LOS GIGANTES: Province of Cordoba

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In Argentina, “hay de todo,” there’s a bit of everything, from sea to mountains to desert to glaciers. Even within each province, there is quite a lot of variation. The province of Cordoba is no exception. While generally known for its mountain towns, I was surprised to find over the weekend, a Cordoban landscape completely unique to anything else I’ve seen so far. Check out my local suggestions if you are in Cordoba Capital

Los Gigantes from up above

Our main goal was to hike at Los Gigantes, but the road along the way also had a lot to offer in terms of views, nature, and constant jaw dropping scenery. This area is much more dry and desert-like than the rest of the province. Because we went in the middle of winter (mid-July), it was even drier than usual. But that definitely made for interesting views.

Map of the area: Los Gigantes is to the left, and Tanti is to the right

WHERE TO STAY:

If you take a look at the map above, you’ll see a green flag on the left for Los Gigantes, and several green flags to the right where you’ll find the small town of Tanti. There are just a few spots to sleep closer to Los Gigantes, including the Reserva Cerro Blanco, which sits just 11km (25 minutes) west of the town of Tanti. You can’t see it on the map above, but is situated near the two green flags west of Tanti. Here you can find cabins if you wish to sleep, but you can also pay a small fee to enter the nature reserve area. Unfortunately this was booked up and we did not have the chance to stay there. I suggest making reservations in advance.

Closer to the town of Tanti, you’ll find several more sleeping options. We opted for the CabaƱas Pircas del Campo, which we were very satisfied with. Our cabin cost 7000 pesos per night ($35 USD). Unfortunately it was cold and windy while we were there, so we were unable to take advantage of the swimming pool and BBQ grills on site. This place would be ideal in summer.

As with booking any accommodation in Argentina, I suggest cross checking sites like booking.com with Google Maps and calling directly. Oftentimes you’ll get discounted rates and faster responses by just calling.

WHAT YOU’LL SEE ALONG THE WAY:


Along the dirt road from Tanti to Los Gigantes, you’ll pass through incredible, wide open nature. And, of course, a few crosses on hills, in typical Argentine fashion. We fortunately had our own car, so we were able to stop as needed. I definitely suggest taking your own car if that’s an option.

There are a few very short “mini hikes” up to see the Cerro Blanco, where you can see a small pond between a few big boulders, and a ton of white rocks. You can make a quick stop to see the cross at the Mirador Cerro el Durazno. Several minutes down the road you have the option to make another stop and take photos on top of a few massive boulders just sitting around.

FINAL DESTINATION, LOS GIGANTES:


You can find the start of the Los Gigantes hike at a spot called “Casas Nuevas.” There, you can find information, bathrooms, maps, snacks, and parking (500 pesos). While there is only one main path, the start of the hike can seem a big confusing. Make sure to ask the person working at the office to point you in the right direction. If you’re lucky, there will be others beginning the hike at the same time, and you can just watch where they go. Several people had recommended we get a guide, however, we found it simple enough to go out on our own.

The start of the trail takes you over rocks, surrounded by long yellow weeds blowing in the wind, giving you an “another planet” kind of feeling. After about 15 minutes or so, you’ll begin following the path through massive boulders and rock formations. Los Mogotes is one of the more well known trails in this area. In order to reach this spot, you’ll need to start heading upwards when you see the trail split. Come prepared with spf, water, snacks, a backpack (I love the Cotopaxi convertible tote) but the view at the top will make it all worth it. All in all, we spent about 6 hours wandering around the area, including a couple breaks. I definitely suggest going as early as possible so you can fit in as much as possible before the sun starts to set. There is a lot to see!

SURROUNDING AREA: What to do

Certainly Los Gigantes is the highlight of the area, yet there is a lot more to see and do in the area.

CASCADA LOS CHORILLOS: This is apparently the biggest waterfall in the province of Cordoba. To get here, just head south from the center of Tanti, looking for signs that say “Reserva Natural Privada Cascada Los Chorrillos.” We found the hours on Google Maps to be incorrect. We went on a Monday when it was supposedly closed, only to find it open. Because it’s a private reserve, the entrance is 1800 pesos per person. The path is really well marked, and it’s a fairly easy trail. Only once you start getting closer to the waterfall, are there more exaggerated ups and downs. The trail is 7km each way, for a total of 14km round trip. Therefore, I definitely suggest bringing water, spf, and snacks.

LA OLLA: This little spot is just outside of Tanti’s town center. There isn’t much to do besides take a small walk, drink water, relax in nature, and look at an old bridge with several porticos. But if you’re looking to relax, this is a great place. In summer, I imagine it would be full of people looking to cool off.

CASCADA TANTI: This waterfall is only about 10 minutes from the center of Tanti as well. Once you park the car, it’s an easy walk down, passing through a very cute cafe (see below). On a hot day, this would be an excellent spot to cool off. If you’re interested in more adventuring, follow the trail up and to the left. There is a trail that goes along the river, through the trees, and supposedly to another water at Piedras Lisas. We arrived a bit before sunset, so unfortunately we were not able to reach the last waterfall. However, what we did see was really peaceful and calm.

MOCAMBO PARADOR: This cafe/restaurant is a fantastic outdoor space with a patio, overlooking the river, with a view of the waterfall. They have beer, cocktails, food options, and of course the standard Argentine cafe options.

Mocombo Parador

WHAT YOU’LL SEE:


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