Mendoza part 1: the Andes mountains

I have a thing for Mountains. I love the the scale of them, everything feels small and put into perspective next to a mountain. I love the feeling of being high up but yet still on solid ground and I love being out in the fresh quiet air.

This Easter weekend I went with my parents and boyfriend to Mendoza. I had been there before but only to explore the city and visit wineries, I had never ventured into the mountains. Which is crazy because Mendoza sits underneath the Andes, the vast mountain range that separates Chile and Argentina.

On this trip I was determined to head up into the mountain range. We didn’t have a car so instead we booked ourselves on to a full day tour of the Andes. We arranged the  tour through a random travel agent we found in Mendoza city and they picked us up at 7.30am the next day from our hotel.

We were quite nervous as the tour started, it was so cloudy driving towards the Andes that we couldn’t see any mountain at all. However as we continued to ascend, the clouds began to clear and we were able to see the mountains in all their glory.

Our first stop was a little ski field in the Upsallata Valley. The ski field hasn’t been in use for a couple of years due to the lack of snow which is kind of sad for the people that rely on that industry to make a living.

We were able to take the chair lift up the mountain side and when we arrived at the top we were greeted with a stunning view of the valley. It was so peaceful and quiet up there, I almost didn’t want to come down.

From the ski field we continued on to the Puente del Inca. The Puente del Inca is a naturally formed bridge which goes over some thermal springs and is surrounded by a little village.

These springs have long been believed to have healing properties so in 1925 they tried to set up a spa hotel and bathing areas around them. That hotel was subsequently destroyed by an avalanche. The remnants of both the hotel and the bathing quarters are still there and it’s kind of eery.

After that we heading up the road to the Aconcagua National Park. Aconcagua mountain, at 6,961 metres, is the tallest mountain outside of Asia.

In the park we had a beautiful view of the mountain but our tour guide actually told us that where we stood taking photos was actually a 45 km distance from the mountain. That will give you an idea of it’s size.

After we left the national park we all went for some food in a little village further into the Andes before winding our way back out of the Andes towards our hotel.

I would recommend the tour but if I had a drivers license I reckon I would have rented a car so that I could stop and take more photos of the beautiful mountains. The tour was excellent though and it was a great way to get my mountain fix.


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