Well known as one of South America’s most famous wine regions, Mendoza is a popular addition to any Argentina itinerary. With its stunning landscape, countless wineries – called “bogedas,” and small yet lively city center, Mendoza has something for every traveler.
Among the mountainous landscapes filled with wine and gorgeous views, you are going to fall in love with the tranquility that Mendoza, Argentina offers visitors.
In this ultimate guide to the best things to do in Mendoza, we share the best activities and destinations that Mendoza offers – including more than just wine tastings! Keep reading to discover why Mendoza is one of the best places to visit in Argentina.
Things To Do in Mendoza, Argentina
1. Take a Hiking Tour Through the Andes Mountains
Mendoza is a city that lies in the lap of the Andes Mountains. Surrounded by mountains, the city is picturesque, but as you venture outside of Mendoza you’ll be able to enjoy the stunning landscape even more.
While visitors to Mendoza can opt for all types of excursions, ranging from relaxed group biking excursions to demanding hikes to nearby famous peaks like Aconcagua, most opt for guided excursions that include the opportunity to hike around some of the region’s most picturesque spots.
Several programs and tour expeditions can take you on a hiking tour to the countryside through the Andes Mountains. Don’t be surprised if this place seems to come from an enchanted land – with snow-covered mountains, rolling hills, and red soil, it’s magical.
Read More: Best Things To Do in Argentina
2. Relax at Cacheuta Thermal Baths
Whether you spent an entire day at the vineyards or the wineries or you could have spent maximum time hiking through the Andes, there is no better way to relax at the end of a long travel day than by visiting the Cacheuta Thermal Baths.
Just about an hour outside of Mendoza, you can easily take the short drive as a half-day trip, or choose to stay at the hotel here for a luxurious overnight.
There are several facilities available at the hotel and the spa. There are natural thermal baths, spas, mud baths, and similar facilities offering everything you could dream of to help you relax and unwind.
It would be an experience in itself when you can be cozy and comfortable in the hot waters while you gaze at the beautiful picturesque views of the mountains from the spa. For a memorable and calming experience, do not miss out on adding this activity to your Mendoza itinerary.
3. Taste Your Way Through Mendoza’s Bodegas
It’s impossible to come to this South American wine capital and not taste the wines that have made it famous! The city is surrounded by vineyards – called “bodegas” – and you’ll have plenty of opportunities while in Mendoza to visit as many as you can add to your itinerary.
One popular way to visit includes embarking on a bike ride from vineyard to vineyard. This is an excellent way to make the most of a beautiful day and take in the countryside while visiting the bogedas along the way.
If riding a bike doesn’t seem quite compatible with riding a bike, don’t worry. There are plenty of opportunities to join a small-group excursion or private excursion – with transportation included! – to visit one or many wineries.
4. Learn (Even More!) About Wine
If your interest in wines goes a bit deeper than just tasting, head to the National Museum of Wines in Maipu to learn even more. From the history of wine-making in the region to information about the wine-making process, the families who launched the region’s first successful wineries, and more, the museum exhibits will fill you in on it all.
This is a great opportunity to learn even more about the grape varietals found in Mendoza and other areas of Argentina – notably, Malbec and Torrontés – and give you the back story before you venture out to try delicious wines for yourself.
5. Explore Mendoza’s Olive Groves
If you think Mendoza is just a place only for wine lovers, then you’re in for a surprise. Martini lovers will enjoy visiting the olive groves that make use of the same soils that grow such fabulous grapes to produce this other popular Mendoza export.
Mendoza’s olive groves are spread over 86,000 hectares and produce over 25,000 tons of olive oil every year. Excursions to the groves are similar to visits to nearby wineries – you’ll explore the groves and learn about olives, see the olive oil-making process, and of course, get to sample some delicious varieties.
This makes an excellent excursion if you’re not a wine lover. Bring some olive oil home as a tasty souvenir from your trip as well!
6. Go on a Horseback Riding Tour
What better way to explore the countryside, vineyards, and olive groves than by horseback? Horseback riding excursions through the mountains and foothills are a popular activity in Mendoza, and an excellent way to better appreciate the area’s natural beauty.
The foothills of the Andes, the Uco Valley, and Quebrada del Condor are other places where you can enjoy some horseback riding and are included on most excursions.
If you are confident enough in your skills, you can go for a taller horse, but if you are not that confident, you can always go for a shorter one.
7. Participate in a Ziplining Adventure
If you are an adventure enthusiast, Mendoza also is an excellent spot for ziplining. Can you imagine zipping across rivers and through mountains?
The geographical location of Mendoza offers it a perfect advantage to go for ziplining. There are a lot of options available for it. So, if you are looking for harder ziplining routes or easier ziplining routes, they are all going to be available here.
8. Go River Rafting
If the definition of thrill for you is more attached to the ground and not hanging in the air, you always have the option of rafting. The Mendoza River is the perfect place for it.
In fact, many excursions combine both river rafting and ziplining in one – Argentina Rafting Expediciones is one of the best companies for such a combined excursion.
There are 6-hour rafting tours, 3 hours rafting tours, and more options as well, meaning you’ll be able to fit this adventure into any itinerary. Rafting is also a great way to explore and see the various landscapes around the city.
9. Explore Mendoza By Bike
Bike tours in Mendoza aren’t just limited to exploring the bodegas! Mendoza is a lovely and peaceful city with tree-lined streets and great parks, making it the perfect palce to explore by bike.
There are guided bike tours and private or self-guided bike tours that provide you with a suggested map for your route. Planned excursions vary in length, and you can find those that last just an hour or two, or are more extensive.
The best part about bike tours is that they let you explore some charming areas of the town that you might have missed otherwise, especially the more off-the-beaten-path spots. And these are the places where the beauty lies.
10. Take a Stroll Around Plaza Independencia
After spending hours and hours of countryside fun and a lot of adventure, you might yearn for a simple stroll around the block. Plaza Independencia is a great place to start.
This charming park and the nearby four parks on its corners make for a lovely and central neighborhood where you can window shop, people watch, and check out great cafes, restaurants, and wine bars.
The evenings spent here are the most magical ones, and it is a great place to head whether you’re looking for a peaceful dinner or something more lively.
11. Sample Argentine Food and Wines at Fogón by Bodega Lagarde
If you’re looking to try some of Argentina’s best food – and, of course, wine – look no further than Fogón by Bodega Lagarde. This winery on the outskirts of Mendoza is an institution, crafting some of Mendoza’s best wines for more than a century.
The winery’s restaurant is a luxurious and beautiful space, with huge windows, lovely views, and patios facing the grape vines, perfect for summer dining al fresco.
Sommeliers help create perfect wine pairings for delicious Argentina meals like steak and vegetarian options.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable meal in Mendoza, look no further than Fogón by Bodega Lagarde. Make sure to make a reservation in advance, as this popular spot is firmly a local favorite.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway spent sipping wine or an adventure-packed trip spent hiking, biking, and rafting, Mendoza is an excellent place for it. Far too long simply considered a destination for great wine, this small and charming city has much more to offer travelers. Pack your bags and book your flight!
Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual New York-based travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Explorers Away and Home to Havana. Carley is an expert on all things Latin America, the Caribbean, and Cuba, having lived and worked in four different countries in the region. Her writing has appeared on the Associated Press wires and in Travel + Leisure, Yahoo, MSN, Euronews, The Weather Channel, and more. When she's not writing about her travels, find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.