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Cordoba, the second largest city in Argentina, was founded in 1573 and prospered during colonial times as a link on the commercial route between Buenos Aires and Chile. The Jesuit Order established their headquarters in the city in the late 16th century and, during the 1700s, constructed many beautiful buildings, which can be seen in the well-preserved centre. The university was founded in 1613, making Cordoba one of the earliest intellectual centres in South America.

West of the city are the hills and mountains of the central sierras and in the surrounding countryside lie a number of traditional estancias, working cattle ranches or elegant country estates, which offer opportunities for exploring the plains and hills on foot or horseback. The area is also dotted with mountain towns and atmospheric, ruined Unesco Jesuit estancias.

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