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Where to stay: Menodoza City vs. Maipu, Lujan, etc

San Francisco
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Where to stay: Menodoza City vs. Maipu, Lujan, etc

My partner and I are currently planning a trip to Argentina and Peru for a few weeks at the end of this year. We will be including about 5 days in Mendoza. We are avid wine tasters, which is the main purpose for our trip. We will have a driver and guide. However, we are struggling a bit with location of accommodations. We have looked at many of the smaller places at wineries, B&B's, etc. We stayed at a similar in Piedmont, Italy and loved it. However, we drove there so were able to go out on our own for dinner, etc. Here, with the driver and guide, we are worried we will get a bit bored in the evenings (we are early 30s) in the smaller towns. We can use SPG points to stay free at the Sheraton in downtown and are thinking perhaps we would enjoy being able to walk around the city at night, have more options for dinner, etc. However, would we be missing out on all the charm on the wine country by staying downtown? Or will we get a sense of the charm while out wine tasting each day? Thanks in advance for any opinions! :)

Lunenburg, Canada
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for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Iguazu National Park
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1. Re: Where to stay: Menodoza City vs. Maipu, Lujan, etc

Hi SF!

The suburban towns around Mendoza are boring and unattractive. It's not like the California wine country, let alone the magnificent wine roads in Europe. Wine estates are walled off so that you can't see much until you drive inside the gates. I hope the wines will please you. (I'm not a drinker, so I can offer no opinion in this regard.)

Most of the hotels are concentrated in central Mendoza, and unless you're overnighting in a wine chateau you'll probably stay downtown. If you do stay in a chateau, you'll find no extracurricular activities unless you have wheels or take a taxi. (But it's only a dozen miles or so to the city, and taxis are not very expensive.)

Get your Google Maps out. Hotels in Mendoza are concentrated in an area bounded on the west by Belgrano Av, on the north by General Las Heras, on the east by San Martin, and on the south by Colon (Columbus Avenue). We found the pricier places on Espana. Many moderately-priced hotels are on Peru and 25th of May. The nicest restaurant district is Sarmiento Avenue, between Belgrano and Independence Square, the biggest square.

If you get bored and are not too drunk, rent a car for the two hour each-way drive to the Chilean border via Uspallata. It's paved two lane highway through a river valley amid spectacular snow-capped mountain scenery. As you approach the border, visit the provincial park for Mount Aconcagua, which you can see from the viewing point a half-mile walk from the parking lot, highest peak outside the Himalayas. Serious hikers or those with money for a helicopter ride can go even higher.

We think Mendoza and it's wine region the most over-rated corner of Argentina. How over-rated? Somehow, guide book writers seemed to have been suborned into counting its open drainage ditches as a tourist attraction! Mendoza is an ordinary large city, with cosy hotels, appealing restaurants, and no less safe than any place else, but we found that the same can be said for Cordoba, as an example, and many others, and we liked Salta more.

By the way, if you're in a position to go farther afield, we overnighted in a little-known but beautiful wine country south of Cafayate, in the extreme western corner of Tucuman province. (I know Cafayate is in Salta province, by the way. Tucuman province.) The cosiness pie hotel has an absolutely specuacular view of mountains and vineyards from our room, both front and back and a gourmet restaurant. Room for two including dinner and breakfast came to US$125/night. I don't want to seem a name-dropper, so contact me if it's in the cards for you to get up here, away from Mendoza.

Happy travels,



Mendoza, Argentina
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2. Re: Where to stay: Menodoza City vs. Maipu, Lujan, etc

All are entittled to their opinion, but I think this rant is a bit unfair, I respectfully believe most visitors to Mendoza would view the area as great and unforgettable in a positive sense. The city is visually the most beautiful in Argentina, no way you could compare it to the bareness of Cordoba and Salta. I am sorry David had a bad time there, it does not mean you will share his opinion at all.

I find the irrigation systems here fascinating and part of its charm.

The main Plazas in Maipu and Lujan quite nice to spend a few hours relaxing. Much nicer in the centre of Mendoza, and the rest of the wine areas more accessible from there.

You can also rent bikes in Lujan, tho less choice. There is a nice bike route south of the city, across the old bridge, and from there a nice paved bike path going to Rubino, Norton, Chandon and Tapiz wineries. Apart form Bikes and Wine in Lujan, there is a small momandpop bicycle rental across from Norton, you can get there easily by taking any local bus to Agrielo or Ugartuche.

...a chacun son gout. :)

3. Re: Where to stay: Menodoza City vs. Maipu, Lujan, etc

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