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Travel Argentina: Mendoza

Updated on December 14, 2016

A Look at Mendoza City

Mendoza the City

On my approach from the North of Argentina to Mendoza, it seemed unlikely that such a beautiful province and city could be so soon. The approach through the province of La Rioja is very arid. La Rioja has very limited population outside of its main city and their are even few animals in this desert region of Argentina. Nevertheless, the handful of desert dwellers and small towns are interesting to see and give you a feel of a very different Argentina.

The approach to Mendoza is very different, it is like a large oasis irrigated by the plentiful water channel from the Andes above the city of Mendoza. There are lots of long roads approaching the city of Mendoza that are lined by tall trees.

The Province

The appearance of the countryside is similar to the French, Italian or Spanish rural areas. In the summer it is hot and dry, only receiving water from irrigation rather than rainfall, which makes the conditions ideal. There are olive groves, citrus farms and wonderful Mediterranean style houses. The most notable feature in the province is the abundance of vineyards that some of Argentina's best wines.

The City of Mendoza is one of Argentina's jewels. It was razed to the ground by an earthquake in the late 19th century and was rebuilt at a time when Argentina was very rich. They used the finest French architects who had just been engaged in the reconstruction of Paris for Napoleon III. This has left Mendoza with tree-lined boulevards, grand French roads and beautiful buildings. Mendoza boasts excellent hotel facilities, including 5 star hotels on a Western standard. It is popular with well heeled Argentines and Chileans, as well as from further afield. This large number of tourists ensure that there are an excellent range of restaurants and bars.

Wine in Mendoza

The Wine

Day trips to the vineyards of Maipu and other regions can easily be organised. There are numerous well-organised bodegas (vineyards) that offer tours and tastings, often in English and Spanish. For the more adventurous of us, there is also a camping trip up to Aconcagua. This mountain lies of the Chilean border and is the highest peak in the Americas. There are also numerous sites of natural beauty in the foothills and higher up on the Andes, which are accessible for the less upwardly mobile of us.

There is a well organised tourism industry based in the City. In the Argentine summer there are many music festivals in the main square, which is just like the main square in a major French city. There is also the festival of the harvest, when all the major Bodegas (vineyards) bring in their variety of wine for a sampling.


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    • patraining profile image

      Jennifer Hugsworthy 5 years ago from London

      De nada, if you are going to Western Argentina, Salta and Jujuy are really great to see for the physical geography of the area, I wrote an article about that region too, if it catches your fancy

    • yoginijoy profile image

      yoginijoy 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic, USA

      Thanks for the great answer. I would love to go! Perhaps I will start in Chile and then fly from Santiago as you suggest. Gracias! Hasta luego.

    • patraining profile image

      Jennifer Hugsworthy 5 years ago from London

      It is more than 1000km from Buenos Aires. An internal flight is approximately 2hours and there are plenty of flights, as it is often a stop on flight from Santiago to Buenos Aires. You can also take a bus overnight for 13 hours. The buses can be very nice with meals and flat seat that acts like a bed. Trains are generally slower than buses, so never tried long distance trains. Mendoza is actually closer to Santiago de Chile than Buenos Aires, although the route is tough as you have to climb over the Andes. Flight to Santiago are a little over 30 mins though.

    • yoginijoy profile image

      yoginijoy 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic, USA

      Sounds like a relaxing, beautiful city. How far away is it from Buenos Aires? How are the trains, buses and airlines in Argentina?