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Useful Information about Mendoza

Mendoza is the most famous of Argentina’s wine-producing regions and has become renown around the world in recent years for its excellent malbecs, among other red varietals. Mendoza is an incredible city. Surrounded by the Aconcagua Mountain on one side and drained by the Desaguadero and the Mendoza rivers in the east, the city of Mendoza is located at an altitude of 6959 m above the sea level. The city experiences continental climate with warm and dry summers and cold winters.

Mendoza City, the capital, and the adjacent contiguous departments of Godoy Cruz, Lujan de Cuyo, Maipú, Guaymallen and Las Heras are known collectively as Gran Mendoza. It occupies 11% of the provincial land area. The total population of Mendoza Province is around 1,700,000, of which approximately 800,000 reside in Gran Mendoza.

Climate

Climate, weather: 15ºC - 6ºC (50ºF -58ºF) from November to April and 30ºC - 24ºC (88ºF -77ºF) from May to October. Dry throughout the year. Cuyo skies are rarely overcast, and the winter climate of this region is delicious, except on the Andean heights. The weather is temperate and dry, with cold winds, and summers are hot. Mendoza city is cool. The weather in fall is milder. Mt Aconcagua is the highest peak on the continent (6,962m) and can be climbed by three different trails.

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AGRICULTURE

The production of excellent quality-controlled wines is Mendoza’s principal agricultural activity. Seventy percent of all the grapes cultivated in Argentina are grown in Mendoza’s vineyards.

Many wineries- or bodegas, as they are known- produce Mendoza’s renowned wines, which are enjoyed throughout the world. Other major agricultural activities include the cultivation fruits and vegetables.

Mendoza is the nation’s leading producer of garlic and tomatoes and second in the production of onions. Fifty-five percent of Argentina’s olives are grown in Mendoza.

ADVENTURE TOURISM

Mendoza is also well known as a leading center of adventure tourism. Activities include white-water rafting, paragliding (at one of the best locations in Argentina), trekking, mountain climbing, horseback riding and skiing. Mountain climbers arrive from every continent during the summer climbing season to attempt to scale the heights of Mendoza’s Cerro Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere.

There are three major skiing areas: Los Penitentes and Vallecitos in the middle of the province and Las Leñas in the south. Fishing and other aquatic activities are also excellent throughout the province.

PLACES OF INTEREST FOR VISITORS

Mendoza is a magnet for foreign visitors. Among the hundreds of places of special interest to tourists are the Puenta del Inca, the Provincial Park at Cerro Aconcagua, the thermal baths at Cacheuta, Villavicencio, the Valley of Potrerillos, the Valley of Uspallata, Punta de Vacas, the Los Penitentes and Las Leñas ski areas, the Laguna de Horcones, Las Cuevas, and the sand dunes in desert of Lavalle.

TRADITIONAL GASTRONOMY

Some typical Mendoza dishes are: fried pasties, patitas aliñadas, beef stew, arrope syrup, tableta mendocina, humita en chala and the famous tortitas raspadas (scraped cookies) for breakfast or snacks. In addition to the traditional Argentine asado (barbecue) with an assortment of regional salads and desserts, you can sample empanadas, puchero, carbonada, cazuela de gallina or vegetales al disco.
Mendoza and San Juan together account for 90% of the country's wine production, and are one of the world's 4 major producers of fine wines.
Wine, perhaps more than any other human creation, has always played an important role in the great moments of human history. So why not "take a page out of the history books" and sample the exquisite local wines accompanied by an assortment of cheeses or the dishes offered in Mendoza's restaurants.


VENDIMIA FESTIVAL

It's one of the most important and oldest celebrations in Argentina, officially established in 1936 by Dr. Guillermo Cano, then Governor of Mendoza Province, whose decree formally recognized a long-observed annual celebration of the end of the harvest by those who toiled in the fields. The earlier time-honoured tradition featured, in addition to a celebration of food, music, and dance, the selection of an annual harvest queen who was appropriately honoured with a crown woven of grapevines. The first officially recognized Vendimia Festival, which began that year, has grown in size and scope every year since. During the final week of February, all Argentina looks to Mendoza for the colourful culmination of a series of preliminary activities that had been going on for weeks. The week starts with blessing the fruits of the harvest, a ceremony expressing gratitude to La Virgen de la Carrodilla , the Patroness of the Vineyards. All that week traditional festivities are held in Mendoza’s public plazas and celebrants feast on regional foods and evenings of music and folkloric dancing. On Friday a parade of allegorical floats known as the Via Blanca de las Reinas, representing the various regions of the province, wends its way through the centre of Mendoza. On Saturday another parade, more traditional, follows the same route through the city. Known as the Carrusel Vendimial, it features a theme reminiscent of Mendoza’s colonial days, including gauchos on horseback, horse-drawn carts and street bands known as murgas. The celebration ends that night with a magnificent spectacle at the Frank Romero Day Greek amphitheatre, during which the National Vendimia Queen is chosen.


SKI RESORTs IN MENDOZA: LAS LEÑAS

Skiing is one of the main tourist attractions in Mendoza, and there are three ski resorts in the province.

The most important is Las Leñas. At 450 km (or 280 miles)from the city of Mendoza, this resort is renowned all over the world for its breathtaking mountains and the top quality of its snow. Las Leñas has 12 ski-lifts, 34 km (or 21 miles) of slopes and 1300 metres (or 3940 feet) of difference in elevation. In addition, excellent options regarding accommodation help you get the most out of your time in the snow.

The ski resort Penitentes is another option for ski and snowboard freaks. At 186 km (or 116 miles) from the city of Mendoza it is just within a stone's throw from the Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside the Himalayas, and has 300 hectares of skiable area. Its proximity to Mendoza makes Penitentes the ideal destination for everybody who wants to spend just a day in the snow and the mountains. Nevertheless, there are excellent options for accommodation in variuous categories.

The smallest of the three ski resorts in the province of Mendoza is Vallecitos, just 80 km (or 50 miles) from the city. It's the best option for beginners and has about 5 km (or 3 miles) of slopes. Accommodation is limited, but due to its proximity to Mendoza, Vallecitos is the place to go if you are looking just for a quick getaway into the snow.

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How can you arrive in Mendoza

- By plane:
1.-Visitors from abroad can reach Mendoza either via Santiago de Chile or via Buenos Aires. Santiago de Chile is 450 kilometers from Mendoza. Travel time is 45 minutes by plane or 6 by coach across the Andes, a trip with spectacular views of Aconcagua, which is just a few kilometers off the road. Caution: in Winter, the pass is often closed due to snowfall and/or thunderstorms.

2.- Mendoza also can be reached via Buenos Aires. The distance is 1100 kilometers, equaling a flight of one hour and forty minutes or a coach trip of 14 hours. The lovely city of Mendoza, the capital of the province nestled near the foothills of the Andes in western Argentina, is a two-hour flight or 12-hour bus ride from Buenos Aires. Mendoza has an international airport.

Airlines: www.lan.com - www.aerolineas.com.ar

- By Bus: You can arrive by bus from Santiago de Chile or from any city inside Argentina (Buenos Aires, Bariloche, etc).

Bus companies : www.viabariloche.com.ar - www.andesmar.com - www.nuevachevallier.com

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See further information about:

- Argentina
- Buenos Aires city
- Patagonia (Bariloche city)
- Ushuaia city
- Santiago de Chile

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