Last weekend was a long one with Easter and another national holiday combined and of course my friends and I had to plan a trip. Looking up different places to go, we finally decided on Mendoza.
Mendoza is on the west side of Argentina, very close to Santiago, Chile and it is famous with its wineries and its production of Malbec. You get a view of the Andes wherever you go and there is so much natural beauty around the town.
It took us 18 hours to get there, instead of 15, as our bus shut down and did not work for an hour and there was a lot of traffic leaving Buenos Aires. Our bus was freezing the whole time and by the time we made it to Mendoza, I was already sick. But we made it and that’s what matters, am I right?
The first two days, I was sick with fever and stomach pain, but I tried keeping a positive attitude and to take care of myself. I did feel guilty that I was sick and didn’t want to reflect how bad I felt to my friends, but it is important to remind yourself that it’s okay not to feel great all the time. Taking it easy on myself, I was feeling pretty good from the third day on!
We stayed in Hostel Mendoza Inn and it was at a great location, on Avenidad Villanueva Arístides –the street where most bars and restaurants are– and the atmosphere was great. There were people from all over the world and although there was no vacancy, it didn’t feel packed at all.
Through our hostel, we found a very cheap tour that goes to two wineries, a chocolate factory and an olive oil factory. I was already excited for a winery tour, but hearing about chocolate and olive oil, your girl was already planning to eat her stomach pain away. I found out that it doesn’t work like that later on, but I’m still happy for every single bite… We went to Maípu to visit two small wineries and an olive oil factory and returned to the town for the chocolate factory. The tour was pretty cool and my favorite part was, of course, the olive oil tasting. My Mediterranean genes would not let otherwise.
Searching for outdoorsy activities, my friend came across rafting and we were all down. Therefore, we found ourselves on an hour and a half bus ride to Río Mendoza. Argentina Rafting had its own complex surrounded by mountains and a lake, it was absolutely beautiful. It was my first time rafting and it's a lot of fun!! The view was just amazing and being on water, looking around to massive mountains and trying not to fall, I was one happy gal. After rafting, we had time to relax and eat at the complex and I was so content. This day was definitely a favorite.
We couldn’t get enough of the outdoors, so the next day we decided to go hiking and have a picnic. Cerro Arco is a popular hiking spot and it is around 40 minutes from the town. There are other hikes a little further, but we wanted to go somewhere close. We took a public bus to the town the trail starts, but we got off at an early stop by mistake. After walking on the side of a highway for about 30 minutes and making a friend, who later decided to join us on our journey, we decided that it was the best if we just found a different trail. The road was filled with mountains, so we just followed a carved way and it turned out pretty cool. There were also a number of hostels in the area and if I go back to Mendoza, I will definitely stay at a hostel in between mountains.
Mendoza was a nice break from the city that I didn’t realize I needed. I love Buenos Aires and being in a city, but I didn’t realize how much I miss a good get away where I can lay down in peace without the disruption of honks and music playing in a store nearby. I feel refreshed and ready to be back in the city :)
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<p>Hello hello! I am Idil and I am a junior at Lafayette College studying Economics and Anthropology & Sociology. I am from Istanbul, Turkey and I am studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester. I am an adventurous person who loves trying new things and meeting new people. I love spending time with locals and learning more about a city from their perspective. I cannot wait to take on this experience and bring you all with me!</p>