We visited the Camino Real Inn, a magical place in the core of the Córdoba mountain range, ideal to enjoy the charm of history and the surrounding beauty
We received an invitation to be estancia
owners for one day. It was really tempting, especially considering that we would be visiting an ancient estancia
located on the road used by the European conquerors to travel from the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata to Peru. No wonder this rural venue is called Posada Camino Real
(Royal Road Inn).
The cloudless sky and the bright sunshine promised an ideal day to get in touch with the greenness of the Córdoba mountain range. Without hesitating, we left the capital city and, after traveling along approximately 70 kilometers, we came across the rural shell.
Like in the Days of the Viceroy
From the very entrance, one can notice that the place has been specially designed to enjoy nature and the charm of history. Only five minutes away from the inn, stands the Santa Catalina Jesuit estancia. This is the most formidable church in the famous circuit of Córdoba which still remains in the hands of the descendants of Francisco Antonio Días, who acquired it in 1774. It was recently declared World Heritage by the UNESCO.
We were welcomed by the owners, Cecilia and Antonio, who along with a troop of faithful members of the staff assist guests and make them feel at home.
The pink shell is unveiled among rivers and springs, poplars, walnut trees and eucalyptus. In the middle, stands the modest swimming-pool -ideal to be refreshed on hot days- and the rooms that make up the inn are laid out around it. At present, the venue can accommodate 24 guests who can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, golfing or horseriding.
We visited the farm, the pens, the orchard and the stable, where the horses were already saddled to go out along the winding paths, across hills and creeks, towards Ongamira, Altos del Río Pinto, Cañadón Rojo, the condor nests or wherever the riders would head for.
A Stay in the Past
Cecilia Nores, the owner, told us everything about the history of the place. “This land was originally dwelled by the comechingones and the sanavirones. It includes sites of artistic, historical and architectural interest, such as Candonga, Ischilín, Ongamira and Mount Colorado, where men created their own cultural wonders. Staying at Posada Camino Real, visitors may tour around one of the most beautiful cultural cores in Latin America and also visit the traditional Santa Catalina Jesuit estancia.”
Afterwards, we entered the inn shell. An exquisite decoration, the crackle of the firewood and the smell of baked bread would create a very special atmosphere. Everything at the inn seems to happen spontaneously, but in fact, every detail has been carefully planned.
Cecilia and Antonio have great fun assisting guests and their freshness is transmitted to them immediately. They told us that ambassadors, historians, footballers and even an austronaut were guests at the inn. A friendly conversation took longer than expected and it was soon time for lunch.
Meals are special moments at the inn. The chefs have succeeded in finding the perfect balance between international palates and the delight of the criollo and traditional cuisine.
“Vegetables that have just been cut from the orchard are the secret of all good cooking” asserted our hostess as she invited us to the table. “And there is nothing better than eating in the company of some quiet melody and a glass of good wine” indicated Antonio, as he was choosing the perfect bottle for the occasion among the wines of their select cellar.
We recommend the homemade ravioli, stuffed with chicken breast and nuts, covered in mushroom sauce. A real delight for the palate and an explosion of color, aroma and taste for all senses. For dessert, the citrus cheese cake, with a base of poppy biscuit with berry sauce is a pleasure.
The asados, lamb and goat roasted in the metal cross are a must.
When the Sun Sets
After lunch, we toured around the lawn populated by green vegetation and ancient trees, as we beheld the quietness of the mountain range. At Posada Camino Real, there is also space for typical games such as sapo, which help guests spend a wonderful stay. Lovers of wildlife may go on real photographic safaris. Rides on sulky are also available for guests to imagine they are the conquerors of the old days carrying mules and fabrics to the Potosí mines.
Tea-time surprised us with homebaked cakes, scones and brownies. The orange sunset beams indicated that the day was coming to an end. Feeling very grateful, we bade farewell to our hosts. We had visited a classical ancient estancia, where history and nature are perfectly combined to preserve the mysticism of the lands of the Jesuit estancias.
Where to Sleep: Posada Camino Real has comfortable facilities and can accommodate 24 guests: comfortable rooms with private bathroom, a room for multiple uses, a swimming-pool, quincho, asador. Stay includes maid service, laundry, bar, heating, satellite television and restaurant.
How to get here: Leaving the City of Córdoba, access Avenida Circunvalación (the beltway avenue) and take the slip-road leading to the picturesque village of Jesús María. Enter Northern National Route 9 and drive along 48 kilometers. Take the detour into Route E-66 and travel 23 kilometers along the detour to Santa Catalina. Excellent sign posts will indicate the remaining distance to final destination.
Bear in mind: Lovers of polo and golf may enjoy intense practice a few kilometers from Posada Camino Real, as this venue stands among the best circuits of these specialties in the Province of Córdoba. Remember to ask for a session of relaxing body and face massage.
Independencia 174, (5000) , Córdoba, Córdoba
Tel: +54 351-4245341