Argentina. Mendoza

Population: 40,1 millions
Capital city: Buenos Aires
People: 85% European descent, 15% Mestizo, Indian and other minorities
Language: American Spanish, plus 17 indigenous languages
Religion: 93% roman catholic, 2.5% protestant, 2% jewish, 1.5% ukranian catholic, 1% armenian orthodox
Currency: Peso (ARS)

Mention Argentina, and people think about solitary gauchos or maybe tango dancers. It is country blessed with abundant natural resources and a highly educated population. The country boasts a wide variety of cultural attractions, but for many travelers, its natural wonders are the primary draw. From the northern deserts down to the southern Andean Cordillera, from the Iguazú Falls to the magnificent desolation of Patagonia, Argentina's geography is varied and stunning. For cosmopolitan types, there's the elegant capital, Buenos Aires. This fabulous city is renowned for its sophistication, although travelers expecting a more 'South American' experience are sometimes disappointed with its European touch.

Argentina is one Latin American country where Europeans and North Americans can feel at ease and travel relatively inconspicuously. Argentina forms the eastern half of South America's long, tapering tail.

It's a large country - the eighth largest in the world, and the second largest on the South American continent. It borders Chile to the west (separated by the Andean Cordilleras range) and Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia to the north and east (separated by rivers). It also shares the offshore island territory of Tierra del Fuego with Chile, and continues claiming the possession of the Malvinas Islands.

Argentina's topography is affected by both latitude and altitude, and is accordingly varied. The country can be divided into four major physiographic provinces: the Andes to the west (with arid basins, grape-filled foothills, glacial mountains and the Lake District), the fertile lowland north (with subtropical rainforests), the central Pampas (a flat mixture of humid and dry expanses) and Patagonia (a combination of pastoral steppes and glacial regions).


HIGH MOUNTAIN

Early departure in the morning: bordering the Mendoza River, we will obtain a majestic landscape of the Cordón del Plata, we will see Dique Potrerillos and the beautiful Valle de Cacheuta. We continue to Uspallata, pre-Hispanic settlement of Huarpes aborigines and the southernmost point of the Inca Empire; then we pass through Picheuta, Polvaredas and Punta de Vacas, from where we can access the famous village of Los Penitentes, one of the ski centers of Mendoza (it runs from June to August). If weather conditions permit it, one of the most privileged views of the area can be accessed by chairlift (optional ascent ticket). Later on we will visit Puente del Inca, where Las Cuevas River has pierced the mountain, forming a natural bridge to which hot springs emerge. During this visit you can also appreciate Mount Aconcagua splendor, the highest mountain in America with 6960 m.a.s.l. An unpaved road that starts from the International Route, allows you to go a few kilometers to the beautiful Horcones Lagoon and the Aconcagua Provincial Park. (Access enabled only from November to February, consult). Following the International Route, we find the customs in Horcones and a few kilometers further on, on the border with Chile, Las Cuevas town located at 3200 m.a.s.l. Between Las Cuevas and the international tunnel that leads to Chile, there is a route that, depending on weather conditions, allows you to ascend to Cristo Redentor monument, located at 4200 m.a.s.l. and that symbolizes fraternity between Argentines and Chileans. In the afternoon we return to Mendoza city.

HIGH MOUNTAIN & VILLAVICENCIO

Tour pre Andean zone, passing through the old Route 7, we drove to neighboring Chile trasandino. The landscape is stunning and historic sites have to be the path you walk the army of the campaign to liberate Chile and Peru as Canota Monument. Attractions: Canota Monument and the old spa resort Villavicencio, where we will have a walking tour in the gardens, following the circuit of the Snails, Mirador, the Balcony, reaching 3000 meters Paramillos Cross. High, where you get the best view of the mountains with high peaks, down towards the town of pre-Hispanic settlement Uspallata Aboriginal Huarpes and the southernmost point of the Inca Empire, how far the Camino del Inca from Peru. Attractions: The Vaults of Uspallata, historic adobe buildings, where the chaplain Fray Luis Beltrán, used to cast cannons and guns. Subsequent visits to the villages of Picheuta, Polvaredas, Punta de Vacas and Los Penitentes ski resort. Leisure for the use of chair lift which allows us to enjoy panoramic views. Later, find the edge of our tour, the Puente del Inca, architectural natural thermal water springs. Continuing our course and 2750 m.a.s.l., the viewpoint of Cerro Aconcagua, the American colossus of 6,959 m.a.s.l. from where you access the Laguna Horcones and the Aconcagua Provincial Park. Following the international route arrive at our final destination, the town Caves, European style located at 3,200 m.a.s.l. Between Las Cuevas and the international tunnel, is the path that allows up if weather conditions permit in the summer to the Christ Redeemer Monument, located at 4,200 m.a.s.l., which symbolizes the union between Argentina and Chile. Return International Route 7 to the city of Mendoza.