Mendoza is known as a city of wine and also for the Vendima wine festival. It’s known as the springboard to the highest mountain in South America, Aconcagua. You can pretty much enjoy nature a year-round, like skiing in winter and go rafting in summer.
The area of Cuyo, the mountainous wine region which produces 80 percent of the wines in Argentina, stretches the beautiful green field right at the foot of the Argentinian Andes. Mendoza is the largest city in Cuyo and known worldwide especially in the last ten years. Therefore it became a popular destination for many tourists. It is located about the same latitude as the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires, but exactly on the other side of the country. About a thousand kilometers away, on the border with Chile.
Wine tasting at the Plaza Independencia
Mendoza has many tourists who come exclusively for the wine. The wine lovers may go to the highlands, where the most famous wines of Argentina are originated. They also travel to the lower area which particularly known well for the production of young red wine.
Visitors can happily get tipsy at the Plaza Independencia, which is in the center of Mendoza. With a nice fountain in the middle of the plaza, people get to enjoy many local wines. There’s always something at this plaza, such as small concerts, night markets and locals selling nick-nacks. Spend some time at the plaza, relax and enjoy the moment.
Seven years in Tibet
Adventurers also like to come to Mendoza. Rafters, hikers and experienced mountain climbers are also in Mendoza to stay for a while before heading to the Andes.
With its magnificent mountain views, it’s not too surprising that the producers of the film “Seven Years in Tibet “ chose Mendoza to recreate the Tibetan city of Lhasa in their production. Mendoza is relatively easy for people to access, but it still has a rugged mountainous area. It could be the reason they chose Mendoza for the shooting location for their film.
Winter sports in Las Leñas
Not far north from Mendoza, you could see the high mountains towering over us. The most professional mountaineers come for the Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of Asia. It is one of the Seven Summits of the world with a height of 6,962 meters.
In winter, the population of the city suddenly increases as the sports lovers flood the city. They are on their way to the popular ski resorts in the area called Las Leñas, which is located about 500 km from Mendoza city. With plenty of terrain for beginner and intermediate, this exclusive resort of Las Leñas is the South American destination for many skiers. This Argentina exclusive ski resort, which was built in 1983, is great for families as it is very family-friendly but also has night clubs and even the highest casino in the world!
Vendima wine festival
The best season for Mendoza comes especially on the first Saturday of March. That is the day the Carrusel de Vendima, one of the biggest even of the wine festival takes place on the main streets and avenues of the city. Traditional parades including groups of gauchos, the Argentine cowboys, dressed in their typical wear go through the streets accompanied by their horses. Music, dancing and the cheerful sound of people could be heard from dozens of stages. Various performances are seen at every corner of the city. It is said that the performances are to show the current generation in Mendoza the history of the city and its great economical progress they achieved with their efforts. In this event, you would get to taste their wine and celebrate it with locals!
What to do in Mendoza?
- Go to one of the bodegas, where you can taste wine without the obligation of purchasing. Take the bicycle so that you can enjoy the surroundings on the way there.
- Go white water rafting on the Río Mendoza.
- Go to the small square Plaza Pellegrini. Here you will find an antique market every afternoon. The craziest things are sold there.
- For some relaxation, go to the zoo in Parque San Martín for a day. Walk around quietly or sit on one of the benches while you rest and look at animals.
- At Francis Mallman 1884, you will have very satisfying dining for sure, even though it could be quite pricy. Just to enjoy the atmosphere of the place, probably sitting at the bar and have a glass of wine would be a great idea, too!