A Traveler’s Guide to Córdoba, Argentina
Córdoba is both a provincia (province) and a ciudad (city) in Argentina.
This beautiful Argentinian city is the country’s second most populated one, following the capital, Buenos Aires. It is home to delicious recipes such as albóndigas a la cordobesa (Cordobese meatballs), and incredible alfajores—just to name a couple.
Córdba has spectacular places to see and activities to do. From relaxing strolls under the trees in La cañada—one of Cordoba’s seven wonders—to an unforgettable visit to the elegant Palacio de Ferreyro.
If you are eager to learn more about this Argentinian city and province, join me as I explore Córdoba, Argentina.
FUN FACT: Los cordobeses (people from Córdoba) have a tonada característica (characteristic tone), which Argentines recognize easily since it does not sound like any other Argentinian way of speaking. It might come from two indigenous tribes that inhabited the region before the colony.
Where Is Córdoba Province?
La provincia de Córdoba (the province of Córdoba) is one of 23 Argentine provinces. Córdoba is part of la región centro (the central region) of Argentina, alongside the provinces of Santa Fe, and Entre Ríos—the three of them are in the heart of la pampa argentina.
As you can see in the Córdoba map below, the three provinces are highlighted in green. Córdoba is the one to the left, in the center of Argentina.
The Weather in Córdoba
To talk about a whole province’s weather might be tricky. That’s why in this section I’ll tell you about the weather in Córdoba, but sticking to the city only.
The city of Córdoba experiences its highest temperatures between December and February, with January being the hottest month. The average maximum temperature in January is 85°F (29.5°C), whereas the average minimum temperature during that month is 63°F (17.5°C.)
On the other hand, July is the harshest month of the Australian winter. In Córdoba, the average maximum temperature then is 63°F (17.5°C), and the minimum average temperature is 39°F (4°C). It can get pretty chilly and temperatures can drop below those numbers.
All in all, the best time to visit Córdoba—and Argentina in general—has to be between October (spring) and April (fall.) This, of course, depends on your interests too.
What Does Córdoba Produce?
Córdoba is an important Argentinian region. They are great producers of:
|beef||la carne de res, de buey, de vaca|
|chevon||la carne de cabra|
|mutton||la carne de oveja|
|peanuts||el maní, el cacahuate, el cacahuate, las manías|
|pork||la carne de cerdo|
|soy||la soya, la soja|
There is also a big industrial sector in Córdoba, especially the automobile sector. In 2021 they have produced more than 80,000 cars!
The History of Córdoba
Two indigenous tribes inhabited Córdoba, the hênîa and the kâmîare, who people refer vulgarly to as los comechingones. In 1543, Spanish conquistador Diego de Rojas was the first person to explore Córdoba. He started his trip from Cusco but died of an arrow wound.
Córdoba was eventually conquered and it was part of La Provincia del Tucumán (Tucumán’s province) in el virreinato del Perú (Viceroyalty of Perú).
On June 6, 1573, Spanish conquistador Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera y Toledo founded the city under the name of Córdoba de La Nueva Andalucía—which would make sense since Córdoba is also a city in the southern autonomous community of Andalucía, in Spain.
Peru’s viceroy ended up decapitating Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera because he disobeyed his orders, founding Córdoba south to the jurisdiction he had given him.
In 1776, Córdoba moved from the viceroyalty of Perú to the viceroyalty of El Río de la Plata.
The Current City of Córdoba and Its Seven Wonders
Despite its rich and antique history, Córdoba is quite a modern city nowadays, as you would expect. You can find a ton of interesting things, amongst museums, cinemas, famous landmarks, delicious restaurants, and hotels. Let’s check them out!
FUN FACT: Local newspaper, La Voz del Interior organized a competition between May and September in 2008 to determine las siete maravillas de Córdoba (Córdoba’s seven wonders), which they divided into natural and artificial ones.
1. La Iglesia de Los Capuchinos
La Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús or as Cordobeses call it, La iglesia de los capuchinos (the Capuchins’ church) is in the center of Córdoba. It has an amazing neo-gothic style and a 230 foot long (70 m) tower that represents the soul that ascends into heaven. Its tall roofs and peaceful and silent inside will make you feel deep respect and tranquility.
Argentines took 8 years to build this majestic church, which is the first wonder of Córdoba. They started building it in 1926 and finished it in 1934.
