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Mendoza From Santiago, Argentina - Border Crossing In A Spectacular Setting

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Argentina travel blog by Mark Berman - April 2014   » View Photoset (28 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for over 11yrs!
This blog is the 2nd part of the journey between Santiago Chile and Mendoza. From the top of the mounatins at Cristo Redentor all the way down to Mendoza.
Argentina Photo - Rocks and rocky landscape, through the mountains between Cristo Redentor and Mendoza.
Rocks and rocky landscape, through the mountains between Cristo Redentor and Mendoza.
See Part 1 for info and photos of the ascent up from Santiago.

The Border Crossing

We crossed from Chile into Argentina, the official border is about 10mins before the passport control building. Processing our bus took 40mins and then we began the spectacular descent down the mountains towards Mendoza. It only took another 2hrs 30mins to reach Mendoza actually. During that time I was really blown away by the scenery and terrain, it is amazing!

Las Cuevas

We passed through the village of Las Cuevas and travelled down alongside the river and rugged, jagged mountains. The train tracks run along the right side of the road. 5 or so minutes after passing through Las Cuevas you will see them run through a station with bright red roofs, it's quite a sight! The road weaves and cuts back and forth, you may catch a glimpse of a few snowy peaks during this time. This is all in the 10mins before arriving at passport control. We continue. On the left is an orangey / black bus sitting deserted, abandoned and dwarfed by the mountains above it.

Inca Bridge

The road and train each have a bridge adjacent to each other as we cross the river at the town of Puente del Inca (Inca Bridge). There are restaurants and hostels here. The road travels down the middle of the valley. The river is beside and mountains of colors are all around, it's beautiful. We pass a big hotel called Hotel Ayelen which sits in a very picturesque setting. Just
Argentina Photo - Looking back up the train tracks running beside the road between Cristo Redentor and Mendoza.
Looking back up the train tracks running beside the road between Cristo Redentor and Mendoza.
down from there the train tracks pass by a museum called Mundo Perdido (Lost World). We pass by another little community, there is building here with a bright blue roof on a little hill above a small green / yellow farm with horses, it's very pretty.

Tunnels

Some interesting rock formations appear. The road heads up above
Argentina Photo - Mountains with different textures and different colors between Cristo Redentor and Mendoza.
Mountains with different textures and different colors between Cristo Redentor and Mendoza.
the valley and curves through tunnels around the mountain edge. Everything starts to flatten out and widen as we come to the end of an amazing run of views.

But Wait There's More!

But wait there's more! The now calm and tranquil river beside us drifts away and the landscape opens up again to bright yellow / green trees, just like on the Santiago side of these mountains. There's a few snowy peaks in the distance out to the right before we pass the big lagoon on the left. When you start seeing vineyards in all directions, you know you are in Mendoza!

Mendoza Arrival

Overall this trip from Santiago to Mendoza took 6hrs 15mins including 30mins stopped at road works and 40mins for passport control.

     

View all photos in the Mendoza From Santiago Photoset


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Mendoza From Santiago, Argentina - Border Crossing In A Spectacular Setting. The spectacular trip from Chile across the mountains, this is the 2nd half, the 1st half is in 'Chile - Santiago to Mendoza'.

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