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Flag of Argentina.svg Cities and towns
in Argentina
Villa Unión
Province La Rioja
Department Coronel Felipe Varela
Location 29°18′S 68°12′W / 29.3°S 68.2°W / -29.3; -68.2Coordinates: 29°18′S 68°12′W / 29.3°S 68.2°W / -29.3; -68.2
Elevation 1,153 m AMSL
Population 4,261
Demonym {{{2}}}
Phone code +54 3825
CPA base A5250

Villa Unión is a town in northwestern Argentina and the main settlement of Departamento Coronel Felipe Varela. With a population of 4,261 inhabitants.

Contents

Overview

The town is strategically located in the heart of the Bermejo Valley, 1,153 meters above sea level, at the foothills of the Andes mountains. Beautifully set midst the intense red mountain ranges of Sierra de Famatina and Sierra de Maíz, surrounded by local, traditional wineries and the Bermejo River running, often brutally in the rainy season, through the town.

The weather is hot and rainy during the summer, January and February being the wettest months, while it is dry and cold during winter. As the soil can't easily get rid of the heavy rainfall, the area commonly floods during the rainy season. The area represents a typical climate of the mountain desert, with a soaring difference in temperatures between day and night. Villa Unión is affected by a climate phenomenon called the "Zonda wind" - a dry wind often carrying dust, which comes from the polar maritime air, warmed by decent from the crest, which is some 6,000 m (18,999 ft) above sea level. It may exceed a velocity of 40 km/h (25 mph) and may lead to changes in air pressure, commonly causing people headache.

The nearest airport is the Capitán Vicente Almandos Amonacide Airport in La Rioja, 3 kilometers from the city center of the city of La Rioja. Three weekly flights are offered between Buenos Aires and La Rioja by Aerolineas Argentinas.

Nearby towns from Villa Unión are Los Palacios, Banda Florida, Villa Casteli, Vinchina, Guandacol, Aicuña and Patquía. Nearest major cities from Villa Unión are San Juan, La Rioja, Chilecito, Catamarca and Córdoba.

History

The area which is now Department of Coronel Felipe Varela, was inhabited by the Diaguita - Chapayane Indians who lived in the village of Guandacol. The Spaniards came to the Bermejo Valley around 1634, but their occupation was resisted by the Indians of Guandacol until 1636, when the Indians were punished for their resistance by Don Geronimo Luis de Cabrera, who banished them from their lands and send them to the hills of the Famatina mountain range. Many died in their journey to the new land, and the few who survived settled in a new location. The old land of the Guandacol Indians was reclaimed in 1649 by General Pedro Nicolás Brizuela, and was the land officially given back to the them on 25 January in 1650.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, there was a settlement of white people that can be considered as the first inhabitants of Hornillos, present day Villa Unión. They lived in peace with the local indigenous population, which were living in the region after being exiled from their lands.

In about 1750, three families from Western Chile came to the region and settled in Guandacol, but for unknown reasons left and settled down in Los Hornillos, which today is Villa Unión. Los Hornillos takes its name from the kilns that the locals used on the banks of the Bermejo River to bake homemade bread.

Los Hornillos becomes Villa Unión On 1 December 1869, the province was divided into twelve departments, which specified the limits of Departamento Guandacol, making Villa Guandacol the main town of the department and Los Hornillos was a district within the new department. On 9 September 1881, the name of Departamento Guandacol was changed into Departamento General Lavalle and the main settlement was now Los Hornillos, whose name was changed into Villa Unión.

The name Villa Unión takes its significance from the three Chilean families who were expelled from Guandacol and moved to Los Hornillos in 1880, where the local residents did not only give them protection, but also gave them ownership of land so that they could settle down. Therefore, Villa Unión represents the cohension and commitment among the families of these two peoples - "The Village of Union".

