Saturday, 3 March 2018

ARGENTINA: Rio Negro Is A Worldwide Famous Destination Due To Its Spectacular Panoramic Views And Pure Natural Spaces

Rio Negro or Black River is a province of Argentina, located at the northern edge of Patagonia. Neighboring provinces are from the south clockwise Chubut, Neuquen, Mendoza, La Pampa and Buenos Aires. To the east lies the Atlantic Ocean.

Its capital is Viedma. Other important cities include the ski resort town of Bariloche, Cipolletti and General Roca.

Rio Negro is one of the six provinces that make up Argentine Patagonia. It is bounded to the north by the Colorado River which separates it from La Pampa Province, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean and to the west by the Andes and the Limay River.

The 42nd parallel south marks the southern limit of the province. With an area of 203,013 square kilometres (78,383.8 sq mi), it is the 4th largest province by area.

The main water source at the arid plains that cover most of the province is the Rio Negro, in whose valley most of the settlements and farms are located.

The over 600 km of the Rio Negro's valley are divided in Alto Valle (West), Valle Medio (center) and Valle Inferior (East).

The central part of the province is dominated by a series of plateaus and isolated hills, with altitudes ranging from 600 meters (2000 ft) above sea level to 1000 meters (3300 ft).

Especially noteworthy is the plateau called Meseta de Somuncura in the central-eastern part of the province, with altitudes generally above 1000 meters (3300 ft) and some spots reaching 1300 meters (4200 ft).

Moving further west, the foothills of the Andes are dominated by a series of low valleys discharging either towards the Atlantic through the Limay river, or to the Pacific through the Manso and Puelo rivers.

Deep blue-water lakes form in the Andean valleys, with some regions reaching very low altitudes under 400 meters, or 1300 ft, in the Pacific basin, and 750 meters, or 2500 ft, in the Atlantic basin.

The Andes are here deeply cut by glacial valleys, and the altitude of the peaks is moderate for most, it ranges between 1,700 meters and 2,200 meters (5600 to 7200 ft), with only a handful of peaks surpassing 2,400 meters (7800 ft).

Especially noteworthy is the Cerro Tronador, a heavily glaciated peak of 3,405 meters (11,100 ft) which dominates the surrounding landscape.

The climate of the province is temperate at low elevations, and very cold in the higher Andean peaks.

The mean annual temperatures in the province are relatively cold for its latitude owing to the cold Malvinas Current to the east and higher altitude to the west.

Mean annual temperatures in the province can vary, depending on altitude and distance from the sea. The northern parts of the province are the warmest, with a mean annual temperature of more than 15 °C (59.0 °F) while the coldest areas are found in the Andean region where the mean annual temperatures are less than 10 °C (50.0 °F).

At the highest peaks, the mean annual temperature is less than freezing.[ Summers are hot throughout the province with the exception of the Andean region with mean January temperatures ranging from 20 to 24 °C (68.0 to 75.2 °F).

Occasionally, temperatures can exceed 40 °C (104.0 °F) during heat waves in all areas except for the Andean region.

In contrast, the Andean region has milder summers with mean January temperatures of 15 °C (59.0 °F) or less, depending on the altitude.

Winters are cool to cold. In July, mean temperatures range from 7 to 8 °C (44.6 to 46.4 °F) on the coast in the north to around 2 to 3 °C (35.6 to 37.4 °F) in the central plateau area and the Andean region.

The central plateau area can be extremely cold during the winter in which temperatures can fall to −25 °C (−13.0 °F) while the coastal areas are milder with temperatures that can fall to −15 °C (5.0 °F).

Relative humidity is lower in the central plateau where they average 50%. Along the coastal regions, humidity is higher with a mean annual humidity of 60% while the Andean region has the highest humidity with an average annual humidity exceeding 65% due to the lower temperatures there.

In all locations, humidity is lower in the summer and higher in the winter owing to the higher temperatures in the summer.

