Introduction to Mendoza
Basking under year-round sun in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, the Province of Mendoza boasts the perfect climate for winegrowing. If you like a little wining and dining (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), then you will not want to miss at least a few days of indulgence here in the beautiful and bountiful Mendoza Province. The town itself has a lovely summery feel, with wide, tree-lined boulevards and plazas, perfect for strolling through one afternoon. The pace here is, as you might expect, pretty relaxed, and there are a great range of restaurants and bars to choose from with some lively nightlife too.
As well as offering plenty of opportunity for sitting down with a nice glass of wine, Mendoza is a great gateway for adventures into the Andes, and you can take a day trip out into the mountains to the Chilean border, or enjoy adventure sports like whitewater rafting, horseback riding, or skiing in winter. The main draw, however, is of course the wine tasting, and there are dozens of vineyards of all types and sizes, making it a fascinating place to learn about growing and production techniques. Mendoza produces some of the best wines in the world and the sunny vineyards are backed by stunning views of the snow-capped Andes. The most famous of Mendoza’s world-class wines is the rich Malbec red, but there are also some excellent sparkling whites and many other noteworthy reds made here, as well as some top-notch olive oil too. Get ready for some gourmet indulgence!
What not to miss in Mendoza
With more than 500 vineyards (or bodegas) in one province; Mendoza simply bursts with wine! From big international wineries to tiny family owned boutique vineyards, every wine producer has something to offer other than its neat bottles in wine shops. Tours and wine tastings are just a couple of the services you can enjoy when visiting one of these wineries.
Wine Tour by Bike
Mapping a cycle route and pedaling through Mendoza’s wine country visiting a string of 3-4 vineyards makes for a great day out. Bike past Mendoza’s rolling vineyards backed by the Andes and soak up the fresh air of Mendoza, Argentina’s most famous wine region!
Wine bottles, wine tours, wine hotels. There had to be a wine museum and there are…two of them! Exploring these unique wine museums provides you with an overall history of winemaking in Mendoza and Argentina and features a number of artifacts that have contributed to Mendoza’s wine industry.
Chacras de Coria
Just outside of the hustle and bustle of Mendoza, the leafy district of Chacras de Coria is a great place to stay and you’ll also find many of Mendoza’s most important wineries here too. You’ll be within easy reach of both the vineyards and the city center, but will be able to enjoy a lovely calm atmosphere and some great restaurants.
What you need to know
When to go
Mendoza enjoys almost year-round sunshine and cool breezes from the Andes. It has a welcoming climate throughout the year, so Mendoza can be comfortably visited at any point during the year. However, it’s particularly beautiful during fall (April-June) when the vines and surrounding trees turn fiery shades of orange and gold, perfectly set off by the clear blue skies. March is grape harvesting season and there is a wonderful wine festival at the start of the month that’s well worth planning your visit around.
How to get there
Daily flights to Mendoza arrive at El Plumerillo, the Province’s capital airport, from Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile.
Flying to San Rafael’s Suboficial Aytes Germano Airport is also possible, as well as taking charter flights to Malargüe (close to Las Leñas) during the ski season.
Where to stay
All kinds of hotels, from five stars to hostels, are available in the city of Mendoza, San Rafael and Las Leñas. In the wine region just outside of Mendoza; Chacras de Coria, there are lovely 3 and 4 star properties.
Moving around the province is possible by bus, or by car. Daily bus tours take you from the city of Mendoza to Aconcagua and Puente del Inca, or to the wineries on one day or half day tours. Local bus lines also connect most of the cities within the Province of Mendoza.
Car rental outlets are available in the most important cities, such as the city of Mendoza and San Rafael.
Moving around the city of Mendoza is possible by bus and trolleybus, or taxi. As the city isn’t too big, walking is sometimes the best option.