A Guide To The Most Fun Things To Do In Mendoza, Argentina

A Guide To The Most Fun Things To Do In Mendoza, Argentina

There are more things to do in Mendoza, Argentina than you’d imagine, if you only decide to spend enough time there. The capital of the Mendoza Province is known for its wine production, for the incredible food (this is where you’ll eat some of the best steaks in Argentina) and for the gorgeous landscapes of vineyards and mountains.

To be fair, Mendoza city itself isn’t that special (though the nightlife there is pretty incredible). But it’s not the city you should be focusing on during your visit: it’s the incredible surroundings. I have been to Mendoza twice, and each time enjoyed the hikes, the landscape, the wine, the steaks and everything else it has to offer. I wholeheartedly recommend including it in your trip to Argentina.

For a great itinerary through Argentina, read my post A Flash Pack’s Argentina Itinerary.” Make sure to also read my post A Guide To The Greatest Things To Do In Argentina.”

In this post, I highlight the top things to do in Mendoza, Argentina, and share some tips to make the most of your time there.

things to do in Mendoza

A wine tour is a must in Mendoza

21 Fun Things To Do In Mendoza

Indulge in a wine tasting tour, or more

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Mendoza is the fabulous Malbec wine. It’s thus safe to say that one of the best things to do in Mendoza is a wine tasting tour. What I love about it is that wine in Mendoza is affordable, and you can walk away with a $5 USD bottle of excellent wine that will impress your family and friends.

Malbec is the most famous variety produced in the Mendoza Province (but not only), but while there you’ll be able to try others such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat (which is also popular in Uruguay), Merlot and Chardonnay.

Wine tasting tours usually last around 4 hours, and consist in a guided walk or biking through the vineyards, a visit of the cellar and fermentation area, and wine tasting. Some tours also have wine pairings and lunch. The prices of guided wine tasting tours are quite high.

TIP: You can keep the costs down by doing a self-guided tour – renting bikes and going to the vineyards yourself. However, if you add the costs of the bike rental, the tours and the tasting and each vineyard, and that of the lunch you will eventually want at one of the vineyards, you may realize that splurging in a guided tour isn’t a bad idea after all.

These are some of the best wine tasting tours in Mendoza:

Check out my post 13 Fantastic Wineries In Mendoza.”

Looking for more wine regions in Argentina? Make sure to visit Salta! Read my post A Complete Guide To Salta Argentina.”

Love wine tourism? Make sure to read my post Seven Amazing Estates To Do Wine Tasting In Stellenbosch.”

Take part in the Vendimia

If you travel dates are flexible enough, make sure to visit Mendoza between the end of February and the beginning of March, in time for the harvest and to attend Mendoza’s biggest event – the Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia.

The Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia  has been celebrated since 1936. It’s an incredible series of folklore, pageants (with the election of a Vendimia Queen), music performances and fireworks. It lasts 10 days and begins with the blessing of the grapes.

Pay a visit to the Museo Nacional del Vino

A visit to the Museo Nacional del Vino is a nice addition to a wine tasting tour. Most day trips don’t go there, actually, but you can go alone. It’s a nice place to get some background information on the history of wine in the province of Mendoza. For example, you’ll learn how an Italian immigrant made it to Maipù in the late 1890s and started the first winery in the region. You’ll also be able to see some antique wine making tools, bottles and labels.

what to do in Mendoza

Olives and olive oil are one of the local specialties in Mendoza

Visit the olive groves 

Wherever there are vineyards, there are beautiful olive groves. This goes for Italy, Israel, South Africa and even for Mendoza, Argentina. Here, you’ll be able to taste some delicious olives and olive oil which will be the perfect accompaniment to salads and bread. Quite a few vineyards also have their olive groves. Familia Zuccardi even allows you to pick your olives to create your bottle of olive oil!

Mendoza Argentina

A good beer at the end of a hot day in Mendoza, Argentina

Drink beer

In the Argentine capital of wine, it looks like drinking beer doesn’t make much sense. However, believe it or not, after a day of wine tasting and wandering around the vineyards in the summer heat, and provided you are not drunk (in which case, I wholeheartedly recommend to stay in your room drinking lots of water), you’ll be ready for a cold pint. I knew I was, and I was glad to find a good craft beer pub right next to my hotel.

