Explore Chile & Argentina (National Geographic Journey)
8 days with G Adventures Rating:
Day 1 Santiago
Arrive at any time. Your arrival transfer is included.
Santiago is Chile’s largest city and capital, with internationally recognized vineyards and Andean ski resorts very close by. Explore the many museums and parks, and visit the vibrant neighbourhood of Bellavista to see some handicrafts and trendy cafés.
Day 2 Valparaíso/Santiago
Travel south to the colorful seaside town of Valparaíso, where bright houses perch on the hills overlooking the South Pacific. During the city’s golden age in the late 19th century, it served as an important stopover for ships sailing the Strait of Magellan between the Atlantic and the Pacific, and attracted waves of immigrants from across Europe and the world. Accompany a local expert on a tour of the city’s elegant historic quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the home of Pablo Neruda, the famed Chilean poet, and wander narrow lanes to view spectacular street art. Enjoy free time to explore on your own before returning to Santiago.
The historical port of Valparaíso, a UNESCO World Heritage site draws poets, painters, and artists to call it home. A well-preserved example of late 19th-century Latin American architecture, with its unique amphitheater-like layout spreading up into the hills above the port. (B)
Day 3 Santiago/Mendoza
This morning, drive into the Andes and cross the border into Argentina. Wind past verdant meadows and clear lakes, and spot the distant, snowcapped summit of Mount Aconcagua—the highest mountain in both the Western and Southern Hemispheres. This afternoon, arrive in Mendoza, the heart of Argentina’s world-renowned wine country, a landscape of sun-drenched vineyards surrounded by striking grey peaks.
Head towards Argentina's wine capital, Mendoza. Wind through Andean scenery passing lakes, mountainscapes, and enjoy the iconic crossing between the two countries through the Tunel Cristo Redentor, built in 1980 to connect the two countries. (B)
Day 4 Mendoza
Spend the morning exploring Mendoza’s wineries with a local expert who will illuminate the local history of wine production and the distinctive flavor notes of various varietals. The region’s vintners are known for successfully experimenting with the cultivation of Malbec grapes at high altitudes. Enjoy a sumptuous lunch paired with some of the finest wines in the country, followed by time to relax on your own and sample other elements of Argentine cuisine.
Home to over 1000 wineries producing nearly a billion litres of wine yearly, the majority of all the vineyards in Argentina are found in the Mendoza region. The renowned Malbec varietal is sustained by the crystalline waters of the Rio Mendoza fed by the melting snows of the Andes. Visit wineries in the region with a local wine expert to explain the unique elements of the region, the distinct flavour notes found here, and the history of wine production in this area. Later, enjoy a 5-course meal of local and international delicacies paired with some of the finest wines in the world. (B, L)
Day 5 Mendoza
Enjoy a free day to explore the city of Mendoza, the regional capital perched in the Andean foothills. Stroll along the city’s historic streets—wider than any other city in Argentina due to innovative reconstruction following a devastating 19th-century earthquake. Choose to visit more nearby wineries, take a cooking class, or set out on a hike in the surrounding hills. Or opt to relax with a glass of Malbec or chilled Torrontés at a park-side café and soak up the daily rhythms of Argentine life.
The impressive snow-capped Aconcagua looms in the background of this laid-back city, drawing adventure seekers and wine enthusiasts alike. Enjoy the slow pace of this desert town with large parks, charming plazas, and lively evenings where locals mill about outside the many cafés, bars, and restaurants. Enjoy a free day to explore the city, opt to go on a hike, or visit wineries in the region. (B)
Day 6 Mendoza/Buenos Aires
Catch a morning flight to Buenos Aires, and then transfer to a countryside estate, known as an estancia. Enjoy a farm-to-table lunch, then spend the afternoon exploring the working ranch, learning about the popularity of polo in Argentina, and chatting with gauchos, or local cowboys. Opt to head out on a horseback ride with an expert wrangler before returning to Buenos Aires for the evening.
Visit a traditional estancia and immerse yourself in the culture of the Argentine countryside. Wander the grounds taking in the serenity of the area, learn about the gaucho culture and one of Argentina's top sport, polo. Enjoy lunch featuring seasonal fruit and vegetables grown at the estancia. (B, L)
Day 7 Buenos Aires
Spend a full day exploring the “Paris of South America,” Argentina’s elegant capital city. Visit historic sites such as the Plaza de Mayo; the colorful, Italian-influenced La Boca neighborhood; and the spectacular Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Perón and several past Argentine presidents have been laid to rest. Enjoy a light dinner at one of many charming sidewalk cafés or restaurants before an evening tango lesson at a popular local venue known as a milonga. Choose to stay for the nightly gathering of neighborhood students and teachers who pair up to practice their steps.
Buenos Aires is the perfect mix of European architecture and Latin American flavour. With an incredible food culture, there is a never-ending supply of culinary options, famous for steak, ice cream, empanadas, and of course wine. Whatever you do, Buenos Aires is sure to leave lasting memories. (B, D)
Day 8 Buenos Aires
Depart at any time. (B)
All This Included
Eat and sip your way through the vibrant cities and colorful landscapes