Come to the wine capital of South America to sample fine malbecs, study Argentine culture and enjoy breathtaking scenery.
Situated at the foot of the Andes, the Argentine city of Mendoza defies its desert surroundings with lush gardens, tree-lined streets and open plazas that encourage a thriving café culture. Visitors come to tour the wineries, known locally as bodegas, but Mendoza has far more to offer.
Five main plazas provide much of the city’s cultural pulse. These plazas were built after the devastating earthquake of 1861 killed over a third of Mendoza’s population. The open areas are refuges for people to gather if another earthquake occurs. Looking at a map of the city, you’ll see that the plazas are laid out like the five pattern on playing dice. The central Independence Square, with its attractive trees and fine colonial architecture, is a great place to begin. Stop in one of the many cafés and bars lining the plaza or visit the nearby attractions, the Municipal Museum of Modern Art or the Basilica de San Francisco. Don’t miss fascinating mosaics and murals in the Plaza España, considered by many to be the most attractive of Mendoza’s squares.
This part of Argentina has more than 300 days of sun annually and the lack of humidity makes Mendoza a great place to visit year-round. The pleasant climate supports production of exceptional wines. Mendoza is one of the most highly renowned wine regions in the world. Tour the vineyards and sample malbecs and cabernets. Pair these rich red wines with hearty Argentine beef, another specialty for the region. You can buy meat at the lively Mercado Central, the fresh produce market where locals come to shop.
Fly into Governor Francisco Gabrielli International Airport, just north of the city, and take a taxi into Mendoza. The town center is easily walkable, though trolleys and buses operate regular services. If you’re feeling adventurous, drive out of town to enjoy whitewater rafting or many other adventure sports.
Come back in the evening to see Mendoza at its best, with the bars and restaurants full and the plazas bathed in soft, romantic light.