Cerro Colorado got its name because of the reddish color of the elevations that define its landscape, among which are the hill of the same name, Veladero and Inti Huasi. This city is reached by National Road No. 9, which heads north from the city of Córdoba.
The Cerro Colorado Natural and Cultural Reserve is also located there. It is a place that combines the geological and wild differentials that characterize the province with the archaeological legacy of the original peoples who inhabited part of its territory.
The greenish aura of a guava forest prevails around its hills. It is a tree that can reach nine meters in height, with small white flowers that emit a fragrance that consolidates the scenic appeal of the area.
Species such as molle, cardón and manzano de campo grow among the local flora. This view accompanies visitors to another of the hallmarks of this Córdoba destination, which is a place of eaves and caves where cave paintings can be seen.
The Cerro Colorado Reserve has thousands of pictographs made by the Henia and Sanavirones, indigenous peoples who inhabited the region. Through this form of communication, both presented both everyday and extraordinary scenes.
The area covers 3000 hectares. More than 35,000 images up to 2,000 years old are recorded within its boundaries. They refer to the customs, wars, and figure of the Spanish, among other concepts. They predominate in red, white and black colors.
They generally refer to humans and animals, although a large number are occupied by signs that have not yet been deciphered. Another curiosity is that on the hills the painters Henia and Sanavirones maintain a particular style when they paint people.
In the figures of the Spaniard and his domestic animals, however, the demand for greater realism prevails. At the same time, among the images of local animals, you can see llamas with long necks, as well as cats and birds, made using the pointillism technique.
Currently, mammals such as wild cat, gray fox, skunk, ferret and guinea pig live among the hills. Birds such as buzzards, eagles, hawks, thrushes, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, kittiwakes, partridges, cardinals and quitilipis or great horned owls are also observed.
It is a fact of historical interest that the writer Leopoldo Lugones was the one who disseminated the location and cultural significance of Cerro Colorado in 1903. Later, other scholars devoted themselves to expanding the knowledge of the cave paintings in the area.
Excursions and museums
You can tour the reserve through the experiences offered by Setil Viajes and Stylo Viajes. Both offers depart from the city of Córdoba. They include lunch, accommodation and a visit to the eaves and museums of the city.
On the one hand, the Cerro Colorado Archaeological Museum is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture of Henia and Sanavirones. Objects and utensils used by these original peoples are exhibited there.
While the house museum of Atahualpa Yupanqui protects the life and work of this musical exhibit. In “Agua Escondida”, as the property was originally named, the artist retired to rest after the travels he made to different parts of the world.
It is possible to tour this residence with a guide to discover the meaning behind each personal item, photograph and item on display. It is a collection of works that takes into account his musical legacy and his time in this region.
Among the items on display are Atahualpa’s guitar, a painting painted and autographed by Benito Quinquela Martin, sheet music, books and vintage records. Another plus of the house museum is that it allows access to the “El Silencio” trail.
This is the quiet path the singer-songwriter took in search of inspiration. In the chain there are stones with legends that refer to their songs and invite us to imagine what their creative process was like in full connection with the environment.
Finally, other points of interest on Cerro Colorado include the surroundings of the Los Tártagos River and the Los Molles Stream, the Church of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe and the Guelo Campground, which has cabins and offers barbecues in the company of its owners.