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Embarking on a road trip from San Rafael until La Rioja province, you will start with the Malacara Volcano at Malargüe. After a scenic drive through the Andes Mountains, the journey continues to the peaceful town of Los Molles, where visitors can relax before heading back to San Rafael. The next stop is the impressive Cañón del Atuel and then journey continues towards the Tunuyan and Uco Valley, where visitors can indulge in some of the region’s finest wines and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Your adventure then takes a turn to Potrerillos, a small town nestled in the foothills of the Andes. The Aconcagua Mountain is near by this time of the trip! Be amazed by all the places you can visit in this area and have memorable adventures with the outdoor activities you can do. Entering San juan Province, you will visit Barreal, beautiful Calingasta and San José de Jachal, where you can experience the rich history and unique traditions of this charming places.
Finally, you will be welcome by Villa Union at La Rioja. From here, you will visit the Talampaya National Park, home to some of the region’s most interesting geological formations and the incredible Moon Valley. This unforgettable adventure comes to an end by a last drive from Villa Unión to La Rioja airport.
Mendoza province is in the western part of Argentina, bordering Chile to the west. It is one of the most important wine regions in the country and is known for its breathtaking natural landscapes. Overall, this road trip is beautiful and diverse! It offers something for everyone, whether you are interested in wine, nature, or adventure. In this 10-day tour, you will have the opportunity of combine all these three!
Your transfer will be waiting for you at the airport of San Rafael to start your journey to Malargüe. Part of your trip goes through the Route 40, famous because it stretches along the length of Argentina! It is a 2.30-hour trip (190 km).
Malacara Volcano is at 42 km from Malargüe. Located at 1800 msnm, when the eruption happened, it was hydro-magmatic. This means a combination of lava with water made a very violent eruption. Over the years, eolic and pluvial erosion were in charge of shaping all the views you will enjoy not only form the outside of the volcano but also from the inside! There is also an important recognition of native flora and fauna here.
This visit must be taken with a local authorized guide and its difficulty is low or medium.
After this amazing day, you go back to Malargüe.
Today you will take the route 40 again and then go through Route 222 in a one-hour ride (60 km) to Los Molles. This place has amazing views and several places to visit, like the “Pozo de las Animas” (Well of the Souls) that has a natural spring that emerges from the rocks. It is also very near of Las Leñas ski center.
Return to San Rafael (190 km).
Today, this road trip will take you to the Cañón del Atuel. The canyon was formed by the Atuel River, which has cut through the rocks over millions of years to create a deep, winding gorge. The area is characterized by towering cliffs, rock formations, and a range of geological features, such as caves and natural bridges.
Before going back to San Rafael, you’ll visit a local winery.
Let´s go North! Today your trip on the route will take you from San Rafael to Tunuyán. Here, you will visit the Uco Valley region, which produces some of the country’s most acclaimed wines. The combination of high altitude, alluvial soils, irrigation, little rainfall, and a wide temperature range favors grape cultivation. These climatic and geographical elements provide excellent maturation and concentration of the fruit, resulting in deep colors, intense aromas, pleasant flavors, and important textures that you will taste on a great winery visit!
Overnight at Uco Valley.
Continuing this road adventure in Mendoza, you will reach Potrerillos, a small town located at 70 km distance from Mendoza Capital city. This village is characterized by the peace that surrounds and the variated options of activities concentrated at the spectacular dike. But there is more to see! Today you will also visit the Inca bridge, a World Heritage by UNESCO with numerous natural watersheds, a very important place for Inca empire history. After that, you will visit one of the most imponent landscapes of Argentina: The Aconcagua Mountain and its natural reserve. Finally, you will get to the Cristo Redentor, a monument located at the border line with Chile, that has a natural balcony with a beautiful natural scene.
After all this memorable day, you will spend the night in Uspallata.
Today we leave behind Mendoza and enter San Juan Province. After a 120 km journey, you arrive to Barreal, another small town located at the south-west of San Juan, with an important river zone, pretty mountain ranges views and a lot of fauna that turn this place into an excellent touristic point to practice fluvial activities like kayaking, fishing, or just birdwatching.
From Barreal, today you’ll go to Calingasta. It is also located in the province of San Juan, in the western part of the province, and it is known for its rugged natural beauty, which includes mountains, valleys, and rivers. The region is a popular destination for outdoor activities too. Calingasta is home to several important historical and cultural landmarks, including the Church of San Francisco and the ruins of the ancient Inca city of Cachuete. You continue this road trip for 200 km until San josé de Jachal, a city with beautiful colonial architecture, surrounded by amazing natural landscapes, including the nearby Sierra de Jáchal mountain range and the San Juan River. This place is also known for its production of fruits such as grapes, peaches, and apricots, as well as its traditional crafts, including weaving and pottery.
Finally, after another 2-hour trip, you will enter La Rioja province. The town is Villa Unión, where you will spend the night.
Today you visit the Talampaya National Park, which is at 40 minutes from Villa Unión. This zone is another UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its significant geological and paleontological features. You can explore the park by several hiking trails and lookout points that offer panoramic views. The park is also home of a variety of wildlife.
Going on this amazing day, you will reach the Moon valley, located at the Ischigualasto Provincial Park. This is the only place in the world that possesses the complete sequence of continental sediments of the Triassic period, with an abundant fossil record which reveals the evolution of life. Its name is because its resemblance to the surface of the moon.
Back to Villa Unión to spend the night.
Time to say goodbye to the road! Today your last road journey leads you to La Rioja airport. Drive for 3 hours (280 km) to take your plane.
We invite you to see our Argentina Tours, where you can experience the true Argentine culture.
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