Mendoza is one of the cities with the highest density of trees per square meter in the world, and is hometo the main wine circuit of Argentina. It is located in the Cuyo region, foothills of the Andes, it has all the conditions to meet and exceed expectations of any tourist. Not coincidentally, it is in the province of Mendoza that was filmed “Seven years in Tibet” starring Brad Pitt. Nature, adventure and comfort is what visitors will get just like most of Hostelling International youth hostels.
There is nothing the most exquisite palate cannot find in the city of Mendoza. Its regional wines have gained international prestige, and a good way to discover it is to go on a Wine tour, visit the cellars where fine wines are produced and up to export quality. Benefit from tours, guided by the owners, eager to teach you the secrets of the manufacturing process and wine tasting. The areas where you can find a large number of wineries, most of them opened to the public, are the Lujan de Cuyo and Maipu areas
Ecological and Adventure Tourism are other exciting experiences you can live in or near Mendoza, and staying in any of the Hostelling International network is an ideal option to start without wasting time. The list of activities could not be longer: Paragliding, 4x4 Safaris, Mountain Board, salmon and mackerel fishing, climbing (climb a rock wall with all technical equipment), Rafting, Trekking, Rappel (descending a hill vertically). Water lovers will also find their favorite sports: Windsurfing, Waterskiing, Diving, Sailing, Canoeing and Kayaking.
If your preference is skiing, Mendoza has two stations nearby, Vallecitos (79 km) and Penitentes (168 km). The first has 5 km of slopes and the second 17 km. And of course, who likes to feel the adrenaline rush of climbing; can try the mighty Aconcagua, 180 km from Mendoza city. Being the highest peak in America (6962 meters above sea level), climbers from all around the world visit the massif during summer. However, if you have no mountain knowledge, you can still live the adventure: Hostelling International informs you that the lower hills, with an average of 5,000 meters, can be done with no experience.
Those looking for a quieter activity can take a relaxing and therapeutic trip, and enjoy the thermal baths complexes Challao (5 km), Cacheuta (38 km) and Villavicencio (50 km ) have on offer, with swimming pools where water temperature exceeds 30 º. On your return to the youth
hostel, you will sleep better than ever.
The city of Mendoza is characterized by a common geography that gathers the perfect combination between nature and the infrastructures of a modern city. Its huge square with trees and urban design, made by a network of canals that reach a length of 500 km, live in perfect harmony with shopping malls, cinemas, theaters, art galleries, regional products shops, youth hostels, historic sites, casinos and museums. It also has an important range of pubs and clubs, which are mostly located in the center, and in the areas of Chacras de Coria and El Challao.
Staying in town is easy for visitors thanks to the efforts made by the Tourism Signage Program, with all the touristic information signs published in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese. And the same goes for transfers between the city center, the hostels, and tourist sites: the communication channels between them are fluid via local buses or charters.
In terms of gastronomy, Mendoza is varied and tasty. From ethnic restaurants (a lot os Spanish, Italian or Arabic), to typical local dishes, no tourist can go to Mendoza without ever tasting fried pastry, “patitas aliñadas”, pot meat , “sapa”, “humita en chala” or the famous “tableta Mendoza”.
During the first week of March each year the city of Mendoza celebrates the grape harvest and the arrival of new wine. It occurs in the context of an unmissable show during which the newly elected national Grape Harvest Queen makes its official appearance. The party represents the lives of both rural and urban Mendoza, with hundreds of dancers, actors, parades with queens (the most beautiful women) from each village, horse riders dressed with typical costumes, countrymen with their horses, delegations from various countries and a closing ceremony with fireworks. The event takes place in a Greek theater with capacity for 21,000 spectators and brings a huge amount of people (500,000 visitors were reported in 2009).
UNMISSABLE PLACE TO VISIT WITH MENDOZA AS EPICENTER
Puente del Inca
Geological formation declared as a Natural Monument. Thermal waters Pools with temperatures ranging between 33 º and 39 º. In summer, horse riding and trekking are organized to the Aconcagua and last between 3 and 11 days. (183 km)
It is a 4 tons bronze sculpture, located on the border with Chile at 4,000 meters above sea level. If you reach the summit you can enjoy a panoramic view of the summits. It is advisable to bring warm clothing as it is a mountain area, and it is cold.
Tupungato Provincial Park
It covers 150,000 hectares of beautiful scenery, abundant volcanic rocks, glaciers and craters. (73 km)
Aconcagua Provincial Park
5,000 meters above sea level, it holds the hills that flank the Aconcagua (6962 meters), this area is known as ¨ The roof of America ". (180 km)
How to get there ?
By air through to the International Airport El Plumerillo. The airport is 15 km from the city of Mendoza, which can be reached by taking bus 60.
By car, leaving from Buenos Aires,it is accessed via National Route 7. The distance is 1037 kms.
There are also several bus companies for long distance. If you leave from Buenos Aires, Retiro station , the journey is about 12 hours. Some companies that go to Mendoza: Andesmar, Cata, Chevallier, Central Argentino Uspallata and La Estrella.