The city of Malargüe is located in the southwestern corner of the province of Mendoza, 186 km (115.575 mi) from San Rafael, 422 km (262.218 mi) from Mendoza capital city. It is home to the Pierre Auger International Observatory, an international scientific undertaking aiming at the discovery of the source of ultra-high cosmic rays. It also features first-rate tourist spots, such as Caverna de las Brujas and Payunia. Malargüe is also conveniently located for a visit to Valle de Las Leñas, home to international ski championships and competitions.
One remarkable attraction in this city is the Caverna de Las Brujas (Witches Cave), a cave located in the Moncol hill, 1,930 meters above sea level. The cave was formed due to simple fractures more or less perpendicular to the stratification banks when the rock stratums emerged to the surface. You will be able to appreciate stalactites, stalagmites, drippings, veils, stratums, hangings, helictite, and columns that date back to 150 to 180 million years. Undoubtedly, a great adventure.
Another interesting area to visit is the La Payunia Natural Reserve, a vast region of near the Andes mountains that, due to the particularities of its terrain, it is considered one of the largest volcanic fields in South America. Travelling around the Santa María volcano’s beds of solidified lava, the Pampas Negras or the Payún Liso surroundings are breathtaking experiences.
The volcanic diversity of this region makes it a paradise for experts; in fact, the reserve contains about 10.6 volcanoes every 100 km2 (38.61 mi2) and 800 cones.
The flora that can be found at La Payunia is very diverse: thickets, grasslands and woodland and Patagonian species; colimalil (yellow firewood), coirón, melosa, solupe negro, retamillo, pichanillo, cacho de cabra, carob trees (500-1300 meters high), patagüilla, molle andjarillas (1,800-2,850 meters high). As regards fauna, 35 out of the 70 recorded species in La Payuna are usually observed by enthusiasts. Some species are the Physalaemus biligonigerus frog, the Leiosaurus bellii lizard, the lagarto cola de piche (Phymaturus flagellifer), the Patagonian lancehead, the rhea, the Black-chested Buzzard-eagle, the turkey vulture, the tawny-throated dotterel, the Patagonian mockingbird, the Southern viscacha, the South American gray fox, the Dwarf Armadillo, and the guanaco (currently, there are about 10,000 guanacos in the reserve).
Malargüe features the Thesaurus Exhibition and Convention Center, a venue that can accommodate 1,000 guests attending different activities in its 3 meeting rooms and other spaces. It covers an indoor area of 1,500 m² (16,145.87 ft²), distributed between 2 main buildings with a connecting tunnel. This venue is ISO 9001- quality certified.
Organizers can choose between the Canelo Room, which sits 386 guests in an auditorium, the multi-purpose Caldén Room, which accommodates 190 guests, and the Maitén Conference Room, with micro theater, which accommodates 160 guests. This venue also offers four breakout rooms: Caverna de las Brujas, Laguna de Llancanelo, Castillos de Pincheira and La Payunia, which can accommodate 10-15 guests; as well as an exhibition gallery.
As regards accommodation options, the 3 star Micro Inn Hotel, just entering the city, has 48 guest rooms and 2 meeting rooms with a capacity for up to 20 people in banquet and auditorium. The Golf Risco Plateado & Resort, located 4 km (2.5 mi) away from the airport, has 9 guestrooms and an event hall with capacity for up to 80 people in banquet, as well as a 9-hole golf court where equipment and golf teachers can be hired. Another option is the Maggio Hotel, which has 15 guest rooms and is 500 m (1,640 ft) away from San Martín Avenue, the main street of the city.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Malargüe International Airport serves the Las Leñas and Mendoza tourist areas. It is busiest during the winter due to its proximity to the Las Leñas valley, where the international ski center is located. Basically, it offers charter flights from Mendoza to Buenos Aires (Jorge Newbery Airport), among other destinations.
Another option is going by car from San Rafael, a 180 km (112 mi) journey, and from the city of Mendoza, a 420 km (261 mi) journey.
Secretariat of Tourism of the Province of Mendoza
Phone/Fax: +54261 – 4132100/03/22
www.turismo.mendoza.gov.ar / www.congresos.mendoza.gov.ar