More Mendoza, Argentina

By Ali Karim
This post is part of a series called Mendoza, Argentina April 2019

More Mendoza, April 2019

After resting from the previous day’s exploits around Mendoza, we decided to go hike around the next day, and check out Aconcagua National Park. So off we drove towards the Andes mountains and the Chilean border. The drive was very nice and scenic

More Mendoza, Argentina Potrerillos dam reservoir along the way
Potrerillos dam reservoir along the way

We arrived at the town of Uspallata; the last major town before the Chilean border and stopped at the Tourist info to pick up maps etc for Aconcagua, and walked over to a local cafe/bakery/pastry shop for a coffee, empanada and pastry snack.

More Mendoza, Argentina Snack in Upsallata. Coffe came with sparkling water always :)
Snack in Upsallata. Coffee came with sparkling water always 🙂

After a nice break here, we drove another 25 miles towards the Chilean border ; it was a nice drive over nice smooth roads

More Mendoza, Argentina Drive to Aconcagua National Park in the Andes
Drive to Aconcagua National Park in the Andes
More Mendoza, Argentina Note the beautiful colored layers of rocks in the Andes
Note the beautiful colored layers of rocks in the Andes

About 3 miles before the Chilean border, we arrived at the Aconcagua National Park just off the main road past the town of Puente del Incas. At the Ranger station, we paid for a day permit into the park for about $5 each, and started hiking into the park starting at 9,000ft above sea level. The park houses the Aconcagua mountain, which is the highest peak outside the Himalaya’s at 22,837ft (compare to Mt Kilimanjaro at 19,341ft) above sea level. The hike trails to Aconcagua are through a glacial U shaped valley with splendid views. Even at this height (about 10,000ft), it was not difficult to breath and the hikes were pleasant. See below

More Mendoza, Argentina Stunning landscapes
Stunning landscapes
More Mendoza, Argentina Many small lagoons from glacial meltwaters
Many small lagoons from glacial meltwaters
More Mendoza, Argentina Interesting sign; which means (literally) walk in the steps of the one in front. Used by Indian tribes to confuse their enemies from knowing how many people strong they were. Now used to preserve the delicate ecology of the park; leave minimal footprints.
Interesting sign; which means (literally) walk in the steps of the one in front. Used by Indian tribes to confuse their enemies from knowing how many people strong they were. Now used to preserve the delicate ecology of the park; leave minimal footprints.
More Mendoza, Argentina Beautiful Aconcagua mountain, with U shaped glacial valleys
Beautiful Aconcagua mountain, with U shaped glacial valleys
More Mendoza, Argentina Obligatory photo at the Mirador
Obligatory photo at the Mirador
More Mendoza, Argentina Amazingly beautiful landscapes on the hike
Amazingly beautiful landscapes on the hike

360 degree views

After several hours hiking here, we left to go back to Mendoza. Some views along the way

More Mendoza, Argentina Puente del Incas is a natural arch that forms a bridge over the Las Cuevas River, a tributary of the Mendoza River. The arch & color is from the rich mineral deposits from a hot spring here. The building used to be a resort/spa at the thermal spring.
Puente del Incas is a natural arch that forms a bridge over the Las Cuevas River, a tributary of the Mendoza River. The arch & color is from the rich mineral deposits from a hot spring here. The building used to be a resort/spa at the thermal spring.
More Mendoza, Argentina Lunch was at the roadside Alojamiento restaurant/hostel; a very nice rice dish the chef made for us; and quite cheap.
Lunch was at the roadside Alojamiento restaurant/hostel; a very nice rice dish the chef made for us; and quite cheap.
More Mendoza, Argentina Rich colors of nature
Rich colors of nature
More Mendoza, Argentina More natural colors
More natural colors

The evening, dinner was at the very lively street scene on Aristides (Av Aristides Villaneuva); which is the happening place for nightlife. The street sidewalk was packed for 5-6 blocks with outdoor restaurant seating and bars and clubs. It was very lively with lots of people.

More Mendoza, Argentina Very lively Aristides
Very lively Aristides

The next day, we spent exploring more areas of downtown Mendoza

More Mendoza, Argentina Well-appointed and frequented pedestrian only wide and leafy street’s
Well-appointed and frequented pedestrian only wide and leafy street’s
More Mendoza, Argentina Beautiful squares with monuments
Beautiful squares with monuments
More Mendoza, Argentina We found an outdoors fruit and vegetable market in one of the squares
We found an outdoors fruit and vegetable market in one of the squares

We then explored part of a huge park; the Parque General San Martín, located west of the city center. Some scenes below form the Parque

More Mendoza, Argentina Huge Parque General San Martín
Huge Parque General San Martín
More Mendoza, Argentina At one end of the Parque is a hill called Cerro de la Gloria, with a huge memorial to the Army of the Andes at the top
At one end of the Parque is a hill called Cerro de la Gloria, with a huge memorial to the Army of the Andes at the top
More Mendoza, Argentina Soccer is in the blood
Soccer is in the blood

After a nice lunch at the Parque on a lakeside, we went back into town, where we had seen a beauty shop run by an older lady and her family; where Dilshad got her manicure, pedicure and I got a haircut; all for about 50% of what we would pay in Dallas. And we had some interesting company; some of who spoke good English.

Mendoza is a great place for great steaks & foods and excellent wines. It is definitely a Foodie place, and coupled with the nice warm people and the downtrodden peso, it is also a great bargain. The nearby Andes mountains are majestic, and offer breathtaking views; Aconcagua being the highest mountain outside the Himalayas was something I never knew about and was very pleasantly surprised. Definitely worth a visit.