The Andes block most of the moisture from the Pacific Ocean from coming in, causing it to release most of the precipitation on its western slopes and as such, most of the province is dry, with a mean annual precipitation around 200 millimetres (8 in).

Coastal areas and northern parts of the province receive a slightly higher precipitation, where it can average above 300 millimetres (12 in) a year.

The Andean region receives the most precipitation with areas receiving a mean annual precipitation of 200 to 1,000 millimetres (8 to 39 in) in which the precipitation gradient is very strong and increases westwards.

In some places, precipitation can exceed 3,000 millimetres (118 in) a year. Most of the Andean region has a rainfall pattern that is Mediterranean like, similar to Central Chile in which most of the precipitation falls during the winter months and summers are dry.

One dominant characteristic of the climate is the strong winds that are observed throughout the province. Summers tend to be windier than winters.

Winds coming from the west, southwest and northwest are common, occurring 50% of the time, 60% if calm winds are not included.

There is some tendency for the winds to come from the east, particularly on the coastal regions when sea breezes from the east can occur when westerly winds are weak, which can be felt up to 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the coast.

The mean wind speed throughout the province varies with the northern parts having the lowest wind speeds while the highest altitude areas being the windiest. Except for the northern parts of the province, mean annual wind speeds exceed 4 metres per second (13 ft/s).

Cloud cover varies throughout the province, ranging from more than 60% in the Andean region to about 40% in the coastal areas. The central plateaus have intermediate amounts of cloud cover between these 2 regions.

As such, the Andean region is more cloudier than the rest of the province. Sunshine ranges from 10–11 hours of sunshine/day in January to about 5 hours of sunshine/day, less cloudier areas to less than 3 hours of sunshine/day more cloudier areas in July.

According to the results from the 2010 census INDEC, the province has a population of 638,645 with 316,774 males and 321,871 females. It constitutes 1.6% of the total population in Argentina.

This represented a 15.5% increase in the population compared to 2001 census INDEC which had 552,822 inhabitants. Amongst of all the provinces in Patagonia, it is the most populous, containing 30.4% of the total population in Patagonia.

Argentina's ninth-largest, Rio Negro's economy is a diversified service-based one with vigorous agricultural and light manufacturing sectors.

Its 2006 output was an estimated US$5.420 billion, or a per capita income of US$9,805. In 2013, its output increased to $43.349 billon Pesos about US$7.939 billion at current market prices.

There is a gold mine located at Calcatreu, near Ingeniero Jacobacci, that is owned by Pan American Silver. In December 2011 the provincial government repealed a law banning the use of cyanide in mineral processing, and the mine's owners regarded this as a positive development which is likely to bring increased investment.

There are two main areas of tourism in the province; the Andes and the Atlantic coast.

The Province of Rio Negro occupies an ample corridor in southern Argentina. It stands between the Andes Mountain Range, located on the West, and the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, lying on the East.

Both ends feature different geographical traits. However, they are extremely popular due to their relevant tourist destinations.

The mountain range area comprises a lake zone framed by mountains and forests of native species boasting spectacular scenes.

As a result of its location in the Andean zone, but also as a consequence of the vision of its first settlers, who turned their town into a tourist center par excellence, San Carlos de Bariloche is a leading city.

Tourists activities boom both in the summer and the winter. Each of them has its followers, no matter the age or social condition. Likewise, popular festivals such as those celebrating snow, chocolate, curanto, communities, Adventure Week, and the like, provide a special glow to this metropolis.

The coast of Rio Negro is bathed by the Atlantic and becomes alive every Summer when the sun lures visitors to its huge beaches to also enjoy nautical activities and fishing.

Small beaches stand next to one another and they all welcome more and more visitors year after year, who are tempted by their warm waters. Las Grutas is famous for its typical characteristics as well as for its connective road network.

