Planning a trip to Argentina, chances are you have heard of Mendoza, the wine capital of South America. A small town in the North-West of Argentina that is world-renowned for its Medoza wine, in particular, the dark red Malbec.
Mendoza is a popular destination in Argentina along with Patagonia, Buenos Aires and the Northern Regions. Mendoza attracts travellers and backpackers alike for the cheap wine tours on a bike and unique placement next to Chile. But along with the backpackers, you will find avid wine enthusiasts of all ages from all over the world.
If you think you are heading to Mendoza specifically for the town itself, think again. In all honesty, the town of Mendoza does not have much to offer. Its small, go zero vibes and just has nothing going for it in the nicest way possible. Except for the wine and the hidden hot pools tucked away in the Andes Mountains.
We spent a few days here, which I think is more than enough time. Day One included doing a bike tour through the wieners, which I’m about to dig into. On the second day, we headed to the thermal pools located in the Andes which were a surprise find and many people still don’t know about. It is honestly a hidden paradise.
There are two obvious choices to explore the wineries via a bike when you start digging into it. Mr Hugo Bikes or Maipu Bikes. Both offer a similar service and are located within metres of each other.
We got suggested Maipu simply because they had ‘newer bikes’. Usually, the tour is arranged through your hostel/hotel so whatever one works for you is fine.
To get there you will need to take a bus or get a taxi, uber does not work in Mendoza as of writing this. The cheaper option is the bus and will take about 40mins to get to the beginning of the wineries where you will pick up your bike.
All you will need is a Sube card (which can be bought from any Kiosco or use your one from BA) then find your nearest bus stop and take #10, sub-route 171, 172, or 173.
You will then find yourself getting dropped off right outside either one of the companies you chose, just star the location on google maps (works offline).
Then it’s as simple as getting yourself a bike and map before setting off. But whoever you go with make sure to check your bike before jetting off. Some of them can be rough!
You will receive a map and a quick run-through of all the wineries and which ones offer what. Like most people do and what I would recommend would be is to bike to the furthest one away, then work your way back.
Each winery offers a selection of tastings food and bottles of wine. All at various prices, some are more upmarket than others, some give off a casual vibe and others give off a more serious vibe. All of which will be explained in the briefing.
Compared to similar experiences around the world doing a winery tour in Mendoza is extremely cheap. The wineries are also condensed pretty close together getting from vineyard to vineyard requires very little effort.
Go at your own pace, get a feel for each place and get the vibes. Some are much more comfortable than others, doing less is more sometimes. We regret trying to do so much and if we had the option to do it again would pick a few and spend more time there.
Once the day is over and its time to drop the bikes back where we started there is a happy hour from 5 – 6. The happy hour consists of all you can drink wine, yes you heard all you can drink wine and an empanada, a traditional Argentinian dish. Which is the perfect way to finish the day.
The bus station is right outside, so you simply jump back on and head back into the main area of Mendoza once you have finished. Is this reason enough to travel to Mendoza alone? I’ll let you be the judge of that. But if you do find yourself in Mendoza this is an absolute MUST DO!