2. La Cañada de Córdoba
La cañada de Córdoba is a crossover that crosses a stream that cordobeses also call simply la cañada. This is a gorgeous stroll next to the homonymous stream under the shadow of beautiful tipas—a South American tree under the scientific name of tipuana tipu, which, between November and December bloom beautiful yellow flowers. A nice breather within Argentina’s second busiest city. The whole cañada is 4.31 mi (6.9 km.)
Andrés Jiménez de Lorca started building la cañada in 1671 in a much more primitive way. Cordobeses took care of it in 1944 and started building it in a much modern way to avoid the stream flooding the city all over again.
Between 1944 and 1948 cordobeses built la cañada with 50 ft (15m) of width and 18 bridges to cross from side to side. The length of this first part is 1.55 mi (2.5 km.) Between 1983 and 1991, cordobeses added 3 more bridges and 0.4 mi (700 m). Finally, between 1991 and 1999, they added 5 bridges and 2.36 mi (3.8 km).
5,808 cordobeses voted La cañada de Córdoba as one of the seven wonders of Córdoba and this landed it the second place among its peers.
3. El Camino de las Altas Cumbres
El camino de las altas cumbres (The high mountain road) or as Argentines call it nowadays, la ruta Jorge Raúl Recalde (Jorge Raúl Recalde’s route), or Ruta Provincial 34 (provincial route 34) is a 64 mi (104 km) highway that takes you from Traslasierra Valley to Falda del Carmen.
All good things take time, and this route makes that famous phrase true. Argentines started building this road in 1950 and they didn’t fully finish it up until 2019. This earned its place as Cordoba’s third wonder because of the breathtaking landscapes that only that roadtrip can provide!
Las sierras de los comechingones is a mountain range that promises to be a treat to your eye, and hopefully to your inner self as well.
4. La Catedral
La iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Our Lady of the Assumption Church) is Córdoba’s Cathedral, and Cordobeses considered it as the fourth Córdoba wonder!
Style-wise this beautiful church has nothing to envy about its younger sister, which Cordobeses placed first.
What makes this church amazing is that it has a beautiful baroque style, but also, that it is much older than la iglesia de los capuchinos, almost 400 years older. This Church was born in 1582, but Catholic authorities did not consagrate it until 1706. Its baroque style, it’s neo gothic porch, its bells and statues landed it as fourth on Cordobese wonders, but Argentines in general, thought this church was so beautiful, historical and great that in 1941 they decided to proclaim it Monumento Histórico Nacional (national historic monument).
5. La Manzana Jesuítica
La manzana jesuítica (the Jesuit apple) is a must when visiting Córdoba! UNESCO declared this place a world heritage site in 2000.
This is a compound that includes five buildings:
|Córdoba National University old headquarters||La sede antigua de la Universidad Nacional de Córdoba|
|domestic chapel||la capilla doméstica|
|Montserrat national school||el colegio nacional de Monserrat|
|Society of Jesus’ church||la iglesia de la compañía de Jesús|
Saint Pius V, the Pope, created the Tucumán diocese in 1570. Jesuits arrived there in 1589 and officially established there in 1599. Jesuits started building la manzana jesuítica in 1608, and built the University in 1622. Jesuits built the church and the domestic chapel between 1644 and 1671.
La manzana jesuítica is in the center of Córdoba. Cordobeses considered it the fifth Córdoba wonder. This is because it hosts an important part of Cordobese baroque art!
Ignacio Duarte y Quirós founded El colegio nacional de Monserrat in 1687. This is an Argentine high school in which students still attend today. However, girls were allowed only as of 1998!
6. El Palacio de Ferreyra / Evita Fine Arts Museum
El Museo Superior de Bellas Artes Evita (Evita Fine Arts Museum) is a super cool art museum in Córdoba, within el palacio de Ferreyra (Ferreyra palace)—a beaux arts mansion— which is also one of the seven wonders of Córdoba.
The museum used to be a house to an important cordobese physician, Dr. Martín Ferreyra and they built it between 1912 and 1916. This place was a true palace since it had 60 bedrooms in 4 different levels, as well as 19 bathrooms! It has 51,666 sq ft (4,800 sq m), all of it built with materials that came from France.
It didn’t become a museum until October 17, 2007, and Argentines dedicated 32,300 sq ft (3,000 sq ft) to the museum. It hosts 12 different rooms destined to hold around 500 works including photographs, sculptures, and paintings of famous Argentine artists.
