Mendoza might not impress you with a vast urban skyline or gargantuan population (<1,000,000), but it has the distinction of being the wine capital of South America and a member of the 9 Great Capitals of Wine, which means you’ll find plenty of opportunities to sample some of the best Malbec the world has to offer. And when you’re not spending your days indulging your alcoholic taste buds or sampling the region’s delicious olive oil, there are a few must see cultural sights you’ll want to be sure to check out.
Directly in the center of the city, Plaza Independencia plays home to many of the city’s cultural goings on, including plenty of artistic performances and a weekend crafts fair that’s definitely worth your attention. Venture westward and you’ll inevitably hit Parque General (you guessed it) San Martin, a large urban park that encompasses a zoo, rose garden, and scenic hill among other notable attractions. Museum lovers have a few interesting options to choose from, including the Foundational Area Museum in Old City which pays homage to both the history and architecture of Mendoza, and the Moyano Natural Science Museum in Parque General San Martin. And if you’re looking for tango, hit up the quaint and scenic Plaza Pellegrini (located on Alem and San Juan) on a weekend evening and watch the magic happen.
Should your expeditions outside the metropolis take you in the direction of Mt. Aconcagua, consider making a quick stop at the geologically intriguing Puente del Inca, which pairs unique rock formations with foundational ruins dating back to the early-20th century. And if your taste for wine hasn’t been satiated already, head southeast of the city to Maipu where you can check out the National Wine Museum. Not the most titillating selection of cultural activities in Argentina, perhaps, but you’ll find that Mendoza’s history and agriculture make it much more than just a mountain climber’s pit stop.