Beautiful Argentina has many provinces, but Mendoza is one of the favourites among tourists and locals alike. To begin this journey properly, it is necessary to explain that there are "two Mendozas" - the first one is the province and the second one is the city. This story is about the province, and the starting point to every adventure in is the city of Mendoza, keep this in mind. Well, every day in Mendoza is a beautiful day, literally every day. That is why Mendoza has been called the land of sun and wine. And here are my best picks from Mendoza Province.
Mendoza is one of the most beautiful Argentinian cities. It has a lot of life. Green areas, amazing cuisine and attractions are everywhere. Just walking around the city feels like an attraction itself. This gorgeous city will be our starting point for the adventures I will now present to you. I will not tell you a lot about the city itself right now, but I highly recommend visiting it during the Vendimia time, which is the harvesting of wine grapes, celebrated in March. So, it is basically a wine party that takes over the city. They pick a Vendimia Queen and have multiple activities!
Puente del Inca (the Inca Bridge) is two hours and a half away from Mendoza city. If you ask me, you should visit this icon of the province and a beloved natural monument. It consists of a natural bridge formed above the Las Cuevas River. The legend linked to its formation is a symbol of devotion. Locals say that an Inca princess was very ill, and they tried everything to heal her, but nothing worked. So, the wise men of the place told the monarch that the last hope to save her was taking her to healing waters, which he did. He, his daughter and a group of warriors went from Cusco to this hot springs in Mendoza. Once they arrived, they noticed there was no way the monarch and his daughter would be able to cross the river to get to the hot springs because of how tempestuous the river was. So, the warriors (loyal to their monarch) hug each other to make a human bridge for them to cross. The monarch stepped on his loyal warriors' backs to cross the river and save the princess. Once he had safely put the princess in the healing waters, he looked back to thank his warriors and was heartbroken to see they were all petrified. They sacrificed their lives for him and his daughter. This story, as sad as it is, beautifully names this marvel of Argentina.
Crossing this bridge, you will see the hot spring pools. There are five of them, and each one has its own name - Venus, Mars, Saturn, Mercury and Champagne. They are all the same type of thermal water, but the minerals inside them differ. Locals still think they have healing properties as they are very salty and filled with minerals known for improving health.
The highest peak of the Southern and Western hemispheres, Aconcagua, is 112 Km away from Mendoza city. Aconcagua, with a summit elevation of 6,961 m, is the highest mountain in the Americas. The Aconcagua Provincial Park features amazing views and is one of the most important preservation centers in Argentina. Inside, you can find everything you would expect from a sanctuary - wildlife, glaciers, high peaks... I do not think one trip is enough to see it all. One of the most popular activities to do in this place is trekking. If you are adventurous, this is the place for you. While walking through this place, remember generations of human beings have shaped it, and now you are part of that piece of history. You are setting foot in the same place the Incas did. It is surely an adventure you will never forget!
Las Leñas is one of the most popular ski resorts in Argentina. Even though you probably already know this, the view is amazing, the place seems to glisten. It feels like a big extension of clouds is under your feet. The place is a hotspot for snowboarding and skiing, and it is no wonder. It has one of the longest skiing tracks in South America and a wide range of tracks suitable for beginners and the most experienced ones. If you are an expert, I would highly recommend you skiing in the night in one of the most unforgettable experiences by taking the illuminated track. If you are not the extreme kind of tourist, you could try the snow canopy zip-line or take a beginners class. Las Leñas is a place for everyone!
Wine, wine, wine! Did you know that there are over a hundred vineyards open for you to explore in this area? Imagine a day of relaxation in sunny Mendoza while drinking wine. Magical walks through vineyards, with amazing weather and the Andes Mountain Range as the view. How does that sound to you? Some of the most popular activities are watching the wine-making and enjoying the wine tastings. Some vineyards even take you by horse or let you ride a bike to make the experience even better. I would recommend you go to the Lujan de Cuyo district and knock yourself out!
Thirty-eight kilometers away from Mendoza is the Cacheuta hot springs and a waterpark, a perfect place if you want to have a moment of relaxation without missing out a whole day of your trip. The place is meant for kids and adults alike. There are a lot of different thermal-water pools with different temperatures and even a cold water attraction with slides. Cacheuta is amazing, it has many different levels with different pools and small artisan stores for souvenirs. I highly recommend it!
The Mendoza Province is filled with activities and marvelous landscapes to discover. This was just a first stroll through the best spots of this place. As usual, a lot is missing, but I tried my best to share the hidden gems of this province with you. Mendoza, the land of sun and wine, is just a plane away from you!
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