The good news is that Mendoza has some excellent craft beer places. A Patagonia pub is located in the heart of Chacras de Coria, and you can even do a beer tasting tour. Here is a selection of the best:

what to do in Mendoza

Hiking Cerro Acongagua is one of the top things to do in Mendoza – photo courtesy of Miguel (flickr)

Hike Cerro Aconcagua

At 112 km and less than 2 hours drive from Mendoza, Cerro Aconcagua, which reaches an elevation of 6962 meters, is the highest peak in South America and in the Andes mountain range. The hike to the peak is a challenging 3 weeks walk consisting of hiking, walking on ice with crampons, and even climbing – and you’ll need to be very fit to do it.

There are several hiking trails on Aconcagua. The most popular one is the Normal Route, which takes roughly 18 days and starts in Lower Harcones Valley and reaches Plaza de Mulas.

TIP: The hike to Aconcagua requires planning, fitness and proper equipment and you shouldn’t attempt to do it alone. Make sure to research a good company to organize your Aconcagua expedition.

Read my post 11 Reasons Why Hiking Alone Is Actually A Bad Idea.”

While hiking Aconcagua certainly is one of the top things to do in Mendoza, you don’t have to spend 3 weeks there to enjoy it. The good news is that you can actually visit on a day trip and even just a walk to Camp 2 on a clear day is guaranteed to provide incredible sunset views.

These are some of the best day trips and day hikes to Cerro Aconcagua:

Mendoza Argentina

Make sure to pay a visit to the Puente del Inca

Visit the Puente del Inca 

Don’t confuse this Puente del Inca with the one in Machu Picchu, Peru. As opposed to the Peruvian one, this one is a natural bridge that, at an altitude of 2720 meters above sea level, crosses the Vacas River.

TIP: You can visit the Puente del Inca during a trip to Cerro Aconcagua – it’s a nice addition to the itinerary. You’ll need a car to get there (you can rent one here) or you’ll have to go on a guided tour.

These are the best guided tours that also go to the Puente del Inca:

things to do in Mendoza

A lovely ride through the vineyards of Mendoza, Argentina

Go horseback riding

If you are a fan of horseback riding, one of the nicest things to do in Mendoza, Argentina, is going for a ride. There are several places where you can do this. I am hardly a pro when it comes to horseback riding so I opted for something short and easy right outside of Mendoza, riding through the beautiful vineyards around sunset time. But if you want, you can go on longer rides at the base of the Andes, in the Uco Valley, in the Quebrada del Condor and other gorgeous places where you’ll enjoy gorgeous landscapes.

TIP: For an extra treat, pick a sunset ride!

These are some of the best horseback riding tours available:

what to do in Mendoza

A bike ride through the vineyards is one of the things to do in Mendoza

Go on a bike tour

If you are an active person, going on a bike tour is what to do in Mendoza. My first time there, I rented a bike and with some friends did a self guided tour through Maipù vineyards. It was a lot of fun, especially towards the end of the day when we were all happy from the wine tasting (don’t worry though, there isn’t much traffic at all in the area, and drivers there are used to tourists riding bikes so pay extra attention).

Last time, I biked through Zuccardi vineyard, which is huge, and went horseback riding around a smaller, more local vineyard.

The best place to rent bikes near Mendoza is Mr Hugo’s Bikes. They will give you a bike, a very good map and lots of tips on routes and wineries to visit during the day. Make sure to head there  nice and early as they are so popular that they run out of bikes sometimes!

TIP: Make sure to pick a bike with a basket. You’ll need it to hold your bag, camera and the bottles of wine you’ll buy along the way.

TIP: Remember to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration; wear a hat and apply lots of sunblock to avoid getting sunburnt.

You can even go biking in the Andes region from Mendoza.

The following are the best bike tours departing from Mendoza – either visiting wineries, or more adventurous ones through the mountains:

Mendoza, Argentina

Chacras de Coria is a lovely quaint town near Mendoza – photo courtesy of Pek&Anoek (flickr)

Spend some time in Chacras de Coria

Last time I visited Mendoza, Argentina, I actually stayed in Chacras de Coria. This is a small town right outside Mendoza, which in recent years has become a popular place thanks to its fantastic restaurants, shopping opportunities, and great nightlife.

However, for as popular as Chacras has become, it’s still fantastically quaint, and quiet – which is great if you value your sleep. Not to mention, it is really close to the wineries (there are a few that are actually right in Chacras de Coria).

