Mendoza is a small and charming city in Argentina that has all the perks of a big city, but the feel of a small town. The location is phenomenal for a wide range of activities, from something as adventurous as sky diving to something as relaxed as a wine tour, there is an activity for everyone!
1. White Water Rafting
The Mendoza River is a popular destination for white water rafting fanatics. The rapids range from Class II to cClass IV in some parts of the river. For those who don’t know, Class I means that the rapids are very mild and Class VI, the highest class, has very dangerous rapids that are only for the experts. No prior experience is necessary, as many tours will teach you how to navigate the rapids.
Not far from Mendoza is the highest peak in all of South America: Cerro Aconcagua! The highest point has been measured at around 22,840 feet, although there is some debate to the exact height. Regardless of your skill level, visiting Mendoza is an absolute must if you have an interest in climbing mountains!
If mountaineering is a bit too much, then Mendoza is also a phenomenal location to go hiking. You can either go alone or find hiking tours going to locations such as Valle de Uco, Cerro Arco, Potrerillos, and Reserva Divisadero Largo.
4. Horseback Riding
One of the options you may have for hiking or wine tours is to do it on horseback! This is a great option if you don’t want to do as much walking or if you just think it would be fun to explore while riding a horse. This is a great cultural experience — you will certainly see many people on horseback in Mendoza.
5. Bike Tours
Another travel option: you can also do wine/hiking excursions on a bike!
Skydiving is a lot more expensive than the other items on this list, but it’s a great once-in-a-lifetime experience to have! Make sure you reserve an activity like this well ahead of time since it is a big commitment.
Is skydiving too intense for you, but you still want an aerial view? Try paragliding! It’s a much less intense experience while still providing you with those stunning views of Mendoza from the sky. Most flights last about 30 minutes and, depending on the company you do it with, you may be able to go a second time for an additional 30 minutes.
8. Wine Tours
Mendoza is an absolute mecca for wine lovers, as it’s such a huge part of the Argentinian culture! There are many tours available for many different budgets and interests. There are tours that pair wine with chocolate, tours that visit different wine regions, tours paired with lunch, and so many more. Make sure you do your research so that you know you’re getting the tour that best fits your interests. I indulged in a tour through Ampora Wine Tours that allowed me to see the Uco Valley and visit three wineries (in Spanish a winery is called a bodega). At the end of the tour, I had a five-course meal where each course was paired with a different wine. That was a tour of almost $200 but, like I said, there are many tours for many budgets!
There are a variety of travel agencies that will offer tours at various experience levels, so make sure that you do your research! Hostel Lagares, the hostel I stayed at, offers the full range of activities for a very reasonable price. Just be aware that they only accept cash for the activities. Also make sure that you are with groups of people and that you do not attempt any of these alone. If you choose to go hiking alone, make sure someone knows where you are and what time you plan on returning. With that being said, Mendoza is an incredibly fun and diverse city I highly recommend visiting!