How Many Days In Mendoza (Hero)

How Many Days In Mendoza? 3 Great Itineraries

How many days in Mendoza is enough? Many visit Mendoza for the world-renowned wineries and vineyards but it’s also a popular destination for outdoor activities such as hiking in Aconcagua National Park or rafting at Lake Potrerillos. Here are 3 great itineraries, from 2-5 days that will suit every traveller.

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How Many Days Do You Need In Mendoza?

I would recommend 2 days and 2 nights in Mendoza.

 

It can easily be seen over a weekend on a short getaway from Buenos Aires for example, fly out early Friday morning and return Monday morning.

 

Most people are coming for the wineries, and these can be enjoyed in a day or two.

 

I would only recommend staying longer if you want to explore some of the adventure activities on offer such as hiking Aconcagua.

 

Here’s a quick breakdown of how many days needed in Mendoza:

 

 

  • 2 Days In Mendoza – more than enough time to see the wineries and see the city.

 

  • 3 Days In Mendoza – perfect if you want to relax and enjoy the city at a slower pace or include on adventure activity outside of the city.

 

  • 5 Days In Mendoza – only necessary if you are looking to visit Aconcagua, have a car and want to explore outside the city or want to stay in a fancier hotel.
How Many Days In Mendoza (Hero)

Mendoza 2-Day Itinerary

This itinerary is perfect for wine lovers who want to see Argentina’s no.1 wine producing region but are limited on time. You can fly out early morning, spend a day exploring the city and then spend one full day visiting the vineyards and bodegas in Maipu on the second.

 

  • Day 1 – Walking tour
  • Day 2 – Maipu Wine Bike Route

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Day 1 – Arrival / Walking Tour

Using a free walking tour is a great way to see the city. Mendoza is home to many parks and plazas that are perfect for relaxing in, enjoying the beautiful weather and people watching. 

 

You always get the best insights from local on one of these tours too, and will leave with lots of great recommendations for bars and restaurants.

 

I used Vivizma.

 

They offer tours Monday to Sunday at 11:00AM and Monday to Saturday 3:00PM. You can book through their website.

How To Get To Mendoza

Most travellers will be visiting Mendoza from Buenos Aires so you have two options:

 

  • Flight – a 2-hour flight return will cost between $100-200. I use WayAway to book all my flights. They find the cheapest deals and give you cash back.
  • Bus – Buenos Aires to Mendoza is a 15 hour bus. Prices start from $39. Use Budbud to book if you decide to go with this option.
fountains in Mendoza

Day 2 – Maipu Wine Bike Route

One of the best activities in Mendoza is the ‘wine bike route’.

 

On the outskirts of Mendoza city centre, you will find several of the best wineries all along the same road.

 

Here you can find bike rental shops offering to rent cheap bikes and provide a map to the best wineries. I recommend Maipu bikes.

 

This is such an enjoyable day, riding in between the different vineyards surrounded by lush green fields and mountain views in the distance.

 

All the wineries allow you to visit and enjoy a tasting from somewhere between 2000-5000 pesos.

 

One of the best bodegas is Trapiche, where you can sit out on the balcony and look out over the vineyard whilst tasting all their incredible wines.

 

Once you done three or four tastings you can head back to to drop off your bike. They have a small outside bar and everyone ends back here at the end of the day to drop off their bikes and enjoy some final drinks.

Vineyards In Mendoza (Argentina)

Mendoza 3-Day Itinerary

This itinerary is perfect for wine lovers who want to see Argentina’s no.1 wine producing region but aren’t limited on time. The extra day in Maipu allows you to do a winery tour and try more of Mendoza’s great restaurants.

 

    • Day 1 – Walking Tour
    • Day 2 – Maipu Wine Bike Route
    • Day 3 – Maipu Winery Tour

Day 3 – Maipu / Winery Tour

Instead of returning to Mendoza on day 2, stay overnight in Maipu.

 

I recommend staying at Finca Mula which is a nice place with beautiful gardens and a pool.

 

The benefit of staying overnight is that you can make up the next day and visit more vineyards.

 

I would recommend doing a full tour today, especially at Casa Vigil which is home to Mendoza’s biggest wine cellar, and also has an incredible restaurant.  

Mendoza mountains and vineyard

Optional Day 3 – Lake Potrerillos

If you want to fill your 3 days with more action, then return to Maipu on the evening of the 2nd day and spend your third day at Lake Potrerillos.

 

This man-made lake on the outskirts of Mendoza and a popular spot for outdoor adventure activities.

 

Boating and water sports are the most popular, with options such as paddle boats, canoes, and jet skis available for rent. There are also boat tours available that take visitors around the lake to enjoy the scenery and wildlife.

 

One of the best activities is white water rafting and there are options for Grade III and IV rapids. 

 

Whitewater rafting isn’t the only option though and you can also go fishing, hiking, horseback riding and ziplining.

