The tourist circuit of Gran Mendoza includes several departments of Cuyo region, formed by many picturesque towns and quiet villages.
The department of Las Heras spreads from the northern Mendoza city to a region called Alta Montaña (High Mountain). Its core is over San Martin Avenue, including El Challao, the camp and the Plumerillo Airport, to the village of Villavicencio.
Next to the doorway to San Martin Park, we can get to El Challao, a pretty recreatinal area. Through the Libertador Avenue until the third roundabout, past the university campus; then the track splits and we take the Marcelino Champagnat Avenue up to the north until it reaches La Colina Road. That is a residential zone called Dalvian, and turning left is the entrance.
On the peak of Mount La Angostura we can find the “Cristo de los Cerros” (Christ of the Hills), rounded by pines and eucalyptus trees. It is a cross with an image of Christ blessing the Mendoza, settled on an esplanade that offers a wonderful viewpoint.
El Challao goes from the San Martin Park to the Cordón de Las Lajas. This small town has every service required for for camping, leisure, hotel with hot springs service, discos, pubs, biking circuits, motocross and a watering place known as Challaoland, which has amusement park, lifts, horse riding and picnic places.
The Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de Lourdes consists of an old chapel with its walls upholstered by promises of its devotees, and a modern amphitheater with a capacity of about four thousand people. During the night of February 11th, hundreds of devotees leave Mendoza city and walk along the extensive path to the sanctuary.
We can get to El Plumerillo Historical Camp by going out from the capital, throughout San Martin Avenue heading north, turning right on to Independencia Road up to L. Moyano Road, and thus arrive to the place by Ruta Provincial 52.
In 1815, General San Martin selected those lands to settle an teaching camp for his soldiers ready to organize the Andes army and empty the continent from the Realist Army, loyal to the Crown of Spain. Although the units of the camp are several rooms,we can highlight the “Despacho”, a room which used to belong to General San Martin and where the military strategies were discussed.