Best of Summer in Mendoza

When winter hits the northern hemisphere, it’s the perfect time to head to Mendoza’s hot summer sun. The long days allow for outdoor activities like hiking, rafting, and alfresco dining in this most scenic wine region.

Ruta Provincial 94, km 11, M5565, Mendoza, Argentina
American entrepreneur Michael Evans and Argentine winemaker Pablo Gimenez Riili joined forces to create an unparalleled viticultural paradise for wine lovers from around the world. Set on 1,500 pristine acres in the heart of the Uco Valley, the Vines Resort & Spa is a haven of laid-back luxury with a robust offering of culinary and wellness activities, winemaking endeavors, and outdoor adventures. Every aspect of the hotel is designed to share Mendoza’s natural beauty, superior wines, and Argentina’s warm culture through a tailored guest experience provided by the resort’s “Gauchos”—personal concierges and tour guides who curate one-of-a-kind itineraries for visitors.

The resort’s 22 spacious villas have ample indoor/outdoor living space, with wood-burning fireplaces, open-air fire pits, plunge pools, hot tubs, and private rooftop terraces with 360-degree views. Siete Fuegos, the resort’s signature restaurant, showcases open-flame grilling techniques mastered by Argentina’s acclaimed chef Francis Mallmann. The fitness center and yoga studio look out to the Andes, while three miles of running trails weave through the property’s vineyards. There’s never a dull moment at the Vines, with horseback riding, hiking, biking, cooking lessons, and winetasting at your fingertips—unless lounging is your preferred activity, in which case a cabana next to the 1,000-square-foot infinity pool will be calling your name.
Most locals will tell you that the best time to visit Mendoza is during La Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia, Argentina’s biggest harvest festival, which takes place the first week of March. The festival is a week-long party packed with folkloric music and dancing, parades, and bacchanal wine consumption. The benediction of the fruit takes place the last weekend in February, and the first parade, Via Blanca de Las Reinas, is held on the first Friday evening in March, when allegoric chariots parade young women chosen as “queens” by their community to represent each of the 18 departments through the streets of Mendoza. On Saturday morning the queens participate in the Carrusel parade, where their floats are surrounded by men in traditional Argentine Cowboy or gaucho-style dress riding horses and followed by folkloric dancers. The Central Act takes place in Gen. San Martin Park’s Frank Romero Day Amphitheater with colorful performance from over 1,000 folkloric dancers. The evening concludes with the election of the Queen of the Vendimia and a fireworks display.
Av. Arístides Villanueva, Capital, Mendoza, Argentina
Avenue Arístides Villanueva, simply known as Aristides by the locals, is Mendoza‘s main nightlife drag. Lined with bars, Irish pubs, restaurants, dance clubs and hostels, Aristides is where all the action happens. In warm weather months, crowds flock to the outdoor tables lining the sidewalk. It’s a great option for bar hopping and getting a dose of the late-night Mendocenan culture.
Sarmiento 799, M5500 Mendoza, Argentina
Argentines are much like the Italians in that they take their gelato very seriously. They consume lots of it all year round, but in the summer consumption skyrockets. Families, couples and friends need no excuse to enjoy an “helado” at the ice cream parlor. Heladeria Famiglia Perin is a traditional staple for classic artisanal gelato in downtown Mendoza with an abundance of outdoor seating. Sarmiento 799; +54 261 425 7624
Laguna del Diamante, Mendoza Province, Argentina
One of the most beautiful natural lakes in Mendoza is hidden in San Carlos. The provincial reserve “Laguna del Diamante” is 10,600 feet above sea level with a view of the towering Maipo Volcano. Its name comes from the volcano’s diamond-shape reflection in the lake. It takes several hours to get to from downtown Mendoza with a four-wheel drive vehicle, but it’s worth the trip. Hike around the four-mile lake, where your only company will most likely be guanacos and foxes (neither are dangerous). You can also go fishing, which costs $20 pesos. The area is naturally windy all year round, so bring a warm coat and comfortable shoes. A shuttle from the main square in San Carlos departs early in the morning and the last one returns at around 8:00 PM or you can camp overnight, ($750 pesos for a round trip shuttle ticket). There’s a $300 peso discount if you stayed in Uco Valley the night before. Laguna del Diamante is only open from January to the first week of April.
Ruta Provincial 82, Km 38, M5507 Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
If you’re looking for a day of grape-free respite in Mendoza, head off-the-grid to the hot springs of Cacheuta. The Terma Spa welcomes guests with an assemblage of thermal baths overlooking the scenic Mendoza River flowing downstream from the Andes. The indoor/outdoor thermal spa circuit winds through waters ranging in temperature from 73 to 105 degrees. Bubble beds, a water volcano and foot baths are strategically placed throughout the circuit to knead tense muscles. The Natural Solarium has a basin of therapeutic mud for slathering all over your body and baking on the pool deck. Scrub yourself clean in the bithermal hydrojet shower and kick back on the flowering Andaluz patio. Next, head underground to the vaporarium and detoxify in its natural steam. Relax in the verdant garden until you’re ready for an afternoon spa treatment or another convalescing soak in Cacheuta’s healing mineral waters.
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