Mendoza Travel Guide

Mendoza is the center of the Argentinian wine industry, for which it is world renowned. It is also near the Aconcagua,the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas.

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All the info to prepare your trip to Mendoza. How to get in, maps, activities to...
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Mendoza is a city in western Argentina, in the desert Cuyo region. It is also near the Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas. Mendoza is the capital of the province of Mendoza.

Although it is situated in an extremely dry desert region, Mendoza has an extensive artificial irrigation system, which allows for greenery throughout the city as well as the growth of grapes used to make its wines. Most streets have irrigation channels on either side, with bridges for pedestrian and vehicular traffic. These are periodically flooded with water diverted from the river. The app 80,000 trees and the wide avenues give the city a beautiful ambience, a change from much of the bare feel of many Argentine cities.

To the immediate west is the Pre-Cordillera of the Andes towering over the city, with peaks at some of the snow-covered (throughout the year) Andes peaks beyond.

Siesta (afternoon nap) is still taken in Mendoza, mostly because of the summer heat. Most businesses close between 12:30 and 13:00, many foodstores do not close until 14:00 The shops then re-open at about 17hs and stay open until 20:30. Supermarkets are usually open 9:00 to 22:00, also on Sundays. Banks are only open Monday through Friday from about 8:00 to 13:00. Casas de cambio (money exchanges) close at 20:00.

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Summers are hot and dry in the city. January is particularly hot; temperatures of 40°C (104°F) are not uncommon. However, the lack of humidity (and during summer, the many trees) makes both the heat and cool more bearable than, say, humid Buenos Aires. The nearby mountains are cool, though, even in the summer.

Winters are moderately cold in the city from late June to late August, and very cold in the mountains. Many ski centers are located near Mendoza (see below “DO”).

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Get in

The large bus terminal is about two kilometers from the city center. Taxis and remis (private taxis) are readily available (US$ 3-4 to the center), or it is a 15 minute walk (not recommended at night, the area between it and the center borders on the red light district).

There are daily bus connections to all major destinations including Bariloche and Santiago de Chile, a beautiful 7-hour bus ride crossing the Andes. Santiago de Chile is not always reachable by bus as the Andes pass often closes after heavy snowfall in the winter months, normally around late May to early September, but when it does snow heavily, the pass is usually only closed for a few days at most. The joint immigration/customs control for both Chile-out-stamps/Argentina-in-stamps (convenient) for entry into Argentina is located at Los Horcones near Puente del Inca, and the one for entry-into-Chile/exit-from-Argentina stamps is at Las Libertadores in Chile, 5 km past the tunnel (Check the following website for pass conditions (Spanish).

Mendoza has a small international airport, El Plumerillo (airport code MDZ), with flights to Buenos Aires (LAN and Aeroineas Arg.) and Santiago de Chile (LAN), but tickets are very expensive as compared to bus fares (the fares to Chile are more reasonable, as you do not have to pay the foreigner premium for domestic flights). Flights to Salta, Iguazú and Bariloche have started in the 2010, to and from, on Tuesdays , Thursdays and Saturdays, with Aerolineas Argentinas. From the airport, you can take a remis (a type of taxi) for fixed posted prices (as of late 2014, it was 90 pesos to the centre). There is also a city bus (collectivo) that takes you downtown, but it comes only every 40 minutes and takes an hour to make it’s way downtown (exact coins only).

Mendoza is a travel hub of sorts for Argentina. If coming from Santiago, you will now have to pay the Argentine reciprocity fees paid by USA, Canada and Australia passport holders (if you book your bags through at Santiago, you will not have to pay the similar fees for Chile payable only for entry at the Santiago airport immigrations, not for land entry into Chile).

Bus travel times to/from Mendoza:
  • 13-17 hours: Buenos Aires
  • 10 hours: Cordoba
  • 14 hours: Tucumán
  • 36 hours: Puerto Iguazú, Andesmar
  • 42 hours: Río Gallegos
  • 7 hours: Santiago de Chile (But actually 8-9 with the border crossing)
  • 7 hours: Valparaíso, Chile
  • 60-74 hours: Lima, Peru (via Santiago)
  • 26 hours: Montevideo, Uruguay EGA bus lines
  • 18 hours: Bariloche Run both by Andesmar and CATA there are daily direct buses even during winter (but not along Ruta 40)
  • 18 hours Salta

Use the Plataforma10 website for many, but not all, long-distance bus routes. Buses to and from Buenos Aires: Micros de Retiro.

In the winter, the mountain passes to Chile can be closed for several days if weather is bad, but this is only intermittent. Check here if the tunnel is open or closed: Túnel Internacional Cristo Redentor at Vialidad Provincia Mendoza.

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Central Mendoza is relatively compact and walkable – for example it is a 20-30 minute walk from Plaza Independencia to Parque San Martin, however to get to the bodegas (vineyards) to the south walking isn’t recommended as it they are at least 10km away.

A ticket bought in bus or trolley is valid in the other means of communal transportation.

