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Mendoza is one of the most visited areas in Argentina. Known for its amazing wine region at the foot of the imposing Andes mountain range, Mendoza is perfect for couples, families, backpackers and solo travelers. We check out the 15 things you can’t miss on your visit to Mendoza.
This is one of the oldest wineries in Mendoza. The main building was constructed in 1901, but was immaculately restored in the early 2000s and is now one of Lujan de Cuyo’s main attractions. From the sprawling vineyards to the vernacular architecture, to the wine and gourmet restaurant, Bodega Benegas will take you on a journey through both time and wine.
In Mendoza’s Maipu Valley, the Trapiche Bodega and Vineyard is one of the standout attractions. The battle for the best bodega is a tough one, but Trapiche puts up a good fight, and since its foundation in 1883, this winery has been at the forefront of innovation in its wines. While the imposing stone winery and its associated buildings may have the appearance of ancient industry, Trapiche uses modern technologies to craft its famous wines.
For many visitors to Mendoza, it can be tricky choosing between staying in the city or out in the valleys. Some people want the hustle and bustle of a metropolis and will be bored in the rural wine region, but others want to indulge fully in the remote Andean frontier. So this is why Chacras de Coria, a little settlement outside the city and at the entrance to the valleys, is the perfect place to stay for those who don’t want to choose. It has a number of small scale wineries, chocolate shops and restaurants, perfect for those who don’t want to stray too far.
For anyone looking to get a bit of rest and relaxation from their holiday, the Cachueta thermal baths are a must-visit. Located in an incredible setting nestled in the mountains, these thermal baths provide some much needed respite from the searing sun in the summer months. Part of a larger complex that contains a health spa and a water park perfect for kids, these thermal baths have healing properties because of the minerals in the water, but also just because of the stunning location in general.
A popular activity on a Mendocino evening is to go on a horseback ride through the foothills of the Andes. This leisurely ride will take you across dusty hillsides and through low vegetation as the sun is setting. You could be forgiven for thinking you might be in the Wild West, such is the remoteness of this particular area. At the end of the ride, you will dismount and be treated to a typical Argentine asado, or barbeque, all washed down with locally produced Malbec wine.
The quintessential Mendoza activity is to go wine tasting. This can be done at any of the region’s many wineries, or at wine bars and restaurants in the city itself. These can be done independently by reserving or just showing up at a winery and asking to taste, or by taking part in group tastings or wine tasting tours. However, one of the best experiences to be had is an in-depth tasting and day-long tour where you learn about wine and get shown around the winery and vineyard at Catena Zapata.
Not something that many visitors think about when visiting Mendoza is the fact that it is almost as well known locally for producing olives and olive oil as it is for producing wine. Located in the Maipu region, there are many olive groves and factories where olive oil, balsamic vinegar and oil related products can be bought. It’s a great chance to bring back some tasty souvenirs from Mendoza.
When visitors to Argentina think of skiing, their minds would perhaps naturally drift to the slopes of Cerro Catedral in Bariloche. However, Mendoza has its very own ski resort, Penitentes. The slopes here are also perfect for hiking and trekking in the summer, so it doesn’t just need to be a winter destination.