Getting around in Mendoza



How would you suggest getting around in Mendoza, between wineries? The hotel we're staying at has arranged for us a private driver, but the charge seems astronomical at $400 pesos for each day. We're only going to 3-4 places a day and they're all in the same area (Lujan de Cuyo). Should we just find a taxi driver and hire him for the day (from about 10AM-5PM)? Or could we just ride a bike to the different vineyards? Are taxis easy to get in that area so we could just call one and pay for the ride between vineyards and not have to pay for waiting time?
We rented a car for the time we were there, that gave us a lot of freedom. You will need to make reservations for your wine tasting ( no just popping in like Cal), the hours are very short and the days vary for each winery. Best to plot it out with the concierge when you arrive at your hotel. Some wineries serve lunch, again only by reservation. Enjoy, it's a lot of fun, the wineries are beautiful and the wine great.
Do you remember about how much it was to rent a car? Is it pretty easy to get around? I did some hunting online and found a different driver that would do full day tours for $300 AR each day. That's easier to swallow than $400/day for a driver. So I'm stuck between that or renting a car... it would be nice to have the freedom to explore, but after a day full of wine drinking (err... tasting)... :)

Good call on making reservations, thanks!
no, I don't remember the price. There were 3 different car companies at the airport next to each other. Tom compared price, milage etc from each, I think we got hertz. Then we returned the car right before our flight back, they're just inside the terminal. It was much cheaper then hiring a car and driver, driving is real easy there, nothing like BA crazy crowded. Nice open easy driving.
rrptownley said:


I want to ride my biCYCLE...

I asked a lady that works with our hotel about biking between the vineyards, but she said the distance is pretty far and recommended a car. Were you in Mendoza visiting wineries? Did you travel to each winery by bike? The ones we have chosen to go to are all in Lujan de Cuyo.
Bianca, I have a guide in Mendoza that works with me on my trips, and is a good friend. If you are interested, send me a PM. He speaks english (studying) and is a great guide. He actually specializes on mountain and adventure tours, but works in the gastronomic business when he's not guiding, so he knows "a little bit" about the bodegas and most of the hosts/PR people.

I strongly recommend a driver for the bodega visits, since police has been very strict with controls lately, especially, alcohol tests. A cousin got a AR$ 700 ticket because the passenger wasn't wearing her seatbelt (the driver was). And worst of all, Mendoza police keeps your license (like in the US) when they give you a fine, to make sure that you pay. And the only way to pay and get it back if you are from out of state, is to go personally to the police department, which means quite a few precious hours lost the day after you get fined.

What bodegas are you planning on visiting?
I suggest you take the time (more than an hour drive from Mendoza) to go to Salentein, see the museum and have lunch at Kilka... great restaurant, architecture and art.
100 usa dollars a day for a private car and a driver is not really a lot of money for that service is it? people are forgeting that the peso is really 4 to a dollar. a person has to pay for gas, insurance, the car, time and still make a dollar - maybe actually 30 dollars. thats not really a lot for someone for a day. it may be a lot for you to spend, but not a lot for the person providing the "luxury" service.

think a driver for 8 hours and probably an additional hour or so from his home to you and then back after. so just pay for the driver for 9 hours at 8 dollars an hour is 72 dollars. i suppose we expect people to work for pennies these days.
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We hired a very good guy last time we were there in January. He speaks good English and knows everyone around in the wineries / wine business. Very nice guy and highly recommendable. He is very fair to charge prices so I give you his details and maybe you can give him a call and see what he would charge:

Daniel Agnello
(0261) 15 553 9953 (cell)
(0261) 589 152 (nextel)
Thanks for all of the suggestions and recommendations everyone! I ended up going with a guy named Javier Caruso who was excellent! He charged just a little bit less than the hotel's private driver, but gave us a great tour and made reservations with the vineyards for us. If anyone is searching the forums for drivers in Mendoza, this thread now has a few great recommendations. Javier can be reached at [email protected] or 0261-155275598.