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Mendoza is the capital of the province of Mendoza. It is also near the Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas.
Although it is situated in an extremely dry desert region, Mendoza has an extensive artificial irrigation system, which allows for greenery throughout the city as well as the growth of grapes used to make its wines. Most streets have irrigation channels on either side, with bridges for pedestrian and vehicular traffic. These are periodically flooded with water diverted from the river. The app 80,000 trees and the wide avenues give the city a beautiful ambience, a change from much of the bare feel of many Argentine cities.
To the immediate west is the Pre-Cordillera of the Andes towering over the city, with peaks at some of the snow-covered (throughout the year) Andes peaks beyond.
Siesta (afternoon nap) is still taken in Mendoza, mostly because of the summer heat. Most businesses close between 12:30 and 13:00, many foodstores do not close until 14:00 The shops then re-open at about 17hs and stay open until 20:30. Supermarkets are usually open 9:00 to 22:00, also on Sundays. Banks are only open Monday through Friday from about 8:00 to 13:00. Casas de cambio (money exchanges) close at 20:00.
There are daily bus connections to all major destinations including Bariloche and Santiago de Chile, a beautiful 7-hour bus ride crossing the Andes. Santiago de Chile is not always reachable by bus as the Andes pass often closes after heavy snowfall in the winter months, normally around late May to early September (but may be stretching until mid October). The pass may then be closed for a couple of days up to a week. Travellers on a strict timetable (upcoming flight, expiring visas, etc) should consider this and not go on the last possible day. The first day after reopening of the pass large queues can be expected at the border checkpoints, adding several hours to the journey time. The joint immigration/customs control for both Chile-out-stamps/Argentina-in-stamps (convenient) for entry into Argentina is located at Los Horcones near Puente del Inca, and the one for entry-into-Chile/exit-from-Argentina stamps is at Las Libertadores in Chile.
There are 5 trolleys, which are part of the same transport system and have the same price, use the same coin machines and RedBus card. A popular run is the Parque circuit, which takes you to the gates of the large (3.2 sq.km) and green Parque San Martin gates every 10 minutes or so, which you can catch on 9 de Julio , Colon or Aristides Villanueva Streets downtown. At the gates, you could also return by catching the circuit at the same stop.
There is also a light train, Metrotranvia, running from the old Mendoza railway station at the corner of Belgrano and Juan B. Justo/Av. Las Heras to the suburb General Gutiérrez, some 15 km southeast of city center. It too uses the general ticket system, and you also you must have a Red Bus card. Information and timetable here: Horarios Metrotranvia.
What to see
Central Park, El Parral & Vendimiadores (10 blocks north of Plaza Independencia). A modern city park, contrasting with the tradition of the better-known Parque San Martin. Not a Mendoza must see, but the park has some nice water fountains and a grassy hill - often amateur Mendocinans set up their easels here and paint away.
Casa de Fader. A historic house museum, is an 1890 mansion once home to artist Fernando Fader in nearby Mayor Drummond, 14 km south of Mendoza. The mansion is home to many of the artist's paintings.
What to do
Horse riding Gaucho Experience. Every hotel, hostel and travel agent can organise horse riding trips close to the city - but these guys have one of the better reputations - can do day and overnight rides, look after their animals and speak good English. A late afternoon ride, with a return at sunset will enable you to avoid the heat of the day and night-riding is very atmospheric. If you phone them direct you will get a lower price compared to organising through a hostel.
Las Lenas ski resort (Mendoza), Valle de Las Leñas (San Martin 811). Las Leñas is definitely the most important ski resort in Argentina. The Andes Mountains are the highest outside of Asia with reliable skiing every ski season.
Mendoza City Tour, Downtown of Mendoza, tourists offices. The oficial sightseeing tour bus of Mendoza City, it was originally released around mids 2013. The full tour it's about 2 hours.