A Trip to Mendoza

Margot Kempczynski
December 16, 2013

For our 1 week long “Spring Break” vacation, some friends and I spent the first half in the beautiful city of Mendoza. While known for its wine making and olive oil production, Mendoza is also right at the base of the Andes mountains, and so a popular place for hikers and trekkers to visit. During our stay, we did a little bit of everything that Mendoza had to offer. The first day we walked around the city and throughout el Parque St. Martin–a huge park with a gorgeous lake, walking trails, restaurants, and other features. Then, we made two separate day trips out to the Andes by bus. The bus system was actually pretty practical because you could choose where you wanted to get off. Our first day out there we got off at the Portrerillos Lake. This lake was crazy–so incredibly blue, I could not believe it. It also had a vast beach before it where people drive their cars out on to and picnic. Good to note for future reference, whenever I happen to come back. We also found a challenging but very do-able mountain to climb up near by and got a breathtaking view of both the lake and the mountains.

The next day we went to into the Andes, we woke up a little early (as in 5 AM) and took a longer drive out into the mountains (about 3 hours from Mendoza). We got out at the Parque Nacional, which is where people go to hike Aconcagua–the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas, making it the highest mountain in both the Western and Southern hemispheres. Pretty impressive to say the least. Though we did not attempt to hike this one (seeing as we are not mountain climbers and would probably faint after gaining 200 feet of elevation), we did hike nearby mountains and got to admire its beauty from afar.

The rest of our stay in Mendoza consisted of more walks around the city and a bike/wine tour. In the nearby town of Maipú, you can rent bikes for the day and then bike to various wineries and bodegas in the area. Each place offers either a tour or a tasting for the most part, and you can buy wine or olive oil only found in this region of Argentina. Even Dionysus would be impressed. So after being spoiled by Mendoza’s own ambrosia, we headed back to our hostel to rest before the next stop on our Spring Break: Cordoba!

Walking around the city–there were many plazas like this with a bunch of restaurants and bars

Overall, Mendoza felt much more residential than Buenos Aires. Fewer tall buildings and apartment buildings

We passed by many quaint houses while walking down Sarmiento on our way to the park. Here is a door I thought was neat

The entrance to Parque St. Martin (you can see some Andes mountains in the distance)

More streets of Mendoza

The group standing in front of Lake Potrerillo

Here are some vineyards that we biked past during our bike tour


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Margot Kempczynski

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I&rsquo;m Margot Kempczynski, a junior at Brown University majoring in French Studies. However, my passion for languages and different cultures has driven me to study Spanish as well, and I am thrilled to be studying in Buenos Aires. Having never been to South America, I cannot wait to explore a new place and improve my Spanish skills while being immersed in a completely new environment. I&rsquo;ve read so much about Argentina&rsquo;s rich culture, from the striking landscape of Patagonia to the vibrant music and dance that is tango, that I&rsquo;m now ready and eager to discover it all for myself. I love traveling, I&rsquo;m a huge foodie, and I love taking pictures, so I am very excited to capture my abroad experiences through photography and share them with you!</span></p>

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