Geographical location:
Barreal is located in the Calingasta valley, 126m southwest of San Juan city, between the mountain range of El Tontal and the Andean mountains, whose peaks reach heights well above 20000ft (the seven peaks of Ansilta and the Mercedario). To the south it connects with Uspallata, Mendoza (65 miles). Barreal offers some of the best views of the Andes, with views of the Aconcagua (the highest peak in America) to the south and the Mercedario and the seven peaks of Ansilta to the west. Several rivers flow through the Calingasta valley including Los Patos, Calingasta, Blanco and Castaño rivers that offer good trout fishing opportunities. The main villages are Barreal, Calingasta and Tamberías. 

Barreal History
Several prehispanic cultures settled in Barreal, as from 10,000 AC including the hunters recollectors of La Fortuna and Punta de Barro cultures. Later on more developed cultures inhabited the region like the Morrillos (5900-2000 AC) and the Ansilta (2000 AC to 500 DC). The Incas invaded the region between 1480 and 1552, leaving several statements of their civilization, like the Inca road and other high altitude buildings, like the “tamberias”.

Barreal also played a key role in Argentine history, as from this region departed the main column lead by General San Martín that crossed the Andes in 1817 to free Chile and Peru form Spain´s domination. During the last several years argentines and foreign visitors like to recreate this epic crossing through a 6 day horseback ride.

The town
The tree-lined streets of Barreal are in sharp contrast with the dusty roads of its surroundings. The green side-walks with its poplar trees and weeping willows, like the “Lover´s street”, with the sound of water flowing along the irrigation ditches and the blossoming fruit trees compensate the hiker from the intense sunshine. 

The houses are mostly built in a mix of clay and straw called “adobe” with galleries and grape vines. Old carriages and clay ovens, and sometimes the work of a traditional weaver maybe spotted. These constructions, sometimes humble homes with straw ceilings and other old residences of wealthy families have survived the passage of time and the seismic movements, staying fresh in summer and warm during the cold winters.  

The main activity used to be cattle farming in the valley of Calingasta. Farm animals, chickens, goats, mules and donkeys stare curiously from their yards, next to the small cultivated plots. Local production also includes multicolored pumpkins, cayote, plums, quince, tomatoes, walnuts, raisins and honey that are also used to prepare delicious homemade marmalades.  


LA CASA DE FELI · Avenida Belgrano esquina W. Gallardo
Barreal - San Juan - Argentina
TEL: (02648) 441082 · CEL: (011) 15 3503 9596