Buses are cheap and plentiful, but a little confusing at first. Buses have two numbers, a group (Grupo) number, which is the big number at the top of the front of every bus, and a route number, which is two or three digits (i.e. 33 or 114-115) and is on a small sign behind the windscreen. Buses on the same line (eg Grupo 3) all go to roughly the same place (eg Godoy Cruz) but the route varies by route number – so be careful not to get on the wrong route! Now, you cannot pay cash for bus journeys (Ar$4.00 (2015 MAR) , and it is necessary to purchase a Red Bus card (a prepaid proximity card) that you touch-in when boarding a bus. You can buy a Red Bus card from some kioskos near a bus stop for Ar$5, and charge them up at the same place. An interactive map of the city bus routes can be found on this city website : city bus map.

There are 5 trolleys, which are part of the same transport system and have the same price, use the same coin machines and RedBus card. A popular run is the Parque circuit, which takes you to the gates of the large (3.2 and green Parque San Martin gates every 10 minutes or so, which you can catch on 9 de Julio , Colon or Aristides Villanueva Streets downtown. At the gates, you could also return by catching the circuit at the same stop.

There is also a light train, Metrotranvia, running from the old Mendoza railway station at the corner of Belgrano and Juan B. Justo/Av. Las Heras to the suburb General Gutiérrez, some 15 km southeast of city center. It too uses the general ticket system, and you also you must have a Red Bus card. Information and timetable here: Horarios Metrotranvia.
Taxis are plentiful, metered and fairly cheap, costing about the same as in Buenos Aires. A trip across town from the bus station to Parque San Martin will cost around AR$35 (2014 OCT).

You can hire bicycles in town – most hostels can put you in touch with a bicycle hire outfit – prices are negotiable (ie they will charge you as much as they think you are willing to pay) but you shouldn’t pay more than Ar$80 – Ar$100 per day (2014 OCT). You will need some form of ID to leave as deposit. Ask to see and test the bike before handing over your money – many are old clunkers.

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  • Parque San Martín. This huge park is nice for walking or biking around. There is also a zoo at the north-west corner of the park with animals in small cages. Behind the zoo begins a path up to Cerro de la Gloria where there is a large statue and nice view over the city and of the mountains – particularly pleasant at sunset.
  • Many bodegas (wineries) offer tours. Wine-tasting events are common; check the culture section of local newspapers or ask around. A good period to visit is during harvesting in March and April. Visiting wineries often requires reservations booked in advance, (Many are closed during weekends). Some major wineries (Norton, Rutini etc.) have regular “walk in tours”.
  • Festivals occur often and are usually free. Each has a different theme, and they usually have a stage with singing and dancing and booths that sell food around a plaza. The harvest festival at the end of February is a major event.
    Plaza Independencia. The central main square of the city is the best starting point to explore downtown Mendoza. It boasts some nice buildings around, restaurants and even some street shows. The Mendoza Museum of Modern Art is located under the plaza also (Ar$6, free on Wednesdays). The Plaza can also be visited at night, where you can see some nicely illuminated buildings and a beautiful big coat of arms of the city that is made of lights.
  • Plaza España. Possibly the most beautiful square in the city, this square is an artistic expression of the special relationship that this city (and all others in Hispanic America) has with Spain. It is decorated in a splendid way with typical Andalusian and Spanish motifs all around the place. The central wall depicts some images and texts of the Spanish colonization and it is crowned by a gorgeous statue.
  • Central Park, El Parral & Vendimiadores (10 blocks north of Plaza Independencia). A modern city park, contrasting with the tradition of the better-known Parque San Martin. Not a Mendoza must see, but the park has some nice water fountains and a grassy hill – often amateur Mendocinans set up their easels here and paint away.
  • Casa de Fader. A historic house museum, is an 1890 mansion once home to artist Fernando Fader in nearby Mayor Drummond, 14 km south of Mendoza. The mansion is home to many of the artist’s paintings. free.

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Adventure and outdoor activities

Many companies organize trekking, expeditions, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting in the desert and the mountains. Mountain cabins in areas with spectacular scenery are easily rentable in the city. Check the classified ads in the newspaper.

