Magical Mendoza: How to catch the best of it

Mendoza is often associated with the other Argentinian M-word: Malbec. The region is indeed the heart of Argentina’s  prodigious wine production and the focus of many a trip. The wine tasting was certainly high on my list and I did plenty of it.

But there is more to explore: Mendoza is sophisticated yet laid-back; beautiful parks reflect the regions’ rich history and Spanish heritage. Culinary expertise pairs nicely with the renown wine. Traveling with the expertise of Yampu Tours, here’s how two friends and I caught the best of Mendoza, from Malbec to aflajores.

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What is the best secret hotel in Uruguay? Probably this one.

Casa Zinc in La Barra across the small wavy bridge from Uruguay’s famed costal hot spot, Punta del Este.

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It’s part of the Tablet Hotel collection, which hints at its exclusive, uber-cool nature.

Casa Zinc is a small hotel, a hipster’s dream; an unassuming collection of six rooms in a quiet residential neighborhood off the main thoroughfare.

Don’t let the trompe d’oeil facade and Casa Zinc’s consciously  rumpled public areas fool you. The illusion masks attention to detail in all creature comforts, wrapping modern conveniences in luxurious, carefully curated bohemian chic with just a whiff of intrigue.

Want to conjure up a mysterious past?  Cafe Zinc is the perfect setting.

See if you don’t agree in the following slideshow or Casa Zinc’s online gallery, here.

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Why you will love a day at Argentina’s amazing Iguazu Falls

Say “Argentina” and wine – especially Malbec – comes to mind. But the world’s largest waterfall system, the dramatic Iguazú Falls, lies along Argentina’s border with Brazil. “Amazing” doesn’t really do them justice.

The Iguazú National Park (Parques Nacionales Iguazú (AR) y do lguaçu (Br)) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  After a few days in the sun-parched wine country of Mendoza, seeing – and occasionally feeling – water drop 270 feet (82 meters) is, well, refreshing.

Yampu Tours booked the day’s tour to Iguazú Falls, as part of a larger trip to Argentina. A high point was an unforgettable boat trip to get up close and personal with water flowing at a rate of 62,ooo cubic feet (approximately 1800 square meters) per second.

Yes, it’s humbling. Take look….
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