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Visiting Potrerillos: An Adventurous Day Trip From Mendoza, Argentina


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Marris Ormsby



Welcome to Potrerillos, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the Andes Mountains, just a short drive away from Mendoza, Argentina. This picturesque destination offers breathtaking landscapes, exhilarating adventures, and a vibrant local culture that will leave you wanting more. Whether you are a nature lover, an adrenaline junkie, or simply seeking a tranquil escape from the bustling city, Potrerillos has something for everyone.


With its pristine lakes, towering mountains, and abundant wildlife, Potrerillos is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. From thrilling water sports to invigorating hiking trails, this region offers endless opportunities for adventure and exploration. But Potrerillos isn’t just about adrenaline-pumping activities; it’s also a place where you can immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Argentina.


In this article, we will guide you through an unforgettable day trip to Potrerillos, highlighting the key attractions and experiences that make this destination so special. So buckle up and get ready for an adventure-filled journey through one of Argentina’s best-kept secrets.


Getting to Potrerillos

Located just 69 kilometers southwest of Mendoza, reaching Potrerillos is easy and convenient. The most common way to get there is by car, which gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace. From Mendoza, you can follow Route 82 and enjoy a scenic drive through the picturesque countryside.


If you prefer not to drive or don’t have access to a car, don’t worry. There are also bus services available that operate between Mendoza and Potrerillos. These buses run regularly and provide a cost-effective option for travelers.


Once you arrive in Potrerillos, you’ll be greeted by a charming village surrounded by breathtaking natural landscapes. From here, you can easily access all the attractions and activities that the area has to offer.


It’s important to note that Potrerillos is a popular destination, especially during the peak tourist season. If you’re planning to visit during these times, it’s advisable to book your transportation in advance to ensure availability and avoid any last-minute hassles.


Now that you know how to reach Potrerillos, it’s time to dive into the exciting experiences that await you in this beautiful region.


Exploring the Dam

One of the must-visit attractions in Potrerillos is the Potrerillos Dam, a marvel of engineering that not only serves as a source of hydroelectric power but also offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. As you approach the dam, you’ll be greeted by the impressive sight of the massive concrete structure stretching across the Mendoza River.


Take a leisurely stroll along the dam and marvel at the crystal-clear waters of the reservoir below. On a sunny day, you can see the reflection of the mountains and the clear blue sky, creating a picture-perfect scene. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as you’ll want to capture this stunning view.


If you’re looking for a bit of excitement, you can try your hand at some water sports on the reservoir. Kayaking and paddleboarding are popular activities that allow you to fully immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surroundings. Glide across the calm waters and feel the gentle breeze brush against your face as you explore the reservoir’s hidden corners.


For those seeking a more relaxed experience, you can simply sit by the shore of the reservoir and enjoy a picnic while soaking in the beauty of the scenery. Feel the warmth of the sun and listen to the soothing sounds of nature as you unwind in this serene setting.


As you explore the dam, don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the engineering marvel of the structure itself. The Potrerillos Dam not only generates electricity for the region but also helps regulate the flow of the Mendoza River. It’s a testament to human ingenuity and the harmony between technology and nature.


Whether you choose to embark on an adventure-filled day of water sports or simply relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, exploring the Potrerillos Dam is an experience you won’t want to miss during your visit to Potrerillos.


Enjoying Water Sports

If you’re a water enthusiast, Potrerillos has plenty of options to satisfy your cravings for thrilling water sports. The crystal-clear waters of the reservoir and the stunning backdrop of the Andes Mountains create the perfect setting for an unforgettable aquatic adventure.


One of the most popular water sports activities in Potrerillos is kayaking. Hop into a kayak and paddle your way through the serene reservoir, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of nature. Glide over the calm waters, explore hidden coves and enjoy the peace and tranquility of your surroundings. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced kayaker, Potrerillos offers a variety of routes suitable for all skill levels.


If you’re up for a more fast-paced and exhilarating activity, then windsurfing or kitesurfing might be just what you’re looking for. The strong winds that sweep across the reservoir provide the ideal conditions for these adrenaline-pumping water sports. Feel the rush as you ride the waves, harnessing the power of the wind to propel yourself across the water. It’s an experience that will leave you with a sense of excitement and accomplishment.


For those who prefer a more leisurely water activity, paddleboarding is an excellent choice. Stand on a paddleboard and use a paddle to navigate the waters, allowing you to explore at a relaxed pace. Enjoy the freedom and serenity of gliding across the surface, taking in the stunning scenery that surrounds you.


Whether you choose kayaking, windsurfing, kitesurfing, or paddleboarding, the water sports in Potrerillos offer a unique opportunity to connect with nature and unleash your adventurous spirit. The combination of the picturesque surroundings and the thrill of the activities will create memories that will last a lifetime.


It’s important to note that safety should always be a priority when participating in water sports. Before embarking on any activity, make sure to check the weather conditions, wear appropriate safety gear, and follow all instructions from experienced guides or instructors. With proper precautions, you can fully enjoy the water sports offerings in Potrerillos while ensuring your well-being.


Hiking in the Andes

When visiting Potrerillos, you simply cannot miss the opportunity to explore the majestic Andes Mountains through hiking. With its varied terrain, scenic trails, and breathtaking vistas, Potrerillos offers a paradise for hikers of all levels.


Embark on a thrilling adventure and feel the rush of adrenaline as you conquer the challenging peaks and rugged landscapes. Hiking in the Andes allows you to fully immerse yourself in nature, disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and appreciate the awe-inspiring beauty of the mountains.


One of the most popular hiking destinations in Potrerillos is the Cerro Arco, a mountain that offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area. The trail leading to the summit takes you through a variety of landscapes, from dense forests to rocky slopes. As you ascend higher, you’ll be rewarded with unobstructed vistas of the reservoir, the sprawling valley below, and the distant peaks of the Andes.


