Situated on the eastern side of the Andes and settled in the crest of hilly terrain, Mendoza is unforgettable—situated in a prime position for outdoor adventures such as mountaineering and rafting, while also the perfect province for unwinding and enjoying the lazy, hazy atmosphere. All in all, be sure to include Mendoza in your Argentinian and South American travels.
Hostel prices – Hostels costs upwards of $25 USD for a dormitory room. They can also cost as little as $15 USD a night if you opt to sleep in a larger mixed dorm room. Private rooms with a shared bath are generally double the price of dorm rooms. More: Tips for finding Cheap accommodation.
Budget hotel prices – Hotels are around $20 USD per night for a single room, $60 USD for a double room.
Average cost of food – Meal prices for even a cheap restaurant will begin at around $10 USD. Plan on upwards of $20 USD for a budget meal and a drink. If you are looking for a really nice sit down meal with good steak and wine, expect to pay $35 USD. It costs about $40 USD per week for groceries.
Transportation costs – It is possible to walk the center, but to get to famous wineries, you’ll want to take the bus. Tickets cost around $0.50 USD, and are a great way to get around. In terms of taxis, you won’t pay more than around $6 USD for a ride.
Money Saving Tips
Bike – To save on taxi and bus fares, rent a bike for around $6 USD per day.
Buy wine cheap – If you buy wine at the grocery store, you’ll get the same great local varieties for a much better price.
Travel off peak - You’ll find cheaper flights and accommodation in the off season from April to December.
Top Things to See and Do
Hiking – If water and wine aren’t your thing, take to the skies, and go paragliding, climbing, hiking, and trekking on Cerro Aconcagua. If you have more time to spare, head to Cerro Arco by horse and even try out fishing in the area. There are boundless opportunities to have some outdoor fun here amongst the glorious backdrop of Mendoza’s countryside.
Parque San Martin – After all this activity, have a relaxing day on the Parque San Martin grounds. Complete with its own forested park, zoo, amphitheater, large lake, restaurants, and camping, as well as 34 sculptures and the El Rosedal Rose Garden, it is easy to see why the park has become a must-see attraction for visitors and locals alike.
Grape Harvest Festival – Mendoza’s largest festival begins in January, with the crux of the festival beginning on the first Saturday of March and continuing until the beginning of April. Held in celebration of the winemaking industry, the event climax is a performance by hundreds of dancers, a large firework display, and the crowning of the Reina Nacional de la Vendimia.
Plaza Espana – Plaza Espana, known for its beautiful colored tiles, is considered a restful, tranquil place to visit. Situated amongst gardens and fountains, this is your tranquil getaway, especially when there is a charming Artisan’s Fair with locals selling their handcrafts.
Historical center - If you are looking for a diversion from all that outdoor activity and wine drinking, the historical center provides plenty of sights and museums, including the Museo del Area Fundacional on Pedro del Castillo Square and the Musuo Nacional del Vino, perfect for learning more about the wine culture. Just outside of Mendoza is the Casa de Fader, an 1890 mansion once home to artist Fernando Fader that is now an exhibit of his artwork.
Take a wine tour - Home to more than a thousand wineries, the vineyards of Mendoza are known for their beautiful landscapes. Reserve a place on a wine tour in advance to learn more about the recipes and techniques of winemaking—most will also include a sample tasting afterwards! Going to one if not more than one of the wineries in Mendoza is simply a must.
Uspallata – To soak up even more of your breathtaking surroundings, head to Uspallata, a village situated in the Andes region heading towards Santiago in Chile. While this is a place to relax and unwind, it is also of historical and cultural significance as the site where in 1817 José de San Martín sent his army to fight the Spanish royalists in Chile.
Punte del Inca – Visit Puente del Inca, a natural stone bridge which owes its coppery-gold color to minerals in the river’s water. One of the natural wonders of the world, tourists were once transported here by the Transandine railway which then continued on via tunnel to Chile. Puente del Inca is also the name of the hot springs nearby, and a great place to go hiking.
Aconcagua – While you are on the route to Puente del Inca and Uspallata, why not keep on going and head to Aconcagua – at over 6900 meters, and the highest summit in America. Perfect to climb from November to March, the mountain is also surrounded by 75,000 hectares of national parks.
Paragliding – There are many travel companies that offer paragliding tours from the base of the Andes Mountains over the wineries. Expect to pay bout $60 USD per person.
Museo Fundacional – This is the perfect museum for buffing up on the history of Mendoza and Argentina. Trace back through the city’s timeline, and check out displays of the original city remnants, prior to the majorly destructive earthquake of 1861.
Peatonal Sarmiento – Known commonly as ‘the pedestrian zone’, this area offers an escape from the congestion of the city. Open only to those traveling on foot, this is a great place to do some shopping, check out street performers and eclectic street vendors, or just grab a coffee.
River rafting – For some of the best rafting in Argentina, head down the Mendoza River. Typically beginning at Porrerillos, this is an all-day activity. For those that are more adventurous, consider going on a full moon trip. The options are endless—check out a variety of adventure companies until you find the right fit!
Villavicencio – Surrounded by beautiful parks, gardens, and various walking trails, this hot spring is an ideal get away. Beyond the mineral rich waters lies beautiful scenery, ‘Darwin’s Petrified Forest’, Los Caracoles, and ancient Inca rock paintings.
Get on a bike – Offering a little bit for everyone, taking a bike trip around the region is an awesome way to see the area. Most days are warm and sunny, perfect for slow rides around the mountains or hilly tours through the vineyards. Consider a tour company to show you around or just grab a rental, and get on your way!