  • Campo Base Travel and Adventure, Peatonal Sarmiento 229, Mendoza City, ☎ +54 261 425 5511 ( Trekking-Rafting-Horseriding-Paragliding-Mountainbike-Aconcagua Trekking and Expeditions-High Andes tour-Wine tasting tours. Another rafting company above Potreillos (same run) is “Rio Mendoza”, and for a more leisurely raft, Betancourt Rafting below the reservoir.
  • Kaua Spa, Park Hyatt Mendoza Hotel, Chile 1124, ☎ +54 261 441 1234 (
  • Termas de Cacheuta (Spas of Cacheuta), 2624 490 139. Cacheuta, located about an hour outside of Mendoza, has a very large network of heated outdoor pools called the “Parque del Agua”.
  • During high season and weekends, expect to pay around AR$75, with a slight discount for children. For easy transportation, enquire regarding Cacheuta at the Bus Terminal, Buttini bus counter at the immediate south side of the terminal near platform 55; buses depart Mendoza from about 9am and return in the evening, the last bus departing Cacheuta at 6:50PM – but be aware that there are no buses back to mendoza between approximately 3pm and the last bus.
  • You will pay AR$14 for each way, and it is recommended that you purchase both directions before departing. If you’re in for the full day adventure, consider bringing some food to cook on their plentiful and free grills. Bus times can be found online. An upscale alternative is to go for the day to the Termas Hotel, about a km before”, with swanky pools, masseuses, jacuzzis and an incredible buffet lunch, all for a hefty 180 pesos, but well worth the value – if you go, you had better book at the hotel a few days before for the package (do not bother staying at the hotel , the overpriced rooms are very cramped.
  • Aconcagua – America’s highest peak Aconcagua (highest in the world outside the Himalayas) provides trekking and climbing possibilities. All travel agencies and backpacker hostels can organise trips – although a considerably cheaper and more flexible option is to take a Buttini bus to the park from Mendoza’s bus station (about 67 ARS one way, Mar 2015). The bus will drop you off at the entrance to by the 20 ARS entry ticket. To catch the bus back, you’ll have to walk back to the Puenta de Inca. Probably you would be happy just paying the 20 ARS pesos (Mar 2015) at the park entrance to walk the short interpretive trail and lookout (which will take 45 min), rather than paying the hefty hiking fees past that you need to pay in town at the Provincial Park office in Parque San Martin (depending on how far and how many days you trek). If you want to see the top of Aconcagua, check the weather for the area before going, or you will waste your time and money.
  • Paragliding (parapentes in Spanish) can be done in Mendoza every day of the year, depending on the winds of course. Tours include a tandem flight of about 15 minutes with an experienced pilot. Costs are about 100 US$. There are two companies going off Cerro Arco, both easily googleable: “zonadevuelo” (aka Fly Excursion) and “flyadventure”(aka mendoaventuras).
  • Skiing is popular in the winter, but the season is short. Closest are Penitientes (bigger) and Los Puquios (beginner) on the highway almost to the Chile border. You could either take the Espreso Uspallata milkruns, or by bus tickets or packages from the many agencies on Las Heras Street, between Mitre and Peru streets, where there are also lots of ski equipment and clothes rental shops.
  • Hike up Cerro Arco. A pleasant half-day hike easily done independently from Mendoza, offering great views of both the Andean foothills behind and the vast expanse of Mendoza’s plains to the front. Cerro Acro is the looming mountain to Mendoza’s north west, topped with various antenna. It is also used as the base for paragliding. Take bus 114/115 (linea 3) on Sarmiento, just west of the Plaza Independencia, (or Parque San Martin on Av Del Libertador) to El Challao Mirador, at the end of the line 8km to the northwest. There is a clear turnaround at the end of the bus line where you get off. From here walk across from the white nightclub (which is slightly downhill from the road) following the dyke 100 metres, then take an unpaved track further west until you reach a small restaurant / mountaineering museum/ clubhouse – then follow the track to the north (going through the gate). This is a popular hike for Mendocinos at the weekend, but during the week it may be deserted. You can treat yourself to a hearty asado as the restaurant – although beware that restaurant has two menus, one more expensive than the other! From the Mirador, the hike is about a 3.5 hour round trip. Get out of the area well before dark. In the summer, go early to avoid the worst of the heat, and in the winter bring a jacket, as it can be cool and windy at the top. Afterwards you could visit the aircraft hanger sized church in Challao, a local version of Lourdes.
  • Horse riding Gaucho Experience, ☎ 0261 15 5592711. Every hotel, hostel and travel agent can organise horse riding trips close to the city – but these guys have one of the better reputations – can do day and overnight rides, look after their animals and speak good English. Expect to pay around As$350 for half a days riding. A late afternoon ride, with a return at sunset will enable you to avoid the heat of the day and night-riding is very atmospheric. If you phone them direct you will get a lower price compared to organising through a hostel.
  • Las Lenas ski resort (Mendoza), Valle de Las Leñas (San Martin 811), ☎ 254-261-4297730. Las Leñas is definitely the most important ski resort in Argentina. The Andes Mountains are the highest outside of Asia with reliable skiing every ski season. Dry, plentiful powder, all levels welcome, Nordic skiing, incredible off-piste skiing and a base up at 2,240 metres describes Argentina’s most important ski resort, Las Leñas. Las Lenas Holidays is a subsidiary of Mendoza Holidays Vacations, the leader in providing vacation packages for the upscale traveller in the west of Argentina.E-mail:
  • Mendoza (Mendoza Outdoors), San Martin (811), ☎ 4297730. 9-19. Mendoza Holidays is a boutique operation specializing in upscale private tours, gourmet itineraries and specialty programs throughout Mendoza, Chile and other areas in Argentina such as Buenos Aires, Salta, Iguazu Falls, Patagonia and more. Recommended by Frommers and The New York Times Travel & Dining, Mendoza Holidays is the premier provider of luxury wine tours in Argentina.
  • Mendoza City Tour, Downtown of Mendoza, tourists offices. The oficial sightseeing tour bus of Mendoza City, it was originally released around mids 2013. Expect to pay around AR$75, with discounts for disabled, children, students, and retirees. It’s really good if you want to take a quick look around the city. The full tour it’s about 2 hours. Bus fees, route and times are on its web.

