In the 1930s a few stray German farmers ended up in the Sierras around Cordoba, Argentina. It’s a beautiful place, and up in the mountains it doesn’t get too hot, so they decided to stay. After a shipwreck in 1939, a few German sailors decided to stay too. WWII saw a massive increase in immigration, and now Villa General Belgrano is the quaint German town in the mountains that tourists know and love.
This is a view out the bus window on our way there, hence the faded color and smudge. Rest assured the sight in person is jaw-dropping.
While German is slowly dying out, there are newspapers printed in German there, rather than Spanish, and as we walked through the streets I could have easily believed we were in Bavaria, Germany, not South America.
The main attraction to Villa Belgrano (for us at least) was the food. Jordan had a bratwurst and we finished the afternoon with hot chocolate and apple strudels. Because it poured cats and dogs while we were there, we couldn’t do much. However, I believe camping, hiking, swimming in the river, horseback riding, and paragliding are available. Many of these things are available in most of the mountain towns. Crafting and boutique shopping are also fun along the main street of town. A bus ticket roundtrip costs roughly 135 pesos. The ride there took two hours (through gorgeous scenery of lakes and sierras) and the return took two and a half hours, probably due to rain.
The town has a small museum, a tourist center with an observation platform. The best times of year to go are during their Oktoberfest (in October, obviously) and their Alpine Chocolate festival (July). If you like beer, this is a must-see.
Because of the rain, we weren’t able to hike or swim, but we did enjoy the food and architecture there. If you get the chance, visiting Villa Belgrano is worth it!