For truly dedicated windsurfers, a visit to Cuesta del Viento (Windy Hill) is in order. This is a huge artificial lake in the northwest of the province, some 180 km from San Juan City. It looks a bit as if the Valley of the Moon had suddenly been flooded: red and brown peaks reflected in a vast expanse of turquoise blue. Until about lunchtime there isn’t a breath of wind and then suddenly these tremendous gusts lift up reaching 80km an hour, as the air currents change higher up and swirl down to blast into the valley through the funnel created by the mountains. Apparently it’s one of the best places in the world to windsurf. You can do this in a day trip northeast from San Juan City or stay in Rodeo or Jachal (or even in the Pismanta Hotel) which are nearby, small touristy centers where you can also go on rafting and fishing trips, visit the other small villages in the neighborhood and enjoy their traditions.

For a more rustic alternative, stay at one of the beautiful working estancias, such as Finca El Martillo, Estancia Guañizuil, or Estancia Don Carmelo (which has its own private nature reserve) in this part of the province, where not only will they organize tours to the various places you may want to visit, but also invite you to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside.

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