Wine tours and tasting

  • Small group and private Wine Tours – The most popular high-end wine tours are Ampora Wine Tours, Uncorking Argentina, and Trout & Wine, which take small groups to better wineries, include better tastings and a multi-course wine pairing lunch. Most of these tours start at around 175 USD.
  • “Custom built tours” – Uncorking Argentina is a local authority when it comes to custom built tours in Mendoza. Their staff of knowledgable trip planners will help you compose the perfect vacation to Mendoza, whether you have certain specifications for wineries, activities, or budget, they are here to help.
  • Bike wine tours – The nearby vineyards will let you taste wine if you show genuine interest. It’s possible to do a tour by bike, but there are also fully organised tours going from Mendoza. The most popular destination for biking and wine tasting is Maipu, a short bus (numbers 171, 172 or 173; dont take the white new bus-van Maipu Special service that cost one extra peso and do not stop in the wineries area) or cab ride out of Mendoza. Many outfits rent bikes and provide a map of the standard route, most of them in Urquiza street.
  • Do yourself a favor and choose your bike company carefully. For example, Mr. Hugo (ask the driver for the bus stop; it is on your left side) has well maintained bikes for about AR$60 (Nov2014), Orangebikes (next stop after MrHugo, on the left side) offers detailed information about wineries, including prices and discounts, an on road assistance (if you have any problem call him or go to the nearest winery; he will come right away with another bike) and safety in the area, all for AR$70 (Nov2014), but Bikes and Wines had terrible old clunkers and there is no better way to spoil your day than to battle with an awful bike. Be aware that some thefts have been reported: put on your backpack and dont place any important items in the bike basket.
  • There are several excellent wineries on the typical route, including Tempus Alba, Viña El Cérno, Familia Di Tommaso, and Carinae. Other worthwhile stops on the route are wine shops, such as ‘Vinoteca la Botella’ where you can taste a range of local wines, olive oil, and even juices for a very reasonable price (around AR$20 each for small groups). As an alternative, Bacchus Wines runs bike tours out of Chacras and will rent bikes for about $40, provide a map and call ahead to several vineyards. Please be careful with your belongings on the bike wine tours, as there have been cases of bags being snatched out of the baskets on bikes recently. Budget from 150 to 300 pesos per person for “tastings”, based on visiting between 4 to 6 wineries.
  • Malbec Symphony Wine Tours (Wine Tours, Mendoza), 256 Rivadavia (Mendoza, Argentina), ☎ 549-261-543-3292. 9-17hrs. Malbec symphony is an up and coming wine-tour specialized travel agency in Mendoza, Argentina. Our wine tours are directed by sommelier, Julian Dlouhy and his knowledgeable staff. Here at Malbec Symphony, we can organize wine tours to fit all your travel needs.
  • Turismo El Cristo (El Cristo Tourism), Espejo 228, Ciudad – Mendoza, ☎ +54 (0261) 4291911 – 429691. Turismo El Cristo is a family-owned Mendoza tourism specialist offering discovery and outdoor adventure tours, as well as bodega (winery) tours. El Cristo currently offers half day group wine-tasting tours (190 pesos) and full day private tours which include transport, guide, winery tours, tastings and lunch (1100 pesos). The El Cristo tourism office is open 7 days week.
  • Taninas Wine Lounge (Wine Tasting Events, Mendoza), ☎ 549-261-5074875. Ampora, who primarily does wine tours, also offers tastings of some of Mendoza’s more hard to find boutique wines in a laid back atmosphere in their wine space “Taninas”, a restored historic town house with lots of local art. The tasting events take place on Sundays, from 5:30 to 8pm, with reservation, for $35 per person, pairing wines with home made empanadas.
  • Vines of Mendoza – Located around the corner from the Hyatt in downtown (Espejo 567), Vines of Mendoza is the premiere wine bar in the city. They choose top wines from the region and offer various flight options, each coming with five glasses. Options include the Iconos (top wines), whites, reserves, Uco Valley reserves, Sensory Tastings and even a Blending Lab where you experiment mixing different varietals and take home a bottle of your own personal blend.
  • The Vines hosts a Vino y Tapas event on Thursday nights (9PM) at the Hyatt and a (meet the) Winemaker Night on Wednesdays (7-9PM) during high season. Their website has great local tourist information and the definitive “Insiders’ Guide to Mendoza.” From the main page, click on “Mendoza Travel” and then click on “The Vines Tasting Room.” There you will info on the weekly events, and for the flights, click on “Reserved” to see the options and prices.


  • Vendimia (Harvest Festival) happens every year at the start of March. Lots of events relating to wine and concerts.
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    As with many cities in Argentina, there is a variety of Spanish courses and private lessons are available. There are two established language schools in Mendoza: Intercultural is the biggest, has a range of afternoon activities, and is slightly more expensive, Greenfields (aka COINED) is smaller and feels even less well-organised, but many of the teachers work at both schools.

    Another great option for individual or very small tailor-made quality group lessons with a highly trained instructor: Spanish in Mendoza, Argentina (SIMA). This is a better option for those seriously interested in learning or improving their Spanish, although the classes are very enjoyable.

    Another interesting way to learn Spanish is by sharing accommodation. For people planing to stay for a couple of months, renting a room in a shared place could be the best option. Prices are reasonable low compared to hostels and hotels.

