Year-round, Villa Dolce Vita is a paradise for outdoor activities. The region averages 330 days of sun and just 10 inches of rain annually.
Warm, humidity-free days in the summer stretch into beautiful “Indian Summer” autumn days aglow in spectacular foliage colors. Winter brings huge snowfall to the nearby Andes. This combination means Mendoza truly rivals the most appealing climates found anywhere in the world.
Valle de Uco
Tunuyán, Tupungato and San Carlos belong to Uco Valley located north from Tunuyán River in the Province of Mendoza, Argentina. Uco Valley is 17370 km2 long; the altitude goes from 900 up to 1200 meters above sea level and it is surrounded by the highest summits in the Andes range. This is a very fertile area; where rain is not abundant and there are frosts almost everyday in June, July and August. It is an ideal landscape to be visited thanks to the contact with the nature and to the different activities that can be done: adventure, religious, rural tourism and the Roads to Wine. Uco Valley is also a very important grape growing region in Mendoza and one of the best in Argentina. Over there, the average temperature is 14° C/ 57, 2 F with a highlighted difference in the temperature within the night and the day. In addition,, there are different factors such as altitude, the soils of alluvial origin, irrigation, and 250 days of sunlight throughout the year that benefit the grape growing. These geographical and climatic elements provide the fruit with proper maturity ,concentration ,deep colors, strong aromas, pleasurable flavors and interesting textures.
San Carlos is the biggest department in Uco Valley. Here, there are agricultural practices revitalized by the three subdivided areas: San Carlos (main city), La Consulta and Eugenio Bustos, where people is helpful and has hardworking spirit. The fingerprints of the tradition and history are carefully kept in San Carlos. Its territory reveals the fight between the criollos (sons of Spanish and native persons) and native aborigine people due to the fertility of the soils in Uco Valley, as the rests of the “Fort of San Carlos” testifies. When facing the Diamond Lagoon (Laguna del Diamante), current Provincial Natural Reserve, all the most experimented travelers stay speechless in front of such monumental and peaceful beauty. The green, blue and grey colors of the water play at every hour of the day with the gleam to enlighten them. Silver and escaping trouts can be gazed at the edge of the lagoon. Even more, over the volcanic rocks, green and tight vegetation protects the feet of the hiker.
Tunuyán is similar to Tupungato regarding geography and economic activities. Additionally, it has good touristic infrastructure all along Road 94. The protected area of Manzano Histórico is a crowded place during the day, especially during the weekends. It is one of the favorite and most chosen destinations by the tourists from Mendoza and from other closer provinces. The Manzano Histórico has a unique microclimate that, compared to other areas at the same altitude, tend to benefit the growing of forest plantations (e.g Pine tree forest). It is located at 42 km from the city of Tunuyán and it is at about 1200 meters above sea level (3937 feet). Tunuyán has the biggest number of visitants in all Uco Valley. This department covers 3.317 km2 and by the year 2001 it had roughly 40.436 inhabitants.
Tupungato is a native language word which has several meanings, that vary according to different authors.The most used meaning is “Stars’ viewpoint ” in relation with the altitude and the landscape. As a matter of fact, native people knew that and had the same feeling or idea of ”observatory”. There is another version by Vicente F.López that expresses almost the same idea: tupuncatu, which means “The point of the sky”. The majority of the landscape is mountainous, and it is widely determined not only by the presence of the snow but also by the Silver Hill at north and the Tupungato volcano at west. The enterprising inhabitants develop their activities at the edge of rivers and streams, which mark the extension of the land. These stream beds are at the same time bridges that interconnect other points in the department of Tupungato. Head city is located at 1.050 meters above sea level.
Reserva Laguna del Diamante
The reserve is situated 200 km south-west from the city of Mendoza, in the department of San Carlos; and it was declared provincial reserve in 1994. Additionally, it has approximately 11.000 hectares and it is protecting a very important sector in the top of the main Andes range: the central Andes where we can find the Maipo volcano of 5.323 meters and the Diamond Lagoon at 3000 meters above sea level. This lagoon is one of the biggest reservoirs of sweet water in Mendoza.In this place we can find guanacos, red foxes, and ducks among other wild animals.
International border Portillo de Piuquenes
This border crossing is under the supervision of the Regiment 28 Tunuyán, west side of the country in the department of Tunyán, Province of Mendoza. It directly communicates Argentina with Chile through a pathway connecting Tunuyán (42.000 inhabitants) with San Gabriel de Chile (15.000 inhabitants). The Provincial Reserve of Manzano Histórico located in the department of Tunuyán at 1200 meters above sea level, at 120 km from Mendoza and at 40 km from the main city of Tunuyán, covers 1000 hectares. Nowadays, in the Reserve of Manzano Historico, it is possible to find the historical monument of General San Martin. Over there, the tourism is attracted by the beauty of the landscape and the quality of the water’s streams. In the area, it possible to find as well one of the most important Fish Culture Station of the Direction of Natural Renewable Resources, which supplies the main streams with salmonidae in the province of Mendoza.
Reserva Manzano Historico
The Tupungato Volcano Provincial Park, reserve since 1983, is situated at 110 km south-west from the city of Mendoza. It is the only reserve that is shared by two departments: Luján and Tupungato. The Park covers 15.000 hectares; it protects an specific area in Central Andes: the Tupungato Volcano which has 6820 meters, their eternal snow and their unique landscapes. The name “Tupungato” comes from quechua language and it means “land that turns green”. Actually, this reserve is a continuity of Park Aconcagua. The area of the forest rangers is located in Santa Clara Refuge.This sector comprises two big structures: frontal and main range located at west and eastern from the longitudinal valley in Tupungato river that practically separates both ranges. The base of the Andes extends at the western foothills of the Cordón del Plata (chain of attached mountains).The Frontal range is attached at east of the Main range and disappears at the south of the Diamond river. The altitudes reach 5000 to 6000 meters above sea level; the Main range is a very antique massif made of granitic bodies and magmatic rocks. The Andes range division in Frontal and Main range is a geological division due to the orographic elements directed bound with each other. As an example, where the longitudinal and deep valleys are, there exists the Tupungato river that divides two ranges: the frontal range from the foothills of the Andes.