Mendoza itself isn’t the prettiest town. The trees with their autumn leaves helped a little, but overall it felt a bit rough around the edges. The town squares were pretty, but seemed dirty and not well maintained, and we felt ourselves looking over our shoulders walking around town. Perhaps we’re being too harsh, but it wasn’t the cute wine town we were expecting.
However it’s not the town that people come to Mendoza for. As well as the wineries, the natural beauty outside and around Mendoza is endless, as are the options of things to do. As well as our visits to the wineries, we also visited the Termas Cacheuta (hot springs) and did the High Mountain day tour, which took us up into the Andes and around some of the other natural sites in Mendoza.
Andes Mountain Tour
The day we did the mountain tour, it was overcast with low cloud cover, but at least it wasn’t raining. We were hoping to see Cerro Aconcagua, the highest summit in the western hemisphere at 6962m, but with the cloud cover we weren’t feeling overly confident.
The drive was stunning, as we passed towering mountain after towering mountain, the colours and patterns of each unique, and like nothing we’d seen before.
There were long valleys trailing off into the distance with the occasional small hut set against a stunning backdrop, and the low cloud hugged the mountains as it settled over the peaks for the day.
We stopped at Mirador Aconcagua, which gave us a beautiful and perfectly clear view across the Andes, apart from the one cloud obscuring the view of Aconcagua.
The most amazing stop of the day was Puente Del Inca or Inca Bridge (which has nothing to do with the Incas). Looking like something from another planet, the colours of this natural formation are out of this world.
Termas Cacheuta Hot Springs
A visit to Termas Cacheuta is the perfect remedy if you’ve been indulging in a little bit too much Malbec while in Mendoza. Not just revitalizing, but also picture perfect with the pools nestled into a beautiful mountain setting.
During our visit the lower pools were closed as it was the off season, but there were still more than enough open pools to choose from for our afternoon of rest and relaxation. There was around 10 outside and another 10 or so inside. The temperature in each pool varied from boiling hot to freezing cold, and we moved between them all. Both of us loving the boiling hot pool, which was so hot at first you thought it might burn you, but after a short period of discomfort, suddenly felt perfect as the aches and pains left your body.
When people talk of Mendoza, first and foremost the conversation is always about the wine and wineries. Not surprising given there are over 1,500 wineries in the region. But even without the Malbec attraction, Mendoza would be well worth a visit for it’s beautiful natural surroundings.