Chile and Argentina 2018 travel blog

1 - Park Hyatt Mendoza

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6 - Bistro M staff

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8 - The Vines Bar & Vinoteca

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11 - Andres Alvarez, Assistant Front Desk Manager and Leandro Livschitz, General...

12 - Plaza Independencia

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16 - Surrounding the Plaza

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21 - The Plaza lighted at night

22 - Plaza San Martin

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24 - Plaza Chile

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26 - Jose de San Martin and Bernardo O'Higgens

27 - Plaza Espana

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38 - Plaza Italia

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40 - Government Center of Mendoza Province

41 - Government Building of Mendoza Province

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46 - Professional and welcoming staff

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48 - Lisandro Nieri, Minister of Government

49 - Photograph of the President of Argentina

50 - Supreme Court of Mendoza

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52 - Dr. Mario Daniel Adaro, Supreme Court Judge

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55 - Legislature of Mendoza Province

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57 - Luciano Romero, Personal Assistant to the Vice-Governor of Mendoza

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62 - The Arch of Peace

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64 - Memorial to the Fallen Soldiers

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66 - Basilica de San Francisco

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71 - San Martin Park

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106 - Various photos

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109 - Celebrated national artist

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112 - Vineyard tour private car and driver

113 - View to the Andes on our way

114 - Home of vineyard worker

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116 - Catena Zapata Vineyard

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134 - Caelum Vineyard

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140 - Cavas Wine Lodge

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143 - Traditional Spanish colonial style

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150 - Sebastian Velez Romero, General Manager

151 - Eclectic decor

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154 - Restaurant

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156 - Pool

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158 - Spa

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160 - Individual adobe lodging

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164 - View from the main building to the Andes

165 - The chef who prepared our delicious lunch

166 - Lunch on the terrage with a view to the vinyard...


A straight line on the map from Santiago, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina is about 125 miles east. However, the driving distance is twice that distance due to the fact that you have to go over the Andes Mountains. It is about a five to six hour drive. The flight from one city to the other is only about 45 minutes. You barely get up before you are coming down. On a clear day the views are spectacular as you can imagine as the mountains always have glaciers.

Mendoza is the primary region in Argentina for Argentine wine. It is might be called the Napa Valley of South America. Our expectations as we crossed the Andes from Santiago to Mendoza, were to see green everywhere. Instead, all we saw was grey and brown. It was a desert for as far as the eye could see!

It was only as we approached Mendoza that we had the first glimpse of the green of vineyards. After that, green was all we saw in both vineyards and orchards until we came to the actual city.

As we spoke to people in Mendoza about the water supply, they told us that it comes from the runoff from the snow and melting glaciers of the Andes and that the Incas had developed a water capturing system that is still fundamentally used today, although with some improvements. One of the unique features of Mendoza as a result of this system is that there are deep gutters lined with stone throughout the city. In fact, you have to be careful when you walk, not to step into one.

Mendoza is a true colonial city with few modern buildings. It is a hot spot for tourists who enjoy visiting the bodegas (vineyards) or skiing in the Andes.

PARK HYATT MENDOZA

If you visit Mendoza, you must stay at the Park Hyatt. It is a beautiful historic building on the outside with a dramatic modernized interior. It is also right in the city center where you can walk to everything you should see in Mendoza.

Photos 1-10

The management team and staff were welcoming, friendly, and helpful in every way to make our stay so enjoyable and memorable.

Andres Alvarez, Assistant Front Desk Manager and Leandro Livschitz, General Manager

Photo 11

PLAZA INDEPENDENCIA

Occupying the city’s geographical center is Plaza Independencia. Shaded by sycamore trees, it hosts concerts and craft fairs.

Photos 12-15

Surrounding the Plaza

Photos 16-20

Lighted at night

Photo 21

THE FOUR PLAZAS

Two city blocks from each corner of Plaza Independencia is a smaller plaza. The four plazas are Plaza San Martin, Plaza Espana, Plaza Italia, and Plaza Chile.

