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Excursion to Atuel Canyon
Mendoza / Argentina

The Atuel Canyon, descriptions:

The tour starts going to the south by route number 40. After crossing the Uco Valley, we will arrive at San Rafael, where we will visit the city and a dried fruits facility.

Then we will go to Valle Grande, a place for adventure tourism, to reach the Canyon where some dams and hydroelectric centrals will be among very impressive forms in the rock. We will see El Nihuil and Galileo Vitali Dams. To return to Mendoza City we will cross Villa 25 de Mayo. End of the tour.

As it approaches the city of San Rafael, Mendoza, from the southwest, the Atuel is turned into a reservoir with an area of 96 km² by the El Nihuil Dam.

Immediately after El Nihuil, the river becomes entrenched along a canyon and forms rapids. The canyon is about 60 km long, and during its course the river falls from 1,250 to 700 m above sea level. This level difference is taken advantage of by four hydroelectric power stations (Nihuil I, II, III and IV). Most of the Atuel's flow at this point has been redirected through a system of tunnels inside the mountains, connecting the chain of reservoirs.

The Atuel Canyon area is a major tourist attraction, featuring hotels, camping sites, country clubs and other lodging facilities. The rapids are employed for rafting and canoeing; they are classified between class II (novice) in the International Scale of River Difficulty.

The canyon ends in the Rincón del Atuel. From there on the river flows along a plain, becoming wider and meandering until reaching the Desaguadero River.

Days of exit: every day
Hour of exit: 6.30 hs. - approx returns 20.00.

 

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