When people think of Mendoza, most think of the wine, but there is much more to the province than meets the untrained eye. It is one of the best regions in Argentina for people who love the outdoors, as it has some incredible adventure sports on offer.
Perhaps one of the most popular adventure sports in the area, nothing quite matches the excitement of shooting down a gushing river in a dinghy while paddling as the water throws you up and around rocks and funnels you downstream. Most rafting tours last about an hour on the Mendoza River, and an experienced guide accompanies you. This activity is a great one for families with older children. Check out this tour company that organises trips down the river.
Due to its location at the base of the majestic Andes mountain range, which straddles the border between Argentina and Chile, Mendoza province benefits from a wealth of hiking trails and trekking routes. There are options for hikers of all levels of fitness and experience, and the countryside is breathtakingly beautiful, with some of the best views being afforded from the higher vantage points. The Cerro Arco is one of the best places in Mendoza to hike; it takes about four hours and is available to anyone wishing to get into the great outdoors of Argentina’s wine region.
Climbing Mount Aconcagua
Mount Aconcagua in Mendoza is the highest peak in the world outside of Asia, and because it is relatively easy to climb, it is a favourite of both novice and professional mountain climbers. Often called the highest ‘trekking peak’ in the world, there are two main routes – the ‘Normal Route’ and the ‘Polish Traverse’. Both are relatively easy as mountain climbing goes and require little preparation and minimal gear. Check out our climbing guide to Mount Aconcagua for more information.
Rock climbing is a favourite among adventurers visiting Mendoza. The small village of El Salto offers some of the best spots for single-pitch rock climbing, while the granite peaks located to the south of Mendoza offer some fantastic granite faces for multi-pitch climbing. Andes Vertical provides a number of tours to various climbing regions within the province, and they supply guides, equipment and basic training for beginners. Check them out here.
Mountain biking is a great activity for those wishing to satisfy their need for speed. Mendoza caters to mountain bikers in abundance, from the leisurely cruises around vineyards to cycle touring around the highways that wind through the valleys to more hardcore expeditions to the Potrerillos area. Another great option for families with older children is mountain biking half-day tours through the Potrerillos Valley, which are available through companies such as this one. Bikes, guides and protective gear are provided.
As well as rafting, the Mendoza River is also an ideal location for kayaking. Argentina Rafting Expeditions organise full-day tours, which include a training course in how to navigate the river. They also offer half-day tours, which bring you down the river but require previous experience in kayaking; if you don’t have the experience, you will have to take the full-day course to ensure your safety. They also have options for beginners and children that require no experience, so this is another activity ideal for families and kids.
Without a doubt, the best way to get incredible panoramic views and discover the beauty of Mendoza from above is by paragliding. Sailing through the air while seated and attached to a parachute overhead is an unparalleled experience, and especially unforgettable if done in Mendoza. This tour company arranges for you to take to the sky with a guide who will teach you how to steer the paraglider over the Cerro Arco before landing at its base.