Scenic Mendoza’s High-mountain Ride and The Stone Sentinel
- Marvel upon the beauty of Mendoza’s picturesque high mountain landscapes
It’s time to hit the road as we take a scenic drive through Mendoza’s picturesque high mountain landscape, where we’ll wind our way across valleys, flat lowlands, streams, rivers, and foothills before taking on the highest peaks of the Cordillera de los Andes Mountain Range. You’ll witness the unique architecture of nature with the natural Puente del Inca land bridge and all of its intriguing colors; as well as marvel at the sight of the highest peak in the world outside of Asia: Aconcagua, also known as the “Stone Sentinel.” With so much panoramic beauty to behold, this road trip will definitely be a feast for your eyes… and camera, too!
Our tour starts off with a morning pickup, as we set off upon the scenic National 7 Route (the road to Chile) and follow along the course of the Mendoza River. As we leave the serene countryside, we’ll enter the pre-mountain range area for a stop in the small mountain town of Potrerillos. Here, we’ll encounter breathtaking views of the Potrerillos Dam, which forms a beautiful artificial lake. The dam is part of a hydraulic power plant that distributes water for irrigating the vineyards of Mendoza.
From there, we’ll drive along a section of the route, framed by imposing mountainous landscapes of changing color and varied geological formation; on our journey towards Uspallata. This picturesque valley is where much of the Brad Pitt film “Seven Years in Tibet,” was shot. We’ll also pass through several tunnels on this road, as we continue on the way to our next destination.
We’ll later reach Puente del Inca: a natural geological bridge formation that crosses the Las Cuevas River. Declared a Natural Monument, this peculiar bridge has reddish orange and yellow coloring, caused by the sulfurous waters of the river, and mixed with the river’s sediment. We’ll also see La Capilla, a chapel at the foot of a mountain slope and the only remains of the Puente del Inca Hotel, which was destroyed by a landslide in 1965.
Next we’ll head for Aconcagua Provincial Park, and take a short trek to a viewpoint, which will allow us to see the mighty Aconcagua Mountain from a distance. Also known as the “Watchtower” or “Stone Sentinel”, it stands an impressive 22,841 feet (6,963 meters) tall, and is the tallest peak in the world outside of Asia. With its imposing, color-changing slopes and snow-capped summits fed from the perpetual snow, Aconcagua will give you plenty to marvel at while capturing all of those amazing shots.
From December through March, road conditions permitting, we’ll have the option of driving to see the Cristo Redentor de los Andes (Christ the Redeemer of the Andes). This sculpture, fashioned in bronze - towers at an approximate 25 feet (8 meters) tall and weighs around 6 tons! It sits at 12,725 feet (4,200 meters) above sea level, and marks the border between Argentina and Chile. The statue was erected to celebrate the peaceful resolution between these two countries, regarding border disputes. This iron giant depicts Christ standing atop a globe (with South America facing out), holding a large cross in his left hand while raising his right in a blessing. It’s important to note that there is, sometimes, not enough time to make the short trek to see Aconcagua in addition to driving to see the Cristo Redentor. As such, an depending on road and climate conditions, if both options cannot be done, your tour guide will let you select which of the two you prefer to see.
Our tour draws to an end late in the afternoon, as we make our way back to the city of Mendoza, having experienced some of the most sublime and beautiful landscape Mendoza has to offer.
Important: the tour’s exact itinerary and duration may change subject to weather conditions and decisions of the tour guide to optimize your tour experience.