Search in La Ruta Natural

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


Cañón del Atuel


A perfect combination of impressive landscapes, nautical activities and adventure. The rapids of the Atuel River are the perfect setting and one of the main destinations for rafting, kayaking and cool river practice, and in the nearby reservoirs, biking, climbing, rappelling, canopy and zip lining.

Open to visitors all year round.

What to see
Atuel River Rapids

Some 34 km away from San Rafael, the so-called "Atuel Rapids" invite you to live an adventurous river experience: rafting, kayaking and cool river practice are some of the must-do options to enjoy. You can get through Provincial Route 173 (paved up to the Valle Grande dam). There are operators specialised in these adventure activities.

Provincial Route 173

The scenic Provincial Route 173 links San Rafael with the Atuel River Rapids and the Valle Grande and El Nihuil dams/reservoirs, in a route of 85 km in total.


This route passes through the impressive Atuel Canyon, with an extension of 56 km of gravel road and walls that can reach 260 metres high, offering a spectacular landscape with colourful formations carved by the wind and the waters of the Atuel River. It is worth doing it with enough time and take a minute to admire the landscape.

Las Tinajas Park

Coming from San Rafael and before entering the canyon, Las Tinajas Private Park attracts visitors with its rock formations and cave paintings in the Gruta del Indio cave. There are several guided trails. Nearby, on Victoria Hill, you can paraglide in the summer. 

How to get there and move around

The city of San Rafael, 234 km south of Mendoza capital city, has an airport and regular bus services.

From San Rafael to El Nihuil, there are 85 km in total along Provincial Route 173. Along the way, you go past the Las Tinajas Park, the Valle Grande dam and the entire Atuel Canyon. 

Where to stay

San Rafael has lodging options of different categories as well as services. In the Valle Grande area and in Villa El Nihuil, you can choose between camping sites, cabins and hotels, and there are restaurants and grocery stores, too. 

More information