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San Agustín Del Valle Fértil

San Agustín del Valle Fértil—simply called Valle Fértil by locals—is a verdant oasis in the midst of a fantastic desert landscape. North of this tranquil village is a piece of the moon that landed millions of years ago into this remote corner of Argentina. Ischigualasto, which in Quechua means “place where the moon rests,” and Talampaya are two parks where the wind and rain have sculpted the earth into fantastic shapes. Both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Most people travel the dusty roads to Valle Fértil just to see these natural wonders. But the town has other surprises awaiting journeyers.



Within town is Centro Cultural Pachamalui, a small museum about the natural and human history of Valle Fértil (9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 6:30-9:30 p.m. Elizondo s/n, Tel: 42-0220, E-mail: pachamaluirupe@hotmail.com). On the southwest edge of San Agustín del Valle Fértil is Dique San Agustín, an ideal place for fishing and boat rides. San Agustín hosts the Encuentro Identidad Vallista in Janaury, featuring local products and craftwork. The town’s founding is marked on April 4.



Other adventures to observe the magical natural beauty of the mountains, observe birds, see ancient petroglyphs and visit late-17th century Jesuit ruins lie to the south. At Quebrada de Astica, tourists may do trekking, horseback riding and climb the Sierras de Elizondo.



Another wonderful place to ride a horse to is Puerto Alegre near Usno, on the old road that wended to San Juan city. Usno village, nine kilometers (5.5 mi) north of Valle Fértil, is home to Museo Piedras del Mundo. This private gallery exhibits minerals, insects, flora, and archaeological items from the region. The owners also do trekking, birdwatching and other excursions (8 a.m.-7 p.m. Ruta 510 s/n, Tel: 0264-156-400-200, E-mail: piedrasdelmundo@hotmail.com). In February, this town celebrates the Fiesta Departamental del Minero with artisan and gastronomic fairs.




(Altitude: 828 m/ 2,717 ft, Population: 3,900, Phone Code: 02646)




Services


The Oficina de Turismo is at the plaza (Acha 1050, Tel: 42-0104, E=mail: informesvallefertil@gmail.com). The village also has police, bank, post office and hospital.



Tours


Tours to Parque Provincial Ischigualasto cost $23-30 per person, and those including Parque Nacional Talampaya about $43 per person, not including entry and park guide fees.


PaulaTour (Tucumán s/n, Tel: 42-0096, E-mail:ali_toyr@hotmail.com, URL: www.paula-tour.com.ar)


Turismo Vesa (Mitre, between Mendoza and Entre Ríos, Tel: 42-0143)


Cabalgatas Don Pedrito (Rivadavia s/n, Tel: 0264-154-674-458)—horseback riding, nature observation



Hotels


Eco-Hostel San Juan (Mendoza 49, Tel: 0264-421-9528, E-mail: reservashostel@remove-this.triasico.com.ar, URL: www.ecohostel.com.ar)—dorm $10-12; private single / double $20-33


Hostería Valle Fértil (Tel: 42-0015, E-mail: hosteriavallefertil@alkazar.com.ar)—single $30-45, double $42-60



Restaurants


A Lo de Pepe (Rivadavia s/n, Tel: 0264-155-080-067)


Pizzaría Rocinante (Rivadavia 134, Tel. 0264-154-046-200)

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Other places nearby San Agustín Del Valle Fértil: Valle De Iglesia, Calingasta, Chilecito, Barreal, La Rioja and San Juan.







By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

10 Sep 2012

Things to do in San Agustín Del Valle Fértil

Parque Provincial Ischigualasto

Parque Provincial Ischigualasto—or Valle de la Luna—is the only place on earth where the entire geologic sequence of the Triasic Period of the Mesozoic Era is preserved. These 45-50 ...
Other Activity
San Agustín Del Valle Fértil, Argentina

Parque Nacional Talampaya

Bordering the northeast edge of Parque Provincial Ischigualsto is Parque Nacional Talampaya. This 215,000-hectare (531,277-ac) national park protects another stretch of desert canyons and dinosaur ...
Other Activity
San Agustín Del Valle Fértil, Argentina
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