Central Argentina’s hub, Mendoza is an easygoing town with lovely plazas, tree-lined streets, cultural sights and a laid-back vibe. The provincial capital, Mendoza is also the base for excursions into the surrounding countryside for adventure activities and cellar door wine tastings.
Day 1: Mendoza Meander
Chill out in Mendoza’s plazas for people-watching or take a stroll through the capital’s leafy streets. Museums trace the city’s history, including the program of rebuilding since the 1861 earthquake, and the Jesuit Ruinas de San Francisco dating back to 1638. Shop for antiques in Plaza Pellegrini, crafts in Plaza Independencia, or go for a wander along pathways meandering through Parque San Martin. End the day with more people-watching on Avenue Colon, lined with bars and alfresco cafes serving the famous local wines.
Day 2: Mendoza Menus
While it’s a must to sample the region’s famous Malbec wines, don’t miss out on tasting regional culinary specialties and experiencing sidewalk dining on pedestrianized Avenue Sarmiento. Browse the stalls at the Central Market, selling takeaway pizza and empanadas, and save room for that grilled meaty feast they call the parrillada. Other local favorites include aniseed-flavored scones, olives, and dried fruits. Sweet treats to savor are creamy dulce de leche, cookies and custard flans.
Day 3: Mendoza Day Trips
Mendoza is perfectly positioned for day trips to the surrounding Andean highlands and desert country. The route takes in townships like Polvaredas, Punta de Vacas and Las Cuevas, glorious mountain scenery and the rushing Mendoza River. Nearing the Chilean border, the mountains are snow-capped and provincial parks protect arid landscapes dotted with volcanoes.