Mendoza in recent years has earned a reputation not only as a leading international wine center, but also increasingly as a destination for adventure sports. Most sports activities take place outside of the city itself, but the capital is the best staging ground for excursions to the areas where these activities are held. While many visitors come with an itinerary in hand, most agencies in the city of Mendoza can put together a program for just about any type of activity. Several are located in the city center along Paseo Sarmiento.
White-water Rafting and Smooth Sailing
The city of Mendoza itself is located near two large rivers, the Mendoza and the Diamante. These are high-volume, fast flowing rivers, especially in the spring after the snow melts, and their exciting rapids are sure to give you an outstanding whitewater rafting trip. There is also excellent fishing in these rivers. To the west and in and around the Parque Provincial Aconcagua are numerous smaller rivers affording even more challenging routes, amidst spectacular scenery. To the south toward San Rafael, the rivers tend to be calmer, and crystal-clear lakes prevail, ideal settings for kayaking, canoeing and even sailing. Well-known outfitters like Rios Andinos are found in Mendoza, San Rafael and also in some of the communities near the Parque Provincial Aconcagua.
Aconcagua Park in Mendoza City of San Rafael Overview Rios Andinos Further Information - (External Link)
There are also excellent hiking trails, numerous opportunities for mountain biking, and climbing for all skill levels. Mendoza has an Andes Club that has a comprehensive selection of maps (and guides for those tackling the taller summits), and there are many lodges to the west in the Andean towns that offer gear and guides in addition to accommodations en route to the peaks. Always check with an outfitter before heading out, as many summits require permits to climb.
Andes Club Further Information - (External Link)
Another high-altitude favorite is skiing, with Las Lenas leading the way with more than 30 expert-level trails, and now considered second only to Bariloche in the nation. It also boasts the largest number of snowboard runs in Argentina. Las Lenas has recently expanded its offerings and is now a four-season resort, with canopy rides, horseback riding, mountain biking and even diving.
Ski in Las Lenas Resort in Mendoza
For those in search of high-adrenalin adventure, the countryside abounds in it. Extreme biking, paragliding, parasailing, skydiving, even winter camping, wilderness survival and orienteering are all found in the Mendoza province. For the ultimate in extreme, there is always the formidable Aconcagua, the highest peak in the country and continent, and sure to challenge even the most experienced climber. Among the best outfitters for extreme sports are the Mendoza-based Campo Base that also happens to serve as a hostel.
Campo Base Further Information - (External Link)
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