Reserva Natural Villavicencio

Mendoza & the Central Andes

Popular with day-tripping mendocinos, this nature reserve occupying a spectacular mountain setting only an hour north of Mendoza is also the origin of Argentina's most popular eponymous mineral water. You can wander the grounds and gardens of the abandoned natural spring resort of the Gran Hotel de Villavicencio, once popular with the Argentine elite during the middle of the 20th century. Hiking is also a possibility. The drive, including a dizzying amount of curves, is part of the appeal of the trip.

The facade of the hotel has recently been painted and there's work being done on the interior so it can be open to visitors in the future.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Mendoza & the Central Andes attractions

1. Cerro Tunduqueral

16.87 MILES

An easy 8km walk (or an easier drive) north of town brings you to Cerro Tunduqueral, where you’ll find sweeping views and Inca rock carvings; Seven Years…

2. Museo Las Bóvedas

19.07 MILES

A kilometer north of the highway junction in Uspallata, a signed lateral leads to ruins and a museum at the Museo Las Bóvedas, a smelting site since pre…

3. Parque General San Martín

26.26 MILES

Walking along the lakeshore and snoozing in the shade of the rose garden in this beautiful 420-hectare park is a great way to enjoy one of the city’s…

4. Museo Histórico General San Martín

26.54 MILES

Honors José de San Martín, the general who liberated Argentina from the Spanish and whose name graces parks, squares and streets everywhere; the…

5. Museo Fundacional

26.64 MILES

Mendoza’s renovated Museo Fundacional protects excavations of the colonial cabildo (town council), destroyed by an earthquake in 1861. At that time, the…

7. Terraza Mirador

27.39 MILES

A good place to orient yourself is the Terraza Mirador, which is the rooftop terrace at City Hall, offering panoramic views of the city and the…