There's more to the Andes than spectacular mountain-pass views. 80% of Argentina's wine is produced in the Mendoza region, which lies at the bone dry foothills of the Andes. Here the sunny days and cold nights breed rich, potent reds. And if you were only planning to stay for a day or two, be prepared to be captivated and tempted to dwell longer...If Mendoza sounds like the town for you, go straight to our guru's list of the best places to stay in Mendoza, alternatively here are some great reasons to visit.
Mendoza isn't just about big reds. Higher up the slopes are where the Chardonnay and Semillon grapes flourish, developing the slightly acidic taste the region's whites are known for. There are about 800 wineries in the region, so there's plenty of new flavours to taste. For peak wine and food season visit during the harvest festival, which has spread out from March to include January through April.
Scenic, beautifully laid out and with every luxury laid on, Mendoza can be as adventurous or relaxing a destination as you choose. High enough in the Andes to provide an adventure sports playground, there are many local operators who'll arrange skiing, rafting, kayaking, trekking or paragliding. Or you can just sit around and enjoy the scenery with your glass of Malbec.
Not all of Mendoza's charms are outside the city. Mendoza itself is bustling with interest along its wide, leafy avenues and historic plazas. This is also a great city to visit for cafe culture and nightlife.
A delightfully rustic B&B and winery surrounded by vineyards and fruit trees. A rural retreat surrounded by outdoor activities - great for families.
A lovely wine estate with a private villa set in 22 acres of vineyards. Renaissance style structure renovated with rustic charm - pine floors, terracotta tiles, and French windows that bathe ochre colours in sunlight. For foodies, spa goers, and wine lovers.
San Rafael, Mendoza
A spectacular wine estate and golf resort in the rolling foothills of the Sierra Pintada Mountains. The best of all worlds - beautiful lodges, award winning cuisine, the finest wines, a world class golf course, clubhouse and tennis courts.
Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza
A luxury vineyard and spa resort with a twist. Unlike the more usual rustic bodegas, this hotel is a contemporary treat - the private loft suspended above the vines is exceptionally modern. Contemporary delights for a gourmet retreat.
Nestled in a valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains sits this boutique vineyard. It provides some of Argentina's finest wines, gourmet cuisine, airy rooms, and a luxurious spa - all in striking contemporary architecture.
The Park Hyatt is ideal for any business or leisure traveller with a sensitive palette and penchant for luck. It has extensive meeting rooms and banquet halls, a fantastic selection of restaurants, and a casino - and for when it all gets too much there's a luxurious spa to unwind in.