Argentina

Traveling While Abroad: Buenos Aires to Mendoza

Svaja Pakalniskis is a student at The Ohio State University, and an ISA Photo Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Before I even packed my giant (not to mention over the weight-limit) suitcase for my semester abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I was already dreaming about all the new places I could explore and visit in the country. Day hikes in the mountains, weekend trips to the beach, a quick flight over to Brazil… this all seemed within my reach! Unfortunately, I failed to consider that Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world, and trekking from one end to the next isn’t as easy or time efficient as it may seem. Although I had studied the country’s history and culture, I must have missed the unit on its geography.

One thing I learned fairly quickly: there are no mountains anywhere near the capital city of Buenos Aires.

View from my aparment, Buenos Aires, Argentina-Pakalniskis-Photo 1

The city of Buenos Aires is sprawling and, although incredibly beautiful, incredibly flat.

No need to fret, however. There are multiple travel destinations throughout Argentina and neighboring countries of Chile and Uruguay that make for excellent escapes from the busy city life in Buenos Aires. Behind Patagonia, the most famous of these is likely Mendoza.

Vineyard, Mendoza, Argentina- Pakalniskis- Photo 2

My friend Michal admiring the view of the sun setting over one of the vineyards in Mendoza.

Keep in mind, however, Argentina is BIG. The trip to Mendoza took a whooping 16 hours by bus (for those of you who have traveled like this, I’m sure you’ll agree that sleeping overnight on a bus is not the most comfortable experience). I will admit, however, waking up to see the Andes mountain range in the distance was especially gratifying.

Sun Setting over the Ander, Mendoza, Argentina- Pakalniskis- Photo 3

Unfortunately, this was the only day we were able to admire a clear view of the sun setting behind the mountains. The rest of our nights were fairly cloudy.

Upon our arrival, we decided to have a taste of what Mendoza is most famous for: wine. One of the managers at our hostel was very helpful in finding us a bodega tour, and within no-time we were on a bus, vineyard hopping!

Wine-making tanks, Mendoza, Argentina- Pakalniskis- Photo 4

The smell of wine in these rooms was pretty overwhelming, especially in the heat!

 

Mechanical Press, Mendoza, Argentina- Pakalniskis- Photo 5

This machine presses the grapes into a juice which is later fermented.

Learning about the wine-making process was fascinating, but my favorite part of the trip was trekking through the beautiful nature in the Mendoza province.

Atop a peak, Mendoza, Argentina- Pakalniskis- Photo 6

We finally made it to the top! This was the first of the two hikes we did while in Mendoza.

 

Crossing a river, Mendoza, Argentina- Pakalniskis- Photo 7

Making our way to Cascada el salto, a waterfall. We had to cross a river or stream about every thirty minutes!

 

Horse grazing, Mendoza, Argentina- Pakalniskis- Photo 8

On the trail, we saw hundreds of horses and cows grazing, creating a picturesque image of the Andes towering around us.

The world awaits…discover it.

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