A Ride around Tandil`s Centinela Hill

Nature and regional gastronomy join the most varied educational and recreational activities. A site to be visited by the entire family…

The great amount of buses and cars, along with the countless groups of contingents of all ages evidence that the place is one of the most important tourist poles in the city of Tandil.

Various signs contribute to an adventurous atmosphere. “To the old cobble well” one guide says. “Chairlift on the left” asserts another one. But the one announcing the way to Mount Centinela attracts the most visitors.

The Indian Rock

The Centinela is nothing less than a large rock that has been standing on another rock in perfect balance for thousands of years. And the geological curiosity it causes is such that scientists from all round the world have come to try to unveil the causes of this phenomenon.

  • The chairlift up to the coffee-shop

    The chairlift up to the coffee-shop

  • The Centinela

    The Centinela

  • An interesting path

    An interesting path

  • From the heights

    From the heights

Urban legends go that the rock keeps in its interior the last Indian lookout of these hills, who refused to leave when the white man arrived and thus was petrified in front of the city of Tandil, then called Independencia Fort.

It continues to be a story, but if the strategic view of the city obtained from the large rock is taken into consideration, the story seems to have true grounds. Others attribute the formation of the rock to the love shared by two Indians whose families did not wish to see them together; therefore, they died of love petrified opposite what would later become the city.

The truth is that the tour up to the El Centinela rock is irresistible from the beginning. A path crosses a small natural reserve of eucalyptus and pines, and its silence manages to transmit peace to the visitors from the very moment when the stroll begins. “If you speak in a low voice, you will hear the singing of the birds and the whispering of the wind”, a sign reads. And it is true, indeed.

To the Chairlift…

Once the tour is over, on the way back, we are finally deposited in a place in the mount where bonfires and tables wait for visitors at lunch time to enjoy some regional barbecues or typical dishes.

The announcement of a natural spring attracts many looks, while a long row of tourists wait eagerly for the moment to get on the chairlift up to the coffee-shop located on the summit of the mount, from where one of the highest and most beautiful sights of the city of Tandil is caught. Even the presence of a viewpoint permits to enjoy the details of this marvelous city with some magnification, just for a few coins.

The chairlift tour is really a dream. It goes along approximately 1,260 meters passing over pine wood, ancient quarries, lakes with colorful fish and of course the entire mountain range corresponding to the Tandilia system. The large amount of pines were planted one by one by Luis Cerone and all his family, which evidences the love the owners of this place feel for the environment.

As we fly, groups of youths performing recreational activities related to what we know today as adventure travel are observed. According to what the mount authorities retell, the circuit is known as “the adventurer’s path”. The challenge consists in that a group of people may surmount a series of obstacles, which include rappelling, in a 2 ½-hour tour inside the forest. For such purpose, they have compasses and are escorted by a guide.

When we return from the chairlift and once we are back in solid ground, various stalls offer their handicrafts and typical products. The most outstanding are cheese, salami and a variety of dried and salted pork, which constitute some of the handicraft products famous all thorough the country, as well as jams, canned products, alfajores, honey and chocolates, most of which are made in Tandil. Candles, wood and stone ornaments, incense sticks and aromatic essences, as well as local spices, are usually chosen by visitors as souvenirs …

Autor Pablo Etchevers Fotografo Pablo Etchevers

Contact of the excursion or tour

Complejo Cerro El Centinela

Av. Avellaneda 1762 (7000) Tandil, Buenos Aires

Tel: +54 249-4448933 Cel: +54 249-4631510

DurationDuration: All day

Bear in mindBear in mind: El place opens every day from 9.30am till dusk. But the great amount of visitors requires that this place is visited with enough time to spare. Going through this place in a hurry means to miss some spots which are really beautiful.


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