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    • The wine is excellent and can be extremely inexpensive, although in terms of quality you most often get what you pay for. There are several wine boutiques which offer wine tasting. In general, you can buy the same bottles of wine at local supermarkets at lower prices.
    • Clothing tends to be fashionable and cheap for those paying in US dollars or Euros.
    • Electronics are imported and thus expensive.
    • There are several mountaineering and trekking equipment shops offering a wide variety of outdoor equipment. A couple of shops are on Av Juan B Justo near Av Belgrano.
    • Many unique home decor items are available at good prices.
    • Leather goods are also readily available and inexpensive. There are many shops on Las Heras Av.
    • Andes and More. For expeditions up Aconcagua with a local guide who has been working on the mountain for 16 years.
    • US dollars can be exchanged for pesos at the blue dollar rate with guys standing around on Av San Martin between Espejo and Sarmiento. They are not hard to find especially if you look like a tourist as they’ll announce “Cambio! Cambio!” as you approach. They look like extremely dodgy characters but this writer changed money with three different guys with no issues.

    Always check your notes for counterfeits in front of the cambio guy before leaving. Don’t worry you won’t offend them, this is normal in Argentina. At the time of writing (Dec 2014) the blue dollar rate in Mendoza was 12.40 pesos to the US dollar, but it is constantly fluctuating.

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    Good restaurants abound. For a round-up of Mendoza’s more expensive eateries ask for the Guía Mendoza Gourmet from the tourist office. The main restaurant strip is on Aristides Villanueva, which runs east-west from Ave Belgrano (where the defunct railway tracks are) to Parque San Martin. It is difficult to have a bad meal here, although as a general rule be wary of special offers from places near the hostels – they may be cheap, but this shows in the quality. There are also some excellent (and pricey) restaurants on Ave Sarmiento running west from Plaza Independencia. A cluster of cheaper restaurants are on Ave Juan B Justo

    Try world-famous Argentinian beef asado (roasted) from a parrilla (grill) restaurant, with a bottle of Mendoza’s excellent wine. Beware that they tend to put too much salt in the meat so you cannot really appreciate the taste. Try asking for unsalted steak and then add the desired amount of salt at the table. Mendoza’s most famous wine varieties are the Malbecs from Maipú and Luján de Cuyo. Other good options are Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots. Restaurants offer small wine bottles (375 ml).

    Even by Argentinian standards, Mendocinans eat late. On weekdays kitchens open around 9PM, but few diners arrive before 10PM. On Fridays and Saturdays things don’t get going until 11PM.

    Good restaurants abound. For a round-up of Mendoza’s more expensive eateries ask for the Guía Mendoza Gourmet from the tourist office. The main restaurant strip is on Aristides Villanueva, which runs east-west from Ave Belgrano (where the defunct railway tracks are) to Parque San Martin. It is difficult to have a bad meal here, although as a general rule be wary of special offers from places near the hostels – they may be cheap, but this shows in the quality. There are also some excellent (and pricey) restaurants on Ave Sarmiento running west from Plaza Independencia. A cluster of cheaper restaurants are on Ave Juan B Justo

    Try world-famous Argentinian beef asado (roasted) from a parrilla (grill) restaurant, with a bottle of Mendoza’s excellent wine. Beware that they tend to put too much salt in the meat so you cannot really appreciate the taste. Try asking for unsalted steak and then add the desired amount of salt at the table. Mendoza’s most famous wine varieties are the Malbecs from Maipú and Luján de Cuyo. Other good options are Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots. Restaurants offer small wine bottles (375 ml).

    Even by Argentinian standards, Mendocinans eat late. On weekdays kitchens open around 9PM, but few diners arrive before 10PM. On Fridays and Saturdays things don’t get going until 11PM.

