Mendoza tour: Things to do in the land of Malbec that don’t involve wine

It’s almost impossible to imagine Mendoza without thoughts straying to wine – the northern province is, after all, Argentina’s largest wine making region. But, there is more to Mendoza than world class Malbec.

DMC Jorge photo
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Search beyond the 1,200 wineries that are scattered across the mountainous landscape resting on the foothills of the Andes and you will find a wealth of unique Mendoza tours to explore… that don’t involve sipping the region’s most famed export!

Visiting the incredible Andes is a Mendoza tour not to be missed for intrepid travellers whose efforts will be rewarded with stunning views of the desolate landscape punctuated by formidable peaks.

 

At almost 7,000 metres above sea-level, the mighty Aconcuaga – the highest mountain peak in the Americas – surveys all before it, beckoning Mendoza tours offering hiking and rock climbing adventures. Just beyond is the dazzling Puente del Inca, a spectacularly coloured natural bridge smeared with gold streaks that crosses the Cuevas River.

If urban attractions are more appealing, Mendoza tours of the eponymous capital city will reveal a beautifully placid way of life ambling among the wide leafy avenues, atmospheric plazas and cosmopolitan cafes.

Despite its desert surroundings, Mendoza is teeming with lush greenery irrigated from roadside ditches (acequias) while the glorious fountains that feature across all the main plazas soothe visitors with the sound of trickling water.

The central main square, the Plaza Independencia, is often the starting point of a tour of Mendoza where visitors can be entertained by street musicians and performers as they snack on hot caramelised peanuts from local vendors.

Each of the four surrounding smaller plazas has its own personality, but the Plaza Espana is arguably the most beautiful square in the city – with its artistic expression of the country’s historic relationship with Spain.

There are two main parks worth exploring: the traditional Parque San Martin is a huge municipal space to enjoy leisurely strolls, bicycle rides or a small zoo, while the more modern Central Park is a contrast where amateur artists practice their skills in front of small water fountains.

Culture-enthusiasts can visit several museums, including the Museo Cornelio Moyano, a natural history museum, the Museo del Área Fundacional (Historical Regional Foundation Museum) and the Mendoza Museum of Modern Art.

Lively during the day, the city really awakens at night when bars and restaurants lining the Av Aristides overflow with revellers. Mendocinos and tourists alike lounge in the booths sipping fernet cocas, Campari with orange juice and beer, into the small hours.

Another popular tour of Mendoza visits the region’s second most important export, lying in the picturesque olive groves just outside the city. The silver-shaded farms of Mendoza’s olivicolas possess a certain beauty, while tour guides will explain the nature of olive oil production before indulging in unusual tastings.

A visit to the village of Chacras de Coria, a sleepy corner of Mendoza that has been given a chic makeover offers some of the finest gourmet restaurants in the area – while the Sunday market is perfect for meandering through on a lazy day.

And thrill seekers can engage in any number of adventure sports from hiking, horse riding, paragliding and even skiing on the snowy peaks in the winter.

 

At Wine Paths, our local expert can organise private Mendoza tours that can be tailor-made to your exact specifications, including guided tours of the city, luxury stays and unique outdoor activities.

 

Visit our Argentina destination page for inspiration and start planning a Mendoza tour with endless opportunities that don’t necessarily need to be accompanied by a glass of wine. 

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