If you’re looking for a more gentle hike, the Potrerillos Village trails are perfect for a leisurely stroll. Meander through the charming village, soak in the local culture, and admire the picturesque surroundings. These trails are suitable for all ages and fitness levels, offering a pleasant and relaxing experience amidst nature.


For the more experienced hikers, exploring the famous Aconcagua Provincial Park is a dream come true. This park is home to the mighty Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere. Hiking in this area allows you to witness the sheer magnitude of the Andes and be part of a truly awe-inspiring landscape.


As you venture out on a hike, it is essential to come prepared with proper hiking gear, including sturdy shoes, sunscreen, water, snacks, and a map or guidebook. It’s also advisable to hike with a partner or a group for safety purposes.


Whether you’re a seasoned mountaineer or a novice hiker, exploring the Andes Mountains in Potrerillos will leave you with a sense of accomplishment, a deeper connection to nature, and memories that will last a lifetime.


Visiting the Potrerillos Village

No visit to Potrerillos is complete without exploring the charming village that bears the same name. Tucked amidst the stunning natural landscapes of the Andes, Potrerillos Village offers a glimpse into the local culture, traditions, and way of life.


As you wander through the village, you’ll be captivated by its quaint streets lined with colorful adobe houses and traditional shops. Take a leisurely stroll and immerse yourself in the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere that permeates the village.


One of the highlights of visiting Potrerillos Village is the opportunity to interact with the friendly locals. Strike up a conversation with the residents and learn about their daily lives, customs, and traditions. You might even get a chance to witness traditional activities like weaving or pottery-making, showcasing the rich artisanal heritage of the region.


Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the local market where you can find an array of handmade crafts, textiles, and local produce. This is the perfect place to pick up a unique gift or souvenir to commemorate your trip to Potrerillos.


Immerse yourself in the local gastronomy by indulging in authentic Argentine cuisine at one of the village’s traditional restaurants. From mouth-watering grilled meats to delicious empanadas, you’ll have the opportunity to savor the flavors of Argentina. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a glass of Malbec, the region’s renowned red wine.


If you’re interested in learning more about the history and culture of the area, consider visiting the village’s historical museum. Here, you can delve into the stories of the early settlers and explore the artifacts that tell the tale of Potrerillos’ past.


As you explore the Potrerillos Village, you’ll be captivated by its authentic charm, warm hospitality, and rich cultural heritage. It’s a place where you can truly immerse yourself in the local way of life and create lasting memories.


Sampling Local Cuisine

One of the highlights of visiting Potrerillos is the opportunity to indulge in the tantalizing flavors of the local cuisine. Argentinian gastronomy is famous for its mouthwatering grilled meats, robust wines, and delectable pastries, and Potrerillos is no exception.


Start your culinary adventure by savoring the iconic Argentinian steak. Known for its exceptional quality and flavor, the beef in this region is renowned worldwide. Whether you prefer a tender and juicy bife de chorizo or a succulent entraña, you’re in for a treat. Accompanied by chimichurri, a traditional sauce made with fresh herbs, garlic, and olive oil, your steak experience in Potrerillos will leave your taste buds in pure bliss.


Empanadas are another must-try delicacy in Potrerillos. These savory pastries are filled with a variety of ingredients, such as ground beef, cheese, and vegetables, and are baked to perfection. Enjoy them as a snack, a light meal, or paired with a glass of local wine for the ultimate gastronomic experience.


Speaking of wine, a visit to Potrerillos is incomplete without sampling the region’s finest drops. Mendoza is known for its world-class wineries and produces some of the best Malbec wines in the world. Take a tour of a local winery, learn about the winemaking process, and indulge in tastings of their exquisite varietals. The combination of the region’s high altitude and favorable climate results in wines that are rich, bold, and full-bodied.


If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to try some traditional Argentine desserts. Alfajores, a popular treat, are delicate cookies filled with dulce de leche, a caramel-like sauce. These heavenly treats are perfect for satisfying your sugar cravings. Another beloved dessert is pastelitos, sweet pastries filled with quince paste or dulce de leche. Pair them with a cup of mate, Argentina’s traditional herbal tea, for a delightful afternoon treat.


To truly immerse yourself in the local culinary scene, consider dining at one of Potrerillos’ traditional restaurants. Here, you’ll not only enjoy delicious food but also soak in the warm and friendly ambiance that characterizes Argentinian dining culture. The locals take pride in their culinary heritage and are always willing to share their gastronomic traditions with visitors.


Whether you’re a meat lover, a wine connoisseur, or a dessert enthusiast, Potrerillos’ local cuisine will leave you with a memorable and mouthwatering experience. So be sure to come with an appetite and explore the delicious flavors that this region has to offer.



Potrerillos, located in the heart of the Andes Mountains near Mendoza, Argentina, offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, thrilling adventures, and cultural charm. This hidden gem is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with its pristine lakes, towering peaks, and picturesque landscapes.


Whether you enjoy water sports like kayaking or windsurfing on the crystal-clear reservoir, embark on exhilarating hikes in the majestic Andes, or explore the quaint streets of Potrerillos Village, there is something for everyone in this enchanting destination.


Immerse yourself in the local culture by interacting with friendly locals, visiting the village’s market, sampling mouthwatering grilled meats, and indulging in the region’s renowned wines. The gastronomic delights of Potrerillos will leave you craving for more.


In conclusion, a day trip to Potrerillos promises a unique and unforgettable experience. From the breathtaking landscapes to the thrilling activities, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime. So pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to embark on an adventure-filled journey in the heart of the Andes Mountains.