The town used to be centralized around the area where now is Hospital Zonal Dr. Eduardo Salomón Neira, due to the 1854 earthquake which left the town in ruins and the locals were forced to move their settlement a little north. The village of Villa Unión consisted of three major streets, arranged in a North - South manner. The main street today is Avenida Nicolás Davila.

Economy

Villa Unión is an agricultural town, with around 50% of its industry devoted to the growing of grape fruit, and the rest growing various fruits, cereals and fodder. The grape is of high alcohol content, favored by the excellent climate of Villa Unión, with the average annual temperature of 17°C, a maximum of 42°C and absolute minimum of -7°C.

Livestock farming is not significant in the region, only enough to cover the local consumption.

In the surrounding area of Villa Unión there are several mines, extracting clay, barytes, cobalt, galena, iron, pyrophyllite, lead, coal, talc and two marble quarries.

In the recent years, Villa Unión has been growing as a base for Ecotourism, offering a variety of tours, circuits and destinations, the most notable one being the impressive Talampaya canyons.

The international route from Villa Unión to Copiapó in Chile is under construction and will soon be opened, with a paved road and a tunnel, allowing crossing of the Andes the whole year round on good roads, which is believed to improve life in the little town of Villa Unión in the coming years, for its new strategic position for international trade.

Attractions

  • Talampaya National Park
  • Ischigualasto National Park
  • Banda Florida
  • Laguna Brava
  • Vinchina
  • Corona del Inca
  • Anchumbil
  • Miguel Angel Gaitán "The Miraculous Angel"
  • Aicuña
  • Cuesta de Miranda
  • Guandacol

Culture and arts

Villa Unión produces some delicassies like Vino Patero (Foot-stepping wine) and dried fruits. Every year, during Carnaval times, there is Festival del Peon Viñador - celebrating the wine harvest and traditional ways of producing wine - stepping on them.

References

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Villa Unión is a town in La Rioja, northwestern Argentina. The town is strategically located in the heart of the Bermejo Valley, 1,153 meters above sea level, at the foothills of the Andes mountains. Beautifully set amidst the intensly red mountain ranges of Sierra de Famatina and Sierra de Maíz, surrounded by local, traditional wineries and the Bermejo River passing, often brutally in the rainy season, through the town.

The weather is hot and rainy during the summer, January and February being the wettest months, while it's dry and cold during winter. As the soil can't easily get rid of the heavy rainfall, the area commonly floods during the rainy season. The area represents a typical climate of the mountain desert, with a soaring difference in temperatures between day and night. Villa Unión is affected by a climate phenomenon called the "Zonda wind"--a dry wind often carrying dust, which comes from the polar maritime air, warmed by decent from the crest, which is some 6,000 m (18,999 ft) above sea level. It may exceed a velocity of 40 km/h (25 mph) and may lead to changes in air pressure, commonly causing people headache.

Nearby towns from Villa Unión are Los Palacios, Banda Florida, Villa Casteli, Vinchina, Guandacol, Aicuña and Patquía. Nearest major cities from Villa Unión are San Juan, La Rioja, Chilecito, Catamarca and Córdoba.

History

The area which is now Department of Coronel Felipe Varela, was inhabited by the Diaguita - Chapayane indians who lived in the village of Guandacol. The Spaniards came to the Bermejo Valley around 1634, but their occupation was resisted by the indians of Guandacol until 1636, when the indians were punished for their resistence by Don Geronimo Luis de Cabrera, who banished them from their lands and send them to the hills of the Famatina mountain range. Many died in their journey to the new land, and the few who survived settled in a new location. The old land of the Guandacol indians was reclaimed in 1649 by General Pedro Nicolás Brizuela, and was the land officially given back to the them on January 25 in 1650.

At the beginning of the 17th Century, there was a settlement of white people that can be considered as the first inhabitants of Hornillos, present day Villa Unión. They lived in peace with the local indigenous population, which were living in the region after being exiled from their lands.

In about 1750, three families from Western Chile came to the region and settled in Guandacol, but for unknown reasons left and settled down in Los Hornillos, which today is Villa Unión. Los Hornillos takes its name from the kilns that the locals used on the banks of the Bermejo River to bake homemade bread.

