Land of quartz, myths and mountain herbsCapilla del Monte receives travelers throughout the year, attracted by the stories of UFOs, the mysterious lights that are usually seen in the sky of this area of ​​Córdoba and the famous energy of Cerro Uritorco.

In it Punilla Valley and with 1,979 metersUritorco is the highest peak in the Sierras Chicas chain and means “Male Hill” in the Quechua language.

In the middle of dense vegetation, between slopes and lagoons, many tourists come to the place, challenging the enigmas and eager for spectacular landscapes and unforgettable walks in the middle of nature.

From the summit you can see a panoramic view of Capilla del Monte, the El Cajón dam and, if the weather permits, even the Salinas Grandes of Cordoba.

In the property’s sweet shop you pay a entry registration which varies depending on the type of excursion chosen: day, night or overnight. As you gain altitude, different posts appear, inviting you to rest, such as Silencio, Quebrada del Viento or Valle de los Espíritus.

“There is a large percentage of travelers who come to trek in the mountains, but there are also many people who bring expectations about the phenomenon and the mystery of which there is so much talk, for see some light… At the same time, they seek to connect with themselves, to feel the energy of the place, since there is a lot of quartz and minerals,” they point out from Cerro Uritorco.

Trekking on Cerro Uritorco.  Photo Charli ParrillaTrekking on Cerro Uritorco. Photo Charli Parrilla

According to Clarín, “in general, those who take night walks say that they see some light or something strange that they can’t finish explaining.”

With several tourist services that include a restaurant, camping and parking lot, Cerro Uritorco offers different day and night excursions, some of which are guided.

Of course, when you go up the hill with a guide, the advantage is that There is a lot of talk about flora and fauna, astrotourism, UFOs and phenomena, and the mystique of the hill..

To climb during the day

In that case, visitors have to return to the base before 6 p.m. because the park closes. In turn, each one has to carry a basic equipment for ascent: closed, laced footwear with good soles (trekking shoes), at least 2 liters of water, comfortable clothing (light-colored, if possible), a meal (such as a sandwich and fruit) and sweets or snacks. Children under 8 years of age and pregnant women cannot ascend.

Attention: to complete the complete route, in May and June You have to enter between 8 and 10since after that time there is less chance of reaching the top.

As only 20% of the trail has shade from the native forest, it is recommended to enter as early as possible to try to avoid extensive sun exposure.

Imposing viewpoints in Uritorco.  Photo ShutterstockImposing viewpoints in Uritorco. Photo Shutterstock

The walk lasts approximately 4 hours of ascent and 3 hours of descentconsidering that the descent begins at 3 p.m. as the deadline to reach the base on time.

The trail is marked and the guides assure: “There is no way to get lost.”

The cost of the excursion is $20,000 for adults and $17,000 for children between 8 and 15 years old, presenting ID. Travelers are registered at the time of payment.

Although it is Open every day of the year, the condition is that at the time of starting the ascent it is not raining heavily or with thunderstorms.

The colors of the sunset and the night at the top.  Photo Cerro UritorcoThe colors of the sunset and the night at the top. Photo Cerro Uritorco

Night excursions

A unique sunset awaits at the top of the emblematic Cerro Uritorco, you can join this ascent that begins after noon to wait for the sun to fall at the top along with an unforgettable landscape and then a nighttime descent admiring the stars. The excursion lasts approximately 10 hours.”

On the excursion Nocturnal (Sunset) The ascent is done during the day, starting at 2 p.m., with the aim of seeing the sunset at the top. Upstairs a picnic is served, and then we descend until midnight. “It is very good because when you go down you can see the night sky and the stars. It is guided, just like the special tour called 'Full Moon Excursion', whose only difference is that at the top of the hill we wait for the moon to rise," they detail.

The services include entrance to the park, qualified guide, walking stick, headlamp, picnic and personal accident insurance. Visitors must bring plenty of clothing, walking food (snacks, for example), 2 liters of water per person and shoes with laces and good soles. The price is $50,000 per person.

The Valley of the Spirits, a stop on the ascent to rest.  Photo Cerro UritorcoThe Valley of the Spirits, a stop on the ascent to rest. Photo Cerro Uritorco

Also with guide, The most complete and most VIP excursion is “Magic Night”: It begins between 1 and 2 p.m. and ends the next day, after noon, with a snack in the place. You sleep in a shelter in the middle of the trail and, depending on the time of year, you can see the sunrise or sunset at the top. They promise “a unique experience.” Reports: WhatsApp: 03548608093.

On the other hand, the “Refuge Experience” is to climb without a guide during the day and people have to be more prepared because they are staying to sleep. In the shelter there are stoves, mats and bunk beds, but travelers have to bring a sleeping bag, water and food, among other things. At dawn they continue to ascend to the top and then descend (www.cerrouritorcoficial.com.ar).

The Bird's Footprint

There is a story that marked a before and after in the place: the Huella del Pajarillo. They say that mid '80s About 400 people visited Cerro Uritorco per year, and after the mysterious incident, more than 100,000 arrived.

"He January 9, 1986At night, Doña Esperanza, her sister Sara and her 12-year-old grandson, Gabriel, were playing cards. They were on a farm near the Sierra del Pajarillo and, suddenly, a very powerful red light illuminated the room. When they looked out, they saw that the light was moving over the hills, so they ordered the windows to be closed and they thought it was bad light," says Luz Mary López, co-founder with Jorge Suárez and coordinator of the UFO Reporting Center (CIO). ).

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The famous Huella del Pajarillo.  Photo Raúl OchongaThe famous Huella del Pajarillo. Photo Raúl Ochonga

The boy looked out twice: "He saw something similar to a flattened ball with little windows, with a red light and a lighter one, along with lines of white lights." And the object disappeared.

“The next day, their uncle Manuel Gómez told them that he had seen a black oval-shaped spot on the southeast slope of Pajarillo. The footprint of the burned pastures measured 70 by 120 metersand it was in the same place where they had seen the lights."

Luz's story is the one she tells to tourists who visit the CIO in Capilla del Monte, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the scientific study of "unexplained phenomena."

Among them are “the appearance of unidentified objects (UFOs) and the extraterrestrial presence, topics addressed by the government of different countries since the 1970s.”

The so-called phase 2 of the Huella del Pajarillo, in August 1987. Photo Raúl Ochonga / CIOThe so-called phase 2 of the Huella del Pajarillo, in August 1987. Photo Raúl Ochonga / CIO

This episode is called "the first phase", since in August 1987 "the second phase" occurred, when a fire in the mountains and the fire did not enter the footprint, although the vegetation had grown. She shows the photos of both phases at the CIO, tells about her experiences and the different opportunities in which she saw lights, although she clarifies that this does not mean that they are ships and that "these issues must be taken seriously."

From his native Colombia, where he is currently attending a meeting to talk about these phenomena, he says: “In Capilla del Monte the sky is wonderful and one can find oneself in the middle of nature. But also, certain lights can surprise us.”

For those who visit Uritorco and want to visit the UFO Report Center, it is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., with an entrance fee of $1,500.

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