25 best things to do in Mendoza (Argentina)

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What to do in Mendoza? Mendoza is all about wine, specifically the tasty red Malbec that the surrounding valleys are known for producing.

With more than 1,200 wineries (bodegas) in the area, you’ll have your choice of vineyards and wineries to visit. You can book tours to explore them, rent a bike or stay on one of the family-run estates to immerse yourself in the wine region.

What to do in Mendoza

The current city of Mendoza is full of gastronomic establishments and tree-lined streets that lend themselves to have a glass of wine (or several) outdoors.

And the surrounding countryside offers tons of adventure sports and natural beauty for those looking to explore a little beyond the grapes. From rafting and horseback riding to fly fishing and trekking, you have the Andes right around the corner while visiting Mendoza.

1. Take a bicycle tour of the wineries

what to do in Mendoza
Winery Bike Tour – The Creazy Tourist

This is one of the most popular activities for tourists in Mendoza.

You can arrange to visit some wineries and vineyards by bus, but biking between them is a much better way to see the countryside.

Organize a tour that includes lunch, or do it yourself by simply doing the tour on a bike, grabbing a map and asking for some advice on the best places to stop.

Take the public bus to Maipú and from there you can rent a bicycle to cycle to the many nearby wineries and vineyards for tastings.

Mr. Hugo’s Bikes is a favorite, and they will even help you plan your route for the day.

Your bike will also have a basket, in case you pick up any souvenirs (i.e. bottles of wine) along the way.

2. Stay in a vineyard- What to do in Mendoza

things to do in Mendoza- Vineyard
Cavas Wine Lodge

If you can’t get enough of the incredible vineyard scenery (how could I?), plan to stay out of town at one of the many wineries that offer guests a room for the night.

You can spend the night at family farms or larger vineyards that provide all your meals and some wine tastings.

You will probably have views of the snow-capped Andes and a room located in the middle of the vineyards.

Options range from a more intimate four-bedroom micro-winery like Posada Finca Garciarena to the larger Cavas Wine Lodge with its private villas and spa.

Club Tapiz is also a historic estancia where you can stay and relax by the pool with a bottle of wine.

Transportation can usually be arranged from the Mendoza airport to these more remote accommodations.

3. Horseback riding in the Andes- What to do in Mendoza

calbalgar in Mendoza
Horseback Riding In The Andes

Go beyond the mountains outside Mendoza on horseback.

You can take a casual stroll through the vineyards or you can explore the base of the Andes and even further.

Tours range from half-day to full 10-day treks through the Andes.

Your guide will tell you more about the history and terrain of the area and often enjoy snacks such as mate (the local herbal drink of choice) and cookies during a break.

Venture into the Uco Valley and the Quebrada del Condor to see huge birds in flight, as well as other wildlife and spectacular scenery from the viewpoints in the mountains.

Sunset walks are also available.

4. Paragliding From Cerro Arco- What to do in Mendoza

Paragliding From Cerro Arco 25 best things to do in Mendoza (Argentina)
Paragliding From Cerro Arco – The Crazy Tourist

A popular sport in the Andes, if you want a bit of adrenaline you can paraglide in the outskirts of Mendoza.

Experienced guides will pick you up at your accommodation and take you to the top of Cerro Arco in a 4×4 vehicle.

They will explain everything you need to know before they strap you into your instructor and tell you to run over the edge of a 1,700-meter hill to take off.

The flights are both exciting and relaxing, and you will soar with your parachute over the mountainous deserts and vineyards below.

5. Plaza Independencia- What to do in Mendoza

Independence Square
Independence Square

This is the largest green space and plaza in downtown Mendoza, so spend some time relaxing and people-watching in this popular socializing area.

Watch the fountain’s dancing water show, buy sweet caramelized peanuts from vendors, and watch street performers and musicians.

From time to time you will find artisans selling their crafts on the sidewalks here.

It also houses the theater and the museum of modern art if you want to take a look.

There are four other secondary plazas, all within two blocks of Plaza Independencia, that you should also explore.

6. Wander the Peatonal Sarmiento- What to do in Mendoza

Peatonal Sarmiento 25 best things to do in Mendoza (Argentina)
Sarmiento Pedestrian Walkway

Right next to Plaza Independencia, you will find the lively pedestrian street Sarmiento.

It is full of stores, cafes and restaurants, many of them with outdoor tables.

You can also find banks, pharmacies and salons here if you need them.

The street is lined with trees and flowers, plus the occasional street performer, making it pleasant for an outdoor coffee, beer or glass of wine.

However, many of the restaurants here cater to tourists with their higher (and often lower quality) prices, so you may want to venture down a side street before enjoying an elaborate meal.

