Ruta 40's Mendoza Travel Tips
We often get asked to share our travel tips to Mendoza Province given that we have probably spent over 2 months in total in the area, seeking out the bodegas that are included in the portfolio. So here goes:
Distances and where to base yourself
Firstly you are going to have to make a decision on where to base yourself. The options are a) Mendoza City b) Maipu wine country or c) Valle de Uco.
Being in Mendoza City means it is easy to go out in the evening and you have plenty of restaurants to choose from - although apart from Plaza de la independcia and the surrounding area there is not much to see. The disadvantage is that the closest wineries are around 30 minutes away in Maipu and Chacras de Coria.
The other extreme is staying in the Valle de Uco, which is about 2 hours by car south of Mendoza. Stunning landscape, tranquility, great view of the Andes and pure bliss are the upside. The downside is that you will have very limited options for going out in the evening as the towns are tiny and rural.
In the middle of the two, are the Maipu or Chacras de Coria areas. In the midst of the wine country, but a quick half an hour drive in the evening into town for going out. Probably our prefered option, but it entirely depends on what type of holiday you want to have and how much time you have got.
If you intend to visit a lot of wineries, we would recommend you hire a car - although be sure to check out the exact location of the bodegas including the description on how to get there on our "Owners Circle" section of the website. You will get directions by clicking on the map. You will need these as sign posts are few and far between. Should you be concerned by the amount of wine you might consume combined with the driving - rent a driver for the day - slightly more expensive, but cheaper than a bad accident.
For custom made itineraries including driver, we would recommend our friends from www.mendozaholidays.com, who do an outstanding job. Contact us for an introduction and get a 10% discount!
For a wine tasting tour on horse back or a hands on winery tour including making your own blend, we would recommend the team from www.mendozawinecamp.com - excellent fun!
If you only intend on visiting the Maipu area for example, a bike tour is recommended. Take a bus or taxi to Maipu and then there are a few companies who offer this service.
You can easily spend a week in Mendoza Province and not get bored. Apart from visiting wineries, there are about 4 golf courses in the region, fantastic white water rafting and other adventure activities about an 1.5 hours away towards the Chilean border. Or get into Off the Beaten Track mode and do a two day trip to Barreal. About a 4 hour drive (with the last 50km being a gravel road), but you get the feeling of being alone on the planet, drive a car or landsail on a huge dried out lake, visit an observatory and stay the night in Barreal. Truly stunning!
Ruta 40's Mendoza Travel Tips - Part 2
Places to stay split by Mendoza City, Central wine area and Valle de Uco:
1) Park Hyatt
The Park Hyatt is in our opinion the nicest place to stay in the city. Located on the central Plaza de Independcia in a historic building, it has all the facilities one expects from a 5 star hotel.
2) Hotel Argentino
Also located on the central Plaza, this is a great option if you want to spend less money. The rooms are not huge, but clean and simple. They have a small pool located in the back of the hotel, so you can cool off after all that wine tasting!
Central Wine Area:
All the hotels listed below are about a 30 minute drive from Mendoza City, but located in small villages at the heart of the wine country.
1) Villa Victoria Wine Lodge
This is probably our No.1 tip for the area. A recently launched boutique hotel in an old Mendocinian villa with 5 rooms in Maipu. The rooms are large, with new bathrooms surrounded by a large garden that includes a natural stone swimming pool. Managed by super friendly and helpful owner Mariano. Ask us for an introduction and you will get a 10% reduction on the room rate.
2) Santa Maria de Los Andes
Located in Alto Agrelo, this is a fantastic 3 bedroom villa within a 600 hectares estate. Slightly off the beaten track - and the last 5km to the villa are via a dirt road - this is a beautiful place. If you are traveling with a smaller group, it is ideal to rent in its entirety. Surrounded by vineyards and complete tranquility at night, you wake up with a view of the sun reflecting off the Andes. We can put you directly in touch with the manager and you will get a 10% reduction on the room rate.
Boutique hotel located in the very pretty Chacras de Coria - we call this place the "Hamptons" of Mendoza. The hotel has modern wooden cabanas, a great view and a pretty pool.
Valle de Uco
The below are between 1.5-2 hours drive south of Mendoza City in the stunning Valle de Uco.
1) Casa Antucura
In our view the No.1 place to stay in the Valle de Uco located near the village of Vista Flores. The 8 bedroom Boutique luxury hotel is situated in the middle of the Bodega Antucura vineyards. We are happy to introduce you directly to the manager and you get a 10% discount on the room rate and a bottle of Bodega Antucura's excellent wine waiting for you in your room.
2) Tupungato Divino
Great little place very close to Bodega La Azul with a fantastic restaurant. Cheaper option and a magnificant view of the Andes.