Argentina & Chile: The Great Wine Crossing – 13 days

Travel Itinerary Idea

Argentina & Chile: two countries, two cultures, two great wine producers and a natural border in common: the majestic Andes Cordillera!

You will start this 13 days tour in the captivating capital of Argentina: Buenos Aires! Then, you will reach Mendoza, land of Malbec. You will meet the independent winemakers of this region, but also the Catena Zapata and Casa Enemigo Vigil wineries which have won 100 points by the critic Robert Parker.

After crossing the Andes, you will arrive in Chile where you will meet several winemakers. Country of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere, you will also taste the flavours of Pisco Sour in the bohemian city of Valparaiso!

Suggested duration: 13 days

Theme: Food & wine

Difficulty : For all public

Visited countries: Chile

Your tailor-made trip

Travelers reviews : 9,5/10

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Day 1 : International Aiport Ezeiza

Greetings at Ezeiza International Airport and transfer to Buenos Aires in a private vehicle. Transfer with an English-speaking guide.

Visit Buenos Aires (half day, private tour).

Buenos Aires, a cosmopolitan city with European features, is among the 10 most active cities in the world. City of arts, cultures, theaters, traditions … The variety satisfies the most demanding visitor.

You visit the ‘9 de Julio’ Avenue, the widest in the world, dominated by the Obelisk, a symbol of Buenos Aires. You will pass the Colon Theatre, one of the jewels of the Argentina’s architecture. Then you arrive to the famous Plaza de Mayo, and enjoy iconic sites such as  the Casa Rosada (Pink Palace) or Casa de Gobierno (government palace), the Cabildo (council) and the Cathedral.

You end your day with the picturesque neighborhood of La Boca, and specifically the alley El Caminito, the spot for painters, tango dancers and singers.

Return to your hotel after the visit. A English speaking guide will accompany you throughout your visit.

Night at the Tango de Mayo Hotel in standard room.

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Day 2 : City Tour Buenos Aires

Visit Buenos Aires (half day and private tour).

Buenos Aires , a cosmopolitan city with European features, is among the 10 most active cities in the world. City of arts, cultures, theatres, traditions … The variety satisfies even the most demanding visitor.

Guided tour of Recoleta neighbourhood, characterized by many colonial houses, often old houses of historical figures, currently inhabited by powerful Argentine families. You enter the luxurious Pacifico Shopping Center , characterized by its French architecture of 1889, with vaulted ceilings. This stunning place is one of the favourite places in Argentina.

Later you visit Recoleta Cemetery , where many celebrities, writers and politicians rest. The best known and most revered, even today is the tomb of Evita Peron, the legendary wife of President Peron.

You continue your visit to Palermo neighborhood, with a stroll in the park Tres de Febrero, inaugurated in 1875, representing the largest green area of the city.

Return to your hotel. An English speaking guide will accompany you throughout your visit. Private tango lessons in a dance hall with Carolina:

Carolina is an English speaking tango teacher, she will have at heart to teach you the first steps of tango but also to tell you some anecdotes about the culture of tango in Buenos Aires. Transfer in a private vehicle included.

Milonga Evening: you enter the world of Tango dancers by passing through the doors of one of the most beautiful Milonga of the capital. Accompanied by Carolina, you will learn the history of Tango and the codes of the milonga specific to Argentine Tango.

Night at the Tango de Mayo Hotel in standard room.

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Day 3 : Buenos Aires - fly to Mendoza

Transfer from the hotel to the Buenos Aires Domestic Airport in a private vehicle accompanied with an English-speaking guide.

Board your domestic flight to Mendoza. Transfer from Mendoza Airport to your hotel.

Empanadas Cooking Class

How about cooking the famous Argentinean empanadas and enjoy Argentinean meat at sunset in the middle of the vineyards?

In the early evening, you go in small groups (maximum 8 people) to the Finca Adalgisa where Chef Cristina Brino is waiting for you. After a wander through the vineyards, you put on your apron to start preparing a traditional Argentinean meal: empanadas mendocinas, carne con salsa chimichurri, etc.

This is a convivial moment that will allow you to get to know the local products, a few anecdotes and soak up the Argentine culture.

Dinner on the terrace of the finca. Return to Mendoza in the evening.

Night at the Posada Verde Oliva in standard room.

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Day 4 : Mendoza - Wine tour at Lujan de Cuyo

You take a tour in a semi-private excursion (maximum 10 people), accompanied by an English-speaking guide specialized in oenology, to visit 4 hand-crafted wineries.

