MENDOZA

Wine about it.

Mendoza guide

For at least 450 years, since the mid 16th century, grapes for wine production have been grown in Argentina. It’s safe to say that wine is a way of life here in Mendoza.

Argentina Time (AST) is GMT -3 hours, meaning that it’s 1 hour ahead of New York and 4 hours  behind London. Argentina has not calculated Daylight Savings time since 2011. 

US Citizens will need: 

  • A passport with validity upon entry, must have at least one page empty to be stamped. 
  • Tourist or Business Visa not required for stays of 90 days or less.

For more detailed info, check out Argentina Travel.

Las Heras, Mendoza (MDZ), also known as El Plumerillo Airport and Governor Francisco Gabrielli International Airport. You’ll be situated 9 km north from Mendoza city center. Here are a few ways to get into the city from this small airport:

Taxi: Best Option

  • Remís: Flat rate of USD $10-12 airport taxi. There is no meter and will not get scammed. All you have to do is to book at the kiosk at the terminal then head outside to the Remís location for you 20-minute ride.
  • Yellow/Black Taxi : These rides may vary because they are metered. They cost about USD $9-11 and you do not have to book. They are located right next to the Remís. Just make sure the meter is on when traveling and to pay in pesos. 

Uber: Cheaper Option

  • Cost is USD $3-4.50 but must have Wi-Fi or Sim Card to order on the App.
  • There is a Uber station outside so your ride can find you.

Public Bus: Inconvenient Option

  • You can take line 675 or 680 to get to the city center.
  • You must have a Mendoza card in order to ride the bus and the bus does not take cash.
  • Cost is less than USD $1 to ride but will not drop you off at your desired location.

The Metro Tram is known as the Metrotranvía in Mendoza. This light-rail system runs for 12.5km from 6am to 10pm. The rail runs from the city centre, along Belgrano to Maipú.

In order to ride you must have a Redbus card. Theses cards can be purchased from the bus station or local shops.

Compared to other major cities in Argentina, Mendoza is considered one of the best destinations to solo travel and as a female too, but there are always safety precautions to take when traveling to unfamiliar places. There is petty theft, so be street smart and hang on tightly to your valuables. It’s important to be vigilant and wary of your surroundings.

The emergency number in Buenos Aires is 101 or 911.

Safety tips:

Don’t leave valuable possessions in your back pockets.

Do not take unfamiliar streets or alleyways when walking in town.

Always stay cautious and be aware of your surroundings when walking alone.

Ignore cat-calling, if you feel uncomfortable, politely but firmly tell them to stop and walk towards a big crowd.  

Safety tips for the night-owls:

Try to avoid taxis alone at night unless it is a “Radio Taxi”. You are less likely to be harassed or scammed in a “Radio Taxi”. Avoid walking alone at night even if it is to and from a bar.

Travel in groups of 2 or more- especially if you are a solo female traveler. Make sure you lock your doors.

Mendoza is the best place to experience outdoor activities so it is best to visit while the weather is great!  

  • October, November, December, January, February, March, April: BEST TIME TO VISIT.
  • October, November (Spring) and March, April (Autumn): Warm/best time to do outdoor activities.
  • January: Hottest and wettest month.
  • July: Coldest month. 

Spanish is the official language of Argentina but there is a large population that speak Italian and Levantine Arabic. Regardless, Spanish remains the most widely spoken language in Argentina. 

Here’s a few basic words and phrases:

Hello: Hola

Thank you: Gracias

You’re welcome: De nada

Excuse me: Perdóneme

I’m sorry: Lo siento

Please: Por favor

Good morning: Buenos días

Goodnight: Buenas noches

My name is…: Me llamo…

Check, please: La cuenta por favor

I don’t understand: No entiendo

Do you speak English?: ¿Hablas inglés?

Where is…?: ¿Dónde está…?

