We came down to visit our daughter in college in Valparaiso, Chile and to see a little of the area. First Mendoza is great, we were there off-season so no crowds but the people were warm and helpful. It took some adjusting to get used to eating supper at 10:30 at night but we did it. And the food was all great. The wine is to die for. Visit The Wines Of Mendoza for some wine flights then go in search of a winery tour. Remember there are 900 wineries in Mendoza and some of them are numbers 890 to 900 in the competition. Mariana at Los Varietales was very warm and helpful as was her staff. Her place is more than a couple of blocks from the parks but after a big meal the walk is a good idea. The rooms are OK, room service does their job. The excursions pick you up at the front door.
Definately do the parasailing. I am afraid of heights and was whining all the way up the mountain but the flight down was the most gentle, calm experience I've had in years. I do it again in a heart beat. In the summer the rides are longer because of the thermals, mine was "only" forty minutes.
Take the bus over the Andies to Santiago Chile! I had a round trip flight and my daughter talked me into taking the bus. Amazing! They've elevated the art of the bus to a new level, it was like business class travel with snacks and oversize chairs that reclined. We had the front three seats on the second level and wished they shut off the movie because the real show was outside the window. And it was $24 a person for a six hour ride.
Unique Quality: Los Varietales best feature is Mariana, who speaks English, and the value of accomodations. If you're a college kid and you want to be near the bars and shopping this is on the wrong side of the parks.
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