When a River Becomes a Resort

The surroundings of Mina Clavero have become open to active tourism within a natural scene where rivers and streams delight everyone with their big pools of crystal-clear waters.

We had almost arrived in Mina Clavero, when we realized that the fresh air we enjoyed in the city came from the rivers. A series of river resorts in the downtown area and outskirts are great places to spend an incredible picnic day.

Our first day was really hot, but the closeness to the main river resort allowed us to enjoy the fresh waters and large shades. The waters of the Mina Clavero River are very cold and run across the city along a plain almost golden sandy bed. However, the source of this river is different, as it starts in the mountains and flows downhill among stones and waterfalls.

The following day, already feeling more confident in the city, we went shopping and took the road towards the town of San Lorenzo to visit the source of another river: the Panaholma River. Once on the road, the landscape turned into a countryside picture as we were guided by signposts indicating where the river resorts called Panaholma, Los Algarrobos, Pozos Azules and Cascada del Toro Muerto were situated. Throughout our journey, this river of difficult pronunciation, which means “silent waters” in the Quechua tongue, run alongside the road to our left. The sign posts indicated the distance, although they were somehow inaccurate.

  • Crystal-clear waters

    Crystal-clear waters

  • Fresh waters and large shades

    Fresh waters and large shades

  • Its air and water remain clean

    Its air and water remain clean

  • Natural river resorts

    Natural river resorts

  • Blue wells

    Blue wells

Once in San Lorenzo, we left behind the paved streets to get closer to the river where the resort called Las Maravillas stands. We decided to make a stop on the shore of this river as we listened to some comments made by a resident: “The waters are as silent as the working people with a sleepy pace who live in this beautiful town”.

The Panaholma River is quite wide, with big stones on one of its shores and golden sand on the others. Visitors can cross it whether over the bridge or by swimming, since it is neither deep nor dangerous. There is a daytime campsite where visitors can park their vehicles, use tables and fireplaces and some willows with a huge canopy to protect themselves from the sun.

Then, we noticed that waters were warm as a natural condition of the Panaholma River and we fully enjoyed them. Sitting down on our deck chairs, we said goodbye to the day as the last sun rays were hiding behind the hill and the trees.

To continue with our plan to visit every corner of the meandering rivers in the area, we came back the following day to tour the site along the same road, but this time we would reach the natural private river resort named Cascada del Toro Muerto.

The midday sun was ruthless and it was necessary to protect ourselves under the trees and plunge into the waters as well. From the bottom of some huge pepper trees, we could see a lush huge rock wall surrounding the waterfall that also reflected on a deep big pool, which is a bathing site for residents.

After several plunges into the water from the top, we walked on large stones towards another cascade called Mortero de los Zorros, where the grey stones are mixed with grasslands and groves allowing visitors to go away from the hustle and bustle of the main river resort.

We got our mate implements ready and remembered every minute of that special day by the river. The constant murmuring of the water remained in our ears as we closed our eyes to visualize every detail which would stay in our minds forever.

Later on, we became aware of a great number of butterflies flying all around us forecasting one of the famous summer storms in the area. Just in case, we picked up our belongings to start our way back to Mina Clavero. On our way, a heavy downpour accompanied us and became almost a relief from such a hot day.

Cabins, grocery stores and campsites again appeared indicating the closeness to the city. We confirmed a popular expression which says that in Mina Clavero the sun shines almost every day of the year and its air and water remain clean.

Autor Mónica Pons Fotografo Eduardo Epifanio

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