Argentina - Provincia de Mendoza

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Mendoza is one of the 23 provinces of Argentina, located in the western central part of the country in the Cuyo region. Neighboring provinces are from the north clockwise San Juan, San Luis, La Pampa, Río Negro and Neuquén. To the west is Chile.


* 1 History
* 2 Geography and climate
* 3 Economy


Evidence of inhabitants in the area date to 2,000 years BC. On the basin of the Atuel River, 300 years BC lived a group of people that lived of hunting, and cultivation of maize, pumpkins and beans.

Some of the tribes present at the arrival of the Spaniards include the Puelches and Huarpes. The first Spanish conquerors came around 1550 from the Viceroyalty of Peru. In 1561 the city of Mendoza was founded.

With the creation of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, its 30,000 inhabitants became part of the intendency of Cuyo de Córdoba del Tucumán, but in 1813 the intendency of Cuyo separated from the other provinces.

José de San Martín was governor of the region and received important support from Mendoza when he took off with his Army of the Andes form Plumerillo in 1817 to cross the Andes in a campaign to release Chile from the "oppression of Spain".

The 1861 earthquake nearly destroyed the city of Mendoza, which had to be almost entirely reconstructed. In 1885 the railways reach the Province, allowing a fluent transport for the wines of the regions towards the ports of Buenos Aires.

In 1939 the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (National University of Cuyo), one of the most important of the country, is founded.

Geography and climate

The geography of the province descends from the 6959 m of the Aconcagua mountain to the semi-flat lands of the east. A series of longitudinal valles such as the Uspallata, separate the Andes from the Precordillera lower mountains. To the east, the Cuyean plains are crossed by tributaries of the Desaguadero River. Other important rivers include Mendoza River, Tunuyán River, Diamante River and the Atuel River.

The climate is continental, sunny and dry in the entire territory of the province, with warm summers and relatively cold winters. The arid soil due to the scant precipitation and the great temperature difference between day and night allows mainly xerophytes and few trees to grow. The annual precipitation lies between 150 and 350 mm, and hail is not uncommon and an important problem in the regional viticulture. There are fertile lands surrounding the basins of the many rivers, born in glaciers of the Cordillera.

Different wind fronts affect the landscape, mainly the Zonda wind, but also the mild Pampero, the warm Viento Norte and in winter the very rare Sudestada from the Southeast. This latter one affects mostly the pampas.


The main economic activity is the agriculture, most notable the viticulture with the 70% of the national production. Other important crops mainly for the Argentine market are apples, pears, tomatoes, onions, plums, olives, cherries, peaches and quinces. Apiculture, with 30,000 beehives is also a growing activity favoured by the dry weather.

14% of the national reserves of petroleum are in Mendoza. There's also mining of lime and uranium. Mendoza's main industry are the vineyards and the wine production with 1,200 wineries, followed by canned fruits, petroleum refinery (in Luján de Cuyo), cement and others.

Tourism has become one of the most important source of incomings of the province, with around 700,000 visitors per year. The main attractions are the Las Leñas ski centre, the Aconcagua and the Provinicial Park, Canón de Atuel, Puente del Inca, Guaymallen and others. Finally, atracted to the wine-producing region, the Fiesta de la vendimia wine-production festivity receives many visitors in late February or early March.



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