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    Mendoza Argentina Guide: The Essentials for a Wonderful Stay of 2 Days or 2 Months

    Argentina is a vast and beautiful country with so many experiences, sights, and tastes you could spend years wandering and not experience them all. However, a handful of places and adventures are absolute musts. From gritty yet cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, to the pristinely beautiful nature of San Carlos de Bariloche, to other worldly Patagonia at the end of the world, some places in Argentina must be seen and experienced during your first trip

    A beautiful view of the lake in General San Martin Park, next to Mendoza’s City Center

    One place not be missed is Mendoza, Argentina, the heart of the Argentine wine country and one of the wine capitals of the world** as well as a gateway to adventure and climbing the highest mountain outside of Asia.

    Whether you’re a traveler passing through this essential stop to experience the process of vinting world class wine, or a nomad hiding in a quiet and cost efficient place for productivity and fresh air, Mendoza is a worthwhile destination during your time in Argentina.

    In this complete guide To Mendoza, Argentina and the Argentine wine country, you’ll learn everything you need to know for maximum pleasure and convenience during your stay in one of South America’s little gems.


    • Why Mendoza: Wine, outdoors, and chill for cheap
    • Things to do in Mendoza
    • 2 Days in Mendoza Itinerary
    • Mendoza Tours
    • Where to stay
    • Food and Where to Eat
    • Getting around
    • How to Get to Mendoza
    • Where to go after Mendoza

    Why Mendoza: Wine, outdoors, and chill for cheap

    No matter your travel style or why you’re in Argentina, there is likely a good reason for a stop in Mendoza. Here are a few of the major reasons…

    • Experiencing wine country in a unique way, with vineyard visits, wine tasting, tours by bus, and “bike & wine” experiences
    • A tiny but potent nightlife center, in true Argentine style from Aristides bar row, to midnight plaza picnics
    • The Argentine city experience, in a much smaller, walkable package than Buenos Aires and Cordoba
    • Outdoor adventures, hiking, trekking, and tours through foothills of the Andes mountain range and wine country
    • Low cost of living (half of the already cheap costs in Buenos Aires)

    As the smaller sister city of Buenos Aires and Mendoza gives delivers a much more compact experience that revolves around experiencing wine and how its made, as well as immersing you in outdoor experiences on the frontier of the Andes mountain range.

    Between daily adventures, the nights are easily entertaining as the city’s social scene comes to life more than you would expect, with plenty of great bars, wine bars, and food options.

    Ultimately, Mendoza does have a quieter and closer to small town feel than the other, larger highlights of Argentina, making it a perfect short stay for travelers wanting a unique experience difficult to replicate elsewhere, and for nomads looking for a quiet, cheap place to focus with distractions in between.

    For travelers in Mendoza: A two day experience of ampl

    Because Mendoza lies on the natural travel path from Buenos Aires to Chile Santiago as well as the Path from Buenos Aires through to Bariloche, it makes sense to stop, even briefly, and experience the city before moving on.

    A 14 hour, comfy, bus ride from Buenos Aires, Mendoza is a perfect stop on the path for travelers doing the Buenos Aires to Patagonia circuit, and can be explored and experienced well in only two days. Spend one solid day for wine and vineyard experiences by guided tour or self-guided tour on bike. Then, spend the second day walking through the town soaking up the sights or signing up for one of the many tours or hikes to the nearby Andean foothills or trails the city adds up to a perfect Mendoza experience in only two days.

    Each evening, head to either Aristides Villanueva street for its string of bars, restaurants, burger spots, music, and parrillas, or visit Sarmiento walking street near Plaza Independencia.

    Once you’ve satisfied your adventurous boots and your palate, either cross the Andes by bus and continue on to Santiago, Chile or continuing falling south through Argentina to San Carlos de Bariloche by bus to start the Patagonia experience of lakes, rivers, and towering green mountains.

    For nomads: A quiet town for longer stays and less distraction on a smaller budget

    While I am a diehard fan of living in Buenos Aires the hustle and bustle of that wonderful city is filled with distractions. All the same, Buenos Aires is the most expensive destination in Argentina outside of Patagonia.

    For nomads that are on a stint of focused work, a two week to one month stint in the quiet peace of Mendoza will be so distraction free (and healthy) you’ll be able to seriously focus on projects.

