La Ciudad de Mendoza—one of the most beautiful, peaceful, and unique cities in all of South America. Located east of the Andes Mountains in the northern-central part of Argentina, Mendoza City is the perfect destination for any traveler looking for a new city to explore. Thrill seekers will enjoy a diverse selection of activities including mountain climbing and hiking, horse-back riding, and skiing.
At the same time, those looking for a weekend filled with fine wine and delicate cuisine will be equally pleased with what Mendoza has to offer. Or, if you want to experience the best of both worlds, this city is the place to be. Not sure how you should spend your time in Mendoza? Use our ultimate travel guide below to help spark your next adventure!
This ultimate travel guide to Mendoza will show you all the most beautiful places in Mendoza, what to expect when visiting, where to stay in Mendoza and things to do in Mendoza which will help you in planning a trip to Mendoza.
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Table of Contents
How to get to Mendoza
If traveling within Argentina, Mendoza is very accessible. All major cities fly into the city and traveling by bus is equally as convenient. However, if flying from out of country, your best bet would be to first fly into Buenos Aires. From there, a bus ride to Mendoza would last about 13 hours, and a flight would take about 1.5 hours. Of course, flying directly to the Mendoza from a neighboring country is possible, but may be a bit more expensive. Or, choose from one of the multiple car rental companies (but…make sure you can drive stick-shift!)
What to expect in Mendoza
The official language of Mendoza is Spanish, and the official currency is the Argentine peso. However, because of its proximity to Chile and its reputation as the wine country of South America, it is a popular tourist region so expect to encounter many foreigners.
Typically, tipping in Argentina isn’t common, but if you have a particularly good experience with a service worker, feel free to leave a small tip as a gesture of appreciation. Depending on the time of year and where you are, you may run into street performers or children attempting to sell you something. Tipping in these occasions are never expected, but always appreciated. Overall, expect beautiful people, beautiful landscapes, and beautiful weather.
How to get around in Mendoza
Luckily, you have options. Mendoza has a light rail system that runs from the city center all the way to Maipú (a city within the Mendoza province, about 45 minutes away). If you are traveling to the city by bus, the terminal is located across the street from downtown.
Also, bike rentals are available throughout the city, as are taxi services. However, you may not even find yourself needing transportation! Depending on where you are staying and what you want to do, walking is a perfectly reasonable and easy mode of transportation.
The best time to visit Mendoza
Well…this depends on what you want to do in Mendoza. Generally speaking, the best time to visit Mendoza is considered to be from their Spring (October or November) until their Fall (March or April). During this time, expect to see beautiful colors, picturesque skies, and crisp, bursting flowers. However, if you want to visit Mendoza during the ski season, plan your trip for some time between May/June and August/September.
Where to stay in Mendoza
There are many options in terms of where to stay in Mendoza. To begin, there are many luxury hotel options such as the Park Hyatt or Sheraton Mendoza. Or, on the other hand, find local luxury accommodations at hotels such as the Entre Cielos Luxury Wine Hotel & Spa or Cavas Wine Lodge.
If you are looking for a cheaper option, hostels are where you should stay. Booking your accommodations with a local hostel is a wonderful option for solo travelers and groups of backpackers alike. Prices are as low as one US dollar per night! Also, an incredible perk about hostels is the relationships that you will form. Travelers from all over the world choose to rest their heads at a hostel, and there is no telling who you will meet. Additionally, a lot of hostels offer communal meals and group outings such as city tours, night club tours, etc.
However, if you are looking for your own, personal space but don’t want to book a luxury hotel, check out AirBnB. You can book anything from private rooms with shared common spaces to your own personal apartment or home. AirBnB hosts are known for their hospitality and are guaranteed to provide you with some unique recommendations for things to do in the city.
Things to do in Mendoza
What to do in Mendoza City? Or…what to not do in Mendoza City? Obviously, one of the best things to do in Mendoza is to go wine tasting. For both wine aficionados and novice wine drinkers, Mendoza is the perfect place to visit to indulge in any and everything wine-related.
Reaping over 1,500 wineries, Mendoza offers wine tours at large wine corporations such Zuccardi or Catena Zapata as well as small, craft wineries that are family run. For example, the winery of Carmelo Patti is considered to be one of the most humble, passionate craft wineries in the whole world.
If you are more so interested in outdoor adventure, you also have plenty of options while visiting Mendoza. Go fly fishing with Trout and Wine, or take a rafting class with Argentina Rafting while gazing at the beautiful landscape of the Andes Mountains. Mountain climbing options include expeditions through the Aconcagua Mountain range. Or, if you want to leisurely enjoy the scenery, bike your way through the vineyards of Maipú.
Horseback riding outings are another great option when wanting to relax and take in the incredible scenery. Don Daniel Ranch offers a great full day horseback riding option, but half-day options are easily as accessible.
One of my favorite things to do in Mendoza is to explore the many street markets and shops. For example, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday there is an outdoor crafts market on Plaza Independencia. Plaza Independencia was created as a result of the many earthquakes in Mendoza. The city wanted to create a safe haven for residents, so it decided to design a central plaza where everyone could gather, and Plaza Independencia was born.
The plaza is surrounded by four smaller plazas, all of which host street markets on the weekends: Plaza San Martin, Plaza Chile, Plaza Italia, and Plaza España. However, don’t forget to stop at the antique markets in Plaza Pellegrini. Additionally, Mendoza is host to a variety of traditional, Argentinian stores such as Las Viñas, Paíces, and Alain de France.
