Best known for its surrounding wine region, Mendoza has a history dating back to its founding by Spanish colonists in the 16th century. Today, it offers a laid-back alternative to Buenos Aires and some of South America’s best gastronomy. If you only have one day to spend in Mendoza, here are some tips.
Morning: City Tour
While you could easily spend the entire day hopping from one winery to the next (and many tasting tours do take the entire day), it would be a shame to miss out on the hidden gems that make Mendoza special. Start your morning off with a sightseeing tour of this city at the base of the Andes Mountains. Take in the views from Cerro de la Gloria (the highest point in the city), explore General San Martin Park, and learn why Mendoza has so many trees and fountains while visiting its many picturesque plazas.
Afternoon: Wine Tasting
This afternoon is all about wine tasting, and options abound for how to get from place to place. Active travelers might opt for a bike tour of wine country, pedaling through picturesque vineyards to three different wineries to sample the region’s famous malbecs. The Mendoza hop-on hop-off wine bus allows visitors to choose their own tasting itinerary, with the option to visit two or four different wineries from a list of nearly two dozen. For even more flexibility, book a private tour with your own driver and guide to explore the Uco Valley at your own pace. Most tours include a gourmet winery lunch.
Night: Dinner and Tango
Mendocinos dine late, so you’ll have some time to unwind before heading into town for dinner at one of Mendoza’s many excellent restaurants or wine bars, followed by ice cream at a local heladería. While the nightlife here tends to be more subdued than in Buenos Aires, you can head to Plaza Pellegrini on weekends to watch—or join—the impromptu tango, or head to one of the city’s milongas (tango bars) for some dancing.