    Be warned, there are very few foreigners in Mendoza, so going out partying frequently won’t be a common distraction. Also, most of the activities in Mendoza – walking and running the green trails through the city, hiking just outside of the city limits, and mountain biking – are all very healthy, or moderated and enriching – like the Maipu wine experiences – making Mendoza a great place for focused health and fitness improvements as well

    Things to do in Mendoza

    • Guided Wine tour through Maipu by bus: 2 winery tours and tastings and 1 olive oil tour and tasting over 5 hours
    • Bike and Wine: A self-guided and cheap experience of bicycling between wineries for tastings and tours as you wish
    • Run or walk for miles around Parque General San Martin’s groomed trails and lake
    • Avenida Aristides Villanueva’s row of bars and restaurants by night
    • Plaza Independencia and Sarmiento walking street’s restaurants and street performers
    • Uco Valley tour
    • Horseback riding tour until sunset at a ranch outside of Mendoza with an evening of barbecue
    • Hiking the Atuel Canyon
    • A tour by bus of the Cordillera de los Andes (foothills of the Andes)
    • Hiking (30 minutes to 3 hours) through the Diversadero Largo Nature Preserve

    2 Days in Mendoza Itinerary

    Day 1

    Visit Maipu, 15 minutes outside of Mendoza city center, as all of the vineyards and wineries’ are located in this small village’s part of the province.

    For the wine tour, either

    1. Hire a guided tour by bus via Get Your Guide**. This tour will be the same as you can hire at a hostel or hotel, but guarantees and English speaking guide.


    1. Travel to Maipu by tram**, bus**, or rideshare** and arrive at the Bike and Wine shops to rent a bike, grab a map, and do a self guided tour biking between the wineries in Maipu. At the wineries you can pay for a tasting and will likely be given a free tour.

    For the bike and wine shops, visit either **Mr. Hugos Bike and Wine** or **Maipu Bikes**.

    At the end of the wine adventures in Maipu, return to Mendoza and walk to Calle Aristides Villanueva to find a restaurant and potentially a social place to end the night for a beer

    Day 2

    Spend some time outdoors by either booking an excursion to the foothills, going on a hike, or walk through the city with one of these three options

    1. Book a tour through your hostel, hotel, or get your guide to either Atuel Canyon or the Uco Valley. Both tour options are by mini-bus with a handful of stops, but the best part of the tour is the beautiful views and landscapes on the ride
    2. Do the 1.5 hour long hike through Reserva Natural Divisadero Largo for ridgetop views and waterfalls. Just a 20 minute Uber ride outside of Mendoza city center
    3. Stay in town and wander the streets of Mendoza, making the 850 acre Parque General San Martin and the huge network of trails the highlight. Complement this with a visit to Plaza Italia and Sarmiento walking street. Also consider buying a 24 hour Mendoza City Bus pass to hop on and hop off as you wish

    Mendoza Tours

    Where to stay

    For a comfortable and convenient stay in Mendoza, the best place to find accommodation is on or within a few blocks of Avenida Aristides street or Parque General San Martin park. This location will put you in easy walking distance of bars, restaurants, grocery stores, cafes, and everything else.

    Specific stay recommendations

    Whether you are a traveler or a nomad, two reliable plays to sleep, that are clean, comfy, well located, and have private rooms are Mora Hostel and Jacque Hostel.

    • Mora Hostel (Private Rooms): Clean, comfy, solid free breakfast, and private rooms, and plenty of community space for working or chilling.
    • Jacque Mate (Private Rooms): Located on Aristides Villanueva, right in the action, this hostel offers private rooms and a great situation for a quick stay.

    If neither of these options aren’t available, hop on for short stays or AirBnBs for long stays. There are very few well rated hostels in the area, so travelers may have to settle for a budget hotel. For nomads, there are also very few AirBnB options in the area, and no Facebook market for rentals, so book well in advance.

    Food and Where to Eat

    For familiar food, craft beer, and everything from empanadas to upscale, head to Calle Aristides Villanueva and just take a walk and follow your nose. If the restaurant is crowded, then it’s a good spot – that’s your best bet for finding a place to eat.

    Additionally, Sarmiento walking street has an array of restaurants to choose from as well.

    For breakfast, Argentines lean toward coffee, medialunas, and ham and cheese medialunas. For breakfast, visit any one of the cafes on Avenida San Juan street. While Aristides and Sarmiento are great for late lunches and dinner, Avenida San Juan is the street to find a breakfast café.

    I personally recommend these food spots:

    • Berlina: Burgers and Patagonia beer
    • Harry’s: Shrimp and cheese empanadas
    • Breakfast: Any medialuna and coffee special on Avenida San Martin

    Getting around

    Mendoza city proper is small enough that you will have no problem walking top get around. From your accommodation, to restaurants and cafes, to the bar rows, walking is no issue, and its safe enough that you’ll be able to walk anytime of night.

    During my stay, I walked home from a bar at 1AM (as many Argentines were just going to the bar), and I saw plenty of people walking and nearly no taxis, meaning, walking at night in Mendoza is a fairly common and safe thing.