    • The Green Apple, Avenida Colón 458. A good vegetarian all-you-can-eat buffet.
    • La Casa de Ofelia, +54-0261-4990159, Located in the peaceful valley of Lunlunta, this house is a perfect stop while you’re visiting wineries and vineyards. Meals are prepared with traditional recipes and served personally by the house’s owners. You can get the best specialties calling some days earlier to make a reservation.
    • 1884, Belgrano 1188 in the Godoy Cruz neighborhood. One of Francis Mallman’s famous restaurants. The food is expensive but excellent and focuses on local meat and produce.
    • Tenedor Libres: (literally, free fork) Mendoza has many good buffets that serve reasonably priced lunches and dinners. Most offer 5-10 meat dishes freshly cooked on a giant grill and a variety of side dishes and desserts. The quality of the food can be quite good and it’s an excellent way to try a selection of Argentine food.
    • Onda Libre Av. General Las Heras 446
    • Sofia resto-bar, Aristides Villanueva 650, ☎ 0261-4299836. Stylish restaurant and one of the more upmarket on the Aristides strip. Extensive menu of meats, salads, pastas, and a curious ‘exotic’ range, including Wok Chicken, Wok Beef, and more oddly, Wok Pizza. mains circa Ar$40.
    • La Nilda, 780 Arístides Villanueva (near Parque San Martin), ☎ 0261 423 2317. from 9PM. Pleasant Argentinian restaurant at the far end of Aristides Villanueva – a good choice on Friday and Saturday nights when the popular places nearer the centre are full and you don’t have a reservation. Solid menu of beef and pork dishes, hearty salads, good wine list and reasonable prices. If this restaurant were closer to the action it would be full every night! Not always open in the off season though. mains around As$40.
    • Zinc, Aristides Villanueva (near Ave Belgrano). One of the first restaurants you’ll encounter walking up from Ave Belgrano. Not a bad choice for a uncomplicated meal – often runs promotions of ‘steak + desert’ for Ar$35 or so, aimed squarely at budget-conscious foreigners – and surprisingly the food is pretty good – beware of the cheap wine offerings, they are cheap for a reason.
    • Il Panino, 147 Paso de Los Andes, ☎ 0261 428 5922. lunch & dinner. A pleasant restaurant away from the bustle of Arístides Villanueva – the garden is a welcome oasis away from the traffic noise that blights al fuera dining elsewhere in the city. Serves perhaps the best pizza in the city, with thin Italian style bases with a traditional range of toppings (although still cheese-heavy). Also good salads, meats, and pastas. Often has a Ar$25 lunch special.
    • El Patio de Jesus Maria, 788 Boulogne Sur Mer (at the end of Aristides Villanueva). 8PM-late. Pleasant & pricey restaurant with, as the name suggests, a patio. Asado, steak, chicken and more steak. For an interesting dining experience have a meal whilst a football game at Club Independiente next door is underway.
    • Terruño (Club Tapiz), Pedro Molina s/n – Ruta 60 Km 2.5 – Russell – Maipú (Arrange with a driver or call ahead for specific instructions.), ☎ 0261-496 0131. Located 15 minutes south of the city center (close to suburban Chacras de Coria) and in the middle of one of the Tapiz winery vineyards, this stylish restaurant offers a series of regional dishes and a superb wine list. Make the best out of the visit by touring the vineyard, visiting “Pour la Galerie” a maginificent art space located beside the museum featuring works of renowned artist Sergio Roggerone, and learning about the Club Tapiz boutique hotel (see below). Reservations required. AR$ 45.
    • Cafe Las Palmas, Alma, near intersection with Rioja (Mendoza). Offers good menu of salad, soup, main course, bread and drink for 20 Pesos.
    • La Barca, Espejo 120 City Center (btw España & 9 de Julio). Open for Lunch and Dinner, this is a classic, family-owned restaurant that serves authentic, quality Argentine food. Great home made pasta. Daily specials. Friendly to English speakers. If you’re in the city center and want a dependable meal, you can’t go wrong here.
    • Mun @ Casarena (Winery Restaurant at Bodega Casarena), Brandsen 505, Perdriel, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina, ☎ +54 (9261) 691 9732. Lunch: Tues to Sat & Dinner: Sat Evenings. Mun @ Casarena is an exclusive Pan-Asian / Argentine fusion restaurant (just 40 seats) located in the vineyards of Bodega Casarena. Specially designed V-shaped tables offer every guest a beautiful view of the Cordón del Plata and the vineyards. Asian-Argentinean fusion cuisine. The architectural conception of the restaurant allows a complete integration between the guest and the landscape — thanks to the enormous glazed windows and the elevation of the restaurant over a deck that promotes a sensation of “floating” or “sailing” over a sea of vineyard leaves. 50 USD.
    • La Lucia, A. Villanueva 290. Mid-range restaurant serving traditional Argentinian and European food. Remarkable for having soups, which is not common for restaurants in Mendoza
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    Mendoza is a very liveable city, and many choose to stay for a few weeks to take language courses and the like, there are a number of short term apartment rental companies, concentrated in microcentro (downtown). You’ll find several in ‘Galería Independencia’ in Lavalle street. An internet search will bring up several scores options, if you know that an apartment is called ‘departamento’. Be wary of paying deposits before you arrive as the apartment may not live up to your expectations. Traffic noise can be a particular problem.

    The most pleasant part of town is between Avenida Belgrano and Parque San Martin – La quinta Sección, the richest part of town, with quiet streets and well kept neighbourhoods, and the bars and restaurants of Arístides Villanueva within walking distance. East of the centre is the more low rent area, and contains the cheaper hostels. Be warned, the below information appears to be rather out of date and is in need of updating.

    Jan. 2015: seems to be a serious bedbug infestation going around town. Check reviews before booking.


