Discover the essential things to do in Mendoza city and surroundings, from relaxing walks around the city, routes through vineyards and wineries and a bit of adventure tourism.
The fourth most populated city in Argentina attracts visitors for its beauty and proximity to the Andes Mountains. Clean squares, large green spaces, wineries and many attractions in the surrounding area make up the city’s offer.
🔝 Take a look at these route recommendations for Mendoza and San Juan, by car and for 1 or 2 weeks.
📜 TABLE OF CONTENTS
Map: things to do in Mendoza city and surroundings
Mendoza has very specific places to visit, but as we have already said, it is the fourth largest city in Argentina, so it is best to visit it by car, using public transportation (the SUBE) or on a tour.
If you are only going to visit the city, two days may be enough time to visit everything. But otherwise you will have to add additional days.
Our visit to Mendoza was part of a 3 month trip through central and northern Argentina which is summarized here: Matetrip Argentina.
Cerro de la Gloria
One of the main activities to do in Mendoza City is to climb the Gloria hill. Located behind San Martin Park, the hill can be accessed either by car on a paved road, by bicycle or on foot through the trails.
At the top of the hill there is a parador, parking to leave the car and the imposing National Monument to the Army of the Andes, a symbol of Mendoza capital and dedicated to the liberation of the people carried out by General San Martin.
In addition to contemplating the great monument, the Cerro de la Gloria offers spectacular views of the San Martin Park and the city of Mendoza. It is ideal to spend the afternoon with some mates.
2. San Martin Park
The great green space of the city of Mendoza is the San Martin Park, located in the west of the city. Designed by the landscaper Carlos Thays, it covers an extension of 17 kilometers with a large number of sculptures and interior streets.
The iron gate that marks the access to San Martin Park was bought in Paris and designed in Scotland, originally for a sultan. On the upper part of the gates, the Mendoza coat of arms stands out.
Among the most outstanding sculptures in San Martin Park are the Marly horses, two small equestrian figures made of Carrara marble that belonged to Louis XIV’s Marly Palace, and the fountain of the Continents.
The park also houses a beautiful artificial lake where the Regatas de Mendoza club is located, several inns to enjoy a meal overlooking the lake or under the shade of a tree, and the amphitheater where the National Grape Harvest Festival is held every year.
The Malvinas Argentinas Stadium, built for the 1978 World Cup in Argentina and later remodeled, deserves a special mention. It is one of the most important in the country and there are guided tours to get to know it from the inside.
3. Things to do in Mendoza City: Independence Square and its satellite squares.
The central point of the city of Mendoza is the Independencia Square, which has games for children, lots of trees and an artisan fair that operates on weekends. In addition, it has a coat of arms with the Mendoza sign that lights up at night.
From the Plaza Independencia, the Paseo Sarmiento, a three-block pedestrian street with a large number of shops and restaurants with terraces for dining or having a drink outdoors.
But downtown Mendoza has, in addition to the main square, four satellite parks: Plaza España, Italia, San Martín and Chile.
The one we liked the most is the Plaza España, with mosaics, fountains and a playground for children, it is really very picturesque. San Martin Square has a large equestrian figure of General San Martin in the center.
4. Pedro del Castillo Square
In the historic area, Pedro del Castillo Square is the oldest square in the city and the place where Mendoza was founded. In the central part of the square stands the monument to Pedro del Castillo, founder of the city.
Adjacent to the square is the museum of the Foundational Area, a center that tells the story of the founding of the city in 1561. Through objects, pieces, photographs and models, it narrates the evolution of Mendoza City through the centuries, especially before and after the earthquake suffered in 1861.
In one of the corners of the square you can visit the ruins of the church of San Francisco, a building built by the Jesuits in the eighteenth century that was almost completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1861.
5. Civic Park
Surrounded by public and government buildings such as the Palace of Justice and the Government House of Mendoza, the Civic Park occupies a block with a large fountain in the center.
In the Civic Park there is the Andes Army Flag Memorial, a subway room with free access that exhibits the remains of the original flag of the liberating army and clothing used by the troops. It is not allowed to take pictures inside.
Behind the Palace of Justice is the building of the Municipality of Mendoza, which has a lookout terrace on the seventh floor with free access and nice views of the city.
6. Things to do in Mendoza City: visit Lopez Winery
While one of the things to do in Mendoza city is to visit the wineries located in the outskirts, there is an option close to downtown Mendoza, which is the López winery.
It can be reached by TRAM Nr. 100 from downtown, get off at Gutierrez station. The visit to the winery is totally free and guided.
First you tour the facilities where the winemaking process is explained, and then go on to taste two varieties and finally is in the sales room with very good prices and promotions.
Although its location is great if you don’t have a car, it should be noted that the property does not have vineyards, it is only the place where the wine is made.
7. Things to do in the surroundings of Mendoza city
– Visiting a winery in Lujan de Cuyo
South of Mendoza city there are many wineries to visit, with tasting and sales. In addition, you can see the vine plantations, something that is really worthwhile.
