Jul 11, 2022

MENDOZA, A LAND FOR AMAZEMENT

Visiting Mendoza any time of the year will be an unforgettable adventure of imposing natural landscapes, amazing flavors and excellent wines.
Greater Mendoza, heart of the oasis

Panoramic view of the city center with the Andes Mountains

 

The capital of the province together with the departments of Godoy Cruz, Las Heras, Lavalle, Guaymallén, Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo conforms the area called Greater Mendoza.
Tree-lined streets delineated by its characteristic ditches and the Andes Mountains in the background are the traditional postcard of the wonderful City of Mendoza.
You can not miss the Pedestrian area on Sarmiento St; its beautiful squares and the General San Martín Park, among many other sites.

For wine lovers, another must-see is La Enoteca, the only existing architectural testimony of the old National School of Viticulture, which operated between 1897 and 1939. It was the school where the first viticulture professionals in Argentina and Latin America developed all their skills. Nowadays, it is a museum that offers an array of fun and instructive activities such as wine tastings, conferences, among others.

For its part, the department of Las Heras has mountains, plains, hot springs, rivers and dams. It is also known as the cradle of the liberating army of General San Martin. This department also hosts very important mountain tourist icons such as the Uspallata Valley, the Villavicencio Natural Reserve, Inca Bridge and the Aconcagua Provincial Park, with the highest peak in America (Aconcagua Mount, 6960.8 m.a.s.l.)

A few minutes from the city center is the department of Lavalle. There you can see a contrast of landscapes. Its main attraction is Los Altos Limpios, a system of dunes, which transforms its physiognomy to the whim of the wind. Tourists can also find there an array of craftmen that preserve old ways to work leather, wool and other materials.

Uco Valley, stunning views of vineyards at the foot of the Andes Mountains

The mythical Route 40 is the great tourist portal that runs through the UCO Valley. This valley comprehends the departments of San Carlos, Tunuyán and Tupungato. A true postcard framed by the Cordon del Plata mountain range.

The particularity of the soils, its temperature range and truly impressive natural mountain landscapes make this area one of the epicenters of wine tourism in Mendoza. In the Uco Valley Wine Roads tourists will find wineries with imposing architecture, design and state-of-the-art equipment, but also boutique projects, mostly family-owned, with excellent quality wines and amazing stories.

Tunuyán, stands out for its virgin landscapes, the purity of the waters of its streams, its glaciers and eternal snows. There are countless attractions there. One of the most exciting perhaps is the crossing of the Andes by the Portillo de Piuquenes Pass, a beautiful journey in which you cross the Frontal and Principal Andes mountain range. Tourists can do it walking or riding on horses or mules. The journey includes crossing valleys, rivers, streams and ravines.

Salentein Winery in Uco Valley, Mendoza

 

The department of Tupungato is located at the foot of the imposing Andes Mountains range. You can not miss the Christ King of the Valley, with his open arms to welcome all visitors. There are many beautiful itineraries to discover but there are 2 main ones if you go by car. The Cerrillos Road and Camino de la Carrera. This last one connects Las Vegas, in Luján de Cuyo, with the district of San José in Tupungato. Through a winding road you will reach a height of 2200 meters above sea level and enjoy panoramic views that include the Tupungato Volcano.

Continuing the journey through the Uco Valley, the department of San Carlos is home to two of the postcards that invite thousands of tourists to visit Mendoza every year: Huayquerías and Laguna del Diamante, wonders of the Mendoza mountain landscape.

The Maipo Volcano at the Diamond Lake in San Carlos

The south of Mendoza, attractive all year round

The south of Mendoza comprehends the departments of San Rafael, General Alvear and Malargüe.

Valle Grande Dam in San Rafael

In San Rafael, one of the main tourist attractions is the Atuel Canyon in the area called Valle Grande (Great Valley). The wall of the dam forms an immense mirror of emerald green water, ideal for swimming, diving, skiing, rowing, sailing, catamaran rides, windsurfing, sport fishing, photographic safaris, etc. Another striking attraction in San Rafael are the ruins of the famous El Sosneado Hotel, with outdoor hot spring pools that still retain their healing properties in the middle of the mountains.

Malargüe, another of the departments in southern Mendoza offers unique landscapes such as La Laguna de la Niña Encantada, Los Molles, Pozos de las Ánimas, Valle de Las Leñas, Valle Hermoso, Castillos de Pincheira, La Payunia and the Malacara Volcano, among many others. The entire route offers a rich gastronomic offer and a great variety of cabins, hotels, shelters and camping, immersed in the Andes Mountains.
For science lovers, Malargüe becomes a great option with the Malargüe Planetarium and the Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory.

Ending our tour of the south, we come across General Alvear, where the former Bodega Faraón National Historical Monument stands out as a must-see. This winery was established in 1905 and was working as such until 2012. Nowadays it is a cultural center that contains true and invaluable works of art such as a mural by the painter Carlos Alonso and a sphinx of Ramses II by Mariano Pagés.

East Zone: wine, astrotourism and many innovative experiences

This is the largest area of vineyards in Mendoza. It comprehends the departments of San Martín, Junín, Rivadavia, Santa Rosa and La Paz. It features an striking geometric layout of farms and vineyards.
Currently, these eastern departments are in full development of impressive innovative experiences for their visitors. One of the most outstanding is astrotourism with its large annual agenda that blends observing the sky with other activities such as hiking, wine and local products tastings and gastronomy.

San Martín has become the epicenter of the Bonarda grape variety. Mendoza concentrates 84% of the cultivated surface of this type of grape, and San Martín holds the largest cultivated area in the country.
Speaking of new experiences, it is possible to get to know the department of San Martín from the air, flying over vineyards, wineries, olive groves, fruit farms and discovering the farm that once belong General San Martin.

The department of Junín also invites guest to fly but this time in a hot air balloon. Guests can appreciate plots of vineyards, olive groves, fruit orchards along with zigzagging canals.

Hot balloon ride over Junin

 

Photo and text credits: EMETUR, Tourism  Board of Mendoza