When any foreigner thinks about Argentina he thinks about automatic things… and for sure among those, somewhere on the top is Wine and although wine is produced in a variety of regions of Argentina from Patagonia to the northwestern Andes, the most well known high quality wine of Argentina comes from Mendoza and the central Andes region, which is not unusual actually matches the latitude of the same product on the other side of the mountains, in Chile.
That said, one of the key components to have quality wine, is temperature amplitude, and one easy way to achieve this is by being in the mountains, for which we can already assume, Mendoza is right on the Andes, but not any Andes, it’s actually near the highest peak of the Andes and the highest peak anywhere outside of the Himalayas, Aconcagua Mountain.
On this region you are going to find a large variety of landscapes ranging from lower valleys with the Andes as a shadow on the horizon, you will find yourself right on the Andes for which the main activities to do in Mendoza and the surrounding area will be mountain climbing hiking, rafting, kayaking, biking, horseback riding and of course anything that has to do with wine, beginning by tasting it. To the north San Juan and La Rioja provinces will provide us with some of Argentina’s most incredible national parks, like El Leoncito, Talampaya or Ischigualasto.
Deserts, clear skies, more wineries and thermal waters heated by volcanoes will alter the scenery while the high Central Andes are still on our side. Touring the Argentinian central Andes can also be as relaxed or as active as you see fit. The roads that connect the small villages, the large wineries, the unique lakes, rivers and valleys will make this for sure, one of Argentina’s best road trips. The cities of Mendoza and La Rioja will also be interesting hubs, though the small towns with a closer look to the mountain capes to admire, snow-dusted and unforgiving, while others remain coppery red and lunar-like.
Several options for itinerary can be addapted for the clients needs, from 5 days to 3 weeks extending to further regions like Cordoba or even crossing the Andes over to our neighbor Chile.
As all of Argentina, and most of South America, the summer months are the warmest months, and include the longest days, ideal for long drives, long hikes and spending time outdoors, be it at an estancia, a picnic by the river or even looking at the stars and searching for the Southern Cross. In the case of Mendoza, this is not an exception, but a rule, considering that some of the visits are at higher altitude even during summer, the evenings can be cool and at the beginning of autumn and end of winter isolated snowfall can occur. The winter months bring cold, rainy, snowy and short days but also the snowy peaks make the landscape look like a painted portrait.
As usual we also recommend shoulder season months if you wish to avoid crowds. Highest season in Mendoza goes from mid December to mid February and Easter weekend.
September and March include the most fantastic bloom and fall foliage colors that can be of high value for photo maniacs. The most important date of the year in Mendoza is during the festivity of Vendimia, every first friday of March this huge event that celebrates the year’s grape harvest is a special event that the locals wait for every year. The festivities include a parade, a pageant, music and dance, amazing food, and fireworks. It is an absolute must when visiting the region during harvest.
For Mendoza and the Central Andes region we present to you several different Itineraries, some shorter, some longer, but remember, our flexibility is fully dedicated to modify, alter and requote any changes you might think of, considering, we have fully planned this trips with many years of expertise, but as each traveler shall make its trip unique.
What is the best Central Andes Roadtrip? You decide and let us know!