Among the things you shouldn’t miss when in Chacras, there is a nice Sunday market where you’ll find souvenirs, antiques and even jewelry. And if joining the fantastic nightlife is one of the things to do in Mendoza, Chacras de Coria is where the fun is, with clubs such as Grita Silencio and La Guanaca.

Go rafting 

Rafting is one of the most fun things to do in Mendoza, Argentina. Mendoza River runs to the region and it is thanks to it that the vineyards have water. However, it’s also a great source of adventure. There are some good Class III rapids, so it’s not hard core rafting at all, but you are guaranteed fun.

Several companies run rafting trips outside of Mendoza. The following is a selection of the best tours:

Or ziplining

If rafting isn’t enough to quench your thirst for adrenaline, the one of the best things to do in Mendoza is ziplining. In fact, you can actually combine this experience with rafting, for a full day of adventure. Ziplining is usually done in the Valley of Potrerillos. There are 6 cables, with an average height of 60 meters and of moderate difficulty, so it is not too scary.

These are the best ziplining tours in Mendoza:

things to do in Mendoza

Visiting Parque San Martin is a must – photo courtesy of Diego A (flickr)

Visit Parque San Martin

Parque San Martin easily qualifies and the nicest park in Mendoza. It was designed by Carlos Thays, a famous urban planner and landscape architect, in the late 1800s, and inside you’ll find 34 sculptures, a rose garden and a lake which is a perfect picnic spot. It’s also a great place to spot some local action.

These city tours of Mendoza include a visit to Parque San Martin:

things to do in Mendoza

Plaza Independencia is an important landmark in Mendoza, Argentina

And Plaza Independencia

In your wanderings through Mendoza, you’ll definitely end up in Plaza Independencia. This is the heart of Mendoza, the largest green space within the city, and a cool place to relax and do some people-watching.

At the center of the square there is a large, beautiful fountain. And occasionally you’ll also see a small market of artisans selling their handicrafts right in the square.

Not far from Plaza Independencia you’ll find some other smaller squares such as Plaza España which are also worth visiting.

Mendoza Argentina

Make sure to take a stroll on Peatonal Sarmiento – photo courtesy of Diego A (flickr)

Walk along Peatonal Sarmiento

If you really want to mingle with the locals, one of the ultimate things to do in Mendoza, Argentina, is going for a walk along Peatonal Sarmiento. This is a long, airy pedestrian-only boulevard lined with lots of cafés and shops, where the locals love hanging out. You’ll also find banks and pharmacies in case you need to run some errants.

TIP: Most of the restaurants along Peatonal Sarmiento cater to tourists, so they aren’t the best and cheapest places in town to grab a bite. Opt for smaller places on the side streets instead.

Visit the Museo Bellas Artes

Located right outside Mendoza in Luján de Cuyo there is the Museo de Bellas Artes – Casa de Fader, a mansion that dates back to 1890 and which used to belong to an affluent couple who hired artist Fernando Fader to restore it and paint frescoes. The mansion has a gorgeous garden, as well as a very good exhibit of artwork.

Eat

Mendoza is a fantastic place to fully appreciate Argentinian cuisine. Empanadas, sorrentinos (a stuffed pasta), and delicious meat: there’s nothing better than having a fantastic steak or even an asado (Argentine bbq) accompanied by a fantastic wine. If you like the idea of eating but are intrigued to learn more about the secrets of Argentinian cuisine, one of the things to do in Mendoza is a cooking class. The small group cooking lesson with lunch is the perfect combination of learning, eating and enjoying wine.

Vegans traveling to Mendoza should head straight to Cuenco, in Olascoaga 1412. I went there in search of vegan ice-cream (I am lactose intolerant so that is the only option for me) and ended up stopping by for lunch. This small eatery is open Mondays to Saturdays for lunch only. You serve yourself and pay by weight, which makes it extremely budget friendly, and have an incredible choice of very healthy options.

Enjoy the incredible night scene

One of the most fun things to do in Mendoza is going out at night. When the weather is nice, make sure to head to Calle Arístides, the heart of nightlife in Mendoza. This is where locals meet to have a drink (by the way: Fernet and Coke is their cocktail of choice); but you’ll also find lots of tourists as there are quite a few hostels around. That’s actually exactly where I stayed during my first trip to Mendoza!

