After her great post about Corsica, UK Tripper Sarah Davis is back with her 5 Tips for visiting Mendoza, where she spent “a wonderful weekend of wineries, walks and water wading” during her year of living in Argentina.
Bordering the Chilean border, “Cold Mountain” Mendoza has more to offer than its infamous vineyards. I was lucky enough to spend some time with a few friends there whilst living in Argentina this past year.
Though set for a long weekend with my eager to explore international groups of friends, we were not however prepared for the cold mountainous air we hit coming into the city. Having spent the most part of our day on the bus ride from Buenos Aires, we were more than happy to be outside and enjoy the freshness!
Mendoza is a 17-hour trip from the Capital city and well worth the time spent to get there but make sure that you are able to get in a full few days in order to experience all the valley has to offer. There are many bus services to choose from but choosing one which includes a snack and stop off will make any 17-hour journey more pleasurable!
Try to book a “cama” full bed night bus if possible so that once arriving, your precious hours of day light are saved but also you manage to keep down the costs of your adventure weekend as you’ll find there are more than enough activities there to keep your money rolling out of your pockets.
The city itself holds a lot to offer in terms of nightlife and good eateries but we spent most of our time in El Campo, the countryside surrounding the city. That is where all the action happens! There are a number of travel agencies in the city centre and online, but getting recommendations from your fellow traveler in hostels and from locals is your best bet.
On friendly demand I took a local’s advice and our first day there we took a local bus to the famous Mr Hugo’s wine bike tour, yes that’s right; you hire a bike and then tour around the surrounding vineyards and “bodegas” tasting wine and cheese samples all day and then attempt to cycle back in one piece.
Among a few of the many activities available are whitewater rafting, skydiving, horse riding, paragliding, rappelling and hiking, so there’s definitely something to suit everyone’s adventurous self. There are no need to worry if you are traveling alone nor if you are traveling with someone who shares different interests as many of the companies have activities being held simultaneously so whilst I was off horse riding through the Puente del Inca Valley crossing the Rio Vacas, my friends were off rappelling the Cerro Aconcagua, the Americas’ tallest peak. Be sure to wrap up warm as no matter what time of year it is, those chilly winds keep you on your toes!
Though tired and sore from your days of adventures you are still probably full of adrenaline and ready to hit the town for a refueling, so be sure not to miss the Argentine delight of eating a good fresh steak that costs half the price of the bus ride there and will keep your energy levels pumping for your next days’ escapades!
And if you are still feeling animated, why not finish your evening with a little live music and visit the lively plazas in which both tourists and locals join in some traditional Tango dancing. These are not for the serious Bailarinas of Tango but they are where you find friends, family and loved ones coming together to enjoy a light hearted evening of entertainment.
Mendoza is one of my favorite cities in Argentina with a diverse cultural background and something for everyone to appreciate. The locals are very friendly and more than happy to share their knowledge of their land. Not to be missed for those who crave adventure, breath taking sights, and a lot of tradition in one small city.
Malargüe - José María Pérez Nuñez
Tour Bus – nyluke
Puente del Inca – Humberto Terenziani
Paragliding day – Ed Porras