Tours and Activities:
Temples beneath the WaterJulián Varsavsky
180 kilometers from the city of San Juan, on the northeastern end of the Province, Cuesta del Viento (wind slope) contains one of the strangest and most unknown spots in our country, which combines the aridity of a lunar scenery with the turquoise transparency of a water mirror. An adventure travel hub where visitors can explore the landscape on horseback, by bike, on foot or in a rubber raft along the Jachal River. The best site in the country for the practice of windsurfing.
Any disoriented traveler might reach Cuesta del Viento and think that he is before the famous Valle de la Luna (valley of the moon) which has been invaded by a huge flood. The tops of the highest peaks hardly outstand through the water, looking like colorful islets lost amidst a sea of turquoise waters. But in fact, this is an artificial lake in the district of Iglesia, created ten years ago by the construction of the Cuesta del Viento dam, which as a result of human intervention, became of the most amazing and unknown sceneries in our country: Cuesta del Viento.
When Cuesta del Viento is reached from San Juan along Route 150, the radiant immensity of a strange valley that combines the aridity of a lunar scenery with the Caribbean transparency of its waters appears before the visitors’ eyes. Inside the lake, surrounded by mountains that reach up to 6,250 meters of height and that reflect a soft violet color on their slopes, solitary islets whose straight walls resemble a submerged fortress stand out. Some of them have strange spiral shapes and others show evidence of a great landslide on one side, caused by the action of the wind and the water. From a distance, it looks as if this was the ruins of a real Atlantis hiding beneath those spring waters coming down from the mountain heights. And in the background, on the other side of the lake, some reddish gales of sand rise to the sky with their threatening whirlwinds.
Windy, Very Windy
The name Cuesta del Viento applies perfectly to this place as you can literally leave the ground there. It is windless up to midday, but afterwards, in certain spots, if we do not force our body forwards, we can fall to the ground to everyone’s laughter. At times, the wind shakes the truck stopped by the road, while in the lake there are waves and water gusts rising several meters over the surface in the form of dew. The cause of so much wind is a kind of funnel that is formed right in the spot where the air currents enter the valley. As the pass gets narrower, the wind increases its speed up to eighty kilometers per hour. Logically, the dam is one of the best sites in the world for the practice of windsurfing. In the fall, temperatures range between 5 and 25 degrees centigrade during the day. The weather is sunny 98% of the days and it rains only five times a year.