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Overview to Mendoza: Travel Guide and Tourist Information
Most travelers backpacking in South America head to Mendoza expecting little more than great mountaineering and climbing. And so it comes as something of a surprise when they’re greeted by a pleasant, friendly and thoroughly lively city.
Spreading out from its bustling heart at Plaza Independencia, the city is broken up by leafy areas. Not far away, the Plaza Espana - its more attractive counterpart - has a decidedly Andalucian feel with its tiled benches and shady walkways.
Continuing in this vein, the Parque General San Martin is undoubtedly one of the most eye-catching parks in the whole of Argentina. Elsewhere, the ruins of San Francisco are all that remain of an impressive monastery destroyed by an earthquake in 1861.
Culturally speaking, the city is home to two museums of note: the Museo de Ciencias Naturales y Antropologicas Juan Cornelio Moyano (natural history) and the Museo del Pasado Cuyano (indigenous culture).
Mendoza is situated at the heart of Argentina’s wine-growing region. And, although much of the city’s nightlife naturally centers on plenty of good dining in smart restaurants and wine bars, there are also dozens of livelier bars on and around Avenida Aristides Villanueva.
When it comes to major events in Mendoza, the city’s celebration of the wine harvest is a highlight of the calendar. The Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia is a truly remarkable event for anyone lucky enough to be in the area throughout January, February and on into March.
Then, of course, there’s the climbing. While the nearby Andean Cordillera is home to the mighty Aconcagua – the highest mountain in the Americas – there are a number of rather less daunting peaks for less advanced climbers to attempt.
There are also stunning hikes, whitewater rafting, horse riding and even skiing (at the resort of Los Penitentes) oppertunities. And with such a wealth of natural resources on its doorstep, few cities across South America can claim to appeal to the activity traveler like Mendoza.