A May 2004 trip
to Mendoza by Robert Raymond Ingledew
Quote: I visited the Atuel Canyon for the first time in 1967, and was fascinated by its beauty. It resembles the scenery of some Far West movies. I walked ten miles along the canyon, trying to fish trout, and really enjoyed the scenery.
There are four hydroelectric power plants along this section of the river, so that the river is interrupted where water is diverted to the power plants, but in those zones where there is water, it is completely transparent.
I have been told that there is rainbow trout fishing in this area. However, I walked down miles of the river 30 years ago and was not able to catch any. Upstream from the dam, in the El Sosneado area, I have caught many times 5 pound rainbow trout. This must be at the beginning of the fishing season (October), because upstream of the dams the water generally is not clear.
The canyon has beautiful banks, in some places 1,000 feet high, with all sorts of figures (if your imagination is smarter than mine, you will find more figures than those I noticed), and it is a place worthwhile visiting, specially if you combine it with the Valle Grande rafting area, the Andes in Mendoza and the Valley of the Moon in San Juan.
This tour may be done from Mendoza (a one day tour that lasts 16 hours and costs including lunch), but you will have to travel over 400 miles in one day. If you prefer a more relaxed tour, stay at San Rafael (or at the Valle Grande hotel and resort, a very nice 3 star hotel and resort) and buy a local tour from there.
Downstream from the canyon is the Valle Grande Dam and lake, and the Valle Grande rafting area, where a 45 minute rafting experience will cost you less than .
But don't be deceived by the photos; in some places the water runs pretty fast...
Just have a look at the photos. It is a very nice area to include in your travel to Mendoza, Argentina.
Hotel | "Valle Grande Hotel and Resort (updated & expanded)"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 24, 2006
Valle Grande Hotel and Resort
Ruta 173, Km. 35
Robert Raymond Ingledew
Villa Carlos Paz (Cordoba), Argentina