Mendoza is all about wine, the delicious red Malbec produced by the surrounding valleys. You’ll have your pick of vineyards and wineries to visit with over 1,200 bodegas (wine cellars) in the area. To immerse yourself in wine country, you can book tours, rent a bike, or stay in one of the family-run fincas (estates).
Mendoza’s actual city is teeming with gastronomic options and tree-lined streets ideal for enjoying a glass (or several) of wine outside. For those looking to venture beyond the grapes, the surrounding countryside offers a plethora of adventure sports and natural beauty. While in Mendoza, you can do everything from rafting and horseback riding to fly-fishing and trekking in the Andes.
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If you can’t get enough of the breathtaking vineyard scenery (and who could?) , stay outside of town at one of the many wineries that offer overnight accommodations. You can spend the evening at family-run farms or larger vineyards, which will provide all your meals as well as a few wine tastings. Views of the snow-capped Andes are likely, as is a room set among the vines. Posada Finca Garciarena, a four-bedroom micro-bodega, is one option, as is the larger Cavas Wine Lodge, which has private villas.
2 Horse Riding in the Andes
On horseback, explore the mountains surrounding Mendoza. You can take a ride through the vineyards or venture further into the Andes. Tours range from half a day to full 10-day Andes crossings. During one of your breaks, your guide will tell you more about the area’s history and terrain, and you’ll often get snacks like mate (the local, hot herbal drink of choice) and biscuits. Explore the Uco Valley and the Quebrada del Condor (Condor’s Gorge) to see massive birds in flight, as well as other wildlife and spectacular mountain views.
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3 Paragliding From Cerro Arco
If you want an adrenaline rush, go paragliding outside of Mendoza. Experienced guides will pick you up at your accommodation and drive you to the summit of Cerro Arco in a 4WD vehicle. Before you’re strapped to your instructor and told to run off the edge of a 1,700-meter-high hill for takeoff, they’ll explain everything you need to know. It’s an excellent way to see breathtaking views of Mendoza while also fulfilling your vacation’s adventure quota.
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4 Plaza Independencia
This is Mendoza’s largest green space and plaza, so spend some time relaxing and people-watching in this popular socialising area. Check out the fountain’s dancing waters, sweet caramelised peanuts from the vendors, and street performers and musicians. On occasion, you’ll see artisans selling their wares on the sidewalks here. If you’re interested, it also houses a theatre and a modern art museum. You should also visit the four other secondary plazas within two blocks of Plaza Independencia.
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5 Peatonal Sarmiento
The lively pedestrian street Sarmiento is located right next to Plaza Independencia. It’s packed with shops, cafes, and restaurants, many of which have outdoor seating. If you need anything, you can also find banks, pharmacies, and salons here. The street is lined with trees and flowers, as well as the occasional street performer, making it a pleasant place to enjoy an alfresco coffee, beer, or glass of wine. But, many of the restaurants here cater to tourists, so you may want to venture down a side street before having an elaborate meal.
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6 Parque Provincial
If you’re in good shape and the weather cooperates, you can hike part of South America’s tallest mountain, Aconcagua. It is the Western Hemisphere’s highest peak, rising 6,962 metres (22,841 feet) above sea level. You can see it even on a day hike to the first base camp, Confluencia. The scenery is breathtaking, and the round-trip distance to and from Confluencia is approximately 16 kilometres (10 miles). If you don’t want to go that far, there’s plenty of hiking and photo opportunities in the nearby Parque Provincial – there’s a one-hour round-trip hike to a great viewpoint.
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