To the north, the province borders on the Limay, Neuquen and Colorado Rivers. The latter runs parallel to the Negro River across the valleys upper, medium and lower. This is a highly important area for local economy as its fruit products are exported to the world.

Last but not least, the contrasting central region of the steppe presents interesting ravines amidst volcanoes and hills, creeks and temporary ponds. Its paleontological and archeological heritage stands out.

The Andean Area - The most visited area is that of the lake district near San Carlos de Bariloche inside the Nahuel Huapi National Park, and neighbouring Neuquen Province.

This includes the Isla Victoria, Camino de los Siete Lagos, Los Arrayanes National Park, and many trekking paths among lakes.

Atlantic Coast - Returns of Southern Right Whales are possibly the biggest of tourism attractions.They swim and rest very close to shore, and the San Matias Gulf is the only place in the world where swimming with this kind is commercially permitted.

Wineries Region is known for its white varietals Semillon and Sauvignon blanc, and its red varietals Merlot, Pinot noir and Malbec.

The Valley

When it comes to the best pears and apples in Argentina, reference is made to the excellent weather conditions in the Valley, the fruit producing area in the provincia de Rio Negro, from the city of Cipolleti onwards.

The venues located in the three stretches of the Valley of Roo Negro Upper, Medium and Inferior open their gates to tourists interested in seeing the tasks carried out there.

Some of them offer the chance to take part in those tasks, seeing how the fruit is packed, touring around the cider factories and tasting fresh fruit and their byproducts.

Due to the high export demand, all of them involve modern highly safe processes as far as quality and health are concerned.

The City of General Roca is the seat of the National Apple Festival and Allen hosts the National Pear Festival. In both cases, the attendance of the public changes the typical labor hours for days and nights of celebration.

Small wineries, homemade wine producers, make up a route in Northern Patagonia. Visits to their facilities, as well as to the venues producing fruit, give life to the fertile Valley of Río Negro.

Hundred-Year-Old Winery in Rio Negro

A visit to Humberto Canale Winery, a wine-growing pioneer in Patagonia, unveils its modern processes of wine-making for export.

Apples National Festival

Like every year, the cities in the Río Negro Valley having General Roca as a venue, dress in full regalia to honor one of the most perfect fruits created by nature: the apple.

Vintter Museum

Vintter Museum, as all the museums in the region, gives evidence of the life periods of the peoples with jealously kept facts and circumstances.

Rich Valley

Alto Valle is known for its export-quality fruit production. A tour around the farms shows us this important component of the economy of the region.

San Martín Square and its Artisans

Every weekend afternoon, the main square at General Roca welcomes local artisans who occupy colorful stands where their goods are offered for sale.

Saint Rita's Sanctuary in Ferri

The simplicity of Saint Rita's Chapel has become a space for faith, visited by those who acknowledge her miracles and pay worship.

Allen’s Municipal Museum

This place is beautiful, not only for the history it houses but also for the great deal of cultural activities held in it. A space specially recovered for visitors to enjoy.

Mountain Range

The western area of the Province of Rio Negro is a worldwide famous destination due to its spectacular panoramic views and its pure natural spaces.

The City of San Carlos de Bariloche is the oldest in this zone and it offers tourist resources recognized by everyone.

The presence of the majestic Lake Nahuel Huapi, surrounded by forests and mountains, enables visitors to enjoy hiking, salmon fishing and mountaineering in the summer.

In the winter, Cerro Catedral ski resort gets all the attention as a result of the wide array of snow sports available at the venue.

Bariloche is known for its busy nightlife, especially among the young, who usually stay up until sunset to see how the first sunbeams are reflected upon the surface of the lake.

Going southwards along the mountain range, the City of El Bolson boasts mountain features and farms producing hop and fine fruit. It is legendary for its relaxed pace and a population mostly devoted to handcraft making.

Incredible trails across ancient forests join nearby settlements and invite visitors to camp and test their physical conditions. Hikers will find their challenge at Huella Andina, the Andean Track.

