Three Days in Mendoza
Mendoza was the second stop on our South American travels. We had an amazing time in Santiago, but were pretty excited to move on and check out wine country! Here are some highlights from our stay…
Across the Andes by Bus – Honestly, just getting to Mendoza was a pretty memorable experience. I know eight hours on a bus doesn’t sound like the greatest use of precious vacation time, but this is a bus ride you won’t forget! The views really are spectacular. We booked our tickets ahead of time online to get the best seats – second level at the very front with an unobstructed view through the huge front windows (thank you tripadvisor forums). Seriously, if you go, you must book these seats! We also brought our own snacks and water which turned out to be a very good call. The food provided on board included a sandwich (dry white bread with a thin slice of unidentified meat…that is all), a small plastic cup of very sweet unidentified beverage, instant coffee/tea bag and a dulce de leche cookie (can’t complain about the cookie!). I spent most of the trip taking in the views, but they did show a Spanish movie during the last half of the trip. Overall this was a great way to travel.
Pool Time at the Park Hyatt Hotel – We got a good deal on our stay the Park Hyatt Hotel in Mendoza, which is a great central spot right across from Plaza Independencia park. The location was perfect for exploring on foot, within short walking distance to restaurants, parks and plenty of cafes. The hotel itself has a good sized gym, wine bar, adjacent casino and restaurant. The weather was hot and sunny during our stay, so the pool area was the highlight for us.
Vines of Mendoza – We discovered this wine bar just a few blocks from our hotel and enjoyed our first wine tasting here so much that we went back again the next day. This place is aimed at English speakers, with friendly staff and a casual atmosphere.
Parilla – Our first dinner in Mendoza was one of the most memorable of the trip. We checked out some reviews and settled on Estancia La Florencia. This place is super popular with both locals and tourists. We snagged a great outdoor table and proceeded to order our first parilla! We got quite a variety of mystery meats and almost all of them were really tasty. I’m still not sure if we figured out exactly what we were eating (which may be for the best). The chimichurri sauce here was great too.
Empanadas – Another place we visited a couple times was the Mercado Central. This market has a food court with fast food type sandwiches, hamburgers and pizza, but we went for the empanadas! Carne (beef), jamon (ham), aceituna (green olive) & queso (cheese) were some of our favourite fillings. Really good with beer!
Dinner at Azafran – Another memorable dinner in Mendoza. Azafran is popular and rated well on tripadvisor, and was luckily just a short stroll from our hotel. We showed up a bit early (9:30 is early here) and managed to get a great table outside. Almost all the restaurants we visited on our trip served a bread basket, but the one at Azafran was very impressive – pretty much impossible to avoid filling up on bread…way too delicious. Selecting a bottle of wine here is a little unusual too. They don’t have a printed wine list, but insist that you visit the cellar and consult with their sommelier to select a bottle.
Our short stay in Mendoza flew by, and we probably would have enjoyed a few more days here. Before we knew it we were off to the airport for a quick flight to the big city…next stop Buenos Aires.
Visited Mendoza, or just love their wine? Tell us all about it in the comments!