Cuesta del Viento is a reservoir lake surrounded by huge mountains in excess of 20,000 feet located in the middle of the Andes Mountains. An adventure travel hub for kiters, windsurfers, mountain bikers, hikers and more, it’s known for its nuclear wind conditions and mind-blowing landscape where the crystal green water contrasts with the dark rocks. Covering 12 square miles, beach resorts, accommodation and kite and windsurf schools dot its shores. Calm mornings can quickly ramp into 30+ knots of wind and large rolling swell as the day develops. The local kite scene is super friendly and welcoming with plenty of stoke.
CLOSEST AIRPORT: San Juan Airport (UAQ) or Mendoza (MDZ)
DISTANCE TO LOCATION: 2 hours drive from San Juan, 4 hours from Mendoza
TRANSPORT TO LOCATION: Rent a car or arrange a taxi with lodging.
BEST SEASON: November – April
WIND RANGE IN KNOTS: 20-40 knots
WATER AVERAGE: Recommend bringing a 4/3 wetsuit as the water temperature is around 60°F. Expect hot days and cool nights.
LOCAL RULES /SAFETY HAZARDS: Check with the locals and watch out for high flying kiters sending it on the water.
LOCAL TRANSPORTATION: Rent a car (starting from around $50/day) at the airport or bum rides from local kiters.
LODGING RECOMMENDATIONS AND COSTS: La Racha is the closest lodging to the kite launch with an attached restaurant that serves excellent Argentinian fare. Rooms are from $35/night and includes wifi.
50 Nudos starts at $70/night and has private bungalows in a secluded area with a pool.
Pampas del Cura is a five star accommodation that starts at $150/night.
LOCAL SHOPS/SCHOOLS: No one seems to have a web page but check out Vertical Surf Shop in San Juan, along with Naish Kite School and Cuesta Del Viento Kite School.
LOCAL WEATHER/AREA RESOURCES:
www.windguru.cz/128492 (high altitude desert weather patterns so expect stronger winds than forecasted)
ONE THING EVERY VISITOR MUST DO: Go for Kitefest toward the end of February! Argentinians drive hundreds of miles to partake in this amazing event.
ANYTHING ELSE TO ADD: This place is radical for big air kiteboarding!
WHY JESSE RECOMMENDS CUESTA DEL VIENTO: “I’ve traveled to Cuesta Del Viento for multiple years and between the welcoming community, nuking winds and fun parties this place is awesome. Kitefest should be on every kiters bucket list”
Words by Derek Sproul and Jesse Richman | www.naishkites.com | Photos David Hidalgo
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