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Can you imagine a wooded landscape bang in the middle of a region which is normally considered an arid semi-desert? It may be easy enough to imagine it, but being there implies perceiving a different kind of reality. Drive along Highway 57, looking out at the rather flat, almost monochromatic brownish or gray-green landscapes, the hazy bluish hills on the distant horizon. Here the landscapes are divided only by the road itself, a very long, straight road, with very few curves. At some point you will turn off towards Guadalcazar and you will immediately be surprised at how the scenario suddenly begins to change, although it still looks pretty arid. A few kilometers further on, you take the turning to El Realejo and begin to feel that the climate is more temperate, you start seeing pines trees and oaks, although geographically it is still the arid Altiplano. What a welcome contrast from the arid greys and browns to a greener area, perfect for all kinds of ecotourism and adventure tourism activities!

El Realejo is a very small village, without any architectural attractions in particular, except perhaps for its church with carved quarried stone facade. Really outstanding, however, are the views of the surrounding hills, such as “Las Comadres”, with strange, enormous boulders at the top. If you like, you can hike all the way up; and, if you’re curious about the name, just ask your guide or one of the local people, and they’ll tell you a very funny folk story about the consequences of the sin of envy and the inevitability of divine punishment.

This was once a rich mining region and there are some now truly abandoned, ghost villages.
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