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The Most Complete Guide of Visiting Mendoza in Argentina

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Mendoza in Argentina is the Malbec capital of the world, and a must for wine lovers! But this city doesn't just have great wineries to offer. It is known for its stunning nature, fun adventure activities, and incredible hot spring resort. Mendoza is a city that is truly for any kind of traveler, no matter what your style, or how old you are.


Fede has family in Mendoza, so it was a matter of time before we finally made it there, and let me tell you- it did not disappoint!


We spent 4 full days in Mendoza to kick of our 2024, and it was packed with delicious food, strong wine, and lot's of adventure. We're not only sharing a complete guide for Mendoza in Argentina, but we also have group trips that we're offering shortly! This guide will help you with everything you need to know to have the perfect trip, and is packed with local tips and hidden gems.

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Where is Mendoza in Argentina?

Mendoza is located in the west of Argentina, hugging the Andes mountains, and is just across the border from Santiago, Chile. Being so close to the border, it is even more easily accessible from Chile's capital than Argentina's.

where is Mendoza in Argentina

Mendoza is located on the west of Argentina along the Andes.


How to Get to Mendoza in Argentina

Mendoza in Argentina can be reached by flight, bus, or by renting a car. We're going to go over the details of each one, so that you can find the option best for you.


Where Do You Fly Into For Mendoza?

Mendoza has its own airport, which is just 10 km north of the city, or a 15-20 minute drive away from the center.


Mendoza is most commonly reached by flying from Buenos Aires or Santiago, Chile, and also can be flown to from Cordoba, Neuquen, Panama City, and Sao Paulo. In addition, there are plans for direct flights to Mendoza from Spain, so that hopefully will be available soon for those coming from Europe!


How Far in Mendoza from Buenos Aires by Plane?

Mendoza is just under a 2-hour flight from Buenos Aires, which is much better than the 12 hour drive it would take.


Fun Fact: While flying in and out of Mendoza in Argentina, you don't have to check your liquids. That means you can take bottles of wine with you, even if you don't have a checked bag!


How Do I Get from Santiago to Mendoza, Argentina?

Ironically, the capital of Chile is much closer than Argentina's capital, and you can easily get to Mendoza in Argentina from Santiago by car in 5-6 hours, or by a quick 1-hour flight.


Some people rent a car to do the drive, but it is also common to take a bus from Santiago to Mendoza. The flight is quicker, and has stunning views, while the bus ride does take longer, but is a bit cheaper, and super scenic!

views flying into Mendoza in Argentina

When you fly from Santiago to Mendoza you go right over the Andes.

Renting a Car to Get to Mendoza in Argentina

If you are coming from Santiago, the drive is incredible, and also has cool things to see along the way. The drive from Buenos Aires is not too exciting, but if you are coming from Patagonia or from the north of Argentina, you'll make it to Mendoza by driving straight along route 40.


driving from Chile to Mendoza in Argentina
driving from Chile to Mendoza in Argentina
driving from Chile to Mendoza in Argentina

The ride from Santiago, Chile to Mendoza in Argentina is super scenic.

Route 40 is the main route that goes through Argentina from north to south, and it has a ton of incredible things to see along the way.


Taking a Bus to Mendoza in Argentina

Buses of course take a bit more time than a car, but are a great option for those that want to do a budget-friendly (or more adventurous) option.


Here are the most popular bus routes to Mendoza in Argentina:

How Do You Get to Mendoza Wine Country?

There are a few wine regions around Mendoza. The closest one to the city is Lujan de Cuyo, which is 25 minutes south of the center. The most popular area of vineyards with the most famous wineries is in the Uco Valley, which is about an hour and a half south west from the city of Mendoza.


To get to Lujan de Cuyo you can easily take bus 700, 710, or 711 from Mendoza city, or you can get a taxi or Uber.


In order to get to the Uco Valley, you'll probably have to get an Uber if you don't have a car, as we haven't been able to find any way there with public transportation. We would advise you to confirm with whatever winery you plan on visiting though, as some may have alternative options.


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Argentina Entry Requirements

Now that you know how to get to Mendoza in Argentina, let's go over the entry requirements for Argentina in general.


