Situated at the end of Los Sauces Ravine, it is surrounded by mounts that feature magnificent panoramic views with places suitable for camping and swimming resorts open in the summer for the practice of water sports.
To reach this oasis in the middle of the aridity of the Cuyo region, visitors must start at La Rioja
following San Francisco Avenue, turn into Provincial Route 1 and travel 15 km up to the dam itself.
The tour goes by Las Padercitas Church, built over 500 years ago; the Tinkunaco Monument, where the "gathering" of the Spanish and Huarpe cultures is celebrated every year in January; and by Cochangasta, a residential neighborhood in the capital of the province, formerly made up by olive and walnut tree estates which were divided into lots as time went by.
This picturesque site is enclosed by Mount El Peñón, 1,800 m.a.s.l to the right, and by Mount de la Cruz, 1,600 m.a.s.l to the left, thus giving shape the ravine after which the dam has been named.
The road leading to the reservoir is in very good condition and completely paved. Some meters before crossing the mountain tunnel, visitors must turn left and follow the road that leads them directly to that place.
The Fishing Club, La Rioja Nautical Club and the Municipal Camping site, which feature zones for camping, fire pits, swimming-pools and restrooms are located in the area of the dam.
The climate in this ecosystem is semi-arid, with xerophile vegetation including species such as chañares, algarrobos, quebrachos, tuscas,
willows and jarillares,
many of which fulfill with the process of photosynthesis on their own stems.
In the surroundings of Los Sauces Dam, visitors may appreciate colorful rock formations such as the “gypsy woman's skirt” –as it has the shape of such garment– which has been eroded by the water and the wind and presents high contents of copper, lime and iron oxide.
In addition to enjoying the summer sun, windsurfing, swimming or sport fishing may be practiced in the waters of the reservoir.
During a short tour in the surroundings, visitors may spot condors, vultures, grosbeaks, swallows, cardinals and suris among the birds, and grey foxes, hares and armadillos among the most typical mammals in the area.