Another area that is perfect for nightlife is Chacras de Coria, where you’ll find the boliches (clubs).

Relax at Cacheuta Thermal Baths

One of the coolest (literally!) things to do in Mendoza is going to Cacheuta Thermal Baths. This spa, hotel and waterpark located along Ruta 82, among the mountains, is a fantastic place to relax with a great array of saunas, mud baths, hot springs and thermal pools. You can even have a massage.

These tours all go to Cacheuta Thermal Baths:

Visit Villavicencio

Villavicencio is a beautiful natural reserve in the Andes Mountains, not far from Mendoza. If you like the idea of admiring wildlife, a tour to Villavicencio is what to do in Mendoza. There, you’ll be able to see local wildlife including guanacos, ostriches, condors and if you are lucky even pumas. It’s the same area where the local mineral spring water comes from. Most of the time, tours to this reserve include a visit and lunch at a local winery, and at times even entrance to the historic spa resort of Villavicencio.

These tours go to Villavicencio:

Mendoza, Argentina

Atuel Canyon is a perfect trip from Mendoza, Argentina – photo courtesy of Miguel (flickr)

Get out of the city at Atuel Canyon

At around 3 hours by bus from Mendoza, San Rafael is a great place for outdoor activities. I honestly recommend spending a couple of days there to appreciate all the nature and to go hiking, kayaking and even paragliding. If you don’t have time to spend a couple of days there, you can go on a day trip. Make sure to visit Atuel Canyon, a fantastic place with lakes, rivers and beautifully naturally carved rocks.

Where To Stay In Mendoza, Argentina

Mendoza is a fairly large cities with plenty of accommodation options. The best hostels and boutique hotels are all in the area of Calle Arístides, which is where you’ll find an incredible array of restaurants and bars and which is very close to the center of town. Alternatively, head to Chacras de Coria for some lovely boutique hotels.

Here is a selection of places to stay in Mendoza:

things to do in Mendoza

Mendoza deserves a visit during a trip to Argentina

Practical Information To Organize Your Trip To Mendoza, Argentina

Guided tours that go to Mendoza

Traveling around Argentina independently is fairly easy, but if you are tight on time or if you aren’t the most organized person, you may want to leave the planning bit to the experts who will book transportation, accommodation and all activities.

The following are some tours of Argentina that include a visit to Mendoza:

How to get to Mendoza

Mendoza is well connected to the rest of Argentina and to Chile through a variety of flights and buses.

By plane

Several major airlines and even some budget ones fly in and out of Mendoza, with direct flights to Buenos Aires (both Jorge Newbery and Ezeiza airports) which lasts around 1 hour and 45 minutes, and other large cities in the country.

Traveling to Buenos Aires? Make sure to read my post 25 Unmissable Things To Do In Buenos Aires” and my guide on “Where To Stay In Buenos Aires.”

Mendoza airport is located at about 30 minutes drive from the center of town. To get from the airport to the city you can either get a taxi or a remis (cab) or opt to book a transfer.

These are some reliable transfer services to and from the airport:

By bus

If you have time to spare, I recommend traveling by bus. Buses in South America are comfortable, and on the longest rides you can fully recline to get some rest. Not to mention, the landscape is gorgeous and it’s a great way to admire the views.

There are direct buses connecting Santiago de Chile to Mendoza. The trip lasts around 8 hours, but keep in mind you may find lines at the border. The views along the way are fabulous.

Traveling to Chile? Make sure to check my post Ten Incredible Places To Visit In Chile.”

The ride between Buenos Aires and Mendoza lasts 15 hours.

TIP: Make sure to book your bus transfer in advance, and opt for upper deck front seats for the best views!

things to do in Mendoza

Biking is a fantastic way of moving around Mendoza, Argentina

How to move around Mendoza

Depending on where you plan to stay, you can easily move around Mendoza on foot, by bike or by public transportation. The city is fairly walkable, but keep in mind that the wineries are outside the city.

By bus: Like in the rest of Argentina, public transportation in Mendoza is quite reliable. You can’t pay for your ride directly on the buses, so if you intend to move around by bus make sure to get a Redbus card at kiosks which are scattered around the city.

By bike: Bikes can be rented at hostels, hotels or at various places around town. They are a good way of getting around and to get to the wineries.

