Laguna del Diamante
One of the most beautiful natural lakes in Mendoza is hidden in San Carlos. The provincial reserve "Laguna del Diamante" is 10,600 feet above sea level with a view of the towering Maipo Volcano. Its name comes from the volcano's diamond-shape reflection in the lake. It takes several hours to get to from downtown Mendoza with a four-wheel drive vehicle, but it's worth the trip. Hike around the four-mile lake, where your only company will most likely be guanacos and foxes (neither are dangerous). You can also go fishing, which costs $20 pesos. The area is naturally windy all year round, so bring a warm coat and comfortable shoes. A shuttle from the main square in San Carlos departs early in the morning and the last one returns at around 8:00 PM or you can camp overnight, ($750 pesos for a round trip shuttle ticket). There's a $300 peso discount if you stayed in Uco Valley the night before. Laguna del Diamante is only open from January to the first week of April.
By Nora Walsh, AFAR Contributor
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