PHOTO: Mount Aconcagua (Photo via Facebook)
The city of Mendoza, Argentina, is an outdoor lover’s paradise, and then some.
It has its high, sitting at the foot of the Andes mountains, and its lows, with the Mendoza and Tunuyán Rivers. It even has its famous Malbec wines to toast the adventures.
But the major attraction is Mount Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Western hemisphere, right on the border with Chile. Feel like taking a crack at the summit? Aerolineas Argentinas can take you where an average of about 3,500 climbers try to reach the summit.
Mount Aconcagua is more than 22,000 feet high, and according to summitpost.org it is that height that is the most challenging.
“The 'Normal Route' is non-technical – a walk-up, following the Northwest Ridge,” the website wrote. “It is the altitude that poses the most problem. That and the sense that this is an easy climb. Every year people die because they underestimate the task at hand. Respect this mountain and you will fare better. You should not attempt alone, you should always have someone watching you.”
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Mendoza is so much more than Mount Aconcagua, though. The museums, the restaurant, the town squares, even the wine tours are among the most wonderful attractions in the area.
In fact, as the New York Times pointed out, wine became one of Argentina’s biggest exports about a dozen years ago. Real estate prices fell at the height of the financial crisis and investors bought up wineries and wine acreage, leading to a robust wine export business.
Mendoza is also home to some fabulous restaurants, as well as celebrity chef Francis Mallmann, many located in the city’s plazas. Ironically, the plazas were built as safe haven open spaces in the wake of an earthquake in Mendoza in 1861, and now they serve as the centerpiece of the town.