The first visit is the Carinae boutique winery in Maipu handled by the French couple Brigitte and Philippe. They welcome us in their lovely vineyard, with Syrah Pergola and olive trees.

The tour goes on with the visit of Carmelo Patti winery in Lujan de Cuyo. Carmelo welcome us in his authentic winery, where he makes great malbec and cabernet sauvignon, and the amazing ‘Gran Assemblage’. No snobbery, just good old wines guided by a real figure.

Our third stop is at Pulmary, one of the really first certified organic bodega. We are greeted by the owner Diana and her son Ramiro the winemaker, also elaborating famous organic and handcraft beers.

Let’s have a gourmet picnic at the famous Alta Vista Winery, enjoying the nature and beauty of their square, surrounded by centenary trees. The winery is a historical building built in 1899, fully restored in 2003, and with all the cutting-edge wine-making technology. The underground cellars are hosting the French oak wine barrels of Alta Vista.

The winery is based on a five square hectare estate, with over 50 hundred-year-old olive trees, and is considered one of Mendoza’s historical sites because it represents the architecture of 19th-century wineries. Return to Mendoza at the end of the afternoon.

Night at the Posada Verde Oliva in standard room.

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Day 5 : Mendoza - Wine tour - Catena Zapata

You take a tour in a semi-private excursion (maximum 10 people), accompanied by an English-speaking guide specialized in oenology, to visit the Catena Zapata, Alejandro Vigil and Casa El Enemigo wineries.

The day begins on a high with an amazing wine tasting in the famous Catena Zapata winery. Who doesn’t know the Catena Zapata winery? The three main stages in the Catena family’s wine history have not only revolutionized the family winery but also the Argentine wine industry over the past 50 years. The story of Catena is the story of Argentine wine.

We start the day with an outstanding tasting at the famous Catena Zapata winery for 2-3 hours.We will taste wines directly from the barrel followed by an explanation of the Catena Cuttings in the vineyard, and will end with a fabulous guided tasting.

You will then go to Casa Vigil to visit Alejandro Vigil , the famous and renowned winemaker of Catena Zapata. He has decided to open his own independent cellar and restaurant in his home. After a brief visit to his gardens (called Heaven) and cellar (called Hell), you will enjoy a gastronomic menu harmonized with the best wines of the cellar, the Gran Enemigos (including the famous Cabernet Franc Gualtallary 100pts Robert Parker Wine Advocate!). An unforgettable experience!

Return to Mendoza at the end of the afternoon.

Night at the Posada Verde Oliva in standard room.

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Day 6 : Mendoza - Daniel's Ranch

After leaving Mendoza in shared transport, you arrive at Daniel’s ranch and learn the authentic ritual of Argentinean Mate and eat some delicious homemade sopaipillas (donuts) with Daniel’s family.

Daniel is a gaucho, an equivalent of the North American «cowboy».

After saddled up the horses, you start a 2 hours horse riding tour into the Andes. You then have a typical lunch at 2,700 metres enjoying majestic views of the Andes (weather dependent, it may be an asado/BBQ or cold sandwich if windy). Then you continue horse riding for 2 more hours and go back to Daniel’s ranch.

We finally return to Mendoza.

Night at the Posada Verde Oliva in standard room.

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Day 7 : Mendoza - Santiago de Chile

Private transfer from your hotel to the Mendoza bus station. Depart at 07:30 in a sleeper bus to Santiago de Chile. Approximate arrival time is 14:30. You will travel in 1st class which includes food, wine, heating, TV screen and reclining seats to 150 degrees.

The bus ride is about 7h00 and timetable may vary at your time you travel.

Your driver picks you up at Santiago bus station and drives you to your hotel.

Night in the Eco Hotel Carmenere ***.

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Day 8 : Santiago de Chile

After a light breakfast, your English speaking guide will pick you up at your hotel to start your Food Tour of Santiago.

The day begins with the Vega Central, a covered market built in 1910 overflown with fresh products from all over the country. First tasting of the day: the famous sopaipilla , pancake made with pumpkin.

On the other side of the Mapocho river, you will visit the Central Market, built in 1872, famous for its fresh fish and seafood. At the corner of the central market, you will find Santiago’s oldest empanadas shop. After tasting a delicious meat or cheese empanada, make your way to the gastronomic neighborhood of Lastarria, where you will have a pisco tasting in the well known Chipe Libre.

The excursion ends at the top of the San Cristobal hill where you will taste the famous moté con huesillo while admiring the panoramic view of the city and the Andes.

