A diet of asado and wine isn’t easy on the calories. In order to keep everything in balance, many locals turn to running. Whether you’re a casual jogger or an experienced marathoner, Mendoza fosters a large community of runners of all ages and abilities. With sunshine year round and a dry climate, runners in Mendoza enjoy the backdrop of the Andes at all hours of the day. Here are the best spots to head to for a good run in wine country:
Parque General San Martin
The park can be accessed by winding your way through the Quinta or Sexta sections of the city. Once inside, the safest section for runners is the peatonal, a walking path that circles the park’s lake. A lap around the peatonal makes for a solid 2.5 kilometers. If you choose to wander away from the lake, a running partner is strongly recommended.
Cerro de la Gloria
Located within Parque General San Martin, Cerro de la Gloria is a great workout for walkers and runners. Located next to the Zoo, Cerro de la Gloria’s steep inclines are a great workout with an even better view. At the top, take in a panoramic view of Mendoza and climb the stairs to the monument of San Martin. Be careful when descending, sand and small rocks can sometimes make for a slippery path.
Located in Godoy Cruz, the continuous trail is great for distance running. The park follows the trail of paved over train tracks that wind through barrios and parallel traffic. Take in the local street art on the backs of buildings and weave through playgrounds.
While Parque General San Martin is a haven for the outdoorsy folks of Mendoza, Parque Central offers a distinct people watching experience. Make your way a bit out of town and observe the views of afternoon picnickers, dodge aerial gymnasts, or pop inside Nave Cultural to learn about upcoming events.
Everyone in Mendoza will suggest you take a trip to Cerro Arco, whether you are a runner or not. Located in Las Heras, just outside of the city center, the Arco usually takes about an hour and a half for the average hiker. However, more experienced trail runners can take on the mountain much faster. Grab some sturdy shoes, pack some water, rent some trekking poles and take on the Arco!
Admittedly, getting to these locations can be a game changer. Be sure to watch out for acequias (deep, uncovered water channels) as you go. Sidewalks can be crowded, your spandex will be questioned and streetlights will become your ally. And who knows, maybe you’ll make a friend along the way – be it a fellow runner or a dog who chooses to follow you.
Notes: You may find that you are going slower than normal when you first arrive. Remember that Mendoza’s altitude is probably higher than you are used to! It takes some time to adjust but keep at it and you’ll be running like the zonda wine in no time. (Running during the zonda wind is strongly discouraged.)