By taxi: Taxis are easily available in Mendoza, and quite cheap so a good way to travel around town and even outside of it.

By car: Alternatively, if you the idea of being completely independent, opt for a car rental. You can pick your car directly at the airport. Check out the prices of car rental here.

When to visit Mendoza

Mendoza is sunny year-round, with cold winters and very hot summers. Though you won’t miss the sun if you visit in the winter, I think the summer months (from December to March) are the best to visit. That’s when you’ll see the vineyards in full bloom, and if you visit at the end of February you can even attend the Vendemia festival.

Spring and Fall (October, November and April) are the best months to visit if you intend to go hiking.

Safety in Mendoza

Like the rest of Argentina, Mendoza is a fairly safe city. Having said so, it grew a lot in the last couple of decades, and with that the crime rates (especially petty crimes) increased. Do trust your instincts when it comes to safety, and always keep an eye on your possessions. Make sure to avoid walking alone on big squares and dark streets at night.

Lastly, and as for any other trip, I recommend getting a good travel insurance for your trip to Mendoza, especially if you intend to do any adventurous activity. Check out the prices of travel insurance here.

Have you ever been to Mendoza? What did you like the most about it?

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Discover the things to do in Mendoza, Argentina - via @clautavani

A Flash Pack’s Argentina Itinerary

A Flash Pack’s Argentina Itinerary

I had been to Argentina already, but when Flash Pack invited me to take a look at their Argentina itinerary, I had no doubt: that’s where I’d be going next.

Having come back and still dreaming of the incredible landscapes of Patagonia, I can only say this was the trip of a lifetime; one I will never forget and – in fact – one I am hoping to repeat.

I spent 10 days in Argentina traveling on an incredible Flash Pack tour that was so packed with activities and adventures that – for the first time in my life – I didn’t even have time to reminisce about the previous day, or to start thinking about the next. Everything on my trip to Argentina was about the there and then. It was absolutely refreshing, and altogether memorable.

My Flash Pack’s Argentina itinerary was all about finally embracing a “no more not yets” attitude – finally putting an end to the “not yets” that for way too long stopped me from doing the things I really wanted to do, and jumping in on the opportunity to actually live my dreams.

Thanks to Flash Pack, I got to meet 14 other likeminded travelers – men and women who, like me, are quite happy with their lives yet are very curious to explore the world; professionals who are willing to pack their bags and go in a zip; people who can just as easily puff up a mountain and soak up in a jacuzzi, holding a glass of champagne (or better, one of Malbec – since it is Argentina we are talking about).

On my third trip to Argentina, I finally got to better explore one of the most buzzing, vibrant capitals of the world; I got to actually walk on a glacier; I stared at the most beautiful mountain I have ever seen; and I sipped on some of the most delicious wines ever produced – all in the company of some very fun people.

In this post, I highlight all the best experiences and adventures one can have on a Flash Pack trip to Argentina.

Read more about everything that Argentina has to offer on my post A Guide To The Greatest Things To Do In Argentina.” To better prepare for a trip to Patagonia, read my post 30 Things You Should Consider Before Traveling To Patagonia.”

Argentina itinerary

Flash Pack’s Argentina itinerary is absolutely EPIC!

Flash Pack – AKA The Ultimate Argentina Itinerary

Flash Pack’s Argentina Itinerary is all about discovering the best of the country in a less conventional, yet somehow more in depth way. On my tour, I learned much more about the local culture and way of life than I ever did on my previous two trips, all thanks to specifically targeted activities that perfectly combined learning with a good dose of fun.

My trip to Argentina started in Buenos Aires, went to Patagonia, and finished in Mendoza. The more the trip went on, the more I fell in love with this beautiful country.

Here’s what my Argentina itinerary looked like. (Keep in mind it may be subject to change, as the people at Flash Pack are always working to improve their tours and listen to their customers’ feedbacks to create even better products)

trip to Argentina

A street art tour is a great way to get to know Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, The Vibrant Argentinian Capital

Buenos Aires is, inevitably, the first stop of Flash Pack itinerary through Argentina. Known as the Paris of South America, the city is packed with interesting sights and things to do, and there is a multitude of good restaurants and bars and an incredible nightlife.

To discover more about Buenos Aires, check out my post “25 Unmissable Things To Do In Buenos Aires.”

