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Mendoza: A province of wine, adventure and stunning scenery
During a trip to Argentina, Latin America Specialist Scarlett fell in love with Mendoza, the land of wine. Below she entices us with her experiences of Mendoza and the best way to explore such a diverse region of Argentina.
Nestled deep into the base of the Andes mountain range is the city of Mendoza, surrounded by extensive vineyards, gorgeous plazas and leafy boulevards. It’s a place so enticing, captivating visitors with its laid back atmosphere and endless source of activities. This is a place to relax and thoroughly enjoy the fresh mountain air, whilst sampling the region’s exquisite food and wine. Mendoza is an extraordinary wine region. Its continental climate created an unexpected wine boom in the 19th century, making it famous across South America and the home to 1,500 wineries. So when you’ve ticked off Buenos Aires and you want to continue your adventures through this fabulous country, head to the heart of Mendoza, a city famous for its vineyards, wine and stunning landscapes.
The surrounding areas of Mendoza are replete with top quality and prestigious wineries, each with their own rich history and story to tell. Boutique, historic, traditional or modern – there’s something to suit every taste. Mendoza boasts the perfect opportunity for both wine fanatics and those, like me, with a little less experience. It’s a chance to indulge in Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Temperanillo and the more off beat Bonarda, Petit Verdot and Viognier, while enjoying vast open spaces and spectacular views. Whether you come away having learned a lot about the wine making process or having focused your energies on enjoying the several fantastic wines available for tasting, this is a great day out and an absolute must!
I was lucky enough to enjoy a full day exploring the various vineyards on offer. To maximise the day, my guide Silvana encouraged us to travel by bike, first starting in the city, heading down the wine roads of the Maipu Valley, pedaling and touring the endless beautiful vineyards. This was the perfect way to soak up the stunning scenery that surrounded us, and of course make the most of sampling a variety of world class wines. To end the day we then transferred to Lujan de Cuyo, a region forever called the land of Malbec. I was dropped off at Cavas Wine Lodge, set in an idyllic location at the foot of the Andes Mountains. I spent the evening on my very own private terrace with a glass of Mendoza’s finest in hand and was overwhelmed by the view of the vineyards and Andes beyond. My stay was faultless – the personal service, the fantastic food and luxury accommodation, it’s easy to see why people rate it as one of the best lodges in Mendoza and my only regret was that I could not stay there for longer.
It’s important to note that Mendoza is much more than just wine. You can also enjoy the spectacular view of the mountainous backdrop from nearby towns such as San Rafael, before touring the wilderness of the Andes themselves and all of Mendoza’s geographical variety. With lakes, rivers and thermal pools, its landscape is filled with such natural beauty, you won’t be disappointed. Boasting some of the most spectacular views of the Andes mountain range is Cerro Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America and the Southern and Western hemisphere. Being one of the Seven Summits in the world and home to the Aconcagua Provincial Park, a preserved natural area, no South American journey would be complete without exploring the cultural and natural treasures of the Aconcagua Mountain. Embarking on a climb up the Aconcagua slopes, the high altitude and weather extremities make it a challenge not for the light hearted. However, an expedition through the Provincial Park will exceed your expectations as you view glaciers, rivers and unique archaeological sites, whether you reach the summit or not!
And why not complete your experience in Mendoza with a little adventure. Feel the adrenaline rush as you raft the white rapids of the Mendoza River. Kayak the calm, still lakes hidden within the mountains. Explore the local landscapes, riding on horseback through the Uco valley – a chance to witness the local wildlife of llamas, foxes and incredible birds whilst viewing the breathtaking snow-capped peaks of the Andes Mountains. However you choose to spend your time in Argentina’s wine region, you cannot fail to be captivated by the beautiful vineyards, spectacular surroundings and adventurous activities. The reasons to love Mendoza are endless, so when are you going?
If you love wine, dramatic scenery and the chance to get outdoors and explore, call us on 020 7622 1116 and one of our Latin America experts can create your bespoke itinerary to Mendoza today.