The museum opens from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
7. Los túneles de Taninga
Taninga’s tunnels are a series of five tunnels that start in Taninga, 121 mi (196 km) west of Córdoba, and end in Córdoba. This is the last Córdoba wonder.
Argentines built these tunnels under a mountain to get a better connection between a city they call La Rioja, and Córdoba, back in the 1930s. This highway will take you to the mountain and will make you see different but also astonishing views of the Córdoba province, which hosts more than 161 bird species,24 species of mammals and 30 species of reptiles.
From here, you can access La Reserva Natural Chancaní (Chancaní natural reserve), but mind your car, because this part of the road has not been paved yet. This is one more amazing road trip you can take in Córdoba.
Another Great Place To Know in Córdoba: Nueva Córdoba Quarter
El Barrio Nueva Córdoba (New Córdoba quarter) is one of the best places to stroll through in Córdoba. Cordobeses consider it the center of the city. In this part of the city you can find the beautiful Parque Sarmiento (Sarmiento Park)—the biggest park in Córdoba—with zones in which to camp or practice sports.
More Beauties in Córdoba
Córdoba is an amazing city and it has tons of places to check out! Here are some more:
El parque del chateu (Chateu’s park) provides 14 hectares in which to enjoy yourself, breathing pure air while staying inside the city.
La media legua de oro cultural (half a league of cultural gold)—a stroll with 8 spaces dedicated to art and culture to check out Córdoba on your feet.
If you’re still hungry for more, you can always try la ruta de la tradición (the route of tradition), which is a 4 day and 3 night adventure in which you check out Córdobas’ highlights.
How To Practice Your Spanish in Córdoba?
Practicing Spanish in Córdoba is going to be highly accessible, because it will surround you anywhere you go! Cordobeses will talk to you in their peculiar tone and this can be a little bit confusing at first, but with time you will definitely get used to it.
There are several ways of practicing your Spanish in Córdoba, depending on the details of your trip. For example, if you are visiting as a total tourist, you might be lucky enough to have everything in English.
However, visiting in a more “organic way”, by renting an airbnb, shopping for groceries, and checking out the city on your feet will land you plenty of opportunities to hear that beautiful Argentine tone.
Buy groceries in local supermarkets, go to la carnicería (the butcher’s), and order some meat to prepare yourself an asado, ride the local bus, hop on a taxi, and simply live life like an Argentine would!
FUN FACT: While the word bus or autobus is standard Spanish, Argentines call it el colectivo.
The COVID Situation in Córdoba
Sadly, COVID has entered Argentina and Córdoba and it is affecting people there as well. Keep in mind that, besides taking your passport and plane tickets to enter Argentina, you are going to need a COVID passport, or a document that proves that you have been completely vaccinated. This means one dose of J&J or two doses of any other vaccine, and download the app called Cuidar.
Since some places have been experiencing rises with the new omicron variant, Córdoba is implementing more measures to fight off COVID. These are, at least, from December 27, 2021 to January 4, 2022. Cordobese people are going to cancel or suspend massive events in open and closed, public and private spaces. Recitals, dances, pubs and clubs are also closing and there is going to be a maximum of 300 people in event halls.
PRO TIP: While the word la mascarilla (mask) is neutral Spanish, Argentines call it el barbijo.
Polish Your Spanish Before Heading to Córdoba
Isn’t Córdoba an amazing place? It’s just begging you to visit it! Argentina has many other places to check out as well. Have you ever heard of La Patagonia—an amazing region where glaciers and deserts coexist, Las catarátas del Iguazú—with a drop as big as 262 ft (80m), Buenos Aires—the most “European city” in Latin America, or Ushuaia—the world’s Southernmost city? All of them are in Argentina!
Before you visit this beautiful austral land, it would be wise to travel already knowing some Spanish. Sign up for a free Spanish class today and start learning Spanish before visiting Argentina!
Learning Spanish comes with more perks, though, because it will open the door to more than 20 other countries in 3 different continents such as El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Cuba or Uruguay. It will also decode an immense amount of information on the internet since Spanish is the third most spoken language on the internet. It will also unlock more possibilities even without crossing borders or going online, by letting you speak to over 53,000,000 Spanish speakers in the U.S., and even landing you a much better paycheck to travel to Córdoba and practice your Spanish in real life!
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FUN FACT: If you already know some Spanish, keep in mind that Argentines use el voseo when they talk.
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