For more about Paris and other cities to visit in France, read my post A Guide To The 5 Best Cities To Visit In France.”

Flash Pack’s Argentina itinerary allows two full days in the city (but you can arrive early if you wish to explore more). These are enough to get a good feel for it and tickle your interest in the capital.

Instead of going all classic and showing the typical sights of Buenos Aires, on a Flash Pack trip to Argentina you get to discover more of the history, culture and overall vibe of the city and (with that) even of the country thanks to a guided street art tour. An incredible guide, who is first and foremost an artist, walks guests through Palermo, one of the most lively barrios of Buenos Aires, explaining how the various murals came to life, what their meaning is, and how they have contributed to change in the city.

Although street art may not be for all, this tour puts everything in context and by the end of it you will feel like you have learned a great deal about the city.

If a street art tour is not enough to appreciate the culture of Buenos Aires, a “dinner” at The Argentine Experience will provide one further push. Through food and wine, the friendly hosts help guests understand the incredibly diverse heritage of the city. Guests are involved in activities such as making empanadas (one of the local staples) and learning the basics of the local sign language; and all the while get to enjoy a fabulous dinner cooked using strictly local products, and accompanied with various local wines.

Argentina itinerary

Dog walkers in Buenos Aires – they can walk up to 10 dogs each!

Practical information about Buenos Aires

Where to sleep

Hotel Clasico – a small boutique hotel in the heart of Palermo Soho, it features comfortable rooms and a stylish environment. The area is packed with good bars and restaurants.

Head to A Complete Guide To Where To Stay In Buenos Aires.”

Where to eat

Bellagamba Bodegon – a favorite of locals, this eatery serves some of the best milanesas in town.

La Popular del Soho – a typical parrilla where you can expect to have some of the best steaks in town.

Lo de Jesus – a nice upper-scale restaurant that gets regularly packed with locals and tourists alike. It’s right inside a shop called La Malbequeria – the name is good enough an explanation for the wine selection you can expect!

Where to drink

Patagonia – a craft beer that can be found all over the country; there is one in Palermo Soho that has a lovely garden.

Growlers – another pub pretty much in front of Patagonia.

Boticario – a super quirky pub located in what used to be a pharmacy. It’s very vintage, and the atmosphere is unique yet friendly.

Moving around

Buenos Aires public transportation system is quite efficient. Make sure to get a SUBE card that allows you to ride buses and subway. It’s a top up card that you touch in every time you want to travel.

Alternatively, cabs are fairly cheap – especially if you can share the costs with other people.

Uber is illegal in Argentina, but you can download the app Cabify which works pretty much the same way.

Argentina itinerary

El Calafate is the second stop on Flash Pack’s Argentina itinerary

El Calafate, The Getaway To Patagonia

The second stop on the Flash Pack’s Argentina Itinerary is El Calafate. This nice small town located on the shores of Lake Argentino is the best access point to visit Perito Moreno Glacier, and is home to a multitude of excellent restaurants where to taste the best Argentian asado (mixed grill).

El Calafate is a nice place to explore. A walk along the lake is the perfect occasion to admire the incredible local bird life, with pink flamingos living in the lagoon, battling the wind which blows strong in this part of the country. Laguna Nimez is an even better place for birdwatching.

Head over to my post A Complete Guide To El Calafate, Argentina.”

Yet, Perito Moreno Glacier steals the show of this part of Flash Pack’s Argentina itinerary.  A full day is dedicated to its visit, but the tour is less than classic. Most companies go to the balconies and explore the various viewpoints to the glacier, which Flash Pack tour certainly does – and what a show it is to admire the glacier as the ice cracks and falls in the freezing waters of Lake Argentino, with a thunder-like sound.

Some companies also go on a boat tour to the northern wall of the glacier. Only a few, however, go full frontal and take their groups to actually walk on the glacier. Sure enough, Flash Pack is among those.

If you join Flash Pack trip to Argentina, after having admired the glacier in all its glory you’ll be ushered to the southern part of Lake Argentino, where you’ll board a catamaran that will take you as close to the southern wall of Perito Moreno Glacier as possible, for even more stunning views and incredible photo opportunities, and then drop you off at the southern base of the glacier.

There, you’ll meet a local guide that will help you wear crampons and will take you on a short but rewarding hike on the ice, showing you the best cracks and creases, allowing you to taste glacier water and finally offering you a shot of whiskey on Perito Moreno rocks.

