How much time is the perfect amount to spend in Mendoza, Argentina? That depends on what you want to do. If you travel here only to tour the wine regions, a few days is all you need. If you want to add in adventure activities and day trips outside of Mendoza, more time is needed. Check out our Mendoza itinerary to plan your perfect trip.
Design Your Mendoza Itinerary
Mendoza, Argentina deserves two days at the bare minimum. With two days, you can sample the best of the wine regions and explore the city of Mendoza.
Day 1: Tour the Maipu wine region, explore the city of Mendoza, and end the day with a sunset horseback ride and asado beef dinner with Los Pingos Horse Riding.
Day 2: Explore one of two wine regions: Lujan de Cuyo with a five course meal at Ruca Malen or a day trip to Uco Valley, our favorite wine region in Mendoza.
With more time, you can delve deeper into the Mendoza wineries or add in adventure/outdoor activities around Mendoza. With three days, you can explore all three wine regions.
Day 3: Explore the wine region you missed in days 1 and 2 or add some adventure to your trip. Ideas include white water rafting in Potrerillos, rock climbing in Mendoza, or taking a road trip out to the Chile border.
On your own (if you have a rental car) or with a tour, you can take a day trip to the Chilean border. The drive through the Andes Mountains is spectacular, with mountain scenery and ever-changing views. Along the way you can see Mt Aconcagua (the highest mountain in the western and southern hemispheres), Puente del Inca, and Christ Redeemer of the Andes.
We drove across the Argentina – Chile border twice and didn’t have the best experience. However, if you don’t plan to cross the border into Chile (and you don’t have to, not to see Aconcagua and Puente del Inca) you won’t encounter our same bad luck.
Get an idea of what it’s like in our article: Driving from Santiago to Mendoza. Should You Do It?
If you are an avid hiker, you can hike to Mt. Aconcagua base camp, a stunning hike through the Andes Mountains. The hike starts just a few kilometers from the border with Chile and is one of the best hikes to do in the area.
Read about it here: Hiking to Aconcagua Base Camp
Day 5: With five days, you have enough time to tour the wine regions at your leisure as well as enjoy some of Mendoza’s best adventure activities.
What We Did: 5 Days in Mendoza, Argentina
Day 1: We toured Maipu Valley wine region in the morning and Lujan de Cuyo in the afternoon, ending with a very late lunch at Ruca Malen. We were able to tour both Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo in one day since we only did one tour and tasting and a quick drive through the Lujan de Cuyo wine region. Read our post on How to Visit the Mendoza Wine Regions so you don’t make the same mistakes we did.
Day 2: Rock climbing in Potrerillos with Andes Vertical.
Day 3: Whitewater rafting with Potrerillos Explorer Rafting in the morning, sunset horseback ride and dinner with Los Pingos.
Day 4: Uco Valley wine region
Day 5: Drive to the border with Chile, hike to Mt. Aconcagua base camp, continue on to Santiago, Chile.
Mendoza with Kids
For our family, the five day itinerary was perfect. We were able to tour the wine regions of Mendoza (the main reason why we traveled here), breaking up the wine tours with adventure sports to keep our two kids happy. Tyler and Kara loved rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and horseback riding. It’s no surprise that kids get very bored at wineries. Wine tasting is great for the adults but a big old boring event for kids. It is important to add enough activities into your itinerary to keep your kids happy.
Keep the wine tours and tastings to a minimum, visiting no more that four wineries per day. Both Tyler and Kara loved the five course meals we had at Ruca Malen and Bodega La Azul. Kids get discounted prices so bringing them along does not break the budget.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at El Encuentro en Chacras de Coria in Chacras de Coria, Mendoza. This small, boutique hotel has a great location just outside of the main bustle of Mendoza. The staff is extremely helpful and can assist you with scheduling wine tours and activities. If you do not get enough wine during your tours and five course meals, the hotel has a wine cellar and a fantastic common area to relax in at the end of the day.
More Information for Your Trip to Mendoza:
- Mendoza: 9 Great Things to do in Mendoza, Argentina
- Chile & Argentina: 12 Days in South America: Santiago, Chile and Mendoza, Argentina
- Santiago, Chile: How to Visit the Santiago Wine Regions without Taking a Tour
- Valparaiso, Chile: Photographing Valparaiso, Chile
Planning a trip to Argentina? Read all of our articles in our Argentina Destination Guide.
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