Among those that stand out are the Chandon wineries, with champagne production, Trapiche and Nieto Senetiner.
📷 Check here for the winery and vineyard tour and reservation. Includes transfers, guide and guided tour of two wineries in Mendoza.
– Cacheuta Hot Springs
On the scenic Route 82 that goes from Mendoza City to the Potrerillos reservoir, you can access the Cacheuta hot springs, a complex of pools at different temperatures and on the banks of the Mendoza River.
Ideal for a relaxing day, the thermal complex has a restaurant, places to stay and an adventure park for rappelling, rafting or trekking.
For more information on rates and schedules you can consult the official website of Termas de Cacheuta.
📷 Check here the excursion to the Cachueta hot springs with entrance included and reservation. Includes: transfers and guide.
– Potrerillos Reservoir
Passing the Cacheuta hot springs on Route 82, you reach the Potrerillos reservoir, a large body of water artificially created with the construction of the dam on the Mendoza River. The environment where it is located is really fantastic, with the mountains surrounding it.
📷 Check here the excursion to Potrerillos and Cacheuta reservoir and make a reservation. Includes: transfers and guide.
At the reservoir you can rent kayaks, go kitesurfing, windsurfing or simply enjoy the water’s edge. There are picnic areas and parking for vehicles.
If you are up for it, you can also go rafting on the Mendoza River in the area before the reservoir.
📷 Check here the rafting excursion on the Mendoza River in a 10 kilometers trip and make a reservation. Includes: transfers, instructor and guide.
To avoid a long and winding gravel road, we visited Villavicencio from Mendoza City. Route 52 is paved in that stretch and is quite quiet to do.
About this house in the middle of the mountains whose image appears on one of the best selling bottled waters in Argentina, we talked in the article about things to do in Uspallata.
📷 Check here the excursion to the Villavicencio Reserve and make a reservation. Includes: transfers and guide.
– Uspallata and the Andes Mountain Range
The town of Uspallata is located 120 kilometers from Mendoza City along Route 7. From here you can continue along Route 7 to the border crossing with Chile, passing through Puente del Inca, Los Penitentes and Aconcagua Park.
📷 Check here the high mountain excursion in the Andes and make a reservation. You will visit Uspallata, Puente del Inca, the Aconcagua viewpoint and Christ the Redeemer. Includes: transfers and guide.
– San Rafael and the Atuel Canyon
The city of San Rafael is not so far from the capital and is also one of the most sought after places for adventure tourism thanks to its famous Atuel Canyon. Trekking, climbing, rappel, rafting… there are many options of adventure activities to do in the surroundings of Mendoza (the photo I share with you is from Flor in 2002 and is digitalized).
📷 Check here the tour to Atuel Canyon and Valle Grade trip and reserve your place.
🔝 Discover all there is to do around the Atuel Canyon in this article about things to do in San Rafael Mendoza.
🔝 Check out these tours from Mendoza to make your trip complete.
Practical information for travel to Mendoza
Buy your travel insurance and travel safe!
🚑 Take a look at these tips to choose the best travel insurance (updated to 2022) according to the type of traveler you are and, in addition, it will help you clear up the most common doubts. Travel safe!
– Where to stay in Mendoza City
We stayed in the Guaymallen area, far from downtown and in a residential neighborhood. Lodging in that area is fine if you have your own vehicle.
If you are looking for a more central location two good value for money hotel options are:
- Hotel San Martín: privileged location in front of Independencia Square. Rooms with modern furnishings and a very complete breakfast.
- Gran Hotel Venus: modern hotel with simple but spacious rooms. Excellent treatment from the staff, centrally located.
🏨 Do you want to look for other options? Find here the best hotels in Mendoza city.
We also leave you this more complete article with recommendations of where to stay in Mendoza.
– How to get to Mendoza City
As one of the most important cities in the country, Mendoza has many local and international connections with Chile.
There are frequent buses to different destinations and direct flights from Buenos Aires, Santiago, Lima and other cities in Argentina.
📷 Book here your transfer from Mendoza airport to the hotel or city center.
✈️ Search here for cheap flights to Mendoza.
Discounts and useful resources to save on your trip
- Cheap flights with Skyscanner
- Rent a car with Auto Europe
- Interrail Pass
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- Train Tickets with OMIO
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- Ferry tickets with OMIO
- Asia tickets with 12Go
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More articles about Cuyo
- 10 Things to Do in Uspallata, the Gateway to Aconcagua
- Mendoza travel itinerary in 5 Days, trekkings and nature
- Road Trip Through Mendoza and San Juan (+Map)
- The 6 Best Tours in Mendoza Argentina
- The Best Trekkings in Aconcagua Provincial Park
- Things to do in Calingasta Valley, San Juan Argentina
- Things to Do in San Juan Argentina, Sunny Destination
- Things to Do in San Rafael Mendoza, 14 Places to Enjoy
- Visit Ischigualasto, the Valley of the Moon in San Juan
- Where to Stay in Mendoza, the Best Hotels and Cabins