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5 Things To Do In Mendoza, Argentina

5 Things to do in Mendoza, Argentina

What can you do in Mendoza, Argentina – a city of 115,000 people? Plenty as it turns out especially with its premiere location in an area of plains and foothills east of Aconcagua – the highest mountain in South America.

With the Andes as a backdrop and a sunny climate with low rainfall, it’s no wonder Mendoza draws visitors from around the world. They come for the wine and the food but there’s loads of things to do in Mendoza other than drinking spectacular malbec’s – the signature grape of the area.

The Andes aren't far from Mendoza
The Andes aren’t far from Mendoza

Getting to Mendoza

Mendoza is accessible by plane, with lots of flights on Aerolínas Argentinas and LATAM airlines. You can also get there via a beautiful and very scenic eight hour bus ride from Santiago, Chile. I highly recommend that experience. In Argentina it’s easy to get around comfortably by bus between cities.

The Andes provide a stunning backdrop to Mendoza
The Andes provide a stunning backdrop to Mendoza

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Go on a wine tour

Mendoza is home to an incredible 1,500 plus wineries accounting for about two thirds of Argentinian wine. If you haven’t researched which winery to visit ahead of time, then have your hotel make recommendations. Or book a GetYourGuide half day wine tour – and really, that’s probably long enough for most people.

Don’t try to fit in more than three or four wineries in a day. You’ll start to forget the finer points and they’ll all blend together, just like it does when you’re looking to buy a house.

Wineries run the gamut from small, family run operations where you can see the cement holding tanks they used in the past to sleek modern, all stainless affairs like Bodega Norton. Meals at wineries are notoriously excellent as well but be sure to book in advance.

There’s nothing like having a few exceptional bottles of wine in your hotel room over your visit – reason enough to start your stay with a wine tour.

Things to do in Mendoza include wine tasting
Grapes looking plump in mid-January
The Andes as a backdrop for the wineries
The Andes as a backdrop for the wineries – Photo credit: David on Flickr Creative Commons
Malbec ageing
Malbec ageing
Inside an old family run winery
Inside an old family run winery
The Norton winery is all about stainless steel
The Norton winery is all about stainless steel

Go for a bike ride in Mendoza Argentina

What better way to visit wineries – at least in my opinion than on a bike. You can rent one on your own in some of the mini regions like Maipú or Chacras de Coria or go with a local tour. Maipú is the most popular area for it also offers a wine museum and olive oil tours – another one of the fun ways to explore the area.

Some of the bike companies to consider are Bikes and Wines (we used them but consider asking for more biking and less tasting or you won’t cover much ground) Mendoza Wine Bike Tour and Mr Hugo – a family run bike rental located in Maipú.

Biking on flat, easy trails
Biking on flat, easy trails

Go for a hike in and near Mendoza

Mendoza is surrounded by dry hills and many of them make a perfect hiking destination. Terrain though can be rough underfoot and temperatures can soar. This is country where it’s worth hiring a guide for the local knowledge. Carry lots of water, wherever you go.

Exceptional hiking can be found a few hours’ drive away from Mendoza in the Andes. One option is to head to the beautiful Laguna del Diamanete, located in a moonlike landscape at 10,500 feet. Again, a driver and a guide will ensure a safer journey.

It's a dry, rocky landscape outside of Mendoza
It’s a dry, rocky landscape outside of Mendoza
Hiking in the hills around Mendoza
Hiking in the hills around Mendoza

Explore Chacras de Coria

Not far from downtown Mendoza, you’ll find Chacras de Coria, a leafy, green suburb with slightly cooler temperatures. It’s fast becoming a gastronomic destination. It’s also close to many of the bodegas so it’s  a good spot to stay overnight. (See below for my recommendation.)

On foot, it’s an easy and colourful area to explore but watch the broken down sidewalks that will trip you up if you don’t pay attention. When it comes to dinner, don’t do what we did and show up at 8:30 PM. Nothing happens until 9 PM but the food in this area is worth the wait.

