Before I even packed my giant (not to mention over the weight-limit) suitcase for my semester abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I was already dreaming about all the new places I could explore and visit in the country. Day hikes in the mountains, weekend trips to the beach, a quick flight over to Brazil… this all seemed within my reach! Unfortunately, I failed to consider that Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world, and trekking from one end to the next isn’t as easy or time efficient as it may seem. Although I had studied the country’s history and culture, I must have missed the unit on its geography.
One thing I learned fairly quickly: there are no mountains anywhere near the capital city of Buenos Aires.
No need to fret, however. There are multiple travel destinations throughout Argentina and neighboring countries of Chile and Uruguay that make for excellent escapes from the busy city life in Buenos Aires. Behind Patagonia, the most famous of these is likely Mendoza.
Keep in mind, however, Argentina is BIG. The trip to Mendoza took a whooping 16 hours by bus (for those of you who have traveled like this, I’m sure you’ll agree that sleeping overnight on a bus is not the most comfortable experience). I will admit, however, waking up to see the Andes mountain range in the distance was especially gratifying.
Upon our arrival, we decided to have a taste of what Mendoza is most famous for: wine. One of the managers at our hostel was very helpful in finding us a bodega tour, and within no-time we were on a bus, vineyard hopping!
Learning about the wine-making process was fascinating, but my favorite part of the trip was trekking through the beautiful nature in the Mendoza province.
The world awaits…discover it.