Plaza San Martin

José de San Martín, the liberator of Argentina, Chile and Peru, was a Spanish-Argentine general and the prime leader of the southern and central parts of South America's successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire.

Photos 22,23

Plaza Chile

Bernardo O'Higgins was a Chilean independence leader who freed Chile from Spanish rule in the Chilean War of Independence. He was a wealthy landowner of Spanish and Irish ancestry. He is considered one of Chile's founding fathers, as he was the first holder of this title to head a fully independent Chilean state.

Photos 24-26

Plaza Espana

Photos 27-37

Plaza Italia

Photos 38,39

GOVERNMENT CENTER OF MENDOZA PROVINCE

Mendoza is the capital of the Province of Mendoza. About a mile from the Park Hyatt Mendoza is the center of government for the state in which Mendoza is located.

Photos 40

Government Building of Mendoza Province

Photos 41-45

Government staff who were very helpful to us during our visit

Photos 46,47

We met with Lisandro Nieri, Minister of Government. With Harman’s academic qualifications and brief experience/practice in politics was exceptionally valuable throughout his professional life in sales and marketing both in the United Kingdom and United States, he and Lisandro shared their thoughts on improving and enhancing Mendoza’s wine industry and introduce mining development in the region.

Photo 48

Us with a photograph of the President of Argentina

Photo 49

Supreme Court of Mendoza Province

We had the exceptional opportunity to meet with Dr. Mario Daniel Adaro, Supreme Court Judge.

To our surprise and delight, he sent a book, “Miradas de Mendoza Coleccion”, a collection of beautiful photographs of Mendoza, to us at our hotel with a personal note.

Photos 50-54

Legislature of Mendoza Province

Luciano Romero, Personal Assistant to the Vice-Governor of Mendoza, gave us a private tour of the Legislature of Mendoza and told us about the fascinating history of how the independence of Argentina from Spain was won.

Photos 55-61

The Arch of Peace

Photos 62,63

Memorial to the Fallen Soldiers

The water in the fountain was red, signifying blood, when we were there as it was a special remembrance day to the fallen soldiers.

Photos 64,65

Basilica de San Francisco

Photos 66-70

San Martin Park

Photos 71-97

Flowers in the park

Photos 98-105

Various photos

Photos 106-108

Celebrated national artist

Photos 109-111

VINEYARD TOUR

If you visit Mendoza, it is a must to tour some of the vineyards. There are organized tours where you will visit three to four vineyards with wine tasting, perhaps lunch. On our previous visit to Mendoza in 2012, the hotel arranged for a private tour car and driver.

Photo 112

The drive to the vineyards had spectacular views of the Andes.

Photo 113

As we approached the entrance to the vineyards, there were homes of the vineyard workers.

Photo 114,115

With the help of the concierge, Jessica Rojo Savard, we selected three very different vineyards.

Catena Zapata

The pyramid structure of Catena Zapata makes it Mendoza’s most attention grabbing vineyard.

Photos 116-133

Caelum

Caelum is a small start-up vineyard owned a mother and her daughter and son. We met the daughter, Constanza Pimentel, and son, who were both so very charming and welcoming.

Photos 134-139

Cavas Wine Lodge

If you could visit only one vineyard, it would have to be Cavas Wine Lodge. It is part of the Relais & Chateau group that has unique five star properties all over the world.

Photos 140-142

The main building is traditional Spanish colonial style

Photos 143-149

Sebastian Velez Romero, Manager, gave us the grand tour of the property.

Photo 150

The hotel lobby, restaurant, pool, and spa are located in the main building

Photos 151-159

The unique lodgings are about a dozen adobe pueblo style individual accommodations spread throughout the vineyard.

Photos 160-163

View from the main building to the vineyard and the Andes Mountains beyond.

Photo 164

The chef who prepared our delicious lunch

Photo 165

We finished our visit with lunch on the terrace of Cavas Wine Lodge (with the mascot looking on), drinking Argentine wine, and a view to the vineyard and Andes Mountains beyond. Pure Nirvana!

Photo 166



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