What could be better than fresh air, wonderful tasting food, cheap accommodation, bike rides through a calm city, and how can I forget to mention. WINE. Mendoza, Argentina home of their wineries and food! Que ricoooo! RERICO. My time in Mendoza was spent walking the city, biking and exploring, doing a little bit of hiking, eating, tasting and trying wines from the Bodegas, more eating, and they even have a few great boliches (clubs). As stated in my last blog, I want to share a bad experience with couch surfing and how it made me uncomfortable, but I will share that with you for this Saturday, this will be about the great things to do in Mendoza, Argentina! Enjoy!
What I expected of Mendoza was quite different than my experience. Either way my experience was amazing!
I spent most of my days walking and exploring the city by food and a day by bike rented from a shop downtown. When I was hungry, there were plenty of restaurants to eat from with fantastic tasting food. Every meal comes with a complimentary glass of wine. The Asado was FANTASTIC. All of the food was so flavorful, tasteful, and well prepared for the eye.
I expected to be buying wine everyday and sharing it with the people that were in the hostel, my couch surfing host, or friends I made. I have seen pictures of the mountains from particular vineyards, and I am sure I just went to the wrong ones away from the area. I expected there to be people walking around the streets and being able to buy food at any hour.
The funny reality is that, the streets were almost always empty. I knew it was the off season when I arrived, but it was EMPTY. Completely vacant of people. Many days I would find myself walking alone with a few shop keepers trying to lead me in to their store to strike some type of deal.
Places/Activities that I recommend and that I enjoyed
- Parque San Martin
- Cerro de la Gloria
- Valle de Uco (I did not get to go, but I heard AMAZING things).
- Plaza Independencia
- Mercado Central
- Plaza San Martin
- Fuente de los continentes
- Paseo Peatonal
- The Restaurantes on the Main Street
- Biking the bodegas and vineyards to explore and wine taste
- Buying wine and drinking it at the park
- Buying wine and drinking it at the hostel
- Trekking a few little hills
- Spending time at the parks drinking mate
- Shopping down town
All of these places were very enjoyable. If you are looking for a city to chill, enjoy food, and relax. This is the city for you. If you are looking in for a ton of things to do, this is not the place.
Of course you should WINE TASTE as much as you can. Budget travelers can easily go to the store and buy the wines that are locally produced and drink them at their hostel or the park.
For travelers with a little bit more money to spend should go on wine tours where you can try the finest wine, and with good company! I prefer budget traveling to get as much as I can, but I am sure the wine tours are just as great!!
I stayed at the Mendoza Inn. This hostel was not the best by any means, but it was only $30 dollars for the whole week. It came out to be roughly 5 dollars a night which is amazing. They provided a decent breakfast with cereal, two baked goods, coffee, and a small slice of fruit. Not the craziest, but it was better than nothing
The hostel itself seemed to be great in the summer season of traveling as they had a pool, a bar, ping pong, Foosball, and other party-like features. The staff was half and half friendly with one of the dudes that I would give him a 2 star rating for not so good service.
The rooms were comfortable and semi clean with sufficient space to lock up my belongings. However, they lacked outlets to charge my phone so my phone was almost never fully charged. I had to charge it rapidly as I was eating breakfast outside my room.
The bathroom was shared between EVERYONE. So goodluck showering when you needed to. When I travel I am not too picky, but man I would take late night showers at 2am or 5am in the morning just to secure a spot. Not only is it hard to get a shower, everyone takes their sweet-ass time. I remember asking if there was another bathroom, because I had…an ’emergency situation’ and they told me there was one out back. I used it, but MAN WAS IS COLD. Wooh! The bathroom was this little cubicle with a blurred open window and no roof. That was the coldest usage of the bathroom of my life. Even more so than my experiences backpacking through the Andes Mountains. Anyway…
There are lots of good restaurants on Avenida Aristedes Villanueva. I ate a bunch of different foods that I have never tried or have seen. They are pretty pricey in Mendoza, but you want to splurge here in this city as it is prepared wonderfully, and it absolutely delicious.
- El Mercadito
- El Club de la Milanesa
- Al Toque – I had excellent pizza here and discovered Quilmes Beer
- William Brown
- Bianco & Nero
There were others that I tried out as well, but I cannot recall off hand. I write most of the restaurants I visit down in my travel journal. These restaurants are all accompanied by Wine with your dish, and typically a dessert as well!
There were a few days I spent just chilling in the park with my Mate and some cookies people watching and seeing how everyone was enjoying their day. I also enjoyed spending a day riding around the city with a rental bike that I got near the Mercado Central. It was roughly 10 dollars for the day, which is fairly reasonable.
I definitely recommend Mendoza, Argentina for your next destination! However, I did most of these things by myself as there were not many tourists here, so I ate alone, went alone, and experienced everything alone. As much as I enjoy my alone time, this place would be wonderful with a family or your friends!
Thanks for reading!