Founded in 1561 the city of Mendoza is one of the most attractive cities in Argentina. Its clean, well-kept parks and elegant tree-lined avenues, its excellent wines and the beauty of the surrounding Andean landscape make it a wonderful place to spend a few days.
Set at the foot of the Andes in the Cuyo region, the town lies in a beautiful and fertile oasis formed by the Mendoza and TunuyÃ¡n rivers which also offer exciting white-water rafting experiences for the more adventurous. Although the colonial buildings built by the city's founding fathers were destroyed by an earthquake in 1861, there are nevertheless a number of museums and monuments which provide a fascinating insight into Mendozan history.
The province of Mendoza now boasts 550 wineries, from small boutiques to large-scale exporters, many of which are included in the recently-created Rutas del Vino, or Wine Routes, open to the public for a tour of their installations and a wine-tasting led by their wine-makers.
Worthy of note is the wine harvest festival, la Fiesta de la Vendimia, the most important event on the Mendozan calendar which takes place in March and lasts a week. Spectators are treated to folksong and dance performances from local and invited artists, floats and processions in honour of the Virgin of the Vine and the election of the National Queen of the Wine Harvest.