    • Casa del Pueblo located 2-3 blocks from the bus station. Great for the price, very helpful staff. The matrimonial room had bedbugs, but we switched to the dorms & were fine. Neighborhood seems dodgy, but feels fairly safe after the first day or so.
    • Cuyum Mapu Hostel Av San Martín 2348, Mendoza. Located right in the center of the city, just seven blocks from the downtown area +54 261 4201147 $10/person/night A cozy, friendly hostel with big rooms, hot water 24/7, and a huge beautiful garden with bbq and pool in an old mansion. It’s close to downtown, but on a shady pedestrian street so there is no traffic noise.
    • Punto Urbano nice hostel, centrally located, extremely helpful bilingual staff. Many tours & activities. Breakfast was fantastic. Had bedbugs in the four-bed dorm.
    • Hostel Lagares Corrientes 213 Downtown Mendoza; ten minutes from the bus station and 2 blocks from Ave. San Martin +54-261-4234727 $7.80-$18.20 A very friendly, welcoming hostel with big, bright rooms, each with a full bathroom, thick mattresses, daily cleaning service, lockers, Wi-Fi, breakfast, and large common rooms stocked with fun things to do. Very close to all the downtown restaurants, bars, clubs, shopping, and more.
    • Ruca Potu TRAVEL WARNING: A large man at the bus terminal is very convincing about this hostel. DO NOT GO. If you do expect to have your belongings stolen and to feel sorry for the human race as the owners are dishonest, filthy, disgusting, thieves. The actions of this hostel have been reported to the tourist police on several occasions, they are not to be trifled with. Somehow they are allowed to continue to operate by the local authorities. Do not support there illegal activities DO NOT stay at this hostel.
    • Savigliano International Hostel, Pedro B Palacios 944, at junction with Alem, ☎ +54 261 4237746. checkin: 12.00PM; checkout: 10.00AM; 2.00PM half-day. Located conveniently across from the bus terminal, this hostel has an eager-to-help staff and can arrange bus tickets (with no commission) and activities such as winery tours and paragliding. Ar$30 dormitory; Ar$90 double with shared bathroom; Ar$100 double with private bathroom; Ar$125 triple; Ar$140 quadruple.


    • Alamo Hostel, Necochea 740, ☎ 0261 429-5565 ( Less of a party hostel than the hostels located on Av Aristides. Located just off Plaza Chile, and _very_ close to a large supermarket, you can expect to pay around AR$45 or AR$50 pesos per night. 70 pesos in 8 dorm, 80 in a 4 or 6 jan.2013.
    • Bohemia Hotel Boutique, Granaderos 954, ☎ (54-261) 423-0575 ( In one of the most elegant neighbourhoods of the city, the fifth section.
    • Break Point Hostel, Av Aristides Villanueva 241, ☎ 0261-4239514 ( Excellent Resto Bar, comfortable rooms, swimming pool, breakfast & friendly atmosphere.
    • Campo Base, Av. Mitre 946, ☎ (54-261) 429-0707 ( A hostel with discounts for Hostelling International members. It is definitely a party hostel. Well located, near Plaza Independencia. Excellent atmosphere for backpackers. Tourist information also available.
    • Hostel Chimbas, Acc. Este y Cobos 92, ( Beautiful hostel, charming owners. Approx. Ar$18. There is access to a pool, BBQ, brick oven, bike rental, and extensive excursion information.
    • Damajuana, Av Arítides Villanueva 282, ☎ 0261-425858 ( Not a party hostel. With swimming pool and breakfast. Guests are crammed into small 6-bed dorms, while the larger, cheaper 12-bed dorm remains mysteriously half-empty. The staff think they’re your parents. Ar$50 to stay in a six bed dorm during the high season, and AR$0 during the low season.
    • Hostel Internacional Mendoza, Av. Espana 343, ☎ 0261-4240018 ( A comfortable hostel, with excellent facilities, four beds rooms with private bathroom, excellent price. Also with great options for tours, including wine tours, horseback riding, rafting and excursions into the mountains. Expect to pay between AR$35 and AR$45 per night.
    • Hostel Lagares, Corrientes 213, ☎ (0054)261 423-4727 ( A cozy hostel with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
    • Hostel Lao, Rioja 771, ☎ 0261 438-0454 ( Rated very highly on hostel booking sites. Friendly, sociable and relaxed hostel. Attractive garden and pool. Runs weekly wine tasting events. AR$40 per night dorm, private accommodation also available.
    • Hostel Mendoza Inn, Aristides Villanueva 470 (on the pubs and bars street), ☎ (0261)4380818 ( checkin: 12:00; checkout: 10:00. In a beautiful house with large open spaces, couches and big garden with swimming pool and hammocks. Spacious and equipped kitchen for guests and a bar to buy beer and wine. Bedrooms are comfortable. The beds have new thick mattresses and lockers. Friendly and helpful staff that can recommend you lots of activities to do in Mendoza. 35-43.
    • Modigliani Art and Design Suites, Alem 41, Ciudad, Mendoza, Argentina, ☎ (54 261)429-9222 ( Just a few steps away from San Martin Ave. and Peatonal Sarmiento (kilometer “zero” of downtown Mendoza) Modigliani Art and Design Suites is a boutique complex with just a few exclusive apartments, emphasizing Architecture, Art,
    • Design and Lighting, specifically used for vacation rentals in Mendoza. A sexy alternative to an accommodation in a conventional hotel. Modigliani is a development with accent on ultracontemporay design and a very complete furnishing in each and every apartment; as well, the “Modigliani” building has an Art Gallery on its top floor (Espacio Modigliani) which permanently exhibits works of local and international artist, combined with wine tastings and live music. Rooms from 95.00 USD.
    • NH Cordillera, Avda.España, 1324. M5500DWN Mendoza, ☎ +54.26.14416464. Located just a short distance from the main square, this hotel offers modern, comfortable rooms. Take advantage of the on-site restaurant and fitness centre. Rooms from 133.09USD.
    • Hostel Parque Central, 25 de Mayo 1889, ☎ +54-261-4251535. checkin: 12; checkout: 11. Located around 8 blocks from Plaza Independencia, is a decent point for exploring downtown Mendoza. Its staff is very friendly and helpful. They offer excursions and complete information what to do in the city. Breakfast and lockers are included. 10 to 36 U$D.
    • Savigliano International Hostel, Pedro B Palacios 944, at junction with Alem, ☎ +54 261 4237746. checkin: 12.00PM; checkout: 10.00AM; 2.00PM half-day. Located conveniently across from the bus terminal, this hostel has an eager-to-help staff and can arrange bus tickets (with no commission) and activities such as winery tours and paragliding. Ar$30 dormitory; Ar$90 double with shared bathroom; Ar$100 double with private bathroom; Ar$125 triple; Ar$140 quadruple.
    • Sol de Vistalba, ☎ +54-261-4524757 ( An amazing lodge with great park, BBQ, swimming pool and wine tours.


