Very close to San Rafael City, the impressive mountain range, the atmosphere and the transparency of the sky have a trademark: El Sosneado, “where the sun rises first”.
An amazing mixture of attractions bring together the most diverse landscapes: Dormant volcanoes, thermal waters, and natural watersheds are the places where the overflowing nature turns into a comfortable paradise to enjoy the tranquility and freedom that the mountains provide.
Towards the south, only thirty three kilometers following 144 National Route starts the access to Cuesta de Los Terneros, that reaches a maximum height of 1000 meters and then starts descending on its way to El Sosneado. At the upper foothill, we can find a natural “window” in the mountains, that shows the whole extent of San Rafael’s Oasis.
Salinas del Diamante is the following attraction of the circuit, a unique sight in the area that is made up of a huge open-pit salt mine located to the side of the road, a region of patagonian scenery of 2500 ha, from which 1000 ha surround a commercially exploited salt production, and a Salt Museum that has historical data and an exposition of salt coming from all over the world. Also, different products such as edible flavoured salt and bath salts can be purchased in the same place.
Always following the same route, flanked by the impressive Andes Mountain Range, the destination of El Sosneado appears a hundred and forty two kilometers away from the city. It is an area of wild nature, ideal to do outdoors activities such as trekking, horseback riding, mountain biking and upper mountaineering.
It is worth mentioning that before entering the mountain trail, there are different services like a gas station, gastronomy, regional products and tour agencies.
Through a gravelled road that skirts the Atuel River, suitable for high vehicles or trucks, the visitor delves into the El Sosneado Lagoon, an ideal place for fishing and bird sighting. Following the road for thirty more kilometers, the ruins of an antique Thermal Hotel can be seen, where there are still outdoors thermal pools that still keep their healing properties despite of the passing of time.
Already at The Andes Mountain Range, the majestic Overo Volcano rises, with its eternal glaciers. Also there is located the Atuel Lagoon, that together with the Atuel Waterfalls make up a picturesque environment of extraordinary beauty and comprise the spring of Atuel River. This last part of the circuit is only accessible by horse, that is why tours through the mountains are frequently organized in order to get there.