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Northern Mendoza Region


Wines from this region

Introduction

Comprised by Las Heras, Lavalle and Guaymallén departments, this is a region with several attractions when it comes to tourism.

In Guaymallén, winery tours may be combined with shopping excursions (at the malls, for instance), squares tours and different gastronomy and rural tourism options.

Las Heras offers adventure and mountains. Thus, the Uspallata Valley appears as the central point of all high mountains excursions. Located between 1,900 y 2,500 meters above sea level, Uspallata allows visitors to practice fishing and to find out about its cultural roots. In the surrounding area, tourists can travel through the highest mountains to enjoy the snow and the winter sports. The mountain activities and the entrance to Aconcagua Provincial Park begin in Punta de Vacas and Los Penitentes -home to a ski center and an important hotel complex. The beauty and the quality of the thermal waters of Puente del Inca can be also enjoyed in this circuit. Finally, Las Cuevas village is the last Argentinian refuge before entering Chilean territory.
Another Las Heras circuit leads to Villavicencio, 45 km away from the city of Las Heras. There, visitors may appreciate magnificent landscapes and a centenary and emblematic hotel. A circuit closer to Mendoza city starts at El Challao, a colorful recreational area where a Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de Lourdes is located. Heading West, Divisadero Largo, a 492-hectare natural reserve, aims to preserve the fossil and rocky outcrops older than 200 million years. Trekking activities are carried out in the reserve.

Last but not least, Lavalle tourism circuit starts North of Mendoza city, in Villa Tulumaya (Lavalle’s capital). After crossing a beautiful agricultural oasis, visitors arrive in Costa de Araujo, where it is possible to leave the oasis again and go through the desert. Around 110 kilometers away, Telteca Forest Reserve and Altos Limpios (an extension covered by sand dunes reaching up to 60 meters in height) are a great option for nature-lovers. In the same circuit there is a path leading to the village of San José and the Huarpe trail, in Capilla del Rosario, where tradition and native culture come alive.

General Information

Demographic data
Surface: 19.331 km² (Lavalle 10.212 km², Las Heras 8.955 km², Guaymallén 164 km²)
Population of Northern Zone: 491.018 inhabitants (estimated)
Business hours: 8 am to 1 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm
Area Code: 54 261 / 54 2624 (Uspallata)
International Airport: “Francisco Gabrielli” – Las Heras
Phone: 54 261 520 6000 – 5480 6111
Bus Terminal: Av. Gob. Videla y Acceso Este Guaymallén
Phone: 54 261 4315000

Economic Aspects
Lavalle produces melons and watermelons and is one of the most important honey producers in Mendoza. In Guaymallén, the primary sector is comprised by agricultural activities, mines and quarries. There are a remarkable number of supermarkets and internationals companies that have decided to settle in this department. Many factories of non-metallic minerals are located in Las Heras, together with furniture factories and other industries like canned food, and bottled beverages and water. This department has an intensive farming activity as well.

Main Tourism Centers
The route to fully enjoy the Northern Region begins at the departmental capitals and visitors can choose to head towards the comfort of the shopping centers or the grand frame of the Andes at Vallecitos and Los Penitentes ski centers. Puente del Inca -an impressive native heritage-, Las Cuevas and Uspallata are high mountain villages that attract tourists all year round. Lagunas del Rosario, Altos Limpios and the calm streets of Lavalle in the North of the province invite visitors to learn about the life of the Huarpe, first inhabitants of these lands.

Information Centers
Uspallata:
International Route No. 7 and Route No. 52 – Uspallata
Las Heras – Phone: 54 2624 420410
Email:informacionturistica@mendoza.gov.ar
Web: www.lasheras-mendoza.gov.ar

Guaymallén:
Predio de la Virgen: Av. Acceso Este y Las Cañas
Phone: 54 261 431 7371
Email: turismo@guaymallen.gov.ar
Web: www.guaymallen.gov.ar

Tourism Calendar

January
High Mountain Festival – Uspallata, Las Heras
Camping and Bonfire Fest – Guaymallén
Guaymallén Singing and Farming Festival – Guaymallén

February
Virgen de Lourdes Procession and Festival
El Challao, Las Heras
Sweet Potato Festival – Guaymallén
Melon and Watermelon Fest – Lavalle

March
Harvest Worker Festival – Gustavo André, Lavalle
Harvest Festival – Las Heras

April
Sport Fishing Week in rivers and lakes of the province
Classical Music throughout the Wine Route
Native Cultures Gathering – Lavalle

May
Celebration in honor of San José Artesano – Lavalle

June
Ski Centers Season Opening
Desert Race: Horseback Riding, Running and Biking (throughout Lavalle)

July
Snow Festival in Ski Centers

August
Celebration in honor of Virgen del Tránsito
Asunción, Lavalle

September
Tango through the Wine Route
Beekepers’ Exhibition – Lavalle
National Crafts Exhibition – Guaymallén

October
Festivities in honor of Virgen del Rosario – Laguna del Rosario, Lavalle
Celebration in honor of San Judas Tadeo – Asunción, Lavalle
Immigrant Communities Festival – Guaymallén

December
Argentinian Paragliding Championship – El Challao, Las Heras
Kayak and Rafting Championships (Las Heras, Luján de Cuyo and San Rafael)
Festival in honor of Hilario Cuadros, local singer and composer – Guaymallén
Singing, Wine and Dance Festival – Lavalle

Information and photos courtesy of the Tourism Secretariat of Mendoza province

Grape and Wine Production

This region of the province has a very significant wine production. It has the lowest altitude, between 600 and 700 meters above sea level and it is irrigated by Mendoza River. These are lands of modest slope and important depth, which require drainage systems to wash out salts. The average temperature is 78° F in the warmest month of the year and 45° F in the coldest, with almost 200 days free of hail, which allows excellent grape ripening.

Among the most popular white varieties, Pedro Ximénez, Ugni Blanc and Torrontés stand out. Concerning red wines, Bonarda, Syrah and Barbera varieties are the most significant, as sunlight gives them concentrated colors and well-structured tannins. Rosé varieties include Cereza, Criolla Grande and Moscatel Rosado. This area is favorable for growing grapes destined to table consumption and raisins, providing an extraordinary yield and quality. However wine and must elaboration are currently prevailing.

A few years ago, Lavalle began a restructuring process of viticulture varieties, leaning towards the most suitable ones for fine wine production. Currently, this policy has positioned Lavalle in the fifth place of implanted surface in Mendoza and the third place in production per hectare.