The Puente del Inca is a protected area, very close to the entrance to Aconcagua Park. It is a rock formation suspended above the Las Cuevas River at a height of 27 meters.
It is made up of sediments and other types of materials. Under the formation there are stalactites.
Since 2006 it is forbidden to cross the bridge, due to landslides and cracks in the rock. For years the waters of the river were used as thermal springs, since it has healing properties. Experts believe that the use of water caused water stress to the bridge, which, together with the passage of goods, caused the cracks that led to its closure.
Around the bridge there are some shops that sell local products and many others serve food. Barely more than 100 people live in this town, many of them assigned to the barracks. The train track that you will see throughout the journey to the Aconcagua hill, corresponds to the old Trans-Andean Railway, which made the journey from Los Andes to Mendoza since 1910.
But as you will see along the way, the difficulties due to time, orography and landslides made the train stop working in 1984.
At the time, the construction of the road was a challenge for engineering, since they had to use state-of-the-art technology. Currently there are several areas of the road where you can stop very close to the road and take some photos. The one that accompanies this text was made by returning to Mendoza, just after leaving El Puente del Inca, next to a small cemetery.
An Argentine company has proposed to resume the project and make the train work again, although it will spend a lot of money if it wants the track not to suffer the same fate as before. The reservoir is 30 kilometers from Mendoza. It was open in 2003 and has a height of 116 meters.
Because the water comes from melting ice, its color is less dark. The people of Mendoza usually go to the reservoir to enjoy the bath in the summer.
It is normal for them to even park their cars and vans very close to the water, although access is prohibited. There are also water activities such as rafting and sailing.
Activities in Aconcagua Park
If you only go up to admire the views and sightsee, you can buy the entrance to the Park right there. At the entrance there is a parking lot with a small building and some free toilets.
To the right of this building there is a dirt road marked with ropes that leads to the first viewpoint. It is usually empty and if the weather is good it makes for a spectacular photo.
After paying the entrance fee you can enter the park and start the tour.