From ManAboutWorld correspondent Michael Siebert:
Mendoza deserves a minimum of two days, but I would suggest three or more depending upon how much you like wine. October to December is a fantastic time to visit because you avoid the crowds and the weather is perfect. Please note that most vineyards prefer that you make a booking (your hotel can organize all of this for you) and I would highly suggest it because it will make your experience smooth and lovely.
Photo credit: Maria Borja via Flickr
I have only been to Mendoza once and it was on my most recent trip to Argentina (October 2015). I have never been a fan of tours. In Mendoza, a wine tour, will set you back 260 USD/person or more for one day. I found this shocking and decided to do more research on my own. I highly recommend avoiding most tours here and do some of your own thinking and planning.
Bodega Vistalba is an excellent vineyard to start your day and sample many of their gorgeous wines. If you prefer champagne, then you must book a visit to CRUZAL. Make a reservation for lunch at Ruca Malen for their 5- course degustation that will blow you away from taste to presentation. Do not miss this culinary sensation and visual experience. It is worth it.
After doing all the math on all the different options of hiring your own car versus a driver, versus a tour, the “doing your own thing,” option was the cheapest and most flexible.
Simply take a taxi wherever you wish to go in Mendoza (assuming you are only visiting vineyards and not making trips to the mountains and other sights). The cost of a rental car ( 80 USD/day ) and the concern of driving intoxicated did not even come close the lesser cost of hiring a taxi and having no concerns over who is driving; furthermore, if you are with a group of 3-4 the cost will be dramatically less because the comparison was based upon a couple. If you do like tours: please consider a biking tour. This is an excellent option with good guides. There is a gay wine tour in Mendoza and it is run by the uniquely named Gay Wine Tours.
The cost of a private driver from the airport in Mendoza to the Valley is only 300 pesos approximately. I would highly recommend staying in the valley and avoid the city center of Mendoza. It is much more peaceful and serene to be in the Uco Valley Region. I was very happy at Villa Mansa and staff are so helpful and friendly.
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