    • Auberge du Vin, La Costa s/n, Gualtallary, Tupungato (County). Mendoza (south of Mendoza, close to town of Tupungato), ☎ (+54) 261 5423 330. Auberge Du Vin Hotel’s 29 rooms feature dramatic views of the mountains, golf course and vineyard that gives Mendoza its breathtaking beauty. Each room has its own unique décor, architecture, and appointments. Imagine picking your own grapes directly from your private terrace in this tranquil setting. email:
    • Cavas Wine Lodge, ☎ 54 261 410 6927 / 28. One of the nicest, if not the nicest lodge in the area. Outside of town, quiet. 5 star.
    • Club Tapiz, Lujan de Cuyo (in the centre of Mendoza), ☎ (54 11) 4005-0050 ( Sleep amidst vineyards at this Kiwi Collection recommended boutique hotel in the outskirts of Mendoza.
    • Park Hyatt Mendoza, Hotel Casino & Spa, Chile 1124 (in Plaza de la Independencia), ☎ +54 261 441 1234 ( The hotel offers spacious rooms and suites featuring wireless internet access (internet at additional charge), turndown service, marble bath and executive bar. Facilities include Regency Casino Mendoza, Kaua Club & Spa, an outdoor heated pool and garden sun deck.
    • Posada Borravino, Chacras de Coria (wine country), ☎ +54 261 496 4445 ( Beautiful lodge in the wine country. Close to some of Mendoza’s nicest wineries.
    • Sheraton Mendoza Hotel, Primitivo de la Reta 989, +54 261 4415500, 5 star hotel.
    • Tupungato Divino, Ruta 89 and Los Europeos street, ☎ (02622) 15 448 948/49 ( Wine Hotel in Tupungato.
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    Beware of muggers, especially in the bus terminal and the city blocks surrounding it.

    Be wary of scams, especially around the bus terminal. Occasionally foreigners will pretend to have been robbed and use your sympathy to “borrow” money for a bus ride.

    Specifically, a guy claiming to be a Dutch/Belgian traveller (blond/brown hair, Overweight, Blue Eyes, about 40 years old, “TheBelgianGuyWhoHasBeenRobbed” or TBGWHBR) who got ‘mugged’ at the station (or in a taxi, or a similar story), having everything including his passport and backpack taken and with nowhere to now stay that night. He will engage you in conversation at length and is a con artist who is VERY persuasive and convincing. He will use every trick in the book to win you over. Do not help him out, he has been doing this for 8 years or more and systematically targets travellers. It has been confirmed that this man is continuing to operate the same con as of November 25, 2013. If he approaches you and there is a police officer nearby report him. This man was seen several times in Buenos Aires since early 2014.

    As in many countries, be careful of the vehicles. Many drivers still not honor the right-of-way-for-pedestrian or stop-sign laws (only “transit police” are allowed to enforce these laws, not the mostly-visible standard police officers). Intersections are potential death traps, this cannot be emphasized too much, the vehicles are often driven erratically, fast, & without attention, wandering and without signalling. Look everywhere, and make no assumptions. Especially be careful when there is a bus or taxi approaching from any direction. Many pedestrians choose to jaywalk (a crime not enforced enough here yet) in the middle of the block to avoid endangering their lives and limbs at intersections!

    The transit police, who are actually a separate police force in Mendoza City, Godoy Cruz, Las Heras, Maipu, and Lujan de Cuyo, have consistently enforced and increased fines since 2009, for lack of seat belt usage, headlights not on at all times, and talking on the cell phone while driving. These crimes have diminished greatly. Speeding is still rarely enforced on public roads due primarily to lack of local acceptance of radar gun results but renewed efforts are underway in 2013.

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    Buy your bus tickets out at the terminal or in the street Montevideo, where some larger bus companies have their offices, at least a few days before you leave, especially during the December to March high season, July mid-winter break, and holidays, when bus usage is especially high.

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    Mendoza is the center of the Argentinian wine industry, for which it is world renowned. Mendoza is also near the Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas (6962 m).

    Travel and tourism in Mendoza. How to get in, maps, activities to do, where to eat and sleep. Download the Free Mendoza Travel Guide.

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    Michel Piccaya


    As a freelance travel photographer, Michel Piccaya has been on the road worldwide for more than 20 years, exploring the most incredible itineraries. He’s currently based in Brussels however never stays at home for a long time !

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