Driving distance: 280 km. Duration: 9 hours. Departure from the city of Mendoza.
The district of Maipú is reached by taking the Eastern exit on Freeway N° 40. This district is considered the cradle of wine. After crossing Mendoza river, we’ll travel through part of the so-called First Wine-making Region that comprises the municipalities of Lunlunta and Barrancas where prestigious wineries are waiting for visitors with open arms.
We’ll travel along vineyard and olive tree-lined roads that will allow visitors to enjoy gorgeous views of Cordon del Plata snow-capped mountains, and Tupungato Volcano (6,820 m a.s.l.) that overlooks the Andes.
We’ll drive past Benegas and El Carrizal dams, which remind us of how men were able to turn the desert into an oasis.
El Carrizal is located on the mid-higher section of Tunuyán river, and it is mainly aimed at controlling the glacier river flow. This lake is also a major tourist attraction where visitors may go windsurfing, sailing or fishing.
We’ll then head west to reach Valle de Uco, more precisely, the Tupungato urban area. Having lunch in an estancia or rural restaurant there is a one-of-a-kind experience. Visitors may have: local-style barbecue, clay-oven baked empanadas, and the best wine.
In the afternoon, the tour continues toward Las Carreras region, at the foot of Cordón del Plata range, 2,000 m a.s.l. Cereals are grown and cattle is raised there. It features many streams and springs where condors are often seen. On Los Caracoles road that leads to Las Vegas mountain village, we’ll get to impressive Potrerillos dam (finished in 2001) to then start our trip back to the city of Mendoza.