What Do US Citizens Need to Enter Argentina?

US citizens only need a valid passport to enter Argentina, and can stay for a period of up to 90 days without a visa. I go in and out of Argentina all of the time, and find the customs officers to always be warm and welcoming to foreigners when they arrive.


Visa Entry Requirements for Other Countries to Visit Argentina

Argentina is quite welcoming, and almost every nationality can enter visa-free for 90 days. The only nationalities that need to apply for a travel authorization are those from Kosovo, Nauru, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Taiwan, Tonga, and Tuvalu.


Is Health Insurance Required to Enter Argentina?

Health insurance is not required to enter Argentina, nor are any specific vaccinations necessary to have before visiting.


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Local Adjustments for Mendoza in Argentina

When traveling to a new country, it's important to learn about local adjustments such as tipping culture, language, currency, and what plug adapter you'll need. Here are the basics for traveling to Mendoza in Argentina.


What Language is Spoken in Mendoza, Argentina?

Spanish is the offiical language in Argentina. While Buenos Aires has a thicker "traditional Argentinean accent", you'll find in Mendoza that they sound a bit different. They're "ll and y" sound is much smoother, and they speak a tad more similar to Chileans (but are much easier to understand!).


What Currency is Used in Mendoza, Argentina?

Mendoza uses the Argentinean peso. Argentina is actually one of the most unique countries in the world when it comes to currency exchange, so you'll want to read our Blue Dollar Travel Guide before visiting!


What Plug Adapter Do I Need for Mendoza in Argentina?

Mendoza uses plug type I, which has three prongs- the bottom one which is vertical, and the two above it which are slanted towards one another. 


Argentina runs on a 220 V supply voltage and 50 Hz. There are very few countries that use this same plug type, two of them being Australia and New Zealand. If you are coming from any other country, you will need to get a travel adapter.


Can You Drink Tap Water in Mendoza?

The water is perfectly safe to drink from the tap in Mendoza! We suggest bringing a reusable water bottle so that you can be a more eco-friendly traveler and save money.


What is the Tipping Etiquette in Argentina?

The general tipping etiquette in Argentina is to leave an extra 10% on top of your bill. This is typically for sit-down meals, and does not apply to coffee shops, nail salons, or taxi drivers, whom are typically not expected to receive tips.


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The Best Things to Do in Mendoza, Argentina

Now that you know all of the basics for visiting Mendoza in Argentina, here are the best things to do while there.

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Things to Do in Mendoza, Argentina #1: Explore the City Center

While traveling to any new city, you'll want to see the center to get a feel for what local life is like, and see historical monuments, plazas, and other sites.


Unlike Buenos Aires, the city of Mendoza doesn't have a whole ton of sightseeing. However, we would suggest to save a couple of hours for exploring the city, and to sign up for a free walking tour.


The top spots to check out are the 5 main plazas which are all just blocks away from eachother. The largest square is Plaza Independencia, where you can find the Mendoza sign, an artesan market, and a museum. Then around it there are 4 squares that are each two square blocks away to the north west, northeast, southwest, and southeast. These plazas are Plaza Chile, Plaza Italia, Plaza San Martin, and Plaza España.


plaza in Mendoza, Argentina
plaza in Mendoza, Argentina
plaza in Mendoza, Argentina
plaza in Mendoza, Argentina
plaza in Mendoza, Argentina

Things to Do in Mendoza, Argentina #2: Climb to the Top of Cerro de la Gloria

Other than the plaza in the city, there is a large park to the west of the city center called Parque General San Martin to check out. At the west end of the park there is a large hill that you can climb up for some beautiful views of the park below, which is called Cerro de la Gloria.


After a 35-45 minute steep walk up you'll be rewarded with a beautiful monument, as well as 360-degree views around you, and a nice place to enjoy the sunset.


Things to Do in Mendoza, Argentina #3: Visit a Winery

If there's one thing you must do while visiting Mendoza in Argentina, it is certainly to go to one of the wineries! You can easily find a variety of options, from simple tastings to complete vineyard tours and tasting menus.