Angling is one of the most popular activities, especially fly-casting, which is becoming highly praised when it comes to preserving species and the environment.

Horseback Tour to Cajon del Azul, El Bolson

We recommend a horseback tour to the Azul River gorge, one of the most fascinating sceneries close to El Bolson.

Mount Otto 360-Degree View

From a panoramic balcony, we caught the best glimpses of the mountains and the lake as we grabbed a tasty bite in a unique coffee-shop.

Beer in Bariloche

Ideal to drink beer, Bariloche has its own beer road, where scenes co-exist with a tradition brought along by immigrants who made the city grow.

Curanto in Colonia Suiza

Tasting curanto prepared with enough time and professionalism in Colonia Suiza is a unique experience.

Carved Forest

A carved forest was born from a burnt down site. At a few kilometers from the center of El Bolson, visitors can appreciate an artistic exhibition of carved wood.

Mount Piltriquitron

For some people, Mount Piltriquitron is a center of energy. Others just enjoy its woods without searching for any further explanation. The truth is that the Piltri encloses an enigmatic charm.

Chocolate Makes History in Bariloche

As exquisite as it is energetic, chocolate is highly coveted by visitors to Bariloche. Fenoglio Chocolate Museum shows how the idea.

Campanario Hill Viewpoint

Visitors may behold one of the most impressive sceneries in the area after a tour in the comfortable chairlifts of Cerro Campanario.

Elegant Hotel Llao Llao

Hotel Llao Llao appears in the most famous first-class international hotel directories. We visited the venue, toured around each section and confirmed its well-deserved prestige.

Isla Victoria and Arrayanes Forest

This trip begins at Puerto Panuelo, a site nestled on the Llao Llao Peninsula. There are several options to reach this place: by car, following Ezequiel Bustillo’s Avenue.

The Handcraft Fair

One of the most exciting things to do in El Bolson is to enjoy an intense shopping day in one of the most important handcraft fairs in South America.

River Rafting on the Manso

Unlike its name in Spanish, the Manso River rapids offer an excellent proposal for river rafting.

Recipes from the Shire

At El Bolson, gourmet proposals set the typical style of Patagonian cuisine. Here we present an excellent choice to enjoy a good table in two very special venues in the Andean shire.

The Coast

The entire sea costaline of the Province of Rio Negro is bathed by warmer waters than the rest of the Argentinian littoral zone.

This has given origin to a sequence of populations offering ample and solitary beaches as well as the chance to mix a life of rest and beholding of sea fauna with the adrenaline of some water sports.

The sea road starts at the City of Viedma, capital of the province, and borders Gulf San Matias. Las Grutas is probably the village that has exploited tourism best.

Its waters, its cliffs and the chance of enjoying SCUBA diving, fishing and nautical sports are luring.

Other populations on the shore of Río Negro are Playas Doradas, El Cóndor, Playa Bonita and La Loberia, where scenes follow one another and every place is unique.

SCUBA Diving in Viedma – Carmen de Patagones

SCUBA diving is one of the ways man has discovered in order to enjoy the secrets of the sea. The Gulf of San Matias, close to Viedma and Carmen de Patagones, is ideal to practice this sport.

Curious Formations on the Seashore

El Sotano and Las Ostras Ravine are two of the geographical features that cut out the seashore and invite adventurers to see them from a close distance.

El Condor, a Fabulous Beach

Just twenty minutes away from Viedma, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Province of Rio Negro, El Condor, is the site where holidaymakers meet.

ATV Ride on the Dunes

The beaches and dunes of Las Grutas are ideal environments to go on an amusing ATV ride.

Tracks on the Patagonian Steppe

Close to Las Grutas, two tours around inhospitable nooks are excellent adventure proposals available on almost inexistent paths.

Municipal Historic Museum

On the ocean drive at San Antonio Oeste, a museum gives account of the cultural heritage of this city which developed in the early 1900s and marked the history of the area.

