Getting to Córdoba
We took the bus from port du iguazu to Córdoba and were a little shocked how expensive it would be. It cost is the equivalent of £80 and took less than 24 hours (the same journey would’ve cost us between £30-40 in south east Asia) but the bus was actually really nice. It was like (what we imagined) being on the Argentina bus version of emarites… they even gave us blankets, a pillow, dinner and breakfast!
Simple things please most travellers!
The bus station was less than 30minutes walk to our hostel so once off the bus we loaded our rucksacks onto our back and used preloaded google maps to find out way. The area just outside the bus station isn’t the nicest but after a 5 minute walk your on some of the main streets of the residential area of Córdoba.
What is there to do in Córdoba?
We stayed in the residential area because it was a lot cheaper than the old, more tourist orientated centre.
The hostel was on the upper floor of a two story building and once we’d been buzzed inside the main gate the building could only be described as classic. It really was beautiful and old.
The paint work and furnishings were a little shabby but the windows were in their original frames and the ceilings were high.
There was even a little roof top bbq area above the communal kitchen to give it more of a hostel vibe.
I went for a little run around the residential area in the late afternoon and found the river running alongside the city.
There are parks and paths that run alongside the river and the whole city is broken up by canals running throughout.
This part of town could be made beautiful as there are lots of plazas just off of the main streets but it seemed to be created just to be a main high street, used by the town, rather than somewhere for tourists to visit. It had a much more realistic vibe than the more popular old town/ arty area.
Old town / arty area
We walked to this area from our hostel in about 20 minutes. We passed a few parks and pretty buildings along the way but once we arrived at the old part of town they became almost spectacular.
We had trouble looking for cars as we crossed the roads because the details of the architecture on the buildings were so interesting to look at!
Unfortunately this was pretty short lived because the whole area takes about 30 minutes to cover on foot. Once passed here you get back to the more high street style buildings and roads that appear everywhere.
We’d only been in Argentina for a few days so wanted to get a taste for the night life in the second main city: Córdoba. In anticipation we walked to the main bar street earlier during the day to see if it was in walking distance and what the route would be like (it was fine), went for dinner and bought a bottle of wine to drink back at the hostel.
We’d read online that Argentinians go out quite late at night so waited until 11pm to leave our hostel and walk to the bar street. When we arrived at 11.45pm all of the bars were still really empty. In Asia (and the UK) most people go to bars around 10pm before going to a club around midnight so we were surprised by what we saw.
At midnight people were just ordering pizzas for dinner in the bar whilst leah and I had already finished a bottle of wine at the hostel and had moved onto cocktails. We asked one girl what time the bars go busy and she said 2am! 2am! That’s just the bars, people don’t even move onto the clubs until gone 4am!
We knew there was no way that we could make it until that time in the morning so finished our cocktails and walked to find a busier bar for a few hours before calling it a night. We ended up in a run down pool bar which was actually pretty fun.
We clearly stood out as we entered because the bouncer on the door told us to come find them if we needed anything but we didn’t have any trouble at all! Well except from when we tried to order a drink.
We didn’t realise that you had to pay at the till first and give the receipt to the bar staff before getting your drink so ended up waiting at the wrong queue for a little while before we were told.
The alternative music wasn’t exactly to my taste but the pool tables and shabby decor added to the appeal. Although we left after a few hours it gave us hope that once we synced our sleeping patterns to what we now call ‘Argentina time’ we’d actually have lots of good nights out!
A short bus ride from Córdoba is a little town called Alta Gracia. The town is made famous by the Che Guevara museum in his old home but the town has lots more to offer.
We started by walking to the main square and were given a tourist map as well as an in depth explanation of everything in the area by the really friendly women in the tourist office in the old bell tower.
After this we visited the old church that was in the town centre as well as taking a self guided tour around one of the old homes. The latter was really interesting because there were English explanations of the history of the house and what each room has been used for during various periods.
Next we used the map from the tourist office, as well as our adopted dog tour guide to find old house of Che Guevara. It took about 15mjnutes to walk to from the main centre and we left out little friend outside in the shade whilst we went for a look around the museum.
The musuem of Che Guevara was really interesting! On entering we were provided with a leaflet in English with information corresponding to the individually themed rooms. Although the whole exhibition is written in spanish using the leaflet we were able to learn about Che Guevara’s birth in rosario to his death in Bolivia many years afterwards.
We spent lunch in a park nearby where lots of locals were having bbqs and walked bus to the bus stop to head back to Córdoba- leaving our little dog friend (now named ‘trouble’) to be a guide for the next lot of tourists.
Getting to Rosario
From Che Guevara’s childhood home we went back in time as we took the overnight bus to his birth town: Rosario.
For many Argentinians Rosario has become the birthplace of great men ranging from Che Guevara in the 1928 to Messi in 1987.
What is there to do in Rosario?
Che Guevara’s birthplace
The house where Che Guevara was born is tucked down a side street in the centre of town. Many tourists make a pilgrimage to his first front door but that’s as far as they get. The house is privately owned tourists are not allowed inside.
There are a few museums dotted around Rosario ranging from contemporary art to the history of the town. Most have only spanish explanations so they’re a good start to practise your spanish!
There’s a pathway which links back up to the town via the main shopping streets which are lined with shops, supermarkets and restaurants.
There’s a wide variety of food to be eaten in Rosario ranging from vegetarian per kilo cafes to Mexican and traditional Argentinian restaurants. The vegetarian and vegan options take a little hunting for but you’re rewarded on the first bite… Especially when guacamole’s involved!
There’s also lots of cafes and ice cream parlours along the side streets which give you huge portions for low prices and don’t rush you out.