You can either make a day of it and spend several hours at just one winery, or you can go on a wine tour which takes you to a few different bodegas in one day.


Keep in mind many wineries require a reservation, and a lot of them close by 4:00 or 5:00, so make sure to plan accordingly!


winery at Mendoza in Argentina
winery at Mendoza in Argentina
winery at Mendoza in Argentina
winery at Mendoza in Argentina
winery at Mendoza in Argentina

Going to a winery is a must while visiting Mendoza in Argentina!

The Best Mendoza Argentina Wineries

Here are some of the top Mendoza Argentina wineries to add to your bucket list:

  • Zaccardi (Valle de Uco)
  • Salenstein (Valle de Uco)
  • Trapiche (Maipu)
  • Catena Zapata (Lujan de Cuyo)
  • Terrazas de los Andes (Lujan de Cuyo)
  • Santa Julia (Maipu)
  • Rosell Boher (Lujan de Cuyo)

Things to Do in Mendoza, Argentina #4: Cycle & Sip

Looking to check out some of the wineries but do something a bit different? Well, you can actually cycle on a big shared bike from one winery to the next. Taking a tour with Wine Beetle is super fun, and a great group activity!


Things to Do in Mendoza, Argentina #5: Check Out the National Wine Museum

Want to learn about more about the history of wine in Mendoza and the Andes? Well, this beautiful museum in Maipu is full of fun info, and is free of charge to visit. It's open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, on Saturdays from 9 am to 2:30 pm, and on Sundays from 10 am to 1 pm.


Things to Do in Mendoza, Argentina #6: Soak in Cacheuta Springs

Looking to relax your muscles and enjoy the beautiful nature of Mendoza? Well, just an hour outside of the capital is one of the most beloved establishments for visitors of Mendoza in Argentina.


Cacheuta Spa has two different areas- it's more popular set of pools for all ages, and an adults-only spa for those wanting a quieter experience.


We have a full article coming up about Cacheuta, so stay tuned!


Cacheuta, things to do in Mendoza in Argentina
Cacheuta, things to do in Mendoza in Argentina
Cacheuta, things to do in Mendoza in Argentina


Things to Do in Mendoza, Argentina #7: Relax at Potrerillos

Right up the road from Cacheuta is one of the most beautiful places in Mendoza.


Potrerillos features a large dam on the Mendoza River, which is great for going for a dip, sunbathing, or simply relaxing with friends and family. We also suggest stopping at the viewpoint, which is on the way from Potrerillos to Cacheuta Spa.


Potrerillos, where to visit in Mendoza, Argentina
Potrerillos, where to visit in Mendoza, Argentina
Potrerillos, where to visit in Mendoza, Argentina
Potrerillos, where to visit in Mendoza, Argentina

Potrerillos is one of the most beautiful areas of Mendoza in Argentina.

Things to Do in Mendoza, Argentina #8: Go Rafting on the Mendoza River

One of the top activities in Mendoza is rafting down the Mendoza River. It is just 20 minutes north of Potrerillos, and it is super fun for the adventure lovers out there. We went with Rio Aventura, which is one of the oldest rafting companies in all of South America!


Things to Do in Mendoza, Argentina #9: Sign Up For Adventure Activities

Rio Aventura doesn't only have rafting, but they have a ton of other fun activities as well! You can zip line across the river, rapel down the mountains, or go for a trek. We spent the whole afternoon with them, and had a great time trying the different adventure activities that they had to offer.

rapel in Mendoza, Argentina
rapel in Mendoza, Argentina
rapel in Mendoza, Argentina

Rapelling with Rio Aventura

Things to Do in Mendoza, Argentina #10: Visit the Tunnels

Just up the road from Potrerillos are these iconic tunnels that are on the main road. We'll be honest- we're not so sure what the massive hype is about, but it's a site that everyone has on their list when they go to Mendoza.


tunnels of Potrerillos, Mendoza in Argentina
tunnels of Potrerillos, Mendoza in Argentina
tunnels of Potrerillos, Mendoza in Argentina


We personally loved the drive itself, especially going up further north towards Uspallata, where you can witness beautiful rock formations and colors just off the side of the road like the ones below.