Oh, The Things to Do in Mendoza! Rafting, Canopying & Horseback Riding

Tips & Recommendations Posted on 01/31/2011

Mendoza is not just wine tours but also adventure experiences such as rafting in Mendoza River. This is my experience!

Back in Mendoza on Sunday we went towards the mountains again and spent the whole day white water rafting, horseback riding and “canopying”. There truly are numerous things to do in Mendoza.

In the morning, we separated since Heidi had been too impressed by a video presentation that showed rafting through category III rapids in Mendoza. So instead, Heidi went horseback riding in beautiful landscape with the Andean backdrop, while Gilles tried rafting for the first time. This was an incredible experience!

Very reassuring were the safety standards: each raft held five tourists that were accompanied by two guides. Besides that, there were also 3 kayaks to help people who might fall off the boat. After a security briefing and a few minutes of practicing various manoeuvres, we started our rafting journey on the Rio Mendoza, a rough glacier river, with rapids from category II to III on a scale going from I, very easy to VI, impassable.

This kind of rafting experience in Mendoza is just ideal for beginners who are looking for strong adrenaline output. It was truly exhilarating to zigzag between the rocks at high speed in the muddy glacier waters. The temperature of the water was 11 degrees and when the first waves hit us, at times more than one meter high, we even got a good taste of it.

Also the group was great fun, a British and an Irish couple plus Gilles who all had a great time paddling and getting soaking wet together, plus of course the two really cool guides, who seemed to enjoy the adventure as much as we did.

It was also amazing to observe the three kayaks accompanying us: they entertained us the whole way down performing complex manoeuvres, like surfing on waves, making flips, yes, flips or 360 degrees rotations! Only once did they have to rescue a lady that fell off one of the boats. She was quickly retrieved from the river and the trip went on.

Then we went canopying, which means you glide high above the ground, your harness attached to a steel cable. The tour consisted of six “trips” organised like a circuit starting with a short glide to overcome the worst fears. After the first two trips we were not worrying anymore at all but simply were taking in the excitement. Then came the finale! Twice we crossed high above Rio Mendoza, one glide was 380 meter and the other even 420 meter long at up to 60 meters above the water.

Our group was fabulous, very supportive and fun, all Argentineans and Brazilians. Actually, since we have started traveling in northern Argentina, we have hardly met European or American tourists and have been doing all tours in Spanish, except rafting. We had no difficulties whatsoever following every detail of the instructions.

Together we watched the outstanding photos taken by an employee of the company and naturally, we bought this precious little souvenir!

For more information about things to do in Mendoza or to find out about trips in Mendoza, wine tours or horse riding and hiking in the Andes (Aconcagua), please visit Say Hueque.

This Mendoza travel excerpt was written by Gilles and Heidi at oneyearoff.

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