We invite you to discover an amazing self drive trip starting in Mendoza, visiting San Juan and La Rioja Provinces, framed by the majesty of the Andes peaks.
Be amazed by the Cuyo region, which in native language means:”Country of deserts”.
This is a region where the high peaks, the snow capped volcanoes and the meandering roads through the Andes pre-mountain range and the steppes stand out. A region where nature astonishes visitors in its parks and natural reserves, where condors fly over as local guardians.
The trip starts in Mendoza where you’ll spend the first night. Amongst grape leaves, country houses and wineries we travel back in history around one of the most important wine-making regions in Argentina.You will take the well-trodden 40th route and we head towards Uspallata, but first you´ll take a detour to get to know the highest mountain in South America: The Aconcagua with its 6908 meters above sea-level, where you´ll have the chance to take a short walk to get one of the most spectacular views of this mountain.
You will take the well-trodden 40th route and we head towards Uspallata, but first you´ll take a detour to get to know the highest mountain in South America: The Aconcagua with its 6908 meters above sea-level, where you´ll have the chance to take a short walk to get one of the most spectacular views of this mountain.
The next stop will be Barreal. On this spot you can visit the Astronomical Complex El Leoncito (the visit should be booked in advance). The complex is located 40 km from Barreal in the Argentine province of San Juan, in the municipality of Calingasta. Inside the park and taking advantage of the characteristics of the sky – more than 250 cloudless nights, without wind and pollution – “El Leoncito” Astronomical Complex is visited every year by astronomers from all parts of the world who attend the place to observe the sky with its powerful telescopes.
You have been travelling for four days now and you will find yourself at the Agricultural Valley of Calingasta crisscrossed by the Rio de los Patos. Here you´ll find plantations of pumpkins and lavender and where you´ll be able to see some of Andean highest peaks such as the Mount Mercedario.
During the next few days, and after having left behind us Barreal, you will drive along the RN150 that will take you straight to the Parque Provincial Ischigualasto,a real voyage into the dinosaur era. Ischigualasto or “Valley of the moon” with the amazing shapes and colours with its landscape carved by erosion, is one of the most important Paleontological Sites in the world.
The discovery continues towards San Agustin del Valle Fertil where you’ll spend two nights and where you’ll visit the National Park Talampaya.
Talampaya National Park was created to protect important archaeological and paleontological sites in the region and it is included in “World Heritage sites”, declared by UNESCO. The great beauty of its landscape was the result of tectonic movements helped by the water and wind erosion. The great temperature difference: intense heat during the day and low temperatures at night also helps to create this magnificent landscape.
It is possible to do some trekking in the park to be able to appreciate the wonderful views it has to offer.
The last part of the trip, road trip back to Mendoza driving through San Juan. The city is surrounded by rivers, hills and valleys and there you´ll have the chance to visit historical, religious, scientific and cultural places related to Argentine history.
Some of the highlights that will wake your senses on this new adventure:
- To Taste the famous Malbec Wine
- To breath and be disheveled by the Andes fresh air
- To be dazzled by the wind erosion on this breathtaking landscape
A real voyage to discover these hidden gems of Argentina.
- 1 night in Mendoza
- 1 night in Uspallata
- 1 night in Barreal
- 1 night in Rodeo
- 2 night in San Agustín de Valle Fértil