Adam is a Philadelphia born writer and entrepreneur living in Buenos Aires who recently launched BABible (www.BABible.com), which he says “will change the way you see Buenos Aires and facilitate memories that will last a lifetime because it provides the most pertinent, locally generated information in a format that is both accessible and easy to navigate.” Because of his familiarity and fondness for Buenos Aires, I asked Adam to put together a Buenos Aires City Profile. In addition to his familiarity and fondness for Buenos Aires, Adam enjoys traveling throughout Argentina. Mendoza, Argentina’s second city, often gets overlooked by larger and more well-known Buenos Aires, but this attractive city has plenty of charms of its own. I asked Adam to put together a city profile of this sometimes ignored Argentine city.
Overview: Mendoza is referred to as “la tierra del sol y buen vino,” or the land of sun and good wine. Here you will see a scene that is unlike any you can find in Buenos Aires. Mendoza is situated in front of the Andes and is covered by rows upon rows of grapes. The snow-capped mountains provide a great background and it is nearly impossible not to feel a sense of relaxation and tranquility while visiting here. The most famous grape grown in Mendoza is Malbec, which has given the region international fame that has been growing substantially. Mendoza also offers a lot of activities besides touring wine vineyards; you should take the time to visit the alto Montana, or high mountains, for some outdoor activities and sights, as well as explore the old city of Mendoza’s downtown. When visiting bodegas (wineries) you can plan on covering up to four per day. To get the full experience, pack a lunch that can be paired with your favorite wine at a local vineyard. If you cannot arrange a reservation at a winery, visit one of the many local restaurants that also serve exceptional food and wine. Plan ahead when visiting Mendoza; most vineyards now require visitors to have reservations so avoid just showing up and being disappointed.
Dining: Mendoza is an excellent destination for food lovers. The food is fresh, local, unique, and downright tasty, which give the restaurants found here world acclaim. There are a number of cafes in Mendoza that provide good coffee and sweets while allowing you to take in the views of the Andes. One of the best in the city is La Dulceria de la Abuela, which is located on Aristides Villanueva 209. For lunch or dinner, try Mi Tierra. This restaurant serves traditional Argentine cuisine and replicates a bodega almost perfectly. Dishes to note are the goat, pork, boar, rabbit, and the pastas.
Nightlife: Mendoza’s nightlife scene exists, although it is less in your face than Buenos Aires’. There are a decent number of bars and nightclubs for those who are looking to go out at night. The best bars in Mendoza are on or near Aristides Villanueva and you can access all of them in a few short steps. The best nightclubs are situated 6.25 miles outside of the city and are located on Ruta Panamerica.
Local Transportation: You can explore the city of Mendoza easily by foot, although you will want to either hire a private driver or a taxi to take you through the wine roads and mountains. Taxis and private drivers are inexpensive and are much safer if you plan on indulging in the wine. You can also rent a car and navigate the city by yourself, but be careful. Drivers in Mendoza are notoriously inconsiderate. This, in combination with the unfinished roads, can make driving dangerous.
Traveling to Mendoza: There are a number of international carriers that provide service to Mendoza including: American Airlines, United, LAN Airlines, Iberia, and Aerolineas Argentina’s. Prices vary depending on the season. A good place to look for flights is exitotravel.com, and kayak.com. However, keep in mind that those flying in from the United States, Canada and Europe will have to make at least one transfer.