Colourful homes and buildings on the backstreets of Chacas de Coria
Colourful homes and buildings on the backstreets of Chacas de Coria
Lunch one day in Chacras de Coria - and the reason for hiking and biking
Lunch one day in Chacras de Coria – and the reason for hiking and biking

Go horseback riding

There are lots of choices when it comes to horseback riding. Tour a winery on horseback, ride for a half day to a day in the nearby hills or head off into the Andes for an overnight adventure.

Hotels are great at helping you set up any of these tours. If you head for the nearby hills, you’ll get a scenic overview of the area, but it gets hot on a horse.

Horseback riding in the hills surrounding Mendoza
Horseback riding in the hills surrounding Mendoza

Visit Puente del Inca 

The Puente del Inca is a natural bridge that crosses the Vacas River. It can be visited as part of a day trip to see Aconcagua though be prepared. It’s at an altitude of 2720 metres (8924 feet) above sea level so some people may feel some shortness of breath.

Things to do in Mendoza include seeing Puente del Inca
Puente del Inca – Photo credit: Carlos Bohorquez from Pixabay

We spent four nights in total in Mendoza. In hindsight, I wish I’d had another day to take the tour to Aconcagua and stop in to see Puente del Inca. I think the rest of my group would have been fine hanging out by the pool but I get restless.

Book a full day tour with GetYourGuide right here and let the others lounge all day. 

Where to stay in Mendoza

From personal experience I’d recommend Casa Glebinias with its beautiful pool and lovely grounds shown below. The owners were very helpful in making recommendations and organizing things to do in Mendoza for us.

The pool at Casa Glebinias where we stayed
The pool at Casa Glebinias where we stayed
After a hot day of hiking this pool feels amazing
After a hot day of hiking this pool feels amazing at Casa Glebinias

Further reading on things to do in Argentina

For more information on Mendoza visit the Argentina Tourism website.

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

5 Things to do in Mendoza, Argentina

 

Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 14 Comments
  1. Well, the first thing I learned here is that it’s December 1st! Where did November go? The vineyard reminded me of growing up in California – sans the beautiful Andes lol 🙂 I would take your suggestions on both the bus ride and getting a local guide. What is the food on the plate, Leigh?? What a fun adventure 🙂

    1. @Mike Our whole Argentina/Chile trip was one grand adventure after another. I’m shocked that we’re in December but happy as I look forward to longer days. What was that meal – a pork but I can’t remember the sauce. The food we ate in that part of the world was nothing short of outstanding.

  2. Do you like going in January? We were thinking of going to Buenos Aires for New Years (2015) and then to Mendoza. Your itinerary was super helpful. Loved the photos. Did you fly there directly?

    1. @Suzanne January was a fantastic time to visit. We actually bused down from the north and then did the amazing bus ride through the Andes to Santiago. Hope you don’t mind eating late! And do make sure you have cash all the time as ATM’s run out. Money issues were an onging problem in Argentina as so many ATM’s only let you take out $40 at a time.

    1. @Irene I like to be able to eat and drink guilt free and between first class food and incredible wine in the region, it would be easy to pack on the pounds. Being active gives you a completely different view of the area.

  3. Hi Bro,
    Awesome post which contain very useful information about travelling. Very interesting article. I liked it. Because I also like the mountaning and travelling. Thanks for sharing views. Have a great week ahead.

  4. Thank you for the recommendation! My boyfriend and I are staying at that hotel in Chacras de Coria. We are spending two nights in Mendoza, any recommendations for hiking and specific vineyards to try? The hotel also recommended Hugo bikes to rent and tour vineyards. Thanks!

  5. I’m glad you had a great experience in Mendoza! I hope you can come some other time again. I’d like to let future travellers know that Wine Nomads Tours specializes in customized wine tours to Mendoza’s major wine areas. The offer private and group wine tours, bike tours and cooking classes in the house of a chef.

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