7. Aconcagua Hike in Provincial Park – What to do in Mendoza


If you are in good shape and the weather is cooperating, you can head to the Andes to hike part of South America’s highest mountain, Aconcagua.

It is the highest peak in the western hemisphere and reaches 6,962 meters (22,841 feet) above sea level.

Even on a day hike to the first base camp, you will have excellent views.

The scenery is spectacular and the route is about 16 kilometers (10 miles) round trip to and from Confluencia.

If you don’t want to walk that far, you can do a lot of hiking and photography in the surrounding Provincial Park: there is a one-hour round-trip hike to a great viewpoint.

This national park is about two and a half hours from Mendoza, and covers 75,000 hectares of land and impressive mountains.

8. Museum of the Foundational Area- What to do in Mendoza

what to do in Mendoza
Foundational Area Museum

This small museum is excellent if you are looking to understand the beginnings of the city.

Visitors can see the excavated ruins of the old cabildo (town hall) of Mendoza that was destroyed by an earthquake in 1861. After that, the town was relocated to the southwest (its present location), and the museum shows the progressions of Mendoza since the settlement.

Located just outside the city center towards the airport, it is worth a look to find out why and how the city was founded, especially if you like archeology.

9. Go white water rafting- What to do in Mendoza

White water rafting
White water rafting

Try some rafting on the Mendoza River! This wild river waters all the wine valleys of the region, but it can also provide you with an afternoon of adventure.

There are several companies that can take you to the rapids (Potrerillos Explorer Rafting has a high rating) and they will lend you all the equipment you need, such as wetsuits, shoes, helmets and life jackets.

Your guide will give you a safety briefing before you get to the Class III rapids, and some of them will even take pictures of you during the river trip.

You can also choose to kayak if that’s more your style.

10. Eating grilled steak – What to do in Mendoza

the Patio de Jesús María
El Patio De Jesús María – What to do in Mendoza

It is Argentina after all. And even if you focused on Malbec while in Mendoza, be sure to try at least one steak.

You can choose from many informal parrillas (steakhouses) or full tasting menus in the city’s elegant restaurants.

The Jesus Mary Courtyard is a local favorite and a traditional steakhouse where the portions are huge and steak is king.

La Lucia is also ideal for grilled meats and a funky atmosphere.

Cordillera Vinos y Fuegos offers steaks in addition to many other unique dishes, along with a wine room, elegant ambiance and outdoor seating.

Or splurge at celebrity chef Francis Mallman’s 1884 restaurant.

11. Climb the Cerro de Gloria- What to do in Mendoza

Cerro de la Gloria
General San Martin And The Andes Army – The Crazy Tourist

You could go for a walk, but why not walk to the top of the “Cerro de la Gloria” where you will find a monument commemorating General San Martin and the Army of the Andes? He is the man on horseback and leader of the Argentine War of Independence that you will see all over the country.

When you reach the top of the hill, you will be rewarded with sweeping panoramic views of the city and the mountains beyond.

Along the way, there are many places to stop to take pictures, buy snacks from vendors and buy souvenirs.

Alternatively, you can take the orange tourist bus labeled “El Oro Negro” that departs from the corner of Sarmiento and Chile.

12. Drinking Malbec in a Traditional Taverna- What to do in Mendoza

Malbec in a traditional tavern
Malbec in a traditional tavern – What to do in Mendoza

Of course you’ve been drinking Malbec all this time, but be sure to drink some red wine in a traditional pulperia (tavern) of yesteryear while you’re in Mendoza.

Palenque is a great place to do just that! It is a super popular restaurant and bar with excellent food and snacks, as well as solid pizzas and empanadas.

They even serve the wine in old-school white ceramic jugs shaped like penguins (aptly named penguins). Order something local to drink (they also have beer on tap) and grab a table outside.

They have happy hour specials, and this place can get crowded!

13. Villavicencio Natural Reserve- What to do in Mendoza

Villavicencio Natural Reserve
Villavicencio Natural Reserve

Much of the bottled mineral water you buy in Argentina comes from natural springs here, and the nearby mountain scenery is simply fabulous.

It also houses the now defunct Gran Hotel de Villavicencio, a hotel and spa that used to be popular with Argentina’s elite before the military junta looted and closed it in 1978. You cannot enter the hotel, but it is surrounded by walking trails, gardens and parks that you can explore.

There is no public transportation to this area northwest of Mendoza, so youwill have to rent a car or go with a tour (which are easy to find in the city) .

If you feel like spending the night, there is camping at Hosteria Villavicencio where you can also enjoy a gourmet meal.

