Mendoza is Argentina’s top wine-producing region, where long-established bodegas make sophisticated, prize-winning wines from impeccable emerald vines stretching out to the distant snow-capped Andes mountains. Their pure snow-melt irrigates the vineyards, and perfectly sunny days, cool nights and pristine air provide ideal conditions, not only for grapes, but for a week of rest and adventure in Argentina’s dramatic western region.
Start in the stylish city of Mendoza, for its fine food and pretty park. But choose accommodation in the wine regions just to the south, Maipú and Luján de Cuyo. Here, several bodegas have opened smart boutique hotels, and we've picked out the very best so that you can stay immersed in wine-country as you tour the vineyards.
Then head west towards the border with Chile, to Alta Montana, the dramatic mountain region around Mount Aconcagua, for wonderful walking in summer. Don't count on bagging the highest peak, at nearly 7,000m, unless you're an experienced climber with 2 weeks to spare.
In the south of Mendoza province, there are champagneries in San Rafael, and still wilder landscapes beyond: go rafting in the eerie ravine of Cañón del Atuel or bird-spotting in Llancanelo lagoon. Or try superb skiing in winter at the country’s most famous ski resort, Las Leñas.
North of Mendoza, 2 great natural attractions straddle the border between San Juan and La Rioja provinces: the spectacular Valley of the Moon at Ischigualasto, and the dramatic eroded canyon formations in Talampaya National Park. Geological splendours to blow your mind, and wines to wow your senses.