    Taxis, Uber, and Cabify

    In Mendoza, taxis will be cheaper than Uber or Cabify by about 20%, so feel free to take taxis without fear, just insist they turn the meter on first. In general, a taxi ride from the bus station to downtown costs only two dollars.

    However, if you want to travel on demand, the Cabify and Uber rideshare apps are the way to go. If you have a group of people and plan to travel to Maipu for the Bike and Wine experience, taking an Uber or Cabify is only ~$6 and well worth the saved time. If you use Uber or Cabify, plan on paying in cash.

    Hop on Hop off Bus: City Bus Mendoza

    If you want to quickly and easily see all of Mendoza without a plan, the Mendoza City Bus is a great option. This network of double decker buses crisscrosses town frequently, allowing you to hop on and hop off as you wish to get around town. An audio guide played during the ride is a helpful addition.

    The City Bus route is based on 15 stops that cover the best landmarks in the city including El Cerro de la Gloria, General San Martin Park, Plaza Independencia, Foundational Area, Central Park and the Civic District.

    You can purchase a 24 hour pass in the bus terminal, or via buy online


    Mendoza City Bus Tour Route:

    1. Plaza Independencia
    2. Parque Central
    3. Area fundacional
    4. Parque Urbano
    5. Casa de San Martin
    6. Parque Deportivo de la Montana
    7. Museo Cornelio Moyano
    8. Fuente de los Continentes
    9. Calle Aristedes Villanueva
    10. Enoteca

    Public Bus

    Mendoza has a very frequent and active public bus network that stretches Mendoza and is a great way get from Mendoza city center to Maipu for wine tastings if you want to save the cost of a rideshare Cabify or Uber ride.

    To find your way around Mendoza and ride via public bus, simply get and charge your SUBE card (the same public transport card available for bus and metro travel in Buenos Aires).

    Then use Google Maps to find your nearest bus stop and route**. Though the times may be off for public buses in Google Maps, the stops and routes are accurate.

    Alternatively, use the Mendotran public transportation planner which lists all possible public bus and train routes.

    Public Train: Mendoza Metro Tran from Mendoza City Center to Maipu

    The Sociedad De Transporte Mendoza operates a Metrotram line that runs from Mendoza City Center to Maipu from 5:15 to Midnight daily, and from 6AM to 10PM on weekends. This is another excellent option for getting to Maipu for the wine tours

    Click here to see the official tram schedule at the Mendoza government website.

    Plano del transporte público de Mendoza

    How to Get to Mendoza, Argentina by bus or air:

    Getting to Mendoza is fairly cheap and easy. If you have the time, bus rides in, from Buenos Aires, Santiago, and Bariloche, are comfortable and fairly cheap for full cama rides (~$40 to $60). If you are pressed for time, booking a flight into Mendoza airport is a solid option

    Getting to Mendoza by bus

    Buses run to Mendoza from Buenos Aires, from Santiago Chile, and from San Carlos de Bariloche daily.

    While the ride from Santiago is only 8 hours (~$40 to $50), the ride from Buenos Aires is 14 hours (~$50 to ~$560), and the ride from San Carlos de Bariloche is 19 hourse (~$80 to ~$90).

    For the ride, the Cata International and Andesmar bus companies are recommended, as they have the most consistent quality of service and comfortable buses. Be sure to book seats that are Cama standard or above (not-semi Cama).

    Research bus route times and prices and purchase tickets at

    Getting to Mendoza By air

    Flights to Buenos Aires fly from and to Buenos Aires, Córdoba, São Paulo, San Carlos de Bariloche, Rio de Janeiro and Salta. Flights to Mendoza are generally twice the price of a bus ticket, not including baggage.

    To find the best options for flights in use Google Flights search and these hacks.

    Where to next after Mendoza

    The three best options for where to travel next from Mendoza are

    Going west and south:

    • Santiago, Chile: The calmer, cleaner counterpart to Buenos Aires, and gateway to Chile’s adventures
    • Lima Peru: If you’re short on cash and your budget won’t handle Chile, buses do run from Mendoza to Lima, Peru

    Going south toward Patagonia

    • Bariloche and the Lake Districts: The gateway to Argentina’s Patagonia and nature filled south

    Going east

    • Buenos Aires: The Paris of South America, gritty, metropolitan, big and beautiful
    • Salta: “Salta La Linda,” know for the many beautiful colors of its desertscape and charming pace of life in Argentina’s north
    • Cordoba: Worth skipping if you’re short on time, this university town and outdoor activities hub (mountain biking, camping, skydiving) is only a worthwhile stop if you have plenty

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      About A Brother Abroad


      Carlos is a nomad, slow traveler, and writer dedicated to helping others live abroad and travel better by using his 7+ years of experience living abroad and background as a management consultant and financial advisor to help other nomad and expats plot better paths for an international lifestyle. Click here to learn more about Carlos's story.