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A valley carved out of some of the most stunning rock formation in Argentina, this natural wonder is well worth a visit.
Located just 180 km from San Juan City, this valley is surrounded by rivers, ravines and snow-capped mountains, blessing this place with breath taking views. The valley sits close to the Chilean border north of Mendoza on the ‘Precordillera,’ at the foothills of the Andes. The geology of the region has created some interesting rock formations with unusual and eye-catching colours layered together after millions of years of compression. The slopes of the valley vary between red and browns mixed with shades of grey and black.
After admiring the spectacular views and taking plenty of pictures, you can also take part in a variety of outdoor pursuits and adventure activities. Visitors can explore the mountainous area by horseback where you’ll feel like you’re traveled back in time to the Wild West. And, for the more adventurous traveler, there is also white water rafting and windcar (on land windsurfing). The combination of these high-adrenaline sports with the breath-taking landscapes makes a trip to the Valle Calingasta in San Juan an unforgettable experience.
The mountains that border this valley reach heights that are over 6000 metres tall, which provide trekking and mountaineering enthusiasts plenty to keep them entertained. You can do a guided trek or expedition with a local tour company or, alternatively, you could buy a map of the valley and choose your own trekking route. However, it’s important that you take into account that these mountains aren’t for the faint hearted and you will have to make sure you take all the necessary equipment. If you’re not sure then don’t risk it: take a guide. The local town, El Barreal, is the epicenter for all these activities, so head here to book a tour or activity with a tour company.
The valley’s diverse landscape offers an array of activities, so you can enjoy the valley year round. The dramatic backdrop of the snowy Andean mountain range contrasts greatly with the serene lakes and rivers where throughout the year you can enjoy fishing.
Valle Calingasta has a tourist circuit that was recently created in the valley and surrounding area, which has improved the infrastructure and allows easy access to all the attractions. The province Mendoza has traditionally attracted tourists here, but the Valle Calingasta valley and tourist circuit is another reason why San Juan is becoming more and more popular with visitors to the region. Argentina travel guide has more info on attractions in San Juan.