Mendoza, Argentina

From One Side to the Other of the Andes

roof of the americas
Views of Mount Aconcagua, the highest on the American continent, at 6.962 meters.
The vaults
Las Bovedas, old ovens in Uspallata.
Snowless Resort
Image of Las Cuevas, a resort at an altitude of 3.185 meters that spends the hottest months of the year without snow.
Andean Rafting
White water rafting on the Mendoza river.
Travelers check directions next to a sanctuary in the Vilavicencio area.
Primitive art on rocks from the Tunduqueral hill, near Uspallata.
Verdant dryness
Scenery with poplars on the outskirts of Uspallata.
Sign that warns of the danger increased by the slope of the RN7 road.
Outdoor class
Excursion for geology students in the vicinity of Cerro Tunduqueral.
Railroad Ghost
Old train line of the Andes Mendocinos, deactivated after the construction of Ruta N7.
Tunduqueral Hill
Traveler contemplates the plain that surrounds Uspallata.
The caves
Entrance to the almost snowless Las Cuevas snow resort.
Aconcagua ridge
The top of Cerro Acongágua, the highest mountain in South America.
on the way to Chile
Truck approaches the Chilean border.
Departing from Mendoza city, the N7 route gets lost in vineyards, rises to the foot of Mount Aconcagua and crosses the Andes to Chile. Few cross-border stretches reveal the magnificence of this forced ascent

Little by little west of the endless dotted plains from sophisticated wineries and their vineyards, the province of Mendoza rises to the skyscraper domain of the Andes.

The tiny Ford Ka was the most unsuitable car to drive us through such raw and imposing lands. It was also listed as cheaper. The financial factor spoke louder again. We overloaded it with the worn-out backpacks we walked with and left the homonymous capital of the province behind.

Hill after hill, the engine of the Ka roars furiously, in progress on Ruta Nacional 7 (RN7), the Argentine road that crosses the Andes towards the Chile.

The Mendoza River accompanies us from the flattest lands to the Cordillera del Limite. it snakes through a panoply of dramatic expressions of nature.

And it crosses some of the most picturesque places in that unobstructed Argentina.

The Impressive Andean Vastness of Uspallata

The first to catch our attention is Uspallata, a town that, in the mid-fifteenth century, was located in the vicinity of the Truck of the Inca used by the Incas to cross the Andes.

The village appears on a vast plateau, generally arid, but which is home to an oasis of huge groves that benefit from timid water currents. In this refreshing setting we find the whitewashed vaults of the Bovedas, XNUMXth century adobe kilns in which Hispanic settlers smelt minerals extracted from the region, including gold stolen from the Incas and other indigenous peoples.

We don't see a soul around. The place remains in the hands of goats and cows that devour the grass by the nearest stream. Okay, we won't be late.

We to discover by a road secondary waste, with worn asphalt. Several kilometers later, we stop at a core of rounded rocks on which a plaque identifies the petroglyphs on the Tunduqueral Hill.

Petroglyphs, Mendoza, across the Andes, Argentina

Primitive art on rocks from the Tunduqueral hill, near Uspallata.

With patience, we identified the anthropomorphic figures: a face with large eyes, small men with simple lines, strange creatures with three fingers and another man, a lizard.

These are just examples of multiple illustrations believed to have been left by prehistoric inhabitants of the region who outlined their early shamanic beliefs.

We climb a geological ridge detached from the scene.

Landscape Uspallata, Mendoza, across the Andes, Argentina

Scenery with poplars on the outskirts of Uspallata.

From the top, we confirm that there was no end to that painted desert and we appreciate the multicolored profile of Western spaghetti South American. We also detected the local hill of Siete Colores, rainbow-inspired elevations that abound in the country of the pampas.

In its dusty foothills, we absorb the explanations of a geologist professor who forms a group of interested teenagers.

Picheuta Bridge and River: an Emblematic Scenery of South America

A few minutes later, we come across the miniature stone bridge that crosses the Picheuta River, with the nearby Torreão da Sentinela and the remains of the fort with the same name as the river.

Nearby, the army led by General San Martin triumphed in 1770 in the first of several liberating battles for Argentina against the forces of the Spanish crown. There, the independence of Argentina began to materialize and, at the same time, the new history of South America was forged.

