Andean peaks and Jurassic Discovery… the name we decided to give to the SELF DRIVE program through Mendoza, San Juan and La Rioja. We´ll get aquainted with the Cuyo region that in native language means:”Country of deserts”.
This is a region where the high peaks,the snowed volcanoes and the roads that meander through the Andes pre-mountain range and the steppes stand out. A place where nature lives in parks and natural reserves and where the condor flies over as a lookout and guardian.
Our trip starts in Mendoza where we´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. In this place we get in touch with our local tour guide and we take the car we´ll ride on during our journey.
We take the well-trodden 40th route and we head towards Uspallata,but first we´ll take a detour to get to know the highest mountain in South America:The Aconcagua with its 6908 meters above sea-level. After checking in and paying the admission fee to the Aconcagua Provincial Park we´ll have the chance of going for a 40 minutes walk to the vantage point where we´ll come across one of the most spectacular views from this mountain.
Then we´ll move on towards Barreal. On this spot we can visit the Astronomical Complex El Leoncito not without a previous booking(the demand to visit it is usually very high). The Visitors time- table is: from April the 01st to September the 30th from 10AM to 12PM and from 02:30PM to 05PM.And from October the 01st to March the 31st from 10AM to 12PM and from 03PM to 05:30PM.
We have been travelling for four days now and we find ourselves at the Agricultural Valley of Calingasta crisscrossed by the Rio de los Patos. Here we´ll find plantations of pumpkins and lavender and where we´ll be able to see some of Aconcaguas´highest peaks such as the Mount Mercedario.
During the next days and after having left behind us Barreal we´ll drive along the newly opened RN150 that takes us straight to the Parque Provincial Ischigualasto,a real voyage into the dinosaurs era. Ischigualasto or “Valley of the moon” with the amazing shapes and colours of a landscape carved by erosion, is one of the most important Paleonthological Sites in the world.
We go on towards San Agustin del Valle Fertil where we´ll spend two nights and where we´ll visit the National Park Talampaya.
Talampaya National Park was a project that was born to protect important achaelogical and paleonthological sites in the region and is among the seven “World Heritages”,declared as such by the Unesco in Argentina. The great beauty of its landscape was the result of tectonic movements helped by the erosion of the waters and the winds in a desertic area, with big differences in climate,intense heat during the day and low temperatures at night. It is possible to do some trekking too throughout the park to be able to appreciate the wonderful views it has to offer.
On our last day,”to close the circle” we´ll start on our trip back to the city of Mendoza driving through San Juan with its modern architectural styles,surrounded by rivers,hills and valleys,where amazing sights come to life while practicing high-risk sports and while taking exciting journeys.
At this versatile city we´ll have the chance to visit historical,religious,scientific and cultural places related to Argentina´s history
This itinerary offers the possibility of visiting many atractive places in Mendoza,observe the highest peak in America and taste some of the best wines
- Hotels including breakfast.
- Arrival transfer with English speaking local guide.
- Welcome letter with the day by day itinerary, information about the route and highlights and phone contacts of booked hotels (Pls, check foreseen accommodation list below).
- Car rental (quoted separately).
- Meals or drinks, except if mentioned in the itinerary.
- Entrance Fees to National and Provincial Parks (only payable in situ), to CASLEO (Astronomic Observatory in Pampa El Leoncito).
If a stopover in Buenos Aires is foreseen previous to the arrival in Mendoza, a Fly & Drive kit can be included for an additional cost: it includes customized GPS with preloaded routes, a road map, a pencil and more complete travelling information.
- 1 night in Mendoza
- 1 night in Uspallata
- 1 night in Barreal
- 1 night in Rodeo
- 2 night in San Agustín de Valle Fértil