Matt Munro

Mendoza & the Central Andes

A long, narrow sliver of desert landscape, the Mendoza region is home to two of Argentina’s claims to fame – the Andes and wine. The city itself is lively and cosmopolitan and the surrounding area boasts hundreds of wineries offering tours – an educational (and occasionally intoxicating) way to spend an afternoon or a month.

If you can put your glass down for a minute, there’s plenty more to keep you busy. Just down the road is Cerro Aconcagua, the Americas’ highest peak and a favorite for mountain climbers the world over. A couple of ski resorts give you the chance to drop into fresh powder while Mendoza’s tour operators offer up a bewildering array of rafting, mountain-biking and paragliding options.

To the north, often-overlooked San Juan province is worth visiting for its small but important selection of wineries, bucolic traditional villages and desert landscapes in Parque Nacional el Leoncito and Parque Provincial Ischigualasto.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Mendoza & the Central Andes.