Mendoza is a medium-sized city located in Western Argentina approximately 1000 km from the capital Buenos Aires, thanks to a thriving and praised wine industry and its scenic location at the foothills of the Andes is one of country's most popular destinations, and makes a perfect base for exploring the province’s rugged countryside.
Most of the tourists come to Mendoza for the wine, the region in fact one of South America's most important wine, with the Malbec gaining huge popularity overseas in the last decade. If you are visitng between the end of February and the beginning of March, you can attend Mendoza’s biggest event – the Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia, a celebration of wine and the wine making industry attracting visitors from the whole country.
Mendoza, despite being situated in a desert area and receiving fewer than 10-days of rain per year is surprisingly green, the amount of trees and parks is a consequence of an artificial irrigation system, which waters the trees and also creates a natural cooling system.
The city is very attractive and well-planned with wide boulevard lined with trees on both sides, historic squares adorned with Spanish tiles, large parks where you can hide from the summer high temperature and a handful of interesting sites.
Here are some of the top things to see & do while in Mendoza :
You can start your visit in The Parque General San Martin, one of the most rewarding attractions in Mendoza. This immaculately preserved park features many statues and a picturesque central lake, its location right in the heart of city makes it a popular and tranquil place to spend a family day or do some outdoor exercise.
Take a stroll along Paseo Peatonal Sarmiento, a long and wide pedestrian-only boulevard lined with lots of cafés and shops, a great place for tourist to relax and mingle with the locals while having a glass of wine. This is where everything happens, from street musicians to concerts sponsored by the municipality. On one end of the street is the beautiful Plaza Independencia, the main city square surrounded by theaters, municipal buildings, promenades and smaller plazas at each corner. In the middle of the square there is a fountain with a decoration depicting Argentina's liberation from Spain.
Make sure to stop at Mendoza's oldest market, Mercado Central. This historic building dating back to 1884 is situated on Las Heras Avenue. Here one can find all sorts of groceries including fruits, spices, vegetables, cheeses and meats alongside handicrafts such as Inca weaving and traditional ponchos. Small shops also offer tables where you can sit down and listen to live music while enjoying empanadas, pizza or sandwiches.
A visit to the charming and picturesque village of Chacras de Coria should be on everyone's agenda, this rural village located in the southern outskirts of Mendoza is a perfect mix of traditional rural life and upscale modern infrastructure. This little town gained a lot of popularity among tourist in recent years due to its laid back vibe and a plethora of cute cafes, delicious restaurants and boutique wineries. It's only a 20-min drive from downtown Mendoza and a taxi shouldn't cost more than 10 $ / 8 €
Biking around the picturesque vineyards in the wine valleys of Mendoza is surely one of the quintessential Mendocino activities. There are plenty of places to rent bikes both in the city and the valleys, and this is a great way to spend a day cycling around and tasting wine without having to worry about driving back to your hotel in the evening.
Thanks to its close proximity to the Andes Mountains the city is also very popular among trekkers and outdoor enthusiasts, hardcore climbers come from all around the world to reach the peak of Aconcagua, standing at 6,962 Mt the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas. The hike to the peak is a challenging 3 weeks walk consisting of hiking, walking on ice with crampons, and even climbing – and you’ll need to be very fit to do it.
Other outdoor activities such as wild water rafting, horse-back riding or skiing in Argentina's most popular ski resort are very popular in the area.
For those of you seeking a relaxing and fun time nothing beats Termas Cacheuta Thermal, an oasis of tranquility set in a spectacular location in the middle of the Andes that includes several pools filled with thermal water at different temperatures. It also includes picnic facilities, which allows families and groups to enjoy the park all year round.
When the night comes the city really comes to life with a great selection of restaurants for all tastes and thanks to it's many university students there are many bars and clubs open until late that are popular among locals and the foreign crowd mostly to be found near Plaza Independencia and Avenida Aristides Villanueva.
In Mendoza there is something for every traveler, from adventurous backpacking to high end wine tasting. The only thing missing is enough time to enjoy it all. We recommend to spend here at least 5 days