Check out my post “A Complete Guide To Perito Moreno Glacier.”

trip to Argentina

Flash Pack takes its group on a glacier hike, and it’s a lot of fun!

Practical information about El Calafate

Where to sleep

Hotel Esplendor – a fantastic boutique hotel located on a hill and with beautiful views of the lake. Rooms are incredibly large and comfortable, and the overall place is very stylish. There is an on site spa and a restaurant that serves delicious food.

Where to eat

La Tablita – known as the best restaurant in El Calafate, this literally is an institution. It serves the best asado, fantastic steaks and has a huge selection of wines.

Where to drink

Borges y Alvares – a lovely small café and bar with plenty of books on display and a great selection of drinks (mostly beer and wine).

Cerveceria Chopen – a nice craft beer pub. Ask for the beer sample before placing your order.

Moving around

El Calafate is walker friendly, and small enough for visitors to walk from one place to the other. The occasional taxi drives by and you can haul it from the street.

trip to Argentina

El Chalten is usually the favorite stop on Flash Pack trip to Argentina

El Chalten, The Heart of Patagonia

El Chalten is the third stop on Flash Pack’s Argentina itinerary, and the one that most people on the tour end up enjoying the most. To be honest, the town is nothing special – houses and hotels built in complete disregard of any architectural style, set around two main roads; a few restaurants (excellent for the most part) and (for some unknown reason) more than enough breweries (all of them offering happy hour, which is good news for the hikers); a handful of shops and just two ATMs (hardly sufficient during peak season).

Head to my postAn Excellent Guide To El Chalten.”

It’s what’s around El Chalten that makes it the highlight of any trip to Argentina. Indeed, El Chalten is right at the base of Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. These can be seen from a long distance, as the bus from El Calafate approaches El Chalten first on Ruta 40 and then on Ruta 23.

Needless to say, if you visit El Chalten you are in for a real hiking extravaganza. As per the itinerary of Argentina followed by Flash Pack, the group hikes the trail to Laguna Torre, which goes to the base of Cerro Torre.

Read more about the hike to Laguna Torre on my post A Complete Guide To Hiking To Laguna Torre.”

Flash Pack’s Argentina itinerary allows an extra day in El Chalten, so the group has the option of going on an extra hike, going rafting, biking or just relaxing at the hotel or in town. I guess you know what I did already!

Together with 5 other girls in my group (because I never recommend hiking alone), I opted to hike to Laguna de Los Tres, at the base of Cerro Fitz Roy. This easily qualifies as the best day hike I have ever done. The hike to Laguna de Los Tres is the perfect combination of a hard workout and breathtaking views.

To find out more about this incredible hike, check out my post A Guide To Hiking Around Fitz Roy, In El Chalten.” Make sure to also read my post Hiking In Patagonia: 16 Incredible Trails.”

trip to Argentina

At Laguna Torre with 3 more girls on my Flash Pack tour of Argentina – it was great to meet other likeminded travelers!

Practical information about El Chalten

Where to sleep

Estancia La Quinta – a lovely hotel a bit outside of El Chalten. It’s a good walk to town (around 55 minutes) or a few minutes drive by taxi (at the time of writing, a ride to town costs $400 Argentinian Pesos). Rooms are plain but incredibly comfortable and the settings absolutely gorgeous.

Where to eat

Maffia – a nice eatery that serves home made pasta – approved by Italians.

Ahonikenk – prepares some Argentinian staples including a good milanesa.

Mathilda – a lovely café with good salads and sandwiches, and drinks that go from your choice of coffee to craft beer.

Where to drink

La Vineria – a bit after the entrance of town, it has good draft beers and an excellent selection of wines.

Cerveceria Artesanal – the best pub in El Chalten.

Moving around

El Chalten is tiny, so unless you are staying out of town ie at Estancia La Quinta, there won’t be any need to hire a taxi. If needed, several companies can be called and booked.

Argentina itinerary

No better place to end a trip to Argentina than Mendoza

Mendoza, Where The Wine Flows

Mendoza is the perfect place to wrap up an incredible trip to Argentina, celebrating with wine and delicious food in the lovely surroundings of vineyards and Andean peaks. If the rest of Flash Pack’s Argentina itinerary is all about adventure and adrenaline, in Mendoza it is all about taking it slowly.

