By Roy Heale
Located in the Andes mountain range of Argentina, Mendoza is a year-round vacation destination. Renowned globally for being the capital of Argentina's wine making industry----especially the renowned Malbecs---Mendoza is also a center for skiing in the higher peaks during July, August, and September. The annual Vendimia wine festival in March is the highlight of the year with festivities for all ages and a special Gay Vendimia Festival.
With a population of approximately one million residents in the metro and surrounding areas, the gay businesses and nightlife are thriving. Mendoza has become the secondary vacation choice for LGBT travellers in Argentina after a visit to Buenos Aires.
The grape harvest is celebrated annually throughout the month of March with the famous Mendoza Wine Festival. Festivities officially commence the first Saturday in March and occur throughout the region at all of the vineyards with special events in the city of Mendoza. But there is also the Fiesta de la Vendimia Gay which is held each year in conjunction with the main Festival. This is perhaps the most significant gay event in Argentina outside of the annual Buenos Aires Pride celebrations. It is supported by many sponsors and the local government making it an official part of the grape harvest festival. The crowning of the “Queen”---drag of course---is a much anticipated local event and a major theatrical production enjoyed by all of Mendoza's LGBT community and other citizens of this gay-friendly city.
Mendoza is the perfect place to call home while taking short excursions, day trips, or even overnight journeys to explore the numerous different vacation activities in this diverse region. Filled with tree-lined avenues, beautiful plazas, historic architecture, and artisan markets, Mendoza offers a relaxed pace of life in a bustling urban environment. The heart of the city pulses in the main square called Plaza Independencia, while the Parque San Martin offers a multitude of relaxing outdoor activities in a lush green environment. The Area Fundacional is a trip back in time to the city's early roots of the settlement days.
In the heart of downtown is the gay-owned and operated DeptosMendoza apartment rentals of Modigliani Art & Design Suites and Dot Suites. Renting an apartment in Mendoza is the best way to enjoy the local scene. Theses suites are perfect for any vacation or business trip to Mendoza with a large variety of sizes and styles available. The English speaking staff are friendly and helpful with any travel needs or excursions. The apartments are large, spacious, luxuriously furnished, with designer appeal. The central location is very convenient for all activities in Mendoza with apartments priced to suit any travel budget.
The dry desert-like climate almost guarantees hot sunny days for enjoying outdoor activities coupled with warm nights where outdoor dining is the perfect end to a high-altitude day. Residents of Mendoza observe the very civilized custom of afternoon siestas and most businesses are closed from 1PM to 4PM with the exception of some restaurants.
After a hot sunny day the gay Alternative Spa can offer relaxation and stress relief. It is open from 3PM to 11PM offering whirlpool, sauna, lockers, solarium, relaxing areas and a bar to unwind and mingle. Situated in the downtown core, this is a very popular place for locals to hang out and mix with out-of- town visitors.
Two gay-friendly Resto-Bars---348 and Casa 3---are located on San Lorenzo Street and very popular with the gay community. But the Aristides Villanueva is the major street for dining out. Here you will find a festive atmosphere with patios full of revelers indulging themselves with every International culinary delight imaginable. Plus, of course, the renowned Argentine Parillas, where beef is a gourmet experience especially when accompanied by a local Mendoza vintage red wine. All at prices lower than almost any other major vacation destination in the world today!
Dining out is a major part of Mendoza's nightlife and be sure to try something unique in Mendoza and very gay at Los Chocos restaurant. It's a gay-owned and operated restaurant serving a gourmet six or eight course dinner in a private home, similar to the Paladares in Havana, Cuba. Special local Mendoza meats and produce are complemented with perfect Malbec wines. Dining with wonderful company and amazingly creative gourmet dishes is a holiday treat, and all for only US$60 per person. Incredible! This gourmet restaurant is in the home of Martin the Chef and his partner Martin who assists with the entire dinner. It's located in the heart of downtown, on the 5th floor of a classic residential apartment building. You can have the whole place to yourself, giving it a familiar and comfortable feel. Reservations are essential as each dinner can only accommodate up to eight guests.
After dinner is the perfect time for a visit to a local gay bar and conclude a fun-filled day. On Wednesdays La Reserva-Queen pub offers a fun Drag Show. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Estacion Miro is the hot gay nightclub for partying until dawn. Both are located in the heart of downtown Mendoza just waiting to entertain you until dawn, or perhaps even later.
So whether it is during the Vendimia Festival or at any other time of the year, make sure you include gay-friendly Mendoza in your itinerary for a gay vacation in Argentina.
For More Information Visit: www.deptosmendoza.com.ar