Hostel Huellas Andinas
Rivadavia 640, Mendoza, 5500, Argentina
nice and cheap hostel in the centre
At first I found the rooms a bit too small for the number of beds (ok, they ARE small ;-)) but all "neighbours" I had were really nice and you don't spend so much time in bed anyway.
Very friendly and helpful staff and a starting-point for a lot of activities.
Don't know the price for the double rooms, but the (mixed) dorm with 6 beds was very cheap: 13 peso
(not sure about "least expensive, but one of the cheapest)
Directions: right in the centre, between Plaza Independencia and Plaza Italia
- Wonderful wonderful wonderful ambience and friendly staff
- Lockers are available
- Great kitchen facilities, with MICROWAVE OVEN (quite rare but so convenient!)
- BBQ pit at the roof-top for the much-needed asados
- TV / Living room is very comfortable
- Homely dining area and backyard
- Very near to the centre, Plaza de la Independencia
- Can be noisy if your room faces the backyard as the hostelites stay up all night, chatting and playing music
I suggest you take a room on the second floor.
Dorms : 12 Arg Peso (2003)
Directions: Rivadavia, between 25 de Mayo and Peru
More about Mendoza
All the pairings - from Chardonnay to Malbec...
Rios Andinos camp
Mendoza highlights and information on bus to Santiago
For my 25th wedding anniversary we are planning to go to Puerto Montt, then to Bariloche (lake crossing), then to Mendoza (by bus) and then to Santiago (by bus) before our final return flight to New York. We are thinking of 2 days in Bariloche and 3-4 days in the Mendoza area during the first week of July (outside any travel time). Would you recommend we swap the time? i.e. 3-4 days Bariloche and 2 in Mendoza? What are the "must see" places in Mendoza and surrounding area? Finally, we read that the pass from Mendoza to Santiago can be closed at times. Should we reserve an extra day for this trip to make sure we don't miss our return flight from Santiago?
Thank you for any advice you can give us; this is the last bit of information we need to start reserving tickets, hotels, etc. And by the way, any nice hotel/apartment/hostal in Mendoza you recommend? Price should not be much of an issue.
Re: Mendoza highlights and information on bus to Santiago
Just saw this. Regarding the bus over the Andes, the pass can close any time in the winter due to snow. It is a high mountain pass and both sides have to be transitable for it to remain open. There is no way to forsee this until a couple of days before. There is also no way to know how long it will be closed. It could be a day or it could be three. With a flight to catch, I would not chance it. In the winter it is better to fly this route if you have a flight to catch.
Thank you. One more question...
Is it possible to decide between the plane and the bus while in Mendoza? In other words, how difficult is to find plane ticket on short notice at this time of the year?
Finally, do you have any advise on our Bariloche versus Mendoza question?
Thanks again for your advise.
Travel Tips for Mendoza
When it's too hot
Do what many locals do: run to the hills!
Mountain towns like Potrerillos, Cacheuta are good choices to avoide the heat in the city. They are located at 70 and 30 km away from the city respectivelly.
Potrerillos is a quiet town now growing thanks to the Potrerillos Damn and Cacheuta, smaller than Potrerillos has the Hotel Termas de Cacheuta with its swimming pools filled with thermal water.
Good and cheap choice to fight the heat wave on the city.
If you are going to Mendoza,...
If you are going to Mendoza, you absolutely must go to San Rafael, once there you won´t believe all the activities available...I personally really enjoyed rafting at the 'Atuel River' ($12-45 minutes) and of course para-sailing ($65)on a really windy day. Both activities for the first time in my life, so I´ve got good memories from there. Another interesting thing to do is visiting the vineyards like Bianchi and Suter, they will give you a free tour to show you the process of making wine and champagne, and once in the showroom they will let you taste them, and if you buy there, they give 30% discount...
Driving between Mendoza and Santiago
I really enjoyed the drive between Mendoza and Santiago and think it is a very scenic trip. We did it in our own car and I know that all we had to do was purchase travel insurance just before the border to be able to drive a Chilean car in Argentina and I assume it would be similar the other way around. Only thing I am not 100% sure about is whether you can take a rental car across the borders.
It might be worth looking at booking a daytime bus trip between Mendoza and Santiago. That way you get to see the sights and have the benefit of no hassles with rentals across borders and insurance. You would probably only be able to get off the bus though at the two immigration checkpoints which is the one downer about the bus.
About 1000 vehicles do this crossing every day and the majority are trucks so the whole trip can take some time (6- 8 hours usually).
This way to the sacrificial altar ...
I'm afraid the first thing that came to my mind when we arrived at Catena Zapata, the third winery (actually the first of the day) we visited during our stay in Mendoza, was "Which way to the sacrificial altar?" I kept expecting an obsidian-knife-wielding priest to step out from behind a stone archway at any moment. It rather put me off the wine.
This was the certainly the slickest operation we visited. The building and grounds gets raves from lots of quarters but I found it overbearing, stark and rather pretentious, there was certainly none of the warmth and good-feelings that associations with wine usually bring to mind. Similarly the tour was efficiently conducted but rather clinical, as was the wine tasting that followed - and this was the only place where were required to pay for the tasting.
Main Gates to the Parque General San Martin
The main entrance is characterized by four huge iron gates. Given that when the park was built there was a lack of sculptors and that the cultural model was the european, many sculptures were bought directly from Europe. These gates were bought in Paris in 1907. They were originally made in Scotland for a sultan, but he died before acquiring the gates so they were left without a buyer. That's how Emilio Civit bought them.
Crowining the gates there's a condor with its wings unfolded, and Mendoza's coat of arms. These replaced the original symbols - the imperial crown of sultan Abdul Hamid II and a moon, symbol of Islam. The gates are painted in black and gold, typically british.
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