A Tour around the City of Viedma

Viedma is a modern city where every detail deserves attention. Almost the site for the new capital city of the Argentine Republic in the 1980s, it features vestiges of those times.

Cerro Catedral

Speaking about San Carlos de Bariloche means speaking about Cerro Catedral, which stands for Mount Cathedral in Spanish due to the resemblance of its summits to the towers of a medieval temple. Its majesty is well-known by skiers from all round the world.

Cerro Catedral, lying just 20 kilometers from the City of Bariloche, opens its gates with the first snowfalls for visitors eager to experience the adventure promised by ski and winter sports.

Reaching 1,030 meters above sea level, Mount Catedral seems to have the intention to join the ground and the sky.

A pioneer in South America, today it is the most complete ski resort in the country and it continues updating its facilities in order to offer visitors the most advanced infrastructure.

The unification of its sectors offers 600 hectares of skiable surface divided into 53 well sign-posted trails of various difficulties, which reach 2.000 meters over sea level.

With options for all ski disciplines, including off-piste, are available, those who practice freestyle and snowboarding will also enjoy an area specially designed with bumps and rails to show off their abilities.

Catedral has been the stage for the most important international competitions and snow festivals for years. The downhill torch parade, a night show that is gaining more and more fans, stands out.

Lift updating programs are constant and specially thought to improve the resort’s total lift capacity and quality.

Catedral also has a cutting-edge snow-making system which creates real flakes that cover a skiable surface of about 10 hectares.

Visitors just need to come along. In mythical San Carlos de Bariloche, Cerro Catedral has everything to please skiers and their families. Snow is guaranteed.

How to Get There: From Bariloche, along Bustillo Av. to kilometer No. 8 (Catedral intersection). Then, turn left into the paved road till you reach the ski resort access, with its free parking space for 960 vehicles.

There is also a regular bus service every 30 minutes. You can also go up by taxi or on a tourist excursion transfer vehicle.

Season: From June 18 to October 10, divided into high, low and mid season.

Timetable: From 9am to 5pm.

Activities: Alpine, Nordic, randonée and off-piste skiing, snowboarding, sleds, paragliding, hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking.

Services: Refuges, first-class restaurants, lockers, garment and souvenir stores, photo development, medical service at the base, public phones and access to the Internet at the base and at the 1,600 station, ski rental, large parking space, information center, kids nursery, ski school, shopping mall, discos, transfers to the mountain, press room, quad vehicles and snow cats.

To crown a day at the resort, the refuges offer the widest gastronomic variety.

This season, in addition to the 9 refuges on the northern area of Barrilete, Punta Nevada, Refugio Lynch, El Cabo, Parador Intermedia, Plataforma 1200, Cabana 1600, Rodeo y Viento Cero 8 restaurants, pastry-shops and refuges conexion, La Roca, La Cueva, Punta Princesa, Plaza Oertle, Q-White, Soul Point y Oso Point will be available.

All of them have been conditioned by the new managers in order to please the needs of the ever increasing and more demanding visitors.

From exquisite soups and delicious snacks, to the best fondues and typical dishes of the area, everything is part of the varied range of dishes to be tasted in the company of an excellent wine selection.

Catedral offers a different landscape in each one of its restaurants, with a unique and privileged environment.

At the restaurants located by the mount ski runs, international and regional cuisines mingle with the best view of the mountain. The best-known chefs in our country excel at Catedral.

El Rodeo outstands due to its barbecues, all kinds of meat and trout; there is also live music and activities. The terraces of Plataforma 1200, Punta Princesa, Conexión and Refugio Lynch offer a spectacular sight as you enjoy typical mountain dishes.

At Punta Nevada , Viento Cero and Parador Intermedia, you can enjoy traditional dishes, such as goulash. El Cabo serves Mexican food and, for good pizza, El Barrilete is the best choice.

