Sunday, October 26, 2014

Winery & Hot Spring in Mendoza

One of the things we really wanted to do in Mendoza was of course the winery tour.

We didn't book anything in advance because everything we saw online was quite expensive.

Once we arrived in Mendoza, we walked around the Plaza Independencia and visited a few travel agencies - to get quotes & compare.

Lots of options!
So here are some tours available (that we were interested in):



1. The basic wine tour - the most budget package was two wineries, olive oil farm & some empanadas with beer (price range: 170 to 190 ARS)

2. Wine bike tour - the bus will come and pick you up from your hotel. Once you are in winery area, you'll bicycle with the tour guide - roughly 4 wineries (some with beer breweries) - this was more expensive than option 1. (price range: 330 to 440 ARS - maybe there are cheaper options but we weren't really interested in this option after we were told we'd need to bicycle around 14km or so...)

3. Similar to hop on and off bus, except this bus will pick you up in the downtown Mendoza and drop you off in the winery areas -  you can hop on and off up to 4 times (i.e. four wineries) - winery entrance fees are not included. We were told entrance fee depends on the winery but usually around 40-60 ARS, some are free (This is operated by Bus Vitivinícola $190 ARS)

4. More exclusive wine tours with lunch included in one of the estate - price range $650 ARS+. Some are private tours, thus more expensive.

5. And here is the one we choose - winery tour & hot spring! (Price: $250 ARS per person)

So I was very excited because I love wine AND I love hot spring.

The tour started around 8:45am. The driver came to pick us up at our hotel. It turned out it was just two of us, yay private tour!

Cavas De Don Arturo

We drove for about an hour to a small family own winery, called Cavas De Don Arturo.

A very friendly Argentinean girl gave us the tour of her winery.

Small winery but it was really nice.

After some wine tasting, we bought a nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Mmm... very happy.




After the wine tour, we drove for another hour to the mountain for hot spring! The place is called 'Termas de Cacheuta' - a bit like water park combined with hot spring.

We were told by our driver that either he OR someone else(?!) will come and pick us up at (around) 5:45pm. After he left, we realized we would have to stay in hot spring for over 6 hours (it was about 11:30am when he dropped is off).... Hrmmm... maybe a little too long? - anyway it was too late now so we went ahead and tried different pools and hot springs.


By around 4pm we were getting a bit tired... so we got out (of hot spring) around 5:15pm and waited outside.... we waited, waited and waited... By 6pm, I was getting impatient......hrmmmmmm........

We decided to call the travel agent. Frode went to a shop and asked for a phone. Called, no answer. Hrmmmmm........

By 6:15pm, most people were leaving the hot spring (as the official closing time was 6:30pm).

We went back to the water park and with our broken Spanish and body language, explained that we have no ride. A very helpful lady at the reception called few places and said '20 minutes' - It seems our driver had forgotten about us.

So we waited..... And finally, around 7pm, a van came to pick us up.

Ah, what a long day.