
Attractions in Cordoba
Adventure Travel in Cordoba
Weather and Climate in Cordoba
How To Get to Cordoba
Transport in Cordoba
Useful Information of Cordoba
The Road of
La Punilla

* Bialet Masse
* Road of the
   Artisans

* Capilla del
   Monte

* Cosquin
* Huerta Grande
* La Cumbre
* La Falda
* San Esteban
* Santa Maria
* Valle Hermoso
* Carlos Paz Ville
* Giardino Ville
La Punilla comprises a very important lodging, gastronomic and service infrastructure, besides the fact of being the seat of renowned festivals among which clearly stands out the Festival Nacional del Folklore, which takes place every year during the month of March at the City of Cosquín.

THE AREA OF LA PUNILLA

The San Roque Lake Cordoba Argentina TravelThe Southern areas of the Valley are the domain of the San Roque Lake and its tributary rivers: the San Antonio River at the South, the Cosquín River at the North and the Los Chorrillos and Las Mojarras streams at the West. Over the southern shores of the Lake lays Cordoba's principal tourist compound: Villa Carlos Paz, a city with more than forty thousand regular inhabitants. This Villa is surrounded by a number of other localities:

-To the South and at the margins of the San Antonio River lay one after another San Antonio de Arredondo, Mayü Sumaj, Icho Cruz, Tala Huasi and Cuesta Blanca.
-To the West of the Lake are located Estancia Vieja, Cabalango, Villa Santa Cruz del Lago, Tanti and Villa Flor Serrana.
-To the North of this water mirror are situated Parque Síquiman, San Roque and Bialet Massé.
Dique  San Roque Dam Station Argentina Travel-At the eastern side of the Lake one arrives to the great wall of the San Roque Dam and the junction with the road to Cordoba by La Calera.

The Road of the La Punilla Valley

Travelling by the Road of La Punilla brings a handful of alternatives devised to satisfy every desire of the tourist.

This area, being as it is surrounded by mountain ridges, is one of the most required zones by those fans of climbing. The Los Gigantes Mountain is an impressive massif with an altitude of 2.374 m.a.s.l. It has a shelter at its top for those mountaineers that dare to ascent this peak throughout the year. Its geomorphic configuration allows the practice of trekking as well as all kind of climbing, with the exception of ice escalating.

Above the ridge of the Sierras Chicas stands the Uritorco Mountain within the beautiful scenery of La Toma, a place full of ponds and cascades strewn throughout the course of the La Toma River and close by to the Capilla del Monte. This impressive massif stands at an altitude of 1.950 metres above sea level, and the way to its top is speckled with obstacles, presenting an ample variety of typical plant species of this region. This mountain conveys a lot of visitors due to the popularity that was brought by the tales about some near encounters with extra-terrestrials that have taken place here.

Every year this place is subject to a massive peregrination by youngsters from all around the Country aiming to reach its top, also reachable by cable car.

Within this area are also located the Pajarillo and the Pan de Azúcar (1.250 m.a.s.l.) Mountains, both of which, standing nearby Cosquín, are also good subjects for being climbed off.

Other points of interest for the visitor are: Los Terrones, a red sandstones formation from the tertiary era which was eroded by natural causes, is located close to the Capilla del Monte. The Quebrada and the viewing point of Cuchi Corral are near to La Cumbre, a privileged site for practising paragliding and delta wing. The Vaquerías Ravine, declared Natural Reserve of the Province.

Many water streams beautify the landscape: at its northern area, the San Francisco and the Yuspe Rivers, tributaries of the Cosquin River. By the South flows the San Antonio River which, along with the Las Mojarras and Los Chorrillos Streams gives birth to the San Roque Lake. This large water mirror is a perfect place in which to practise nautical sports and fishing. It ends up in a huge 45 metres high wall.

At the shores of this Lake, situated at 36 kilometres distance from the City of Córdoba, stands the locality of Villa Carlos Paz, "The Pearl of La Punilla", an all-year-round pole of attraction for youngsters from all over the Province due to the nocturnal life by which this place is renowned, along with some other nearby small villages and settlements as San Antonio de Arredondo, Icho Cruz, Cuesta Blanca and Tanti, furnished with some of the most exquisite beach resorts for younger people.

Cosquín, Huerta Grande, Capilla del Monte, Valle Hermoso and Bialet Massé, will appear one after another with the natural beauties they are bestowed of, as well as the water mirrors around them, allowing the traveller to discover its treasures within their highlander landscapes.

There are also to be mentioned the picturesque localities of La Falda, Villa Giardino, La Cumbre, Cruz Chica, Cruz Grande and Los Cocos.

Punilla is the locality with the greatest tourist services offer in the Province: beach resorts, restaurants that are available to every budget, ample lodging capacity, cabins, campsites and houses for rent.

Advices
Some tours on vehicle are able to be performed in a peaceful way from any given point of La Punilla:

- From Tanti, driving over a dirt road, a plateau or 'pampa de altura' can be reached, from where the Los Gigantes Mountain (at 2.374 m.a.s.l.) can be seen lying to the West at the far distance. Along the route can be found the El Alto Hotel with its coffee shop and the Cerro Blanco Ranch, wherein all the adventure activities for tourists can be performed. The road continues from this point on either in direction of Traslasierra or to the Jesuit's Ranch of La Candelaria.

Northward to the Lake and before arriving to Cosquín appears the magnificent view of the Punilla Valley and the Sierra Chica in all its splendour, within which stands out the peculiar shape of the Pan de Azúcar Mountain (1.260 m.a.s.l.).