San Martin, that one, became a national hero, a kind of Simon Bolivar of the southern cone. Today, statues and streets in her honor abound all over the country.

Polvaredas and the distant Cerro Tupungato

We traveled at an altitude of 2050 meters when we entered Polvaredas, one of several railway stations that the construction of the paved road that linked Mendoza to Santiago de Chile has turned into a ghost.

Train Station, Mendoza, across the Andes, Argentina

Old train line of the Andes Mendocinos, deactivated after the construction of Ruta N7.

On the outskirts of Punta de Vacas, we glimpse the distant Cerro Tupungato, a volcano with an altitude of 6.500 meters.

The Andean panoramas are overwhelming. There are other wide valleys with beds that the flows of the spring melt dug deep, even if, at that time, exaggerated for the diminished rivers that ran through them.

Rafting Proximo, Mendoza, across the Andes, Argentina

White water rafting on the Mendoza river.

All around, like gigantic forces of oppression, others of the majestic mountains of South America impose themselves, which geology has endowed with an impressive palette of hues, from worn grays or blacks to bright reds and ochers.

The Puente de Inca that Charles Darwin deigned to visit

We are at 2580 meters above sea level when, beyond the path's edge, we identify the Puente del Inca, a natural yellowish rock formation carved by the passage of water from the Vacas River under ferruginous sediments.

In 1835, too Charles Darwin there let himself be intrigued. As was his habit, he sketched drawings of the bridge and the large stalactites.

He could not, however, pamper the body saturated with his endless land explorations in the now renowned thermal waters. The infrastructure of spoiled spa that currently serve the place only emerged in the early twentieth century.

Con Nieveo Hielo, Mendoza, across the Andes, Argentina

Sign that warns of the danger increased by the slope of the RN7 road.

We continue to subject the Ford Ka's frail urban engine to its long-standing torture. After a new Herculean mechanical effort, we reached the entrance to the roof of the Americas.

Mount Aconcagua. The Majestic Setting of the Roof of the Americas

We parked. We follow the trail that leads to the hill that gives it its name.

We pass the Horcones Lagoon until, at the top of a hill, a sign suggests a privileged viewpoint and identifies the distant view we had from there: Cerro Aconcagua, 6992 meters.

Cerro Aconcagua 6962, Mendoza, across the Andes, Argentina

Views of Mount Aconcagua, the highest on the American continent, at 6.962 meters.

The trail that continues in its direction seduces us. But we are still far from the end of the Argentinean section of the RN7 and we were traveling with our limited time.

In any case, even though experts consider Aconcagua to be the highest non-technical mountain in the world (since its summit is conquerable without any kind of climbing equipment) we never challenged it lightly.

Astonishing archaeological discoveries from 1985 seem to support the mountain's relative accessibility. That year, the Andinista Club of Mendoza found an Inca mummy on the southwest slope, at 5300 m.

It was thus proven that even the highest mountains of the Andes were used for pre-Columbian funerary rites.

Monte Aconcagua, Mendoza, across the Andes, Argentina

The top of Cerro Acongágua, the highest mountain in South America.

Shared by Argentina and the Chile, Mount Aconcagua stands out from the neighboring mountains for its wide summit. Usually, a thick blanket of eternal snow covers it, which attracts climbers, or hikers – as the Argentines insist on calling it – from all over the world.

Despite the attention paid to it and the record-breaking altitude of the South American continent, the Western Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere, thanks largely to the dimensional supremacy of the Himalayas, Aconcagua is not even among the 400 highest mountains in the world.

The Winter and Final Season of Las Cuevas

Reformed, we end the contemplation and return to the guideline of the course. Instead of Aconcagua, we continued to climb the Andes still and always along the RN7.

On the verge of Chile, we reach the valley of the Las Cuevas river and the deserted village of the same name. The little snow we found decorates the dark brown of the slopes with random patterns of white that look past their expiration dates.

Las Cuevas, Mendoza, across the Andes, Argentina

Image of Las Cuevas, a resort at an altitude of 3.185 meters that spends the hottest months of the year without snow.

