Surrounded by mountains in the heart of Argentina, the “home of the aliens,” or Capilla del Monte offers a unique experience to those in search of paranormal phenomena and UFO sightings. Though no extraterrestrial aircraft has crashed into this small town (yet), Capilla del Monte is well known for being the capital of alien tourism and spiritual capital of the country. Along with an astronomical observatory for UFO sightings and a UFO museum, the city also plays host to an annual three-day Alien Festival, where visitors can enjoy concerts and alien costume contests.

Capilla del Monte is located only 62 miles away from the city of Córdoba, the capital of the homonymous province. This picturesque city was built at the northern end of the Punilla Valley, near to Cerro Uritorco, the region’s highest peak.

Capilla del Monte or simply “Capilla” as the locals call it, bears the imprint of the post-colonial era in Argentina and is home to amazing, rural landscapes of winding  rivers and huge trees. It’s a place where many go to disconnect with their busy lives and reconnect with nature and the universe.

The National capital of the UFO phenomena

Although no flying saucer has ever landed in this place, both those who live here and visit it claim that Capilla has some sort of strange energy and that it feels somehow connected to the inhabitants of outer space.

Allegedly, the mountain of Cerro Uritorco has some part to play in all of this. At 6,394 feet above sea level, this elevation of the Sierras is considered by many to be some sort of portal to the afterlife and the outer worlds.

Paranormal phenomena aside, Capilla is a place where tourists can partake in hiking, horseback riding and photography. During the winter, the city is covered in snow (which is rare in most other arid regions) and in the autumn its vast flora changes color to a mesmerizing golden yellow.

But, by far, what makes the region unique, is the incident that took place in El Pajarillo ridge. Back in 1986, a series of testimonies and photographs where revealed by the government. According to the authorities, a huge burn mark in the grass of a local farmer’s property appeared one summer morning: the apparent aftermath of a UFO landing. Though it was never confirmed, it was this occurrence that evoked local myths and legends. 

Since then, many people devoted to alternative beliefs and practices have been known to gather Uritorco with the hope of being “contacted” by aliens. While some locals remain a little more skeptical, the entire town is nevertheless full of alien memorabilia, with a huge number of people attesting to their own tales of seeing lights in the sky.

Legend of the underground city

Nowadays we know for a fact that Capilla (and roughly the entire province of Córdoba) was the native homeland of the Comechingones Indians prior to the Spanish Empire conquering the territory. Thanks to modern technologies and scientific research, much evidence has been found that proves this. However, there seems to be one piece of history that no science can explain.

Some time during the beginning of the 20th century, an Indian called Orfelio Ulises Herrera, discovered a Bastón de mando, or “ruling cane” in the Sierras. He believed that this was a magical object and decided to hand the object to Guillermo Adolfo Terrera, the head of Anthropology at Córdoba’s University.

capilla del monteTerrera claimed that the cane was proof of the existence of the ERKS, a mysterious alien civilization that lived underground and that disappeared into the mountains before the arrival of the Spanish conquerors.

The interesting history of the town, in particular during the Spanish era, can be discovered within Pueblo Encanto, a theme park only five minutes from the town’s center near the Calabalumba river. Pueblo Encanto offers a cultural tour that takes place in the Castillo Mudejar, a renovated emblematic Spanish villa with a unique beauty and a magical view of the sierras. 

Mecca of alternative tourism

Regardless of whether the stories and myths that surround the town have  rational explanations or not, Capilla possesses a special energy; a calm and peaceful vibe that enchants everyone who visits.

Backpacking, camping, and vegan communities are also easy to come by in Capilla. Many younger travelers choose Capilla as a  place to escape from the big crowded cities of Buenos Aires or Córdoba, while the city also continues to attract people from other countries who wish to detach themselves from the material world.

For those who are looking for an alternative holiday spent “out of the box,” this is the place to be. You can find Reiki, astrology, tarot card reading, acupuncture, local fairs selling hand-crafted objects and art, as well as rock and reggae concerts and food festivals. Also, many hotels and hostels have an eco-friendly approach, where vegan alternatives and organic food can be found.

For those longing to reconnect with themselves or with the universe, or wishing to get a glimpse of outer space while enjoying amazing weather and golden landscapes, Capilla del Monte is the way to go.

Where have you gone for an alternative tourism experience?