Found virtually in the center of Argentina, Cordoba has often taken a second place behind the famed capital of Buenos Aries; many vacationers and Royal Holiday members can attest, however, that this city’s numerous charms, as well as the enchanting countryside surrounding its borders, make it stand well outside the shadow of the country’s prominent capital. Featuring a stunning mix of the old and new, Cordoba also boasts a comfortable climate due to its location within a mountainous region, while its status as a center for Argentinean culture and education has given it unmatched sophistication. Royal Holiday members looking for a city to fall in love with need look no further; Cordoba possesses charms enough for any traveler.
Royal Holiday’s affiliate in the Cordoba region, the Howard Johnson Villa General Belgrano, sits well outside the city, making it the perfect destination for those who wish to explore both the urban center and the rural surroundings. Nestled amongst mountains and rivers, the Calamuchita Valley can be best explored via the Villa General Belgrano, though its comfortable studio rooms will be difficult to leave. With a restaurant and lounge, as well as excellent spa services, tennis court, sauna, and swimming pool, the Villa General Belgrano has it all; the only thing missing, a great golf course, can be found just a short drive away.
Sight-seeing in Cordoba proper can be an exhilarating experience, due in part to the long history of the city. First established by Spanish settlers in the late 1500s, it became most prominent as a center for the Jesuit order in Argentina. By the 19th and 20th century, Cordoba became a frequent destination for European immigrants, especially from Spain and Italy, as well as the center of Argentinean education, with numerous universities locating their campuses in the area. Today, it remains a cosmopolitan and sophisticated city, an excellent destination for the Royal Holiday member looking to soak up South American history and nature in equal measures.
Known for an artistic culture that maintains a small-town atmosphere despite the growing size of the metro area, Cordoba features numerous landmarks that must be seen, the most prominent of which, the Jesuit Block and Estancias, features architecture and landscaping performed over hundreds of years. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Jesuit Block offers an unparalleled glimpse into the past. The colonial period is best epitomized by the imposing Iglesia Catedral, while those looking for more revolutionary fare can take the 45 minute trip to the Casa Che Guevara in nearby Alta Gracia. Museum aficionados will enjoy a day spent at the Emilio Caraffa Provincial Fine Arts Museum, an impressive neoclassical institution, while Royal Holiday members looking for the real story of Cordoba will want to visit the Museo de la Ciudad.
Outside of Cordoba, numerous small cities and villages provide excellent distractions from the city. A 30 minute drive will take one to the exciting parties of Villa Carlos Paz, but Royal Holiday members will already be in the Villa General Belgrano, which features an annual Alpine Chocolate Festival in addition to its year-round scenery. A longer drive will take visitors to Condorito Gorge National Park, which shows off the incredible natural beauty of Argentina.