I was about to write this post about our trip to beautiful Mendoza, when I heard on the news that Mendoza is a finalist city on the New7Wonders Cities campaign.
I´m not surprised! With the snowed Andes in the background, the architecture of its squares and design of its parks, as well as the wine and gastronomy “routes” make this city one of top ones in Argentina and in the world!
For food lovers like me, Mendoza is a destination not to miss. The Mendoza region is well known for its excellent wine industry (it is one of the Great Wine Capitals of the World) and also for its earthy and world-class cuisine. Mediterranean crops like olives, grapevine and many other fruit trees, meats like goat (chivito), lamb and veal as well as salmonidae like trout, salmon and pejerrey are some of the local specialties. The Eat Well Argentina app is a must to get to know Mendoza and guide you on where to eat fresh.
The breath-taking landscapes represent an ideal context to enjoy a glass of wine with a picnic made of local products. Besides ruta del vino (wine route) you can also visit farms and travel around rutas gastronómicas (gastronomy route). Mendoza City is an ideal base for exploring these fascinating sites and towns.
I was in Mendoza city for just 3 days. But I get to know it pretty well. My husband and I rented a car and travel around with our 18 months baby girl. She did awesome from her car seat! If you have only few days to spend in Mendoza I recommend you some must see places and the following itinerary:
· After breakfast (most hotels include continental breakfast) visit wineries near Mendoza city, especially in Maipú or Luján de Cuyo (land of malbec). I recommend doing a guided tour to Catena Zapata or La Rural winery. Make sure to book ahead. We had lunch at Casa de Campo, a tribute to homemade food! Delish!
· In the afternoon visit Parque San Martin, with its enourmous gates! Here you can go up Cerro de la Gloria and take a picture at the big monument of San Martin, go to the zoo, botanical garden or do sport activities.
· For dinner, have some great homemade pasta at La Marchigiana.
· Continuing with the wine route, you don´t want to miss the highest wineries in the world. Right in the Andes in the Valle de Uco, we went to Salentein. The landscape is spectacular..as well as the winery architecture and art center. After the tour and wine tasting (AR$ 60) have lunch at their restaurant Killka.
· After lunch, we went back to the city. Remember that here people take religious naps between 2 and 5 p.m. all shops are closed. Perfect for you to take a nap too and replenish energy!
· Before dinner, take a walk around downtown Mendoza where you can do some shopping (I recommend you to stop and try homemade chocolates La Cabaña, where you can also buy gifts, olive oil and other local food products). Relax and have a coffee at Sarmiento street (pedestrian)
· Have dinner at Don Mario, one of the best parrillas (steakhouses). Meat portions are huge!
· Start early and have a quick breakfast to be on the road at 9 am and do an all day trip to Puente del Inca and Aconcagua (highest mountain in the Americas). Traveling along route 7, visit the villages of Potrerillos and Uspallata, and enjoy gorgeous views of the Andes. See stunning natural sights like the Puente del Inca, a rock bridge over the Vacas River and marvel at the peak of Aconcagua. I recommend you to deviate a little and have lunch or afternoon tea at a mountain restaurant called Mosqueta.
· You will be back in the city by 5 or 6 pm. Relax and prepare to have dinner downtown. I suggest Azafran, which I found on the guide Eat Well Argentina.
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