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At the simple mention of Mendoza, I begin to smile wistfully. Mendoza evokes for me beautiful memories of leafy boulevards and café-lined plazas, sprawling vineyards and incredible steak. If it’s not on your radar, then it’s worthwhile to consider it as a certified Travelous destination. It’s stunning, the people are incredibly friendly, the weather’s great and the world-renowned food is something else. If you’re looking for adventure, delicious meals paired with award-wining wines and unique properties where you’ll be wined and dined like never before, look no further than Mendoza. And here are the seven reasons why:

 

1.Thrilling Adventure:

Now who doesn’t love adventure? And I’m not necessarily referring to that loud, adrenaline-inducing adventure, even though that also has its place. I’m talking about quiet and curious adventure, bringing forth a deep sense of satisfaction and a rare, childlike glee. Well Mendoza offers quite a bit of both: for those who are interested in heart-thumping adventure, white-water rafting on the Mendoza River is an experience that you will never forget: the best rapids in Argentina are here and they offer varying levels of difficulty ranging from beginners to intermediates! You can head to the Aconcagua National Park for some hiking, which is home to the highest peak in South America or go paragliding over the city at dusk, the fading light of the sun casting a shadowy glow on the city. For that quieter adventure, biking through sprawling vineyards, the rolling hills offering you challenge and reprieve all at once is a great option.  Then there’s jumping into one of the crisp, mountain lakes at the feet of the Andes or maybe taking it one step further and rock-climbing on theastounding mountains’ sheer mountain cliffs. There’s a little bit of that necessary adventure for everyone. 

2. Downright good food

Argentina is the land of excellent food, internationally known for its succulent cuts of beef, delicious olive oil and a natural bounty of fruit and vegetables. We’re talking both tasty and healthy – yes – and Mendoza is the hub of these astonishing varieties of local food. For an unforgettable dining experience, The Vines Hotel is a must-visit. Located in Mendoza’s prestigious Uco Valley, The Vines Hotel offers a unique dining experience that incorporates Francis Mallmann’s honed collection of open-flame cooking techniques, which you can marvel at as a front row guest of the open kitchen.  Menu options include 9-hour slow-grilled rib eye, cast-iron baked salt-encrusted salmon, grilled seasonal fruits paired with award-winning boutique wines, all made by impassioned artisans who take pride in creating Argentine fare. A few other noteworthy eateries are Josefina Resto, which fuses Spanish, Italian, Mexican, Peruvian, and Asian flavors and Maria Antoineta, where French cuisine marries Argentine cuisine in a union of perfection.

3. Lavish Boutique PropertieMendoza is home to exclusive, internationally acclaimed properties like the Cavas Wine Lodge, where thoughtfully designed rooms reminiscent of “cavas’ (caves), are nestled within the vineyards themselves, and wine-making classes are available to every ambitious guest. Entre Cielos (between skies), is another beautiful hotel in Mendoza’s Luján de Cuyo region, with unique loft rooms giving guests birds-eye views of the sprawling vineyards and surrounding valleys. Authentic pampering experiences, like spa treatments with products made from grape extracts and lavish vineyard picnics that are accompanied by gentle breezes and cool dips in the pool are also made available in this immersive hotel. Then there’s the legendary Casa de Uco Hotel, located in the heart of the Uco Valley, where wine tastings, blending sessions, and horseback rides through the 320-hectare estate and early morning hikes are just some of the offerings in this once upon a time farmhouse, where history meets modernity. There is truly no shortage of unique and tasteful accommodations in Mendoza, ones that will leave you feeling rejuvenated.  

4. World-renowned wines 

Mendoza is known for its high-altitude vineyards, with the Uco Valley rising up to become the region’s Cote d’Or. The higher altitude of the Uco Valley combined with its rocky soil results in quality wine with lush flavors. The most famous grape variety grown in Mendoza is the smooth Malbec, which produces rich and full-bodied red wines with notes of black fruit, chocolate, and spices. Other grape varieties grown in the region include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Bornarda, and the mineral-laden Chardonnay. Mendoza wines are characterized by their complexity, balance, and elegance and are often aged in oak barrels to add depth and complexity to the flavors. Among the most celebrated labels are Catena Zapata, Achaval-Ferrer, and Bodega Norton. These wineries have gained international acclaim for their commitment to quality and innovation in winemaking. Catena Zapata's flagship wine, the Catena Alta Malbec, is a complex and elegant red that showcases the region's signature grape variety. So, whether you're a seasoned wine connoisseur or just starting to explore the world of wine, Mendoza is the best place to start.

5. Perfect Climate

Every day is a park day in Mendoza as it’s dry year-round and the weather never gets uncomfortably hot, nor does it drop to unbearably cold temperatures.  Summers are warm and sunny, the winters are cool and partly cloudy, but the sun usually peeks mid-day, making Mendoza a perfect year-round destination. Due to this wonderful, temperate weather, people are cheery and very often out and about, strolling through the tree-lined boulevards with an ice cream cone in hand, sitting on terraces and sipping maté in one of the many cafes and genuinely enjoying an outdoorsy lifestyle. If you’re into warm weather, Mendoza is the perfect spot to visit when you get the winter blues, as it gets to its warmest between the months of October to April. And since I made mention of parks, the San General Martin Park of Mendoza is a 420-hectare verdant forest where the temperature is always three to five degrees cooler because of the ample shade of its trees. There are cycling and running routes around the lake, rose gardens, myriad monuments, an amphitheater featuring live performances and events and even a university located in this incredible park.

6. Interactive Cooking Classes

For a culturally immersive experiences that will embolden you with a fresh set of skills and give you lots of opportunities for a good laugh, Mendoza is the place to be. Many of these cooking classes are held in small group settings, with the hosts creating a jovial and familial atmosphere that’s truly conducive for learning and sharing a homemade meal. There are ample regional goodies that you can choose to make, including handmade torta fritas (Argentine fry bread) and empanadas. If you’re a meat-lover and barbecuing is your thing, you can learn how to marinade and prepare different cuts of beef, ranging from brisket to rib-eye steak and short ribs to tenderloin, accompanied by the delectable Argentine chimichurri. You might want to learn the art of gin-making at a micro-distillery and cook lunch in a traditional mud oven. The best part is taking this new-found knowledge with you home and putting them into action.

7. Great Shopping

If you're looking to elevate your wardrobe with timeless pieces that exude glamour and elegance, then Mendoza is calling your name.  Mendocinos are known for their sophisticated clothing styles and boutique clothing shops. If you're looking for high-end clothing in Mendoza, there are a few stores that you might want to check out. One beloved shop is the boutique store called "Cosset”, which is located in the heart of the city and serves not only as clothing store but also a bookstore.  Another great option is "Maria FA," which is situated in the upscale neighborhood of Luján de Cuyo. This women’s store specializes in luxury clothing and accessories, with a focus on high quality materials at affordable prices. If you're looking for something a bit more casual, you might want to check out the trendy "Prüne," which is Argentina’s answer to Marc Jacobs. This store offers a mix of high-end and streetwear clothing that are suitable for all ages and is one stop shop for whatever trendy outfit you might be looking for.

There you have it! Exploring Mendoza means that beyond the sightseeing, cultural experiences, and raw adventure you get to meet wonderful locals, expand your palate, delve into well-kept traditions and enjoy the quiet beauty of nature. Not to mention, drink deliciously good wine. A tailormade excursion with Travelous means unforgettable memories that will last you a lifetime.

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