Don't Skip Cordoba
"This City Gets a Bad Rap"
We spent a month in Argentina, and while there the locals would often engage us in a conversation about our itinerary. Invariably when we told them we were spending 5 days in Cordoba, their response would be "Why?" Since our plane and hotel reservations were already set, we went anyhow. I can now tell you they were wrong. Cordoba was extremely interesting and we were not lacking for anything to do. We spent two days out of town on side trips, which only left 3 days to see Argentina's second largest city. One side trip was spent going North up the Punilla valley, and the other was going South to Villa General Belgrano via Alta Gracia. This leg was the more interesting. Alta Gracia is the childhood home of the revolutionary, Che Guevara, and has a well preserved mission/estancia. Belgrano is a community of largely German descent that looks in many ways like it was plucked from Bavaria and set down here.
Cordoba is filled with remnants of the old Spanish colonial culture. San Martin square is in the heart of it all. The church, the cabildo, and the university are all around this area. Don't miss the little museum, the Casa del Virrey Marquis Sombremonte. It is a house from the colonial period that is about 2 blocks off of the square, and is seldom visited. It is a great peek into life for the well connected during that period. But Cordoba is a modern city too. There are two malls within 10 blocks of each other. One is a multi-floor galleria type, I think called OH, and the other is out next to the Hilton Hotel. The one by the Hilton is similar to our shopping malls in the USA.