Further north, several beautiful localities that will embellish the most demanding travellers are aligned as beads in a necklace: Molinari, with access to the Olaen Waterfall; Valle Hermoso, with its science museum that both teaches and amazes its visitors; La Falda, containing museums and with easy access to adventure circuits for all tastes.

Northern still spread the peaceful Huerta Grande; Villa Giardino, the 'little garden' of Punilla; La Cumbre offering such activities as paragliding and delta wings along with its exquisite regional flavours. Between Villa Giardino and La Cumbre the traveller can take a circuit, filled with passion and ideas, that runs parallel to the Route 38: 'El Camino de los Artesanos', eight kilometres among ceramists, cook masters, masters in the art of working on iron and wood, experts in healing with medical herbs and many other marvels.

Cruz Chica and Los Cocos have a micro-climate that could have been extracted from Central Europe. One after another small locality will appear along this northbound route, always towards the sun.

San Esteban, Dolores and the exotic Capilla del Monte with the Uritorco Mountain as its eternal guardian will appear in rapid succession. Between Capilla del Monte and the southern La Cumbre lays a small circuit which allows the visitor to grab the core of the local culture, its people and their works.

And more to the north the road forks into new destinations, San Marcos Sierras and its people are dying to share their home-made honey, Charbonier is the doorway to the ancient caves of Ongamira and Los Terrones, and to the north, always to the north, the Cuenca del Sol is waiting for your visit… but that is a different story.

REFER TO THE MAP

CAPILLA DE LA CALERA - CHAPEL
Built in the year of 1727 by the Jesuits, who obtained great profits from the natural amounts of lime (hence its name, as 'cal' means lime in Spanish), an essential material for constructing all the buildings in the Town.

MOLINO VIEJO - OLD MILL
Facing the Chapel, Father Noble Canelas built a water powered grain mill. Nowadays can be seen the main building, a millstone and several remnants of the old channel.

USINA VIEJA OR MOLET
Built in 1903 as a hydrocarbon factory, it was purchased in 1907 by the Electrical Company of Córdoba but was replaced soon afterwards for the new Central San Roque, located at few kilometres distance from the great wall of the homonymous dam.

DIQUE SAN ROQUE - RESERVOIR
Ended in 1904, it has a capacity of 350 million cubic metres, and an outflow 35,30 metres high. This reservoir replaced the one constructed between 1885 and 1891 by the engineers Cassaffousth, Bialet Massé and Dumesnil and it became for a while the biggest of its kind around the world.

HORNO DE LA "PRIMERA ARGENTINA" - FURNACE
This furnace constituted a part of the establishment propriety of Doctor Juan Bialet Massé, where the lime used in the construction of the San Roque Dam was produced.

CAPILLA SAN JOSE -CHAPEL
This Chapel was built between 1721 and 1745. It has porticos with registers and each beam on the inside has been decorated with ribbons, circles and a human face as main motif.

CAPILLA SAN ANTONIO - CHAPEL
It was built between 1714 and 1735 and recently refurbished. Its interior shelters a 'Cristo de la Agonía' from the Cusco School. It can be visited all day long.

CAPILLA Y CASCADA DE OLAEN - CHAPEL AND WATERFALL
This chapel from the year of 1750 was a part of the ranch and other belongings that the Bishop Salguero y Cabrera donated in 1760 to support the San Roque Hospital. The key has to be previously asked for in order to visit it. The waterfall adds to the beauty of the scenery.

HOTEL EDEN
After finishing its construction in 1895 over the remains of the ranch named alike, its proprietors promoted it around Europe. Thus it conveyed many famous and distinguished visitors, as Einstein, Arturo Toscanini and Sara Bernhardt among other celebrities for several decades. Although it is presently being refurbished, it can be actually visited by the public.

DIQUE LA FALDA - RESERVOIR
This water mirror is located at the west of La Falda City and has a total surface of about 15 hectares. It constitutes an attractive pole for recreation and water sports.

CUCHI CORRAL
This is the place where the former Chapel of Cuchi Corral was sited. At the west of it lays El Mirador with its platform for delta wing gliding towards the ample valley of Rio Pintos

DIQUE SAN JERONIMO - RESERVOIR
This is a small and picturesque reservoir built to provide potable water to the locality of La Cumbre.

CRISTO REDENTOR
This is an 8 metre high statue erected above the highest mountain near La Cumbre. On the way to the hilltop where it stands the so called Via Crucis has to be done, whose 'stations' allow the sighting of a rich landscape.

CAPILLA DE DOLORES - CHAPEL
Constructed between 1731 and 1785 and very well preserved, its pulpit and its doors are made of carved carob tree wood. It contains a carved image of the Virgen de los Dolores that goes back to the days of its foundation. It can be visited during daytimes.

CERRO URITORCO - MOUNTAIN
With its 1950 m.a.s.l. it is the highest peak of the Sierra Chica Ridge. Reaching its top is an easy though interesting exercising.

LOS TERRONES
This is a conglomerate of red sandstones with capricious shapes sculpted by the natural eroding agents. It assembles an impressive sight with the occasionally appearing river

SAN MARCOS SIERRAS
An ancient settlement that was built after these lands became repossessed by an indigene community. The region, encrusted between mountain ranges and two rivers, contains a rich vegetation and is a prestigious honey producer of the Province. It has a chapel that was built between 1671 and 1677 and enlarged in 1734 with a very ancient image of the saint patroness and a hydraulic mill of the past century.

DIQUE EL CAJON - RESERVOIR
Located at 3,5 kilometres from Capilla del Monte, this dam has a 42 metres high wall. It is located in the old road of Cajón del Río and it is ideal for fishing and many other non-motorized nautical activities.

 


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