Villavicencio Natural Reserve (Reserva Natural Villavicencio)



In the foothills of the Andes and just an hour’s drive from Mendoza, the wild landscapes of Villavicencio Natural Reserve(Reserva Natural Villavicencio) offer scenic hikes through ravines and mountain valleys. A wildlife hot spot, the reserve is also known for its natural springs, the source of much of Argentina’s bottled mineral water.

It’s possible to explore the reserve on a half- or full-day tour from Mendoza, and visiting the reserve is a popular alternative to wine tasting and vineyard tours. Highlights include historic sites such as the Monument of Canota and the early 20th-century Hotel Villavicencio; the Caracoles overlook, which affords spectacular views over the Villavicencio ravine; and a network of short hikes and walking trails, ideal for wildlife watching.

  • There is an entrance fee for the reserve.

  • The road to the Caracoles overlook is steep and winding; less confident drivers might prefer to visit as part of a tour.

  • Bring a bottle to fill up with the natural spring water at the Hotel Villavicencio spa.

  • There is a café and restrooms at the hotel.

Villavicencio Natural Reserve(Reserva Natural Villavicencio) lies around 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Mendoza along Route 52, just under an hour’s drive. There is no public transport to the park, so you’ll need to hire a taxi or join a tour if you don’t have your own transport.

The most popular time to visit the park is between November and April, when the warm weather is ideal for hiking, but it’s possible to visit all year round. The reserve is open Wednesday to Sunday from morning to late afternoon.

The reserve is home to more than 240 different animal species and a huge variety of Andean flora. Common sightings include rheas, guanaco, condors, and eagles, but keep a look out for smaller creatures such as armadillos and chinchillas too. If you’re lucky you might even see a puma or red fox. Bird enthusiasts also have the chance to spot 193 different bird species, including a number of Andean species such as the South American great horned owl, buff-breasted earthcreeper, white-sided hillstar, and Peruvian thick-knee.


Ruta Provincial 52
Mendoza, Mendoza


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