At the Foot of the Andes

This past weekend we had our first CEA trip to San Rafael, Mendoza! We enjoyed the trip to an insane degree and had no desire to return to the city after 3 fun-filled days. Here’s a rundown of what happened:

Friday
After a 13 hour bus ride, we arrived early in the morning at Cabañas del Cerro our home away from home for the next few days. We were assigned to our cabañas, unpacked, and wasted no time getting outside and exploring the surrounding river and mountains. The water wasn’t as high as it usually would be, but that just gave us the chance to trek across the river (and almost lose some shoes in the process).

After a satisfying lunch, we took a bus to a nearby dam and lake. It may have been the most ironic bus ride ever – Spanish hip-hop and rap music blasting with the gorgeous mountain views outside our windows.

When we got to the lake, the guys from Punto Extremo got us all geared up for our upcoming rafting experience, and we made our way down the cliff staircase to the rafts. We rowed to the other side of the lake and were able to relax on the beach for a few hours.

Road to the top of the dam



Treacherous staircase down to the lake


Alexa and Abi's boat of winners!

Saturday
After a long first day, we made sure we got caught up on sleep and started off our second day ready to rock and roll. After many failed attempts to find bikes to rent for the morning, we resorted to hiking a mountain right across the street from our hotel. With our trusty (four-legged) tour guides leading the way, we caught many gorgeous views of Valle Grande. The hike also gave us a chance to show off our creative sides (via rock tower).

View of our hotel

Later on in the afternoon we visited two local vineyards. At the first vineyard, we learned that it is tradition to plant a rose bush at the end of each row because if there were diseases or pests that would threaten the grapes, it would attack the rose plant first and then the workers would be warned! We spent the rest of the afternoon at the second vineyard, where the owner had a bunch of crazy animals – HUGE pigs, llamas, roosters and geese – running around.

Wine tasting!

In the evening we had the pleasure of staring up at the abundance of stars in the sky – quite a different view than what we see in the city. A sudden (but short-lived) power outage only added to the magic.

Sunday
At the beginning of our last day in Mendoza, we packed our bags and then ventured back over to the lake we went to on Friday for a catamaran boat tour. We were able to go to a different beach and hang out on the boat for the morning. Similar to our first experience at the lake, there was no shortage of Latin American pop music to accompany the stunning views of the nature around us. Spring break in Mendoza, anyone?

When we got back to the hotel, we had to stay outside for the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the fresh air that we had left before we headed back to the city! We can unanimously agree that Mendoza gave us the best weekend we’ve had yet in Argentina.

As always, a quick video!:

– Abi, Alexa, & Maddy

2 thoughts on “At the Foot of the Andes

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