In line with the idea of appreciating local culture and way of life, once in Mendoza you get to visit the nicest bodegas (vineyard) in the region – one is large and you can buy the bottles in stores and find them in restaurants; the other is tiny and family run, the old way. Both of them make fantastic wines.

Here, you will be biking and even go horse riding through the vineyards and have a chance to try several wines and to learn about the process of wine making and bottling, and are then offered nothing less than a 7 courses lunch – accompanied by yet more wine. And – in case you are wondering – you will be given the chance to buy wine at a real steal.

Read more about Mendoza in my posts A Guide To The Most Fun Things To Do In Mendoza, Argentina” and 13 Fantastic Wineries In Mendoza.”

Argentina itinerary

A lovely bike ride through the vineyards – and lots of wine drinking!

Practical information about Mendoza

Where to sleep

Posada el Encuentro – tucked away in a small alley in Chacras de Coria, one of the nicest areas a bit outside Mendoza, this nice boutique hotel exudes countryside charm.

Where to eat

The best places to eat in Mendoza are actually the fantastic bodegas you will visit during your Flash Pack tour. There, you will have your good share of local specialties such as empanadas and the best cuts of meat.

Vegan or vegetarian? Head to Cuenco, right outside the center of Mendoza. They have delicious fresh vegan food at more than reasonable prices.

Where to drink

Should the wine you have at the bodegas not be enough, you can pop in one of the many lovely bars and pubs on Chacras de Coria main street. Patagonia is guaranteed to have good beer.

Moving around

As in any big city in Argentina, the public transportation system works quite well. Flash Pack provides transportation to and from the wineries, but if needed you can also count on a good and fairly cheap taxi service.

Argentina itinerary

Time to plan your trip to Argentina!

Plan Your Flash Pack Trip To Argentina

I recommend booking your Flash Pack trip to Argentina well in advance. Until the very last, I was unsure I’d be able to join the trip as it was fully booked! Advance bookings will also help you save money (you may be lucky to find a sale!), included on airfare!

The trip runs between October and April, so between spring and late summer in Argentina.

You will need to book flights to Buenos Aires, where the trip starts. Buenos Aires is well connected to the rest of the world via all the major carriers. From Europe, the best deals are with Alitalia, which has regular flights from Rome; Iberia, which flies from Spain, and Lufthansa. From North America, Air Canada and United Airlines have the best prices.

The trip ends in Mendoza, and from there you will have to book your flight to Buenos Aires or to another place, should you wish to extend the trip.

Flash Pack trip to Argentina costs between $3779 and $4699 USD, depending on whether you opt to sleep alone or are willing to share a room with another member of the group.

This price includes domestic flights from Buenos Aires to El Calafate and from El Calafate to Mendoza; local transportation and tours and activities; 10 nights’ accommodation, 3 lunches and 3 dinners, all of them delicious. Any other meal and extra activities and transportation will be on you.

Make sure to pack smartly, as Buenos Aires and Mendoza tend to get very hot in the summer, but Patagonia is mostly windy and chilly. Carry some good layers for Patagonia, as the weather tends to be unpredictable, it may rain and it is (unsurprisingly) freezing cold on Perito Moreno Glacier. Hiking boots are a must, as well as sun block!

Check out my post Hiking Gear And More: The Perfect Patagonia Packing List.”

If you, like me, are a professional between the age of 30 and 49, accustomed to traveling solo but with not much time to plan your trips, looking forward to meet like minded people, interested in adventure and in getting to know a country’s culture a bit more in depth, a Flash Pack trip to Argentina may well be the best one for you.

For an excellent add on for even more wildlife, you should consider going to Iguazu, Salta, Ushuaia and Puerto Madryn. Read more about them in my posts Everything You Need To Know Before Visiting Iguazu Falls Argentina,” Everything You Need To Know About Ushuaia, Patagonia,” A Complete Guide To Puerto Madryn, Argentina” and A Complete Guide To Salta Argentina.”

Are you considering joining Flash Pack’s Argentina itinerary?

Legal Disclaimer: I was a guest of Flash Pack during my trip to Argentina and I wish to thank them for the incredible experience. Needless to say, the opinions expressed in this post remain my own.           

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Discover the ultimate Argentina itinerary - via @clautavani