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Mendoza is one of the most popular destinations in Argentina, and for good reason. There is something for everyone in this picturesque province that is located close to the Chilean border and under the shadow of the Andes. Here are all the reasons why you should visit Mendoza before you die.
One of the things that Mendoza is most well known for, obviously, is its wine. Wine aficionados from all over the world flock to Mendoza to sample the region’s famous Malbec, and even the most novice drinker or aficionado will have a blast in Mendoza. There are three wine regions located in the province of Mendoza, and visitors to this area can visit one or all of them, depending on how long you are planning to stay in the area.
The areas of Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo are located close to the city, so can be explored with relative ease without having to go too far out of your way. Many people choose to stay in an area called Chacras de Coria, which is a small, upper-middle class suburb of the city that is located at the edge of the urban sprawl and at the entrance to the Uco Valley, Mendoza’s third and most important wine producing region. This is one of the best places to rent a bike and do a self-guided tour of the many small bodegas and larger scale wineries that proliferate in the area around Chacras de Coria, which also makes up some of Lujan de Cuyo.
If you have a few more days, hire a driver to take you out to the Uco Valley for an afternoon. Many visitors to Mendoza choose to hire cars, but this can be unwise if you are planning on whiling away the afternoon over a long lunch and endless glasses of wine, so better to leave the driving to someone else. Check out some of the area’s most famous bodegas, such as Bodega Salentein, Andaluna or O Fournier, or head for the more rustic and low-key enclave of Bodega la Azul for a long and languid five course tasting menu.
If you only want to dabble in wine and not make it the focus of your Mendocino adventure, perhaps you might be more inclined to get into the great outdoors and take advantage of Mendoza’s stunning location at the foothills of the Andes. There is a wealth of activities for those who are interested in action and adventure to participate in, from rock climbing to white water rafting to hiking, trekking and even skiing in winter. Those who just want a sprinkle of activity in their holiday might want to take a horseback ride through the Andes. These can be organised with tour agencies that will bring you into the mountains, where a local gaucho, or Argentine cowboy, will be waiting to saddle up some horses to bring you deep into the mountain range. After a few hours riding, you will break for a typical Argentine asado, which you can eat as you watch the sunset, washing everything down with a delicious glass of Malbec.
Mendoza is also a fantastic place for foodies. The very concept of food is on a whole different level in Mendoza, with endless tasting menus par for the course. Some of Argentina’s most eminent chefs have restaurants in Mendoza, such as Francis Mallmann’s Siete Fuegos or 1884. There are countless wineries offering luxurious lunches and dinners, and by the end of your trip you will no doubt have had your fill of meat and wine. Whether it be food, wine or adventure you are into, Mendoza has it covered.