As then the constructions of modern Nordic architecture seemed to be out of date, more suited to the winter in the area, at the time of intense snowfalls and thousands of skiers and snowboarders from Argentina, Chile and from further afield who flock there to have fun and perfect their acrobatics.

Las Cuevas confirmed the last mark of Argentine civilization before customs.

Las Cuevas 3185, Mendoza, across the Andes, Argentina

Entrance to the almost snowless Las Cuevas snow resort.

Soon, we would start descending the western slope of the Andes and deeper into Chilean territory.

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The Caribbean Stepping Stone of the USA

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Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a ChameNepal

Finally, on the way

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Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
Salta and Jujuy, Argentina

Through the Highlands of Deep Argentina

A tour through the provinces of Salta and Jujuy takes us to discover a country with no sign of the pampas. Vanished in the Andean vastness, these ends of the Northwest of Argentina have also been lost in time.
unmissable roads

Great Routes, Great Trips

With pompous names or mere road codes, certain roads run through really sublime scenarios. From Road 66 to the Great Ocean Road, they are all unmissable adventures behind the wheel.
Mendoza, Argentina

Journey through Mendoza, the Great Argentine Winemaking Province

In the XNUMXth century, Spanish missionaries realized that the area was designed for the production of the “Blood of Christ”. Today, the province of Mendoza is at the center of the largest winemaking region in Latin America.
Mérida, Venezuela

Merida to Los Nevados: in the Andean Ends of Venezuela

In the 40s and 50s, Venezuela attracted 400 Portuguese but only half stayed in Caracas. In Mérida, we find places more similar to the origins and the eccentric ice cream parlor of an immigrant portista.
Ushuaia, Argentina

The Last of the Southern Cities

The capital of Tierra del Fuego marks the southern threshold of civilization. From Ushuaia depart numerous incursions to the frozen continent. None of these play and run adventures compares to life in the final city.
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

On the world map, south of the famous brazilian wetland, a little-known flooded region appears, but almost as vast and rich in biodiversity. the Guarani expression Y bera defines it as “shining waters”. The adjective fits more than its strong luminance.
El Calafate, Argentina

The New Gauchos of Patagonia

Around El Calafate, instead of the usual shepherds on horseback, we come across gauchos equestrian breeders and others who exhibit, to the delight of visitors, the traditional life of the golden pampas.
Beagle Channel, Argentina

Darwin and the Beagle Channel: on the Theory of the Evolution Route

In 1833, Charles Darwin sailed aboard the "Beagle" through the channels of Tierra del Fuego. His passage through these southern confines shaped the revolutionary theory he formulated of the Earth and its species
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.
San Ignacio Mini, Argentina

The Impossible Jesuit Missions of San Ignacio Mini

In the century. In the XNUMXth century, the Jesuits expanded a religious domain in the heart of South America by converting the Guarani Indians into Jesuit missions. But the Iberian Crowns ruined the tropical utopia of the Society of Jesus.
Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

The Resisting Glacier

Warming is supposedly global, but not everywhere. In Patagonia, some rivers of ice resist. From time to time, the advance of the Perito Moreno causes landslides that bring Argentina to a halt.
Iguazu/Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina

The Great Water Thunder

After a long tropical journey, the Iguaçu River gives a dip for diving. There, on the border between Brazil and Argentina, form the largest and most impressive waterfalls on the face of the Earth.
El Chalten, Argentina

The Granite Appeal of Patagonia

Two stone mountains have created a border dispute between Argentina and Chile. But these countries are not the only suitors. The Fitz Roy and Torre hills have long attracted die-hard climbers
Colónia Pellegrini, Argentina

When the Meat is Weak

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Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

A Farm at the End of the World

In 1886, Thomas Bridges, an English orphan taken by his missionary foster family to the farthest reaches of the southern hemisphere, founded the ancient homestead of Tierra del Fuego. Bridges and the descendants surrendered to the end of the world. today, your Estancia harberton it is a stunning Argentine monument to human determination and resilience.
Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Muktinath to Kagbeni, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Kagbeni
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 14th - Muktinath to Kagbeni, Nepal

