Mendoza Journals

Mendoza The Road Up to the Andes

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A November 2004 trip to Mendoza by Robert Raymond Ingledew

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Quote: This tour is a thrilling experience. There are vineyards, you border the Mendoza river for many miles, the Uspallata valley, visit historical places, the thermal waters al puente del Inca, the penitentes ski center and chair lift and finally the Aconcagua, that is 23,500 feet high.

Mendoza The Road Up to the Andes

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

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Quote:
First we go through the Chacras de Coria residential area, that has become very popular during the past years. We pass in front of the Lujan de Cuyo oil refinery (Mendoza is one of the main petroleum producing provinces in Argentina), cross over the Mendoza river and border it until we reach the Potrerillos dam and reservoir, where you can fish well-sized rainbow trout. We continue to the valley of Uspallata, a far cooler area, and continue to the Puente del Inca thermal baths area. There is an artisans fare there where you can buy products made in the zone. I nearly forgot, from the Potrerillos lake you can see irrigation terraces made by the Incas. I know that the main irrigation channel of Mendoza ...Read More
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I lived three years and a half in Mendoza, and since then have visited the city frequently. I have stayed at 4, 2 and 1-star hotels; however, I am not completely acquainted with the overall picture. The first time I went during the past years I stayed at a one-star hotel that I do not recommend, the hotel Mallorca. It is near the San Martín park, in a beautiful area, but it is one of the poorest hotels at which I have every stayed. I had no problems, but the room was at the back of a gallery, with a tiny bathroom, old fashioned, and cold. Their address is Julio A. Roca 719, Phone (54-261) 423-3079 but I was not satisfied with this hotel. To make things worse, there was no restaurant nearby, and Men...Read More
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Once you have passed the Valley of Uspallata (at an altitude of 6,650 feet) the road continues climbing. Some 14 miles beyond Uspallata you will find an historical site, the historical bridge of Picheuta. It is not the original bridge constructed by San Martín's army on its way to Chile, that was destroyed by a river flood, but rather a reconstruction of the original bridge. At this point and advance party of the Army was taken by surprise by the Spaniards and killed. However, San Martin finally succeeded in liberating Chile and Peru from Spanish dominion. Of course, the cross of part of the Army through Las Cuevas was only a distraction to misguide the Spanish army, since most of the army crossed div...Read More
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We cross the rails of the Trans Andean railway, and trust that in a near future it will be running again. In any case, there are over half a dozen of excellent bus services that cross from Mendoza to Chile, and many of them come all the way from Buenos Aires. (Andesmar, Crucero del Norte, CATA, and others). Our next stop is at Las Cuevas, a phantom village that practically no longer exists since the Customs moved further down the road towards Punta de Vacas. It is November, and the road to the international border is icy, so they take us instead to the Aconcagua Provincial Park. There we have to walk a mile to get the best views at an altitude of nearly 12,000 feet. I only went half way and relaxed...Read More
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Apart from the city tour and the High Mountain tour (Aconcagua and/or Cristo Redentor), the Atuel Canyon is another very nice tour, although it takes 12 to 14 hours (depending on the driver) and means travelling some 300 miles, or more. It visits the Nihuil Dam, and from there comes downstream along a beautiful canyon, that is some 1,000 feet deep (this is not Colca, Copper Canyon nor the Great Canyon, but it is still very nice). The Atuel river has crystal clear waters there, because they have settled down at the El Nihuil Lake. Then you visit the very nice Valle Grande Rafting area, where you can go down the river for 45 minutes at a cost of some 6 to 8 dollars, it is really enjoyable an...Read More