For those who do not wish to miss even one minute of action in the runs, Q-White, La Roca , Soul Point and Plaza Oertle offer fast food service.

When it comes to a good cup of coffee or hot chocolate accompanied by some delicacy, Cabana 1600 also provides Internet access free of charge.

Having dinner at La Cueva is an interesting choice to appreciate a night perspective of the mountain.

Museums of Rio Negro

Paraje Confluencia

When it comes to learning about the great history of Patagonia, and in particular its present culture, a visit to Paraje Confluencia Museum, located in downtown Neuquén, is the answer.

Allen’s Municipal Museum

This place is beautiful, not only for the history it houses but also for the great deal of cultural activities held in it. A space specially recovered for visitors to enjoy.

Francisco P. Moreno Museum of Patagonia

Visit the Francisco P. Moreno Museum of Patagonia and obtain a global vision of the various historical and cultural periods Patagonia went through.

Asociacion Paleontologica Bariloche Museum

At the corner of Av. 12 de Octubre and Sarmiento, on the coast of Lake Nahuel Huapi, you will find the Paleontology Museum of Bariloche, which has numerous fossils from this region.

Ameghino Museum and Peuser Library

Cipolletti's cultural environment consists of two entities whose activities and materials are housed by significant buildings.

Vintter Museum

Vintter Museum, as all the museums in the region, gives evidence of the life periods of the peoples with jealously kept facts and circumstances.

Municipal Historic Museum

On the ocean drive at San Antonio Oeste, a museum gives account of the cultural heritage of this city which developed in the early 1900s and marked the history of the area.

Constantino Vicci's Private Museum

The pieces treasured by this museum were found, classified and turned into a highly valuable exhibition resulting from the personal work done by its owner.

Mount Tronador

Bariloche awakes in a beautiful mood as usual and we set out on four wheels in an emblematic tour: Mount Tronador and its ancient glaciers. We meet Omar, the driver, once we occupy our seats.

“Our job is a pleasure both for my partner and for me. We have been trained professionally and we love dealing with tourists, whether from our country or from abroad.

Let me introduce myself: my name is Omar and my job is to drive this comfortable vehicle towards our destination. Ayelen, my partner, will be the guide of this tour and will provide information to all of you today.

We were born in this land and we love it as much as we love our job. Tourists will surely appreciate that, Omar concludes and after hearing that introduction, we feel we are taking the right tour.

Ayelen occupies one of the first seats in the vehicle and carries countless books, posters, photographs and research material that she will lend visitors at all times.

Everyone gets on board and the journey along a 36-kilometer-long paved stretch to the Southwest begins. Afterwards, we get deep into a mountain gravel road and make several stops to behold nature.

Lakes and rivers change color as we advance towards the mountain range. We are amazed by Lake Gutierrez, Mount Catedral and the residential villas around them.

A great diversity of natural environments: the dry shrubby steppe vegetation and the humid Valdivian rainforest. According to Ayelen, this is the result of heavy rainfall from the West.

800 Meters above Sea Level

We border Lake Mascardi for a while and bid farewell to its turquoise waters until our return. That is how we enter the territory of the Nahuel Huapi National Park.

The impressive figure of perito or expert Francisco Pascasio Moreno soon appears in Ayelen’s speech. A visionary, explorer, scientist, statesman, philanthropist and educator, he worked in the layout of the borders between Argentina and Chile in the late 1800s and was acknowledged by the Argentinian government of the time.

The regulations started by him have remained until our days. He deserves our respect for having taught us how to take care of the environment.

Ayelen’s voice is constant and talks about wildlife and expressions in the Mapuche tongue. We participate in each story told by the confines of these rivers, lakes and woodlands.

This tour is available all year round. It is convenient to wear comfortable footwear for the hiking tours. The travel agencies will give information about how far visitors can get during the winter.

The assistance provided by the guides and the drivers is very good. The sites where lunch is served as well as the restrooms are very well conditioned.

Tourism Observer
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