Settled into a desert region, Mendoza is anything but a desert town. With its own artificial irrigation system, you will find no shortage of greenery and landscape in this gorgeous city. The city will take your breath away with its hospitality and charm. The liveliness of the day turns into an equally exhilarating night. Most Mendozians don’t go for dinner until 10 or 11 pm and stay out late. Experience all this and more when you visit Mendoza.
For the serious climbers, Aconcagua is the highest peak in the Western and Southern Hemispheres and lies just about 112 km away from the city center. Although it has been deemed the non-mountain mountain for its ease, don’t be fooled. Many climbers have underestimated the trek and extreme temperature and have suffered for it.
For those looking to stretch their legs a bit closer to city center, Cerro Arco is only 12 km and offers a dirt/gravel path for runners and mountain bikers. Overlooking Mendoza, you can see how much the city stretches on for miles and miles.
Mendoza is a wine lover’s paradise, infamous for its world-renowned wine industry. The artificial irrigation system allows for the greenery around the city and the growth of grapes used for the wine. Many of the Bodegas, or wineries, offer tours and tastings. An especially great time to do a tour is during the harvesting season between March and April.
A huge, luscious park makes for a great picnicking area or for those opting out of the mountain trek, this is a perfect spot for a stroll to enjoy Mendoza’s natural beauty. The park also hosts a Zoo in the North-West corner where you can view numerous wild animals. The park is particularly perfect to watch the sun descend in the evening while walking along the lakeshore.
Skiing is very popular in the winter months, but beware, the season is short. Los Puquios is a popular resort 185 km, or about 2 hours or so from Mendoza, where you could spend the day learning to ski or brush up on your skills.
This is the main square of Mendoza and a great place to start your downtown explorations. The Mendoza Museum of Modern Art is located here and would be a great trip for children. The Plaza is also great at night time when the buildings are illuminated. Find yourself a spot to sit by the fountains for a bite to eat or check out many of the street performers.
Mendoza is centered in a desert region and in the summer, it is not unusual for temperatures to linger around 40 Celsius. The hot, dry weather is not all that uncomfortable due to the lack of humidity, making it more bearable than other regions in Argentina like humid Buenos Aires. You can expect, however, that the nearby mountains will be a bit cooler even in the summer months and in winter, they will be very cold. In the city, it is moderately cold from June to late August.
You may need to readjust your internal clock when visiting Mendoza. The Argentinians have a much later schedule. You won’t find a restaurant open for dinner before 10 pm and things don’t really get going until around 11. Many nightclubs are open throughout the night and people don’t go home until around 6 or 7 in the morning. An afternoon siesta, or nap, is still typical in Mendoza. Be prepared for many businesses to close in the afternoon for the siesta.
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Image courtesy of Flickr user David