Days: Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Departure: 8.00 a.m. at 1.00 p.m.
The Villavicencio Nature Reserve was created on September 14, 2000 and is located in the department of Las Heras, 50 km north of the city of Mendoza by Provincial Route 52. The beauty of the place, the mineral water springs and the environment created by man made Villavicencio a very special place. In turn, the route is steeped in history, which General San Martín once walked with the glorious army and whose winding snails give it a special motivation.
Departing from the city of Mendoza, we will visit the Historic Field of Plumerillo, where the Liberation Army troops were prepared. Continuing the tour along Provincial Route 52, the Canota Monument is observed.
We continue our way north to the Reserve. The total territory of the natural area covers 72 thousand hectares, that preserves historical, cultural and natural heritage which includes 3 environments: Monte, Cardonal and Puna, each with its particularity and richness of flora and fauna.
Villavicencio is home to 200 species of flora, 240 of fauna, including 190 of birds, 30 of mammals, 21 of reptiles, 3 of amphibians. Among them the guanaco, a provincial monument and the jarilla, the provincial flower. It is the only private Nature Reserve in Argentina that has been declared a Ramsar site, an international certification that names wetlands as of world importance.
In the heart of the Reserve is the iconic Hotel Termas de Villavicencio, built in 1940 and declared a National Historic Monument in 2013, whose facade was completely restored in 2017.
To get to know the Reserve, the tour begins at the Visitor Center located 1 km before the Hotel Villavicencio, on its self-guided trails you can learn about the flora, the formation of the landscape and the geological characteristics that give the particularity to this geography. Then you continue on your way to the Hotel grounds, in the company of the guide you walk through the exteriors of the hotel, which implies a walk through history that silently recounts its walls, the Chapel built in 1941, the gardens, designed by Carlos Thays son. From the viewpoint you can get a view of the Villavicencio Valley and the foothills, while we breathe the particular atmosphere: one of the purest in the country.
If the road conditions allow it (in winter there may be ice), you can continue ascending the snails to an incomparable panoramic point. These are ledge paths with unique views that allow you to contemplate the fauna in its natural habitat.
The experience of contact with nature, contemplating the fauna in their natural habitat and the particularity of this intermountain landscape make Villavicencio unique all year round.
The day ends with the return to Mendoza.
Many tourists choose to rent a car and do this excursion on their own with the idea of lowering costs, but the result is not the same. On the way to Villavicencio, we will meet the famous “Caracoles”, a 17 km long gravel road that consists of 270 curves, which despite some potholes are in good condition and the layout is not dangerous like other roads mountains that have a cornice area. However, it is advisable to take this tour in the company of our guides and drivers, since it is virtually impossible to take your eyes off the road and if you do not have the necessary experience, it can be dangerous. Hiring the excursion, you not only will get interesting explanations of each point of interest, but you will also be able to enjoy the unbeatable panoramic views that the excursion offers relaxed, without having to be aware of your GPS or the route conditions.
Remember that you have the possibility of requesting the REPENTANCE BUTTON, which in compliance with current regulations, after making the payment of the reservations corresponding to excursions “YOU HAVE 10 RUNNING DAYS TO REPENT FOR THE PURCHASE MADE ”and in this case we will refunded 100% of the amount paid without this implying collection of fines or penalties.
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