I recently spent a couple of days hiking in Potrerillos and it was amazing! I’ve always loved the mountains and I’m so glad that springtime is here and I can do more hiking. I decided that Potrerillos was a great place to start because it is a small town close to Mendoza city.
I decided to visit Potrerillos by bus which takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes. There was an 8:25am bus and the round trip ticket only cost $85 pesos (~$5 USD). Luckily, you can do opened ended return ticket so all I had to select was the date of my return.
Travel Tip: If you want to visit Potrerillos for only a day to go hiking you should probably take the 8:25am bus because the next bus doesn’t leave until ~10am.
Once I arrived to Potrerillos I decided to stay on the bus and take it to a small town a little further into the mountains called El Salto. I was told by several locals that Cascada El Salto was a great hike. From the bus stop, you simply need to walk straight ahead up the road and the trail starts directly in front of you. While the gate for the trail was shut, there was a easy way to get around the gate and onto the trail by going to the right side of the road. The hike took about 5 hours round trip (you could probably do it quicker but I had all of my camping gear and not just a day pack). It is definitely all uphill going to the waterfall and all downhill on the return but it was very peaceful. I only saw 2 other people while I was hiking. After the hike, I started walking back to Potrerillos which is 10km away. While there are buses between Potrerillos and El Salto, there are only around 4 a day and I wasn’t sure how long I would have to wait. So, I decided to walk and enjoy the scenery.
Travel Tip: If you want to find hiking in Argentina as well as pictures and maps Wikiloc is a great app that has thousands of hikes uploaded. You can also download offline maps of the trail!
On Saturday, I woke up and decided to hike a little around the lake. While I didn’t do any long hikes, there were a couple of shorter hikes to the tops of hills around the lake. They were great options to get some 360 degree views and a good place to have a picnic.
There also happened to be a music festival on the lake while I was there so I sat for an hour and enjoyed the music before heading back to Mendoza.
Travel Tip: Potrerillos doesn’t have a lot in terms of a supermarket so I recommend bringing sunscreen, gas for a camp stove (if applicable), and some of the more unusual groceries items with you.
Overall, I really enjoyed going to Potrerillos and I would recommend it to anyone in the Mendoza area. It is a great place to visit for the day if you are short on time or you can definitely spend several days camping and trekking in the backcountry.