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San Rafael, Mendoza - Outdoors paradise

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San Rafael: a city that suits all needs. San Rafael boasts the most breathtaking views in Mendoza. On the banks of the Diamante river, the city -which has grown dramatically in the past few years- today offers all kinds of options. Magical rock sculptures, exquisite regional food, the best wines in Argentina, handmade jams and an ever shining sun make it a great destination. Located near "Las Leñas" ski resort, many skiers can also enjoy San Rafael's activities for extended vacations.

Rio Atuel El Submarino Rafting in Canyon del Atuel
Outdoors in San Rafael

Catamaran at Cochico

1. Don't exchange all your money into local currency at the airport. Most businesses will accept US$ at a better exchange rate.

2. Remember that weight and number of suitcases allowances for domestic flights are much lower than for international flights.
3. Remember to keep some money for the airport- and departure tax which is not very high but still adds up (I can't recall the amounts at this moment).
4. Food and Beverage bills don't include tips but 10% is expected.

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A typical tour when in Mendoza

Valle GrandeIn "Valle Grande" (Big Valley), only 37 km from San Rafael, adventure is really intense. Surrounded by vegetation, the Valle Grande ditch creates a huge pool of green water where tourists can swim, scuba dive, water ski, row, jet ski, windsurf or take catamaran trips.

Upstream, the majestic "Cañon del Atuel" is found. It is a rock formation that, due to the action of the wind and the rain, shows natural sculptures.Canon del Atuel The most interesting are: "Museo de cera" (Wax museum), "El lagarto" (The lizard), "Los viejos" (The elders), "Sillon de Rivadavia" (Rivadavia's chair) and "Los jardines colgantes" (The hanging gardens). "Aisol" and "Tierras Blancas", two artificial lakes, add to the beauty of the canyon.

Hotels, cabins and all-services camps are located on the banks of the Atuel river. Lovers of strong emotions will find it a paradise. Canooeing This area is good for rafting, kayaking, mountaineering, trekking, mountain biking, horseback riding and "four track". All sports are played in the company of skilled guides. The river not only offers its natural beauty but it also provides electric energy to the whole country. In the hydroelectric complex "Los Nihuiles", there is a lake which has become a crowded fishing spot.

City tour: San Rafael city is also worth visiting. Some interesting sights are Vinias"Plaza del Inmigrante" (The immigrant's park), with a steam engine from the beginning of XX century, the commercial center, "Catedral San Rafael Arcangel", the Amphitheater and the Museum of Fine Arts.
Only 7 km away is the Diamante river's island, with its Mariano Moreno park.
In this area, we can also see the "Gruta de la Inmaculada Concepcion", the Zoological Garden and a small nice lake. Just across the park there are two museums: the Natural History and the Military History Museums.

Not far away: Los ReyunosThe "Reyunos" circuit includes the beginning of the Diamante river and the Diamante lagoon in the middle of the Andes.
This tour, only 25 km away from San Rafael, starts in "Villa 25 de Mayo", also known as foundational area. Walking its old clay streets is like walking around a museum. From the Villa, whose origin was in 1805, you can visit "Presa El Tigre" (The Tiger ditch) and "Dique Galileo Vitale" (Galileo Vitale Dam), at 2 km away. Another interesting sight is "Presa Los Reyunos", in which a mirador was built to benefit from its 134 meters high.

The lake in this area offers Salmonidae and "pejerreyes" (variety of mackerel) for fishing. An apart hotel and cabins are lodging alternatives in a place where the objective is to have fun, relax and enjoy peace.

Photos courtesy of Cuyo.com


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