14. Experience the nightlife on Aristides Villanueva Street.

Nightlife in Mendoza
Arístides Villanueva Street- What to do in Mendoza

When the weather is nice, you can find crowds of people partying on the sidewalks of Calle Aristides, Mendoza’s nightlife district.

Local Mendocinos gather outside with their Fernet and Coke concoctions to start the night (be sure to try one of these Argentine favorites while I’m here). You will also find quite a few tourists partying with the locals due to the many lodges in the area.

Grab a cold Quilmes and join the crowd, but not until around midnight because things start late in Argentina.

Most of the serious clubs (boliches) are out of town in Chacras de Coria, but the bars that line Aristides like Bar Por Acá, El Abasto and Lupulo are a lot of fun.

15. Taste the olive oil- What to do in Mendoza

Familia Zuccardi 25 best things to do in Mendoza (Argentina)
zuccardi family

You may have come for the wine, but Mendoza is also proud of its other great agricultural product: olives and olive oil! Although you may have been overshadowed by all the wine tourism, there are plenty of olive groves in the area as well.

You can tour many of these olive groves where you will learn how olives are harvested, pressed and bottled.

And they also have olive oil tastings!

Maipú is home to several olive producers that you can tour, such as Maguay, Pasrai and Simone.

And at the famous Zuccardi Family, during harvest season you can pick your own olives and turn them into a bottle of olive oil to take home!

16. Visit the Pueblito de Chacras de Coria- What to do in Mendoza

Chacras de Coria 25 best things to do in Mendoza (Argentina)
Chacras De Coria- What to do in Mendoza

This small town is a bit of an anomaly.

Formerly a quiet little town in a valley on the outskirts of Mendoza, it has become an elegant center for dining, shopping and nightlife.

But it still manages to retain its picturesque charm.

There is a weekly market on Sundays that is ideal for wandering around, where you will find everything from antiques and jewelry to wood carvings and handmade toys.

The city is full of clothing boutiques, high-end food stores, gourmet restaurants and cafes.

At night, many of the city’s young people go to the area’s nightclubs, such as Grita Silencio and La Guanaca, located just off the Pan-American Highway.

Chacras de Coria is also another great gateway to explore more wineries and vineyards.

17. Take a cooking class- What to do in Mendoza

Adalgisa Farm
Finca Adalgisa- What to do in Mendoza

This is a memory that lasts! Take a cooking class offered by one of the wineries or farms around Mendoza.

You will learn how to make better use of local ingredients and perhaps add some traditional Argentine cooking techniques to your repertoire.

The chefs of many winery restaurants invite guests to cook a selection of dishes and then eat the finished products together in the beautiful surroundings of the wine region.

(And the local wine is sure to flow throughout the class as well!) Learn how to make things like bread, pizza, empanadas and, of course, grilled meats.

Familia Zuccardi, Norton and Finca Adalgisa are just some of the establishments outside Mendoza that offer cooking classes for small groups.

18. National Wine Museum- What to do in Mendoza

things to do in Mendoza- National Museum of Wine
Museo Nacional Del Vino- What to do in Mendoza

Add this stop to your DIY wine bike tour to get a little background on the history of the wines you’re drinking.

Learn the story of how a Swiss and Italian immigrant arrived in the Maipú Valley in the late 1890s to start the first winery in the region.

The museum is housed in its elaborate mansion that was designed by an Italian architect and built with materials shipped from Europe.

You can arrange a tour to get a little more insider information, or just walk around.

Guests can see some of the early tools, wine bottles and labels used in the effort to start the wine industry here.

19. Go to Potrerillos Lake – What to do in Mendoza

Lake Potrerillos 25 best things to do in Mendoza (Argentina)
Potrerillos Lake- What to do in Mendoza

Like many of the locals on summer weekends, you can also take the public bus (or drive) to this lake west of Mendoza.

Ideal for a day trip or a short city break, the area around this man-made lake has been developed to include some hotels, resorts and sports clubs.

There are facilities where you can book outdoor adventure activities such as mountain biking, guided hikes, horseback riding and rafting.

It is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and cypress forests, and the lake offers a great place to picnic, have a drink or kayak.

Check out the dam too while you’re there!

20. Museo de Bellas Artes – Casa De Fader- What to do in Mendoza

Fader House
Museo de Bellas Artes – Casa de Fader- What to do in Mendoza

A great place to spend a sunny afternoon strolling among the statues in the gardens, this mansion and former meeting place for high society now houses several incredible collections of artwork.

Located outside the city in Luján de Cuyo, the beautiful grounds were restored by an aristocratic couple who hired the famous Fernando Fader to paint frescoes around their summer home.

The mansion was donated to the government as a fine arts museum which opened its doors in 1951 and contains works of art by various Argentine and European artists.

