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Mendoza spreads over 150,000 sq.km. Over 1.500.000 people live here. A superb combination of soil, weather and water has enabled the production of some of the best wines in the world. That same combination has made possible the development of a great number of outdoor activities all year round. Rafting, kayaking, skiing, overlanding, windsurfing, cave exploration are some examples. Mendoza is where many ski centers operate through the winter season. The northwestern part of the province is known for its routes that lead to the border with Chile. Interesting points to see here are Termas de Villavicencio and Cacheuta thermal waters, Uspallata, Los Penitentes, Puente del Inca, Las Cuevas and the tunnel Cristo Redentor (Mendoza pictures). Along the way, visitors can pause to take a look at the magnificent Aconcagua (6959 mts) which is the 3rd highest peak in the world. South of the city there is the wine corridor where Tupungato, Tunuyan and Valle de Uco are situated. And then, there is the city itself which is surrounded by an immensity of trees that are watered by "acequias" that transfer the melted iced streams of water from the Cordillera.
Mendoza downtown and parks
In the last 2 decades of the 15th century Mendoza suffered the domination of the Inca empire. For the next 2 centuries it developed under the influence of the viceroyalty of Peru. This influence can be noticed today in its architecture. The first week of March the most important State celebration takes place, the "Vendimia festivity" honoring the new yearly grape crop. A tradition that goes back to 1936. The beauty of Mendoza's downtown is stunning. What is most peculiar is its network of water canals...
that have transformed what was an arid region into an awesome specticle of blossoming trees that completely surround the city. Of particular beauty are the "5 parks area" in the downtown area. This state of *greenery* is due to the almost 500 km of acequias which irrigate the entire city. There are over 48,000 trees of diverse species and each block has a different one, thus creating an astonishing landscape. Mendoza is also famous for its production of wines and grapes. About 75% of the national production of wine comes from this area and vineyards occupy almost 50% of the cultivated land.
But this is not all. About 10% of the territory in the province is available for agriculture and only 4% (294,000 hectares) of that has been cultivated, splitted in two sectors north and south. The majority of the population live in the northern region. Besides wine and grape production, Mendoza is the largest producer of olives with about 50% of the national output. And there is also great production of fruits (apples, pears, plums, cherries and walnuts).
Nihuil - Atuel Canyon - Mendoza
A half hour drive from San Rafael takes the visitor to a heaven of spectacular beauty: Atuel Canyon and the Nihuil Dam. Clear waters mixed with an imponent multicolor scenario of diverse shapes. The Atuel river is born at 4,000 mts above sea level at Las Lenas, descending all the way to Nihuil Lake where a dam holds the water to form an artificial lake of about 9600 hectares... the perfect place for those looking for outdoor activity. It is common for rafting enthusiasts to gather around this area and make the most of the streams. And there is more, the walls of the canyon born at the lap of Nihuil lake are used for rappel and to perform climbing activity.
San Rafael (100,000 habitants) is a young and up and coming southern city in Mendoza. The origin of this city happened around the year 1805 when a fortress was built to secure the routes towards Chile. The fortress was named after Rafael de Sobremonte who was the head of the viceroyalty of La Plata. The development and urbanization of the area was very slow and it wasn't until 1860 that real efforts were made. By the year 1903, railroads arrive and bring with them the full force of the immigration wave.
South of Mendoza city, there is the Valle de Uco. The most important urban center here is Tunuyan (21,000 habitants). It is known as the capital of the apple production as it gathers a large number of producers. In the year 1880, a landowner named Elias Villanueva donated 9 hectares for the purpose of setting up the village. However, there were natives living here prior to its development, called tunuyanes.
Map of Mendoza, Argentina
Discussing Mendoza in our forum
* Cuture in Mendoza
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* Driving through the Andes
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* Real estate in Mendoza
* Winery in San Rafael
* Current weather in Mendoza
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We have shown you some of the most interesting aspects to be explored in this State. If you are interested in making a trip to Argentina and in particular to this region we recommend that you fill out our 'no commitment' vacation planner so that we can provide you with a more precise idea on the cost of a trip. It is possible to combine circuits and tours in this State with circuits in other States as well as neighboring countries, like Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and even Bolivia for prolonged stays. Trips may range from just a few days to many weeks. Upon reception of the reservation form we will be in a better position to let you know detailed scheduling for a trip as well as specific activities that can be arranged in the area, plus all the information regarding how to get your air tickets, payments, travel insurances, transfers from where you are and the cost of the tour or vacation as per your choices. Please do not hesitate to contact us.