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Mendoza is a beautiful province protected by the highest peaks of America, always covered in snow; crossed by wild rivers; populated by vineyards, olives and scented fruit trees. Synonym of harvest and adventure, it is a land of feat where man’s strength converted deserts into oasis, where people’s courage fermented Latin American Independence struggle.
Footprints of the Huarpes -its ancient originary population- merge with remains of the Inca invasion. Then, the Spaniards arrived and, with them, the Jesuit cultural influence. In revolution times, Mendoza was the departure point of the Andean Liberator Army, commanded by Gral. San Martín, that crossed the Andes Range and arrived to Chile and Peru.
The Andean horizon is the milestone for the great mountain challenge: at 22,841 f.a.s.l. the Aconcagua beats with its entire splendor. In winter, altitude valleys dress in white: snow looks radiant and ski dominates the landscape. Las Leñas and Penitentes gather the most demanding visitors. The famous Route N° 40 takes to the Uco Valley. Area of rural farms, the tonada –the local musical form- sets the rhythm to rediscover Mendoza’s winemaking. In the South, adventure fans choose the Atuel River Canyon. In summer, rivers get ready for action: rafting calls children and adults, both experienced adventurers and amateur tourists. Quiet rivers invite to fishing while the blue sky permits watching an interesting quantity of birds.
A glass of the most exquisite Malbec awaits and welcomes travelers at every stage of the road, accompanied by carefully kept local flavors. Cuisine in this province is an art; Mendoza celebrates pleasure. All your senses will enjoy this experience.
Mendoza has three international airports:
> “El Plumerillo”, at 6 miles from the provincial capital, is one of the most important airports in Argentina. It operates with flights of the Cuyan region and border countries. It receives direct flights from Buenos Aires, Córdoba, San Carlos de Bariloche and Santiago de Chile; also from Iguazú, with stop in Salta. It operates with the following airlines: Aerolíneas Argentinas-Austral Líneas Aéreas, Lan Argentina, Lan Chile and Sol Líneas Aéreas.
> Malargüe’s Airport “Comodoro Dr. Ricardo Salomon” services tourism heading towards Las Leñas. It operates the whole year, but with more activity during the winter season.
> San Rafael’s Airport "Suboficial Ayudante Santiago Germano" is at 144 miles from Mendoza. It operates with direct flights to/from Buenos Aires and some transit flights from the province of San Luis.
Mendoza limits to the North with San Juan; to the East with San Luis; to the South with La Pampa and Neuquén and, to the West, with Chile. In the interior of the province, an extended and safe road network communicates the different tourist centers with buses that depart from the capital city. National routes 40 and 143 cross Mendoza from North to South; the Bi-oceanic Corridor (National Route N° 7) crosses it from East to West, connecting Buenos Aires with Santiago de Chile.
For those travelers willing to explore this destination by car, at the capital there are different authorized car rental companies. Drivers should take into account that pavemented roads are combined with paved roads. They should be very careful, especially in mountain areas, on paved roads, where speed should not exceed 30 miles per hour. In winter, frost and snow are very dangerous on roads. And, during the whole year, it is important to watch for landslides or animal presence.
Travelers coming from Chile may use any of the following border paths to enter:
> Cristo Redentor Path
It communicates Villa Las Cuevas (Argentina) with Los Andes (Chile). It is an area of heavy transport and drivers should be extremely cautious. In winter and due to intense snowfalls, the path might be closed during several days.
> Cajón del Maipo International Path
It connects Argentina with Chile through Provincial Route N° 98 that communicates San Carlos Department, at the Uco Valley, with San José del Maipo, in Chile.
> Portillo de Piuquenes Path
Open only in the summer season –from 11/01 to 04/30- for tourism and sports. It communicates Tunuyán, at the Uco Valley, with San Gabriel in Chile.
> Vergara International Path
It communicates Argentina with Chile, through International Route N° 145 and Provincial Route N° 226. It connects Malargüe (Mendoza) with Curico (Chile). Closed in winter due to snow accumulation.
> Pehuenche International Path
Through International Route N° 145, it communicates Malargüe in Mendoza with Talca in Chile.