Santiago - Mendoza or v.v.
Resting on an inland plain, with the Andes glimmering in the distance, Santiago, the capital of Chile, is the fifth largest city in South America. Santiago is a city that seems destined for growth. The Mapuche destroyed it in 1541, only six months after Pedro de Valdivia founded it, but soon the Spanish were back and building it up again.
Today, it is one of the most modern cities on the continent, home to nearly 5 million inhabitants - over a third of all Chileans. The city is bisected by the Rio Mapocho, which gently weaves through from East to West, before descending to the flood plain below. Across the river, the Bellavista neighborhood is home to many restaurants and cafes. The Parque Metropolitano is Santiago's playground, with walking trails, picnic areas, and a zoo. For stunning views of the city, visitors should head to the top of Cerro San Cristobal, accessible by bus, funicular, or by a vigorous hike.
At the foot of the high range Andes, Mendoza is a modern city with a storied past that charms visitors. With its tree lined streets, handsome villas, adobe houses and of course its famous wineries, Mendoza is the perfect stop over on your journey through Argentina and South America. Though rainfall is slight, irrigation has turned the countryside into a green oasis of vineyards and fruit plantations. Wine making season is March - April and there are numerous wine cellars (bodegas) where wine tasting is a popular activity.
Connecting these two cities and two countries is easy and takes travelers on one of the most scenic journeys up and over the Andes mountain range.