Los Hornillos becomes Villa Unión: On December 1 of 1869, the province was divided into twelve departments, which specified the limits of Departamento Guandacol, making Villa Guandacol the main town of the department and Los Hornillos was a district within the new department. On September 9 of 1881, the name of Departamento Guandacol is changed into Departamento General Lavalle and the main settlement was now Los Hornillos, whose name was changed into Villa Unión.

The name Villa Unión takes it's significance from the three Chilean families who were expelled from Guandacol and moved to Los Hornillos in 1880, where the local residents did not only give them protection, but also gave them ownership of land so that they could settle down. Therefore, Villa Unión represents the cohension and commitment among the families of these two peoples - "The Village of Union".

The town used to be centralized around the area where now is Hospital Zonal Dr. Eduardo Salomón Neira, due to the 1854 earthquake which left the town in ruins and the locals were forced to move their settlement a little north. The village of Villa Unión consisted of three major streets, arranged in a North - South manner. The main street today is Avenida Nicolás Davila.

Get in

The nearest airport is the Capitán Vicente Almandos Amonacide Airport in La Rioja, 3 kilometers from the city center of the city of La Rioja. Three weekly flights are offered between Buenos Aires and La Rioja by Aerolineas Argentinas.

The international route from Villa Unión to Copiapó in Chile is under construction and will soon be opened, with a paved road and a tunnel, allowing crossing of the Andes the whole year round on good roads, which is believed to improve life in the little town of Villa Unión in the coming years, for it's new strategic position for international trade.

Buses:

From La Rioja:

07:00 Facundo
12:00 Facundo
13:00 Arce
19:00 El Zonda
20:00 20 de Mayo

From Chilecito:

12:30 Invanlor

From San Juan:

18:00 G-Team - Daily door-to-door service. Arrival in Villa Unión at 21:00.
22:00 Transportes Fernández (Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday)

Get around

Villa Unión is a very small town and can be seen on foot. However, if you decide to go and see nearby sites of Banda Florida or Anchumbil, it might be useful to catch a taxi, which can be found on the northern side of the Plaza.

Taxi drivers also take tourists to attractions further away from Villa Unión, such as Laguna Brava, Talampaya or Valle de la Luna, which is convenient and often cheaper than a tour, if you travel two or more together.

See

Locally:

  • The Viewpoint northeast of city center
  • Miguel Angel Gaitán a mummified child in the cemetary, believed to deliver miracles
  • The Dam as tempting as it is in the heat, swimming here is not allowed
  • Banda Florida west of town. Beautiful rock formations, ancient petroglyphs in the rocks
  • Anchumbil east of town. Similar to Banda Florida.

Nearby:

  • Talampaya National Park Pre-historic, massive, intensively red canyons. http://www.talampaya.gov.ar
  • Laguna Brava A beautiful lake in the high altitudes, with flamengoes and more fauna.
  • Guandacol
  • El Chiflón
  • Ischigualasto National Park also called "Valle de la Luna"
In charge of the tours within Talampaya National Park
Offer tours to Laguna Brava, Corona del Inca, Vinchina, Talampaya National Park, Ischigualasto National Park, amongst others.
  • Taxi drivers found on the northern side of the Plaza
If you are three or more, taxi can be a convenient choice for all the further-afield attractions.