 

Check out Potrerillos Explorer for more tour options.

Mendoza lakes and mountains

Mendoza 5-Day Itinerary

  • Day 1 – Walking Tour
  • Day 2 – Maipu
  • Day 3 – Drive to Uspallata.
  • Day 4 – Aconcagua
  • Day 5 – Return to Mendoza

Day 3 – Rent Car / Drive To Uspallata.

If you are an avid hiker, then you’ll want to dedicate some extra time to visit Aconcagua.

 

The best way to do this is to set aside 2-3 days and stay in Uspallata which is the small town closest to it.

 

The town of Uspallata is a 3 hour drive from Mendoza and a 1 hour drive from the mountain.

How To Get To Uspallata From Mendoza

You have two options to get to Uspallata from Mendoza:

 

  • Car – renting a car and driving to Uspallata is a an easy option that gives you a lot of freedom. I always use Rentalcars.com to find the best deals before renting a car. You can turn the journey into a road trip and stop at Potrellilos and Camino Del Inca on the way.

 

  • Public Bus – you can take the public bus from Mendoza to Uspallata which will take 2-3 hours. Use Budbud to book and go with Andesmar company
Where To Stay In Uspallata

I stayed at Pukarainca in Uspallata. I always have to spend a bit extra on nice accommodation after a big trek!

 

With full views of the Andes from every room, trails, private rivers and woods, this is great place to stay.

 

However, you can find lots of budget options in town. 

Aconcagua National Park, Mendoza (Argentina)

Day 4 – Aconcagua Base Camp

Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

Visiting this national park is a must if you are a lover of epic scenery and hiking.

 

The summit stands at 22,841 feet (6,959 meters) above sea level.

 

It’s a popular destination for hikers from around the world and is often considered to be one of the Seven Summits (the highest peaks on each of the seven continents).

 

Most backpackers won’t be looking to summit the actual mountain though as it can take up to 20 days, but trekking in the park or up to its base camp is still a great experience that will provide beautiful views of the Andes.

How to Get To Parque Provincial Aconcagua From Uspallata
  • Take the Andesmar bus from Upsallata to Punte Del Inca (an hour and 15 minute journey)
  • Ask the bus driver to drop you off at the park entrance which is a 5 minute drive further down the road from Punte Del Inca.
Hiking In Parque Provincial Aconcagua

You have a couple of options:

 

  • Confluencia Self Guided – the trek to base camp is a 4-6 hour hike and around 7km from the park entrance. Make sure to register before hand as you’ll have to show your registration at the park entrance. There’s a small café at Confluencia where you can buy drinks, beers and snacks but it is expensive.

 

  • Guided – Alternatively, if you don’t want to organise any of this yourself and prefer to want to get picked up and dropped off in Mendoza on the same day,  then try this guided tour:

Day 5 – Drive Back To Mendoza

Check out of your hotel and drive or take the bus back to Mendoza.

 

Then in the evening, enjoy a good feast at one of the many great restaurants before a well-earned night’s sleep.

 

Alternatively, you can also take the bus to Chile from Uspallata. 

Mendoza Argentina, a sign in the mountains

Is Mendoza Worth Visiting?

Mendoza is well worth a visit for a weekend.

 

It’s Argentina’s top wine producing region and you’ll find some of the best vineyards in the world here. Therefore, it’s a must for wine lovers. 

 

On top of that, it’s the closest city to Aconcagua National Park where you will find the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere. 

 

So if you love wine or hiking or both, Mendoza is absolutely worth visiting. 

Head to the post below for the top 8 reasons to visit Mendoza:

 

 

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When Is The Best Time To Visit Mendoza?

The best time to visit Mendoza is in the spring and summer months in Argentina. 

 

 

  • Spring – from March to May you’ll have pleasant temperatures in Mendoza with few tourists. This will be the best time for cheaper prices and less crowds.

 

  • Summer – from December to February you’ll have the best weather in Mendoza, with sunny days. However, crowds will be bigger as this is the summer holidays in Argentina. You may also need to book ahead for popular winery tours.
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Views of Aconcagua

Do You Need A Car In Mendoza?

If you’re only staying in Mendoza for 2-3 days and are happy to stay in the city then you probably don’t need a car.

 

You can take the bus out to Maipu to visit the wineries and you can book guided tours to any other places you wish to visit.

 

However, if you’re planning to do an extended stay in Mendoza (5-7 days), then I would recommend getting a car.

 

Many of the best things to do are outside the city and require driving. For example:

 

  • Uspallata/Aconcagua – 120km / 1h 20m drive 
  • Potrerillos Lake – 70km / 1h drive 
  • Termas Chaceuta Spa – 40km / 50m drive

 

Renting a car gives you the freedom and flexibility to visit all these places on your own schedule. 

 

I always use Discover Cars when looking to rent a car in South America.

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