In terms of neighborhoods to visit, there are plenty of choices in Mendoza. The Mendoza City Center is bursting with action, as can be seen in the many plazas and tourist attractions. Also, there are plenty of nightlife and dining options here. Chacras de Coria is not necessarily part of the city but rather a small town in the surrounding area. Here, there are plenty of open spaces for recreation, small wineries, and plenty of family-owned restaurants. Godoy Cruz is another wonderful place for wine lovers, and is known as being a quiet, laid-back part of town with plenty of history and character.
Where to eat in Mendoza
Really, you can’t go wrong with the dining options in Mendoza. Whether scouting out the street food stands at the markets or taking a gamble on a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, you’re going to love all of the food you taste. One of the local favorites in the city is Fuente y Fonda, which serves large entrees for two such as milanesa (an Argentine classic—breaded steak baked and topped with cheese, tomatoes, and ham), fresh pasta, and steak. And, of course, the wine menu is exquisite.
Tupungato Divino is a small hotel with a restaurant and garden that offer views of the Andes Mountains. Diners can choose from over 150 local wines, and can choose from a variety of steaks cute and cooked to order.
One of the best places for steak can be found in the Park Hyatt Mendoza at Bistro M. Or, if you want to eat small-plates and delicious appetizers, don’t forget to check out Anna Bistro and Mi Tierra; both restaurants off smaller dining options as well as carefully selected wine pairings.
Regardless of where and what you choose to eat, you have to spend some time at restaurants that offer authentic Argentine cuisine. El Palenque serves amazing food in an old school tavern. At Mercado Central, find many Argentine cheap eats such as pizza, empanadas, jamón sandwiches, tacos, and fresh fruits.
Tours and Day Trips in Mendoza
Booking a tour and/or day trip in Mendoza is something that you won’t regret. Take a day trip to the Andes and visit some of the most famous mountain ranges. For just $40, an air-conditioned guided coach tour will show you Aconcagua (the highest mountain in the Americas), Las Cuevas, Poterillos, and Puente del Inca. Other mountain trips highlight popular areas such as the Cristo Redentor monument, the Upsallata settlement, the Potrerillos Dam, and the Silver Cord mountain range.
In terms of wine tours and tastings, I would recommend the Maipú wine tasting. Here, visitors can experience three world renown wineries while enjoying a 3-course lunch. Also, transportation is super easy—just hop on the light rail in the city center, and you’ll arrive at your destination 45 minutes later. At the scenic Agrelo and Perdriel vineyards of Mendoza’s Lujan de Cuyo valley, guests can enjoy a boutique experienced paired with a farm-to-table lunch.
However, you can’t forget about the spas! Mendoza is home to a variety of hot springs and luxurious spas. Take some time to relax at Termas de Cachueta. This full-day trip has everything to offer—indoor and outdoor pools, mud treatments, whirlpools, thermal baths, saunas, massages, lunch buffet, and wine.
For those looking to learn more about what the city has to offer, take a city tour with Cerro de la Gloria. A lot will be covered in just half a day, including visits to downtown, Alameda, the Civic Center, General San Martin Parl, Mundialista Stadium, and Frank Romero Day Amphitheater. Or, try something new with the Viejo Almacen Tango Show. Experience a live tango show while dining on classic Argentine cuisine.
If wanting to see a different city during your stay in Mendoza, I would recommend visiting San Martín. San Martín is the third largest metropolitan area in the Province and offers a variety of activities to indulge in including wine tasting, museums, and outdoor experiences as week.
Finally, if you find yourself visiting Mendoza during the winter, spending time in the mountains skiing or snowboarding is a great day-trip to make. Las Leñas is a very popular resort that offers 13 lift transports and over 32 miles of slopes. Additionally, there is an awesome winter sports area designated in the middle of the mountain region. Los Penitentes, Vallecitos, and Los Puquios are other great options as well. However, they are much smaller. Regardless, any of the resorts are great options for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiiers alike.
What do I do now??
Book! Your! Tickets!!!
Mendoza is an excellent destination for solo travelers, young couples, friend groups, and families. Everything that you could possibly want, or need, can be found within La Ciudad de Mendoza. The city is easily accessible—booking a flight or finding a convenient bus will be no problem at all. In terms of accommodation, the options are plentiful. But, most importantly, there is an incredible variety of activates to choose from.
Get lost in the mountains. Go horseback riding for the day. Tour one of the thousands of wineries. Choose from a multitude of day trips and city tours. Stroll through one of the many outdoor, artisanal markets. The options are endless! And, of course, you won’t starve. Diners can choose from both local and internationally inspired restaurants that are bound to satisfy all of your cravings.
Regardless of what you want to do or what you want to see, La Ciudad de Mendoza will not disappoint. People from all over the world have fallen in love with the city’s diverse landscape and rich cuisine. Don’t sleep on the opportunity of a lifetime!
Recommended tours in Mendoza
- Mendoza Wine Tour with Lunch
- Private Tour: Mendoza Wine with Driver and Guide
- The Real Gaucho Day Trip from Mendoza – Don Daniel Ranch
- Mendoza Horseback Riding Tour with Traditional Argentine Asado
- Full-Day Aconcagua Experience
- Andes High Mountain full day Tour
- City Tour of Mendoza with Cerro de la Gloria
- Zipline Adventure from Mendoza in Potrerillos Valley
- Hidden Wineries of Uco Valley – Gourmet Lunch
- 4×4 Photo Safari In The Andes – Villavicencio
- Maipú Wine-Tasting Tour from Mendoza Including Trapiche Winery
- Spa Day at Termas de Cacheuta with Transport from Mendoza
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