Buy

All around town, you'll see stores offering Productos regionales. Those include as an example:

  • Vino Patero
  • Dried fruit
  • Special liquors
  • Mineral stones
  • Comedor las Palmeras, Ruta Nacional 76 & 40, Tel. 03822-1516009
  • Restaurante El Caudillo, Nicolás Dávila & L. N. Alen
  • Comedor Doña Paula, Hipólito Irigoyen B° - Los Palacios, Tel. 03825-470087
  • Resto-bar Valle del Bermejo, Ruta Nacional 76, Y.P.F Ingreso a Villa Unión
  • Cafetería Restaurante el Cardón, Hipólito Irigoyen & Joaquín V. Gonzales, Tel. 03825-15672266
  • Pizzería Guadalupe, San Martín & Honorato Guerrero
  • Parrillada-Restaurante "Villa Hermosa", Ruta Nacional 76 (South) entering Villa Unión
  • Confitería el Rincón Tuerva, Av. Nicolás Dávila - In front of the Plaza
  • Bar George, San Martín front of the Plaza
  • Parrilla Comedor Vientos del Norte, San Martín - front of main Plaza
  • Confitería Comedor y Delíberi La Vieja Estación, Calle San Martin, Tel. 03825-15515004
  • Confitería la Terminal "El Balcon", Av. Nicolás Dávila South, Busterminal
  • Bar George, San Martín in front of the Plaza
  • India Pub
  • Podium Discotheque
  • Hotel Pircas Negras, Ruta Nacional 76 accesos sur, Tel. 03825-470611 - http://www.pircasnegras.com
  • Hotel Noryanepat, Joaquín V. Gonzales, Tel. 3825-470133
  • Hotel Dayton, Av. Nicolás Dávila 109, Tel. 03825-470640
  • Hotel Centro, San Martín y Nicolas Davila, Tel. 03825-470382
  • Hostería Cañón de Talampaya, Ruta Nacional 76 -K.m. 203 Acceso Sur, Tel. 03825-470753 - http://www.hotelcanontalampaya.com
  • Petit Hotel Palermo, Ing. Bolloli e Hipólito Irigoyen, Tel. 03825-470458-470106
  • Posada “LA CASONA”, Av. Nicolás Dávila Norte esq. Pelagio B. Luna, Tel 03825-470284/15506690/15459293 - E-mail: posadalacasona (at) gmail.com
  • Cabañas Los Álamos, Ruta 76 - Calle la Hacienda, Tel: 03822-15556051 - E-mail: info (at) complejolosalamos.com.ar
  • Cabañas Valle Colorado, Ruta Nacional 76, Tel. 03822-15448511 - http://www.vallecolorado.com.ar
  • Cabañas Los Cantaros del Rio, Ruta Nac. 76 Bº San José, Tel. 03825-15660313
  • Cabañas y Bodega Haras San José, Pje. Los Minue-Ruta 76, Tel: 03822 15508440 / 03825 15669382 - http://www.harassanjose.com.ar , E-mail: info (at) harassanjose.com.ar, sanjose (at) gmail.com
  • Complejo Turístico el Paraíso el Bermejo, San Martin casi Soldado Almonacid, Tel. 03825-15666441
  • Pensión Doña Gringa, Av. Nicolás Dávila, Tel: 03825-470258
  • Camping Valle del Bermejo, Ruta Nacional 76 - YPF, Tel: 03825-479701

Contact

Villa Unión Tourist Information Centre Plaza Principal

Local Guides:

  • Franco Barrera, Tel. 03825/15457370
  • Nadia Barrera, Tel. 03825/15410015
  • Lic. William Miller, Tel. 03825/15558024
  • Lic. Guillermo Muñoz, Tel. 03825/15667875
  • Francisco Narváez, Tel. 03825/15551171
  • Olga Neira, Tel. 03825/15674561
  • Rodolfo Olivera, Tel. 03825/1545773
  • Lic. Raúl Vega, Tel. 03825/15415600

Get out

To La Rioja, Patquia, El Chiflón and Pagancillo:

04:00 20 de Mayo, El Zonda
15:00 Facundo
19:00 Facundo
21:15 Arce

To Chilecito:

15:00 Invanlor

To San Juan, San José de Jáchal and Guandacol:

05:30 G-Team - Daily door-to-door service. Arrival in San Juan at 08:30.
18:00 Transportes Fernández (Monday, Wednesday and Friday)

To Vinchina and Villa Casteli:

In the morning, smaller vans departing from the plaza.
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