Cuyo (Argentina)

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Cuyo is the name given to the wine-producing, mountainous area of central-west Argentina. Historically it comprised the provinces of San Juan, San Luis and Mendoza. The term New Cuyo is a modern one, which indicates both Cuyo proper and the province of La Rioja. New Cuyo is a political and economic macroregion, but culturally La Rioja is part of the North-West rather than Cuyo.

Cuyo has some of the most popular tourist attractions in Argentina and the highest mountain massifs in the Andes, including Aconcagua itself, the highest peak outside Asia, and the Ischigualasto Provincial Park.

The soil is arid and reddish, crossed by few rivers. Most of the rivers are fed by the thawing of snow on the peaks, and their volume of water increases considerably in spring. The Desaguadero River is the main collector, receiving waters from the Bermejo, Vinchina and Salado before reaching the Colorado River.

Viticulture is one of the main activities of the area. The wine production of the region represents almost 80% of national production, and the wines are highly considered in the world. Olives, potatoes, tomatoes and some fruits are also cultivated, and there is production of sweets and preserved foodstuffs. Quarrying and oil exploitation are other important industries.

The cities and towns in the region are characterised by colonial low houses and churches, and narrow streets, contrasting in the principal cities with the modern parts. The Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, founded in 1939, is...
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