In the desert Cuyo region (western Argentina), Mendoza is the centre of the Argentinian wine industry, for which it is world renowned. It is also near the Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas. Mendoza’s incredible Andean landscape is heady enough, and that’s before you even start on the wine.
Although it is situated in an extremely dry desert region, this province has an extensive artificial irrigation system, which allows for greenery throughout the city as well as the growth of grapes used to make its wines. Most streets have irrigation channels on either side, with bridges for pedestrian and vehicular traffic. These are periodically flooded with water diverted from the river.
To the immediate west is the Pre-Cordillera of the Andes towering over the city, with peaks at some of the snow-covered (throughout the year) Andes peaks beyond. White water rafting and trekking are available nearby.
The eastern department of Maipú – home to big-name wineries – reaches 700 metres above sea level, while hotspot Uco Valley, a more southerly region in the shadow of the the Andes, tips 1,100 metres. These areas have distinctive microclimates that hold the key to Mendoza’s extensive and exciting portfolio.