Night in the Eco Hotel Carmenere ***.

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Day 9 : Santiago de Chile - Casablanca Valley - Valparaiso

Your driver picks you up at your hotel and you head to the Casablanca Valley. Enthusiasts of wine tourism and fine connoisseurs enjoy this region famous for its grape varieties Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc but even more recently for its Pinot Noir.

On the way you visit the following vineyards:

Bodega Ré –

Guided visit and 3 wines tasting in a small family vineyard: Bodega Ré.

Wine tasting goes with a variety of cheese and olive oil. You will discover the liquors and balsamics room.

Matetic –

Discover an emblematic bio-dynamic vineyard of the Casablanca valley. Founded in the 80’s by a Croatian family, Matetic was one of the first vineyards to cultivate the Shiraz variety in Chile. After visiting the property and the bodega you taste 4 premium wines of the EQ line with fresh bread and bio-olive oil.

Lunch at the vineyard’s restaurant. Starter, main course, dessert and wine included.

Note: Visit at 11:00 a.m. After the discovery of Chilean wine, you leave the Casablanca Valley to reach the famous colorful and bohemian city of Valparaiso.

Night in the Hotel Fauna ***, standard room.

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Day 10 : Valparaiso

Your guide takes you for a visit of Valparaíso and its old quarters, listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO. With its many hills crowned with picturesque houses and warehouses, its steep narrow streets, its cable cars and street artists, the city has a particular identity and a very special atmosphere. Seize the opportunity to have lunch in a typical seafood restaurant. Visit of La Sebastiana, one of Pablo Neruda’s houses.

By foot and in public transport.

*La Sebastiana is closed on Mondays.

**In case of rainy day, option of guided tour with private vehicle (extra fees to your charge).

In the evening, you are invited to the Chilean chef Mauricio’s house in order to learn the recipe of the famous Pisco Sour cocktail. While you taste different types of piscos and prepare your own very first pisco sour, Mauricio tells you more about the history of this emblematic drink. You then enjoy the wonderful view of the city of Valparaiso from the terrace and taste local products… your glass of Pisco Sour in your hand.

Mauricio takes you back to your hotel.

Night in the Hotel Fauna ***, standard room.

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Day 11 : Valparaiso - Isla Negra - Santa Cruz

After breakfast, your guide takes you to Isla Negra , the most beautiful house of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, now a museum.

You then go South across the green wine valleys between the mountains and the ocean. Private tour and tasting at the Casa Marin vineyard.

This site, located in San Antonio Valley, is distinguished by its unique location near the ocean and the fact that its founder María Luz Marin became the first woman of the South American continent to become an oenologist and vineyard owner in 2000. Despite the early difficulties due to the proximity of the coast, the estate has been awarded many times since its creation. The Casa Marin still keeps its family atmosphere and you will be warmly welcomed.

Visit the casona and the bodega and vineyards, followed by a tasting of 3 wines from the vineyard, two white and one red.

*Opening time: between 09:30 – 16:00

You then drive to the Colchagua Valley near Santa Cruz where your hotel is located.

Night in the hotel Terra Viña *** in a standard room

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Day 12 : Santa Cruz - Santiago de Chile

Your driver will pick you up at your hotel to take you to the selected vineyards in the Colchagua valley specialised in red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere Malbec and Syrah. On the way you can also visit the Colchagua Museum.

At the end of the afternoon, your driver takes you back to your hotel.

Visit of Lapostolle

Lapostolle was founded by the Marnier Lapostolle family from France, known from producing spirits and liqueurs especially Cognac since the 1880’s and the Rabat family from Chile in 1994. They produced a variety of wines in a design setting in the middle of the Colchagua valley.

Group tour followed by a wine tasting in the French vineyard Clos Lapostolle.

*Tour at 10.30am, 12.30am, 4pm and 5.30pm

Then drive back to Santiago de Chile in late afternoon.

Night in the Eco Hotel Carmenere ***.

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Day 13 : Santiago de Chile

On your last day, accompanied by your English-speaking guide, you go on a half day city tour and explore the Chilean capital, a big, charming city nestled at the foot of the Andes. Although Santiago has become over the years a modern and very active city, some neighborhoods have preserved their romantic charm and atmosphere. From the central Plaza de Armas to the colorful street of the Bellavista quarter, passing through the Santa Lucía hill, you will learn about the turbulent and fascinating Chilean history.

Your driver takes you from your hotel in Santiago to the airport. It’s time to say goodbye to Chile, your mind filled with wonderful memories …

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