Explore Córdoba and the Central Sierras
A dirt road immediately west of Ongamira snakes through mesmerizing rocky landscapes and past an unexpected polo ground to the once-abandoned village of ISCHILÍN, some 20km further north. A couple of kilometres before you reach the village is the signposted Casa Museo Fernando Fader (Thurs–Sun noon–5pm; free), a brick house built by the painter Fernando Fader, an adoptive Argentine born of German parents who settled here in the vain hope of curing his chronic tuberculosis. His paintings, well executed if strongly influenced by Van Gogh and at times Monet, are best seen at the provincial fine-arts museum near Mendoza. Only one is on show at this museum, alongside various personal effects and furniture, but the mock-Italianate garden is worth a visit. In the village itself, the charming Hostería La Rosada (03521/423057, www.ischilinposada.com.ar; $601 and over) is run by the artist’s grandson and family; you can stay the night or just enjoy the fine food and swimming pool. Don’t miss the chance of being taken around the village, devotedly renovated by Carlos Fader himself, including the ancient school, now in use once more, the recreation of a traditional pulpería and the old police station. Ischilín’s spectacular Plaza de Armas, not unlike an English village green, is dominated by a venerable algarrobo tree, its gigantic gnarled trunk host to epiphytic cacti and skeins of moss, and by the early eighteenth-century Jesuit church, Nuestra Señora del Rosario, its facade painted mustard yellow. Ask around for the key to visit the delightfully primitive interior, with its rickety choir balcony made of algarrobo wood, bearing a pithy Latin inscription.