Last year we didn’t manage to go to Cura Brochero and Mina Clavero, because the Summer was cold and rainy. This year we planned out trip for the end of February.
We had to change a bit the date due to a storm in that region. It turned out to be the last week of the season. Later everything was closed until next Summer.
This year we stayed at a place where Martin used to stay with his family every year. It is a guest house or hotel, family run, close to the town center. The owner is a nice woman who was ready to help with anything.
The place itself looked really nice. I liked how they made a “roof” with grapes vines. Everything was clean and tidy. We stayed there for two nights with the idea to spend one day in Cura Brochero, and another one in Mina Clavero.
Cura Brochero is a small town (around 6000 inhabitants) named after an Argentinian Saint – Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero. He is also famous as a “Gaucho priest” or a “Cowboy priest”. He was known to travel long distances on a mule.
Cura Brochero took a special care of poor and sick people. He was taking care of sick people during the epidemic of cholera in 1867.
People in Argentina, and especially in the province of Cordoba, admire this saint. Every year they walk across the Altas Cumbres mountains by 16 of March to celebrate the feast of Brochero.
The town has a church of Nuestra Señora del Tránsito y Santo Cura Brochero with the remains of the saint Cura Brochero. People come to this church to ask for help with their health, and just to show their respect and admiration to Cura Brochero.
Beside religious part of the travel, there is a nice place to swim. The town has a mountain river called Panaholma with an artificial pool. Last time when we were there, the river was low, so there was not much place to swim. This time we came a couple of days after storm, and the river was high enough.
One of Argentina’s national sweets is Alfajores. They are sandwich-cookies with a filling in between. Usually the filling is dulce de leche or fruit jam. Different places across Argentina have their own versions of Alfajores. Cura Brochero is no exception.
There is a tiny family run shop where they sell home made Alfajores and pastelitos (pastry with jam mostly). Martin has been buying them there every time when he and his family visited the area. This time was no exception. So far these were the the most tasty that I tried.
Nono is even a smaller town with only 1229 inhabitants. Its name comes from quechua lenguage, originally was ñuñu and means breasts. The place got its name after the two hills nearby (Los Nonos) that rise on the opposite bank of the Los Sauces river.
The river is super shallow. It is good for children, even babies. The water level does not reach knees, when the river is low. But of course, since it is a mountain area, in rainy times the river grows high and wide.
After walking in the river we had a mAte at its bank, enjoying the view, the weather and various birds.
Later we went to the town center. It was empty due to siesta time.
It was very hot, and there was not much shadows. I liked a lot the architecture and colors of buildings.
This is one of things I love the most about South America.
After a couple of hours in Nono we went further to our third destination in this trip.
Mina Clavero is a small city named after a mountain river. In 2019 this river was recognized as one of 7 natural miracles of Argentina. It accumulates several mighty streams that descend from the mountains.
The area is very popular among Argentinians for vacations. The river has 14 km of sandy and rocky beaches. The particularities of this region makes it a perfect place for trekking, horseback riding, ATV excursions and 4×4 crossings on different mountain roads with different levels of difficulty.
Back in 2018 we swam in the part of the river with an artificial pool. This time we went to the place called “The Eagle’s Nest”, and it was quite an experience.
Basically, it is a part of the river in the middle of a cliff. It takes a while to reach the river, the path is rocky, so make sure to have good shoes if you decide to visit it. The sun was strong, it was hot, and we craved for swimming.
When we reached the destination, I was shocked. There was a cliff of 25 meters, from where people jumped into water!!! They jumped from lower places, too, but that one was just too much for me.
We were watching those crazy ones who jumped. Sometimes it took a long time for someone to brace themselves and jump. I was happy to just swim along the river. Water was super cold. Super. Cold. But also crystal clear.
We swam to a little cave and decided to go into it. It was short and had an exit to a small (well, define small) waterfall. The current of the river was strong. I barely walked, fighting it just to stay in a vertical position.
We went to the waterfall, had fun standing under it, and then found out that we cannot come back. There was a stone, blocking the way, and I could not get on it to get out of the water. Martin managed to do it, but he could not take me out. Once my feet were off the bottom, I got swiped off with the current. It was sucking my legs under that stone and me under water.
It was scary. I am not this type of a person to do extreme sports or swimming. I don’t even jump in the water, even in a pool. This was a stressful situation.
In the end we had to climb all the way up those stones and cliffs to get back to the place where we entered the river. It was enough adventures for that day, so we just swam a bit more to relax and then went back on the road.
In one of our previous posts I wrote about the road across Altas Cumbres. It was amazing! the most epic place for mAte so far. We enjoyed a lot the whole trip, the views, the rivers, food, mountains – everything. If you ever get into this part of Argentina, we highly recommend you to visit these place.