Ahhh, Argentina….known for its European feel, educated population, cultural richness, affordability, and some of the best wines cultivated on this planet. San Rafael is a lovely town in the Mendoza Province of Argentina, situated about two and a half hours south of the bustling metropolis of the capitol city of Mendoza (close enough to enjoy the big city for the day, but you will find yourself soon wanting to return to the tranquility and charm of San Rafael). San Rafael has been dubbed the “new Napa Valley”.
While strolling down the tree-lined streets, you are constantly reminded that while San Rafael is a city of 116,000 inhabitants, it has retained its small town vibe. The people are friendly and less hurried, and go out of their way to be neighborly. It is a place where shopkeepers still sweep the sidewalks in front of their stores, people may freely hand your kids candy treats (and you don’t even need to worry!) and children can, and do, play outside or walk downtown by themselves at any hour.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that the laid-back pace lends itself to a sleepy and boring place. On the contrary. The city parks are large and some even offer wi-fi. There is a general appreciation of the arts here, and you will never be at a loss for finding a music event, play, or other cultural event to go to, no matter what day of the week it is. There is shopping for everyone, from bargain shopping to high-end boutiques. You can take in an array of spas, enjoy one of the two casinos, go bowling or watch the latest movie at the cinema. And of course, there are hundreds of vineyards in the surrounding area just waiting to be visited.
The pace is pleasantly slower than Buenos Aires or the city of Mendoza, while still offering an endless variety of things to do. If drinking coffee for hours with friends at a sidewalk café is not your style, and you are a little more adventurous, you are still in luck. The area is a tourism hotspot in the summer, and for good reason. You are close enough to enjoy trekking through the Andes or skiing the famous Las Leñas ski resort, you can boat and swim and fish at one of the many nearby lakes, you can zip-line through forests or over deep lakes, white water raft, paraglide off rocky mountains, or take in the international Dakar auto race that comes through town once a year. I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t fall in love with some part of San Rafael, whether they are looking for outdoor adventure or laid-back lounging.
If this area sounds too good to be true, its not. There is a large expat community, with many people from the United States or England, already one step ahead and enjoying an affordable, laid-back lifestyle here. And if you don’t want to be left out, I have what may be the perfect housing opportunity for you.
Cuadro Benegas is a region of town just a few minutes from the city center, but it may as well be a thousand miles away. It is a place where you can enjoy the clarity of the millions of desert stars at night, awaken to the sounds of birds singing, and watch the sun set over the Andes at night.
In Cuadro Benegas, there are three and a half hectares of gorgeous property for sale, complete with perfect growing soil and a spacious heptagonal shaped house already built on the property.
The property currently has a 175 plum trees, which in recent years have yielded 6000 kilos of plums (which can be sold for 75 centavos to 2 pesos per kilo if you choose to not use or distribute the fruit yourself). Walnuts, peaches, pears, apples, green apples, quince and cherries are also on this spectacular property. There is a canal offering water, and it is lined with beautiful and useable bamboo. The property itself is bordered on three sides by poplar and willow trees, and has a private, gated driveway.
To the back of the property, you have priceless views of the Andes, and to the south, you have views of the Sierra Pintadas. It is like living within your own picture postcard.
This retreat at the foothills of the Andes combines the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the slow, rural Argentine lifestyle, while still having amenities like a paved road, city water, and a 800 liter propane gas tank, (giving you access to instant hot water, never to be taken for granted in Latin America!). Natural gas is planned for 2010. Internet is available and inexpensive.
The house itself has 2-3 bedrooms, and a huge bathroom. It is an open plan home, perfect for entertaining. The kitchen is spacious, has a large bar area, and all appliances are included. One very unique feature is a glass pyramid observatory/office in the middle of the home.
For those of you with vineyard dreams, you have many options. San Rafael is home to hundreds of vineyards and bodegas, some of the best in the country. You could practically go to a different tasting every weekend if you wanted. About seventy percent of Argentina’s famous wine production comes from the Mendoza province, and the area is responsible for over ninety percent of Argentina’s wine exportation.
If you want to be a little more hands-on, the soil on this particular property would be ideal for planting vines and having your own private wine production. In Argentina, you can still hire out general labor for less than $30 US per day. The climate is perfect for growing grapes, temperate with semi -arid characteristics. You can enjoy warm summers with little cloudiness, moderate winds and low percentage of relative atmospheric humidity. The area sees an average of 300mm of rainfall per year, which lends a huge competitive advantage to helping your vines flourish. The wide variation between day and evening temperatures, and high quantity of hours of sunlight combine to create optimal conditions for wine growing that give the area’s wines their unique characteristics and its exceptional quality.
The price for this relaxing Andean retreat? US $84,900. Unbelievable. What can that buy you in the States? Can it buy you a gorgeous, spacious property with a canal, established walnut and plum trees, and views of two mountain ranges? With vineyard potential? Not to mention a move-in ready house?
The owners have very reluctantly put it on the market following the birth of their fifth child and despite their very innovative and creative use of space it is no longer big enough to meet their needs.
This property will not last long at this price. The secret of San Rafael is getting out. Take action before the market prices inevitably catch up to the huge value being offered, and join the other expats already enjoying life to its fullest here! For more information about this amazing opportunity, please contact the owner by clicking here.
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