21. Los Baños Termales de Cacheuta- What to do in Mendoza

Cacheuta Thermal Baths 25 best things to do in Mendoza (Argentina)
Baños Termales de Cacheuta- What to do in Mendoza

Located on the outskirts of Mendoza along Route 82, experience something different at this spa, hotel and water park nestled among the mountains.

Depending on what you are looking for, you can go to relax or spend a fun day with the kids.

On the hotel and spa side, there are saunas, mud baths, hot springs and thermal pools of different temperatures.

Guests can book a massage, enjoy a fabulous buffet lunch and walk around in luxurious bathrobes.

On the water park side, check out the lazy river and wave pool, or organize a zip line.

They have a restaurant and beer garden on site for your eating and drinking needs.

22. Puente del Inca- What to do in Mendoza

Puente Del Inca
Puente Del Inca- what to do in Mendoza

Rent a car and drive to the Andes to see this natural bridge.

It is a beautiful stretch of gold-striped rock that crosses the Vacas River at 2,720 meters (8,924 feet) above sea level.

Charles Darwin stopped here and drew the curious archway that the Incas supposedly used to reach the nearby healing hot springs.

Geologists are not sure of its formation, but it is believed that the interaction of extreme elements such as ice and hot springs had something to do with it.

This bridge is a great addition to your route if you are making the trip to Mount Aconcagua.

23. The National Grape Harvest Festival- What to do in Mendoza

The National Grape Harvest Festival
The National Grape Harvest Festival

If you are lucky enough to visit Mendoza in late February or early March, you will be able to experience the biggest event of the year: the annual Grape Harvest Festival.

Attendance has grown since the festival began in 1936, when it was decreed that the harvest should be a social event and celebration in the city.

It combines folklore, pomp, musical and theatrical performances and fireworks.

The ten-day festival begins with the blessing of the fruit and then El Carrusel parades through the city with the 18 beauty queens chosen from different districts, one of whom will be crowned Reina de la Vendimia (Harvest Queen).

Hundreds of thousands flock to Mendoza to experience this celebration, cheer on their princesses and, of course, drink wine together.

24. Have a wine-inspired spa treatment- What to do in Mendoza

Park Hyatt Mendoza Kaua Spa scaled 1 25 best things to do in Mendoza (Argentina)
Hyatt Mendoza Kaua Spa Park

You can combine wine with your spa experiences in Mendoza, Grapes contain polyphenols that are believed to fight free radicals (the things responsible for aging) and improve skin elasticity, smoothness and tone.

These exclusive wine-inspired spa treatments are available at some of the most exclusive hotels in the city and countryside.

Therapies include luxurious things like a crushed Malbec scrub, a grape seed body scrub, a red wine bath and a Torrontés wine body wrap.

The Cavas Wine Lodge, the Kumelkan Spa at the Esplendor Hotel and the Park Hyatt Mendoza Kaua Spa offer wine-inspired treatments.

25. Go fly fishing- What to do in Mendoza

Fly Fishing 25 best things to do in Mendoza (Argentina)
Fly fishing

Try your luck at fly fishing in the foothills of the Andes.

It is a great place to fish for rainbow trout and enjoy the scenery of the mountains and streams outside of town.

Companies such as Trout & Wine and Uncorking Argentina offer bilingual guides, fishing rods and flies, and transportation to and from the river.

You will enjoy an asado (Argentine barbecue) of grilled meats and salad for lunch, obviously accompanied by Malbec.

The fishing here is excellent for everyone from beginners to professionals, because the streams in this high altitude Uco Valley are full of trout!

25 best things to do in Mendoza (Argentina):

  • Take a bicycle tour of the wineries
  • Stay in a vineyard
  • Horseback riding in the Andes
  • Paragliding From Cerro Arco
  • Independence Square
  • Walk along Sarmiento Street
  • Aconcagua Hike in Provincial Park
  • Museum of the Foundation Area
  • Practice whitewater rafting
  • eating grilled steak
  • Climb Cerro de Gloria
  • Drinking Malbec in a Traditional Tavern
  • Villavicencio Natural Reserve
  • Experience nightlife on Aristides Villanueva Street
  • Taste the olive oil
  • Visit the Small Town of Chacras de Coria
  • Take a cooking class
  • National Wine Museum
  • Go to Potrerillos Lake
  • Museum of Fine Arts – Casa De Fader
  • The Cacheuta Hot Springs
  • Inca Bridge
  • The National Grape Harvest Festival
  • Enjoy a wine-inspired treatment at the spa
  • Go fly fishing

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About the author

I am Matias, born in Patagonia, and a lover of my land.

For more than 20 years I help foreign travellers to organise their trip to Patagonia.

I also manage this exotic accommodation on the Atlantic coast.