On the Other Side of the Pass

After the demanding crossing of Thorong La, we recover in the cozy village of Muktinath. The next morning we proceed back to lower altitudes. On the way to the ancient kingdom of Upper Mustang and the village of Kagbeni that serves as its gateway.
The Little-Big Senglea II
Architecture & Design
Senglea, Malta

An Overcrowded Malta

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Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, Batu Bolong temple, Agung volcano in background
Ceremonies and Festivities
Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok: Balinese Hinduism on an Island of Islam

The foundation of Indonesia was based on the belief in one God. This ambiguous principle has always generated controversy between nationalists and Islamists, but in Lombok, the Balinese take freedom of worship to heart
Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores, City Gates
Ponta Delgada, São Miguel (Azores), Azores

The Great Azorean City

During the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, Ponta Delgada became the most populous city and the economic and administrative capital of the Azores. There we find the history and modernism of the archipelago hand in hand.
young saleswoman, nation, bread, uzbekistan
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, The Nation That Does Not Lack Bread

Few countries employ cereals like Uzbekistan. In this republic of Central Asia, bread plays a vital and social role. The Uzbeks produce it and consume it with devotion and in abundance.
Parade and Pomp
Saint Petersburg, Russia

When the Russian Navy Stations in Saint Petersburg

Russia dedicates the last Sunday of July to its naval forces. On that day, a crowd visits large boats moored on the Neva River as alcohol-drenched sailors seize the city.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

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cheap flights, buy cheap flights, cheap airline tickets,
Travel does not cost

Buy Flights Before Prices Take Off

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Drums and Tattoos
Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahiti Beyond the Cliché

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View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Exotic Signs of Life

Vila Velha Paraná, Paraná Tropeirismo Route
Vila Velha Park a Castro, Paraná

On the Paraná Tropeirismo Route

Between Ponta Grossa and Castro, we travel in Campos Gerais do Paraná and throughout its history. For the past of the settlers and drovers who put the region on the map. Even that of Dutch immigrants who, in more recent times and, among many others, enriched the ethnic assortment of this Brazilian state.
Network launch, Ouvéa Island-Lealdade Islands, New Caledonia
Ouvéa, New Caledonia

Between Loyalty and Freedom

New Caledonia has always questioned integration into faraway France. On the island of Ouvéa, Loyalty Archipelago, we find an history of resistance but also natives who prefer French-speaking citizenship and privileges.
Sampo Icebreaker, Kemi, Finland
Winter White
Kemi, Finland

It's No "Love Boat". Breaks the Ice since 1961

Built to maintain waterways through the most extreme arctic winter, the icebreaker Sampo” fulfilled its mission between Finland and Sweden for 30 years. In 1988, he reformed and dedicated himself to shorter trips that allow passengers to float in a newly opened channel in the Gulf of Bothnia, in clothes that, more than special, seem spacey.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

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Lake Manyara, National Park, Ernest Hemingway, Giraffes
Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

Hemingway's Favorite Africa

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Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

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Hikers on the Ice Lake Trail, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Natural Parks
Annapurna Circuit: 7th - Braga - Ice Lake, Nepal

Annapurna Circuit – The Painful Acclimatization of the Ice Lake

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Khiva, Uzbekistan, Fortress, Silk Road,
UNESCO World Heritage
Khiva, Uzbequistan

The Silk Road Fortress the Soviets Velved

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female and cub, grizzly footsteps, katmai national park, alaska
PN Katmai, Alaska

In the Footsteps of the Grizzly Man

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Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

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Miyajima Island, Shinto and Buddhism, Japan, Gateway to a Holy Island
Miyajima, Japan

Shintoism and Buddhism with the Tide

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Serra do Mar train, Paraná, airy view
On Rails
Curitiba a Morretes, Paraná, Brazil

Down Paraná, on Board the Train Serra do Mar

For more than two centuries, only a winding and narrow road connected Curitiba to the coast. Until, in 1885, a French company opened a 110 km railway. We walked along it to Morretes, the final station for passengers today. 40km from the original coastal terminus of Paranaguá.
Kogi, PN Tayrona, Guardians of the World, Colombia
PN Tayrona, Colombia

Who Protects the Guardians of the World?

The natives of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta believe that their mission is to save the Cosmos from the “Younger Brothers”, which are us. But the real question seems to be, "Who protects them?"
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.