After 1/2 hour trip on the 173 road, we get to "Cuesta de los Terneros" (Calf's hill), where is possible to see all the city and the valley where are a lot of farms.
In an hour, we stay in El Nihuil, an enormous lake where people do nautical sports (kayak, windsurf, canoa, etc.)
There is a Private Club "Club de Pescadores" (15 years ago, people in San Rafael had their weekend houses here), and in the other side is settle the Nihuil's population (There is a camping in this area)
Near Diamond River, you can see one of the most beatiful scenery in San Rafael, is just 35 km from the city center.
It has a lake about 700 has. where you can fishing, and do nautical sports, hiking, mountain climbing etc. There is a Private Club (it's posible rent a house there) and a camping for the "budget option".
Valle Grande is just in the way back from Atuel Cannyon, this place is sorrounded by mountains, and a lot of peace.
The most typical picture is "The submarine"
This is in the upper part, then you go down and see Atuel River...
Valentín Bianchi winery is located just north of San Rafael, on the road to Mendoza. The large winery has an excellent tour, similar to other established wineries in the region, that explains the production process. What makes Bianchi different is the production of sparkling wines, aka chambagne, which is well described in the tour. This was pretty interesting.
Along the wine shop there is also some art displays.
River rafting along the Rio Atuel is a very popular activity just outside of San Rafael. There is no shortage of agencies that provide complete packages that include transportation and all the gear necessary. Check at the tourist office in San Rafael for all the information you need.
Once you've tried wine tasting, you might enjoy a similar experience with olive oil. Yancanelo, located just outside of San Rafael on the road to Mendoza, has a small museum that includes a tour and tasting. It's actually quite interesting. The shop has a good variety of items, including local preserves and olives.
In the way back to San Rafael City, is the Atuel Cannyon, where the erosion produced by teh wind and water have been modeled rocks that form a beatiful and amazing landscape
Ketobac is the place in San Rafael to shop for local and regional chocolates, as well as alfajores, wines and other goods. There is a lot of variety here, and the service is very helpful.