Search in La Ruta Natural

You can search the content of your interest in La Ruta Natural page here.


From the city of Mendoza to San Rafael

Puente del Inca, Aconcagua and the Wine Route. Distance: 629 kilometres

The trip starts in the city of Mendoza towards the foothill in Potrerillos. Along the way, you can stop to see the Puente del Inca and continue up until the high mountain area at the foot of the Aconcagua. Then you will go down to the Uco Valley, where you will fall in love with the land of sun and good wine. At the end of the trip, you will discover the historical Sanmartinian Routes together with San Rafael's amazing dams, reservoirs and rivers.


Route Sheet

  • Distance: 649 kilometres
  • Road type: 100% asphalt
  • Recommended months: all the year round
  • Suggested time: 7 to 10 days


KM 0

City of Mendoza

The trip starts in the capital city of Mendoza. A tree-covered city with over 50,000 trees, broad streets, parks, green areas and its traditional irrigation canals transporting water from the mountain rivers. Two places worth visiting are the Sarmiento Pedestrian Walkway, with its pergolas, flowerbeds, shops and bars; and the General San Martín Park, with its French-style gates, sculptures, water fountains, lake and wide green spaces. Surrounding the city of Mendoza, you will find the cities of Las Heras, Luján de Cuyo and Maipú, with wineries that you can visit and start enjoying the Wine Route. Another attraction in the area is the Olive Route: different plantations offer guided visits to get to know the oldest olive groves in the country and enjoy the tastiest olive oil in the region.

KM 41


On the banks of Mendoza River and in the middle of the Los Andes foothills, Cacheuta is a site in the mountains with hot springs between 28 and 40 °C. It is located inside the Hot Springs Park, which offers covered barbecue areas with grills, restaurants and grocery stores to spend the day, and for those of you who want to go the extra mile, there is spa hotel. Just a few metres away, you will find a 140-metre Pedestrian Hanging Bridge connecting the two sides of the town across the river and from where you can enjoy beautiful panoramic views.

KM 50


Following Provincial Route 82, surrounded by mountains of various heights, you will reach Potrerillos' dam and reservoir. The options to do adventure sports on its waters are varied: kayaking, windsurfing, zip lines, horseback riding, trekking, sailing, fly fishing, rock climbing, birdwatching, and you can also go rafting on the Mendoza River. There are accommodation options, camping areas and restaurants.

KM 86

Tunnels on National Route 7

From this point on, National Route 7 passes through 13 mountain tunnels. To the right, the Mendoza River flows along the route. After the second tunnel, you will start to see the railroad of the Transandine Train that used to travel to the city of Los Andes in Chile.

KM 105


An Andean town with quiet streets. Its name means "quiet valley". In the city centre, you will find hotels and restaurants. It is a good place to stay over and prepare for what comes next: Mendoza's high mountains. About 7 km from Uspallata, on Provincial Route 52, you can visit the Cerro Tunduqueral Municipal Archaeological Park. This park has great historical value because it has the most important set of pre-Hispanic petroglyphs found in the region. About 25 km from Uspallata, also on Provincial Route 52, there is an old mining settlement called Paramillos, which was discovered by Spaniards and Jesuits in the 17th century. You can explore its underground galleries and discover the story and the mysteries of the place by taking part in trekking tours that may include zip lines and rappelling.

KM 168

Los Penitentes

​​In winter, Los Penitentes gets covered in white, inviting you to practise some sports on its ski runs. During the rest of the year, you can visit the tourist town, hop on a chair lift to admire the landscape from the hills, rent a bike and ride down in the Bike Park, go for walks and do some rock climbing or horseback riding.

KM 175

Puente del Inca

A must-see place to get amazed by a natural work of art. This natural bridge on the Las Cuevas River was carved millions of years ago by thermal waters, colouring it orange, yellow and ochre. This bridge is part of the Andean road system "Qhapac Ñan" or Inca Road, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

KM 178

Aconcagua Provincial Park

One of the most important mountain climbing destinations in the world. In the middle of the mountain range, you will find peaks of over 6,000 metres, and the highest mountain in America, the Aconcagua Mountain, with 6962 metres. There are self-guided trails, trekking routes and viewpoints to admire the Andes. You can visit the park from November to April. One of the recommended trails inside the Park is the Laguna de Horcones circuit. This lake made of glacier water coming from the Aconcagua Mountain is part of a small wetland made up of 5 lakes with great diversity of plants and animals. Distance: 4 km (round trip). Time: 2 hours.

KM 189

Las Cuevas, Matienzo Gorge and Cristo Redentor Crossing

After crossing the last tunnel, you will reach Las Cuevas. In this spot, you will see the old railroad of the Transandine Train and the buildings of Casuchas del Rey, which served as post offices of the Royal Mail and as a shelter for travellers. There are accommodation options, restaurants and a grocery store. The Matienzo Gorge is a paradise in the middle of the mountain. You can access it from Las Cuevas and you will find glaciers, rivers, wetlands, archaeological sites and 100 species of birds. It is a great area to go hiking and mountain biking. From Las Cuevas, an 8-kilometre road winds up to the famous Cristo Redentor Crossing, located at 3850 metres above the sea level, on the border with Chile. It is a great panoramic point to finish off this first part of the trip. From this point, take National Route 7 to return to National Route 40 and continue along Provincial Route 86 towards Tupungato.

KM 404

Valle Viewpoint and Cristo Rey del Valle

14 km before reaching Tupungato, you will find the Cristo Rey del Valle Viewpoint. From this point, you will be able to see all the Uco Valley, the Plata Mountain Range and the Tupungato volcano, the second highest mountain in Mendoza, after the Aconcagua.

KM 417


​​This part of the trip connects two of the most important wine growing regions in the province. Luján de Cuyo and Uco Valley. That is why Tupungato is the best city to enjoy the combination of cuisine, wine and nature. The tourism experiences on offer are varied: outings to estates in the countryside, astrotourism, biking, trekking and horseback riding in the mountains.

KM 453

Historic District

This was the setting of the historical crossing of the Army of the Andes. Today it is a Natural Reserve of around 1000 hectares that protects the Monument Return to the Homeland of General San Martín, in honour of his presence in this land in 1823. The landscape is very scenic: leafy native groves, crystal clear streams, gorges and the snowy peaks of the Portillo Mountain Range. The activities you can do in the area are paragliding, trekking, rock climbing, bicycle touring and fly fishing. There are restaurants, grocery stores, a camping area and a hostel. You can visit all year round. If you continue 14 km on Provincial Route 94, you will reach the Arenales Canyon, the mecca for climbers, with 150 climbing routes with different levels of difficulty. If you are not into climbing, from the entrance to the canyon, you can take a short trekking trail which lasts 20 minutes on foot and follows a stream up to a shelter. To access this area, you need to register beforehand at the Portinari Shelter of the Border Patrol.

KM 492

La Consulta

It is a town with accommodation, all the services and wineries with guided visits and wine tasting. 12 km away from the city centre, you will find the Uco Valley dam.

KM 500

San Carlos

It is the oldest department of Mendoza. Founded in 1772, it is an area of great historical, cultural, archaeological and scenic value. You can go trekking, horseback riding, rafting, mountain biking, rock climbing, go on wildlife photography tours and do some fly fishing. It is a town with accommodation, services and wineries with guided visits and wine tasting.

KM 508


This Municipal Park is special since it is located in a desert area. There are dry riverbeds, canyons carved by wind and rain, and clay and sand walls of over 40 metres. You can spend the day by yourself or hire a tour to visit the park by bike or on foot (the municipality organised full moon hiking activities that are unique). You can also rappel down the park and watch the flora and fauna.

KM 538


Pareditas is a town that offers accommodation, cuisine and all the services. From this point, you can continue your trip to the Agua de Toro Dam, the Diamante Volcano, the Laguna del Diamante Natural Reserve and the El Sosneado Hot Springs.

KM 649

San Rafael

San Rafael is a city located on the Diamante River that offers accommodation, cuisine and all the services. The Atuel Canyon, 40 km away from San Rafael, is one of the most popular places to go rafting: you can enjoy the fast-flowing and rough waters of the Atuel River all the year round. Other dams and reservoirs you can visit are: El Tigre, Los Reyunos, Valle Grande and El Nihuil. In this area, you can also do some other adventure activities like mountain biking, trekking, windsurfing, kayaking, fishing, diving, horseback riding, paragliding and rappelling. Only 20 km away from San Rafael, you can visit the old town of Villa 25 de Mayo, famous for its delicious tortafritas. You can finish the trip off with a tour around wineries and olive oil production mills. It is well worth staying for a few more days.

Useful information

- There is an airport in the city of Mendoza. Another option is the airport in San Rafael to access the circuit from the south.


- In all cities and towns, you will find different types of accommodation. The cities of Mendoza, Tunuyán and San Rafael have more accommodation options (hotels, lodges, aparthotels, hostels, cabins, inns and camping sites). An advantage of this route is that many wineries also offer accommodation, and some even include adventure tourism packages, spa and cuisine.


- Remember to camp only in areas where camping is allowed. Put your trash in bags and take them with you. Only start camp fires in areas where this is allowed, and put them out with plenty of water.


- Although you can take this route all year round, the best months to travel are from October to April. In winter, the mountain roads may get closed because of heavy snow.


- Take into account that you will only be able to do adventure activities in the Andes Mountain Range during the summer season.


- If you want to go trekking, there are several options to hike crossing over 4000 m of elevation gain, but if you have no experience hiking in the mountain, it is recommended to hire a guide.