Call the police: Llama la policía

Appropriate etiquette can guide you through this interesting and unique culture. These tips are helpful to avoid any misunderstandings with locals.

Social settings:

  • A kiss on the cheek is how Argentinians greet one another, even strangers. 
  • Argentinian’s have good eye contact, but the men tend to stare.
  • Argentinian’s are direct, open and communicate loudly.
  • Argentina’s use of personal features as nicknames, do not take it personally. 
  • Do not take their jokes offensively, Argentinians, culturally, make jokes that have to do with your appearance. 
  • Argentina has a lively nightlife but it does not start until 2am, therefore do not go to clubs until then.
  • Do not drink alcohol in public areas, you may see adolescents doing so but it is not a respectable thing for adults.
  • Stray away from conversations about politics, religion, or any sensitive topics that can offend Argentina. 

Wine and dine:

  • When entering an Argentinian home, greet with a kiss on the cheek and make sure to bring a gift for the host.
  • Do not introduce yourself to others, allow the host to introduce you.
  • Always dress nicely and presentable
  • Punctuality isn’t a large part of Argentinian culture; it is expected for people to be late and have a late meal.

The local unit of currency is the Argentine Peso (ARS). Approximately ARS 67.49 equates to USD $1.

Exchanging money is best done at the airports in Buenos Aires. It is recommended to not exchange money at ATMs on the streets.

Tipping! It is not expected but desired. If the service was great, most employees will hope for a tip. The usual rate for tipping is 10%. 

Argentina’s electricity outlets are 220 volts with 50 HZ standard frequency (C or I). If the appliances you use are between 220-240 volts, they can be used in Buenos Aires. Plugs are typically 2 pronged and flat. While some plugs are three dots and rounded.

Your converter should look like this:

Argentina power adapters - what plugs are used?

Drinking tap water straight from the faucet is safe to do in Mendoza. The British installed a water system in 1869 that made the water safe to drink, even better than the water in the UK. It is recommended to drink bottled water instead since the water compositions have changed. 

Mendoza has the purest mineral waters on earth and is a natural source for many countries in the world.

Here’s how to get a SIM card (“chip”) in Mendoza:

  • Make sure your phone is unlocked. 
  • Claro, Movistar, Personal, and Nextel are the main carriers on the market with the most extensive networks. 
  • Pick up your SIM cards at the airport, official network store, supermarket, kiosk, pharmacies or shops.
  • Argentinian SIM cards usually cost approximately ARS 10 (about USD $0.15). 
  • The cost of making and receiving calls will vary depending on the carrier.

Uber is currently allowed in Mendoza, other options include Cabify and BA Taxi. 

Be advised there are issues with Ubers not arriving or canceling in Mendoza. Drivers can be a little crazy so it’s not recommended to rent a car and drive on your own.

Argentina is one of the more progressive countries when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. Argentina was the first country in South America to legalized same-sex-marriage in 2010 but even in 1887, same sex relations/activities were allowed.

Rights to change gender without a doctor’s consultation was legalized in 2012; Argentinians do not need reassignment surgery or hormones but if they want them, they are provided for free by the state if requested. Rights to change gender without surgery was legalized in 2018. Same-sex adoption was legalized in 2010. The LGBTQ+ community has the rights to donate blood and be part of the military. It is illegal in some areas to discriminate towards the LGBTQ+ community and they are only protected by the military code but not included in the general discrimination code. 

Mendoza is a very popular country to visit because of its eco-tours, wineries and breathtaking places to explore in the countryside.  

Must See Highlights for Eco-Travelers:

  • The Bodegas of Mendoza
  • Parque Provincial Aconcagua
  • Lake Potrerillos
  • Puente del Inca

SHOP ETHICALLY:

Jetset Times SHOP swimsuits

THE ESSENTIALS

Mendoza is located close to the Chilean border, offering fantastic views of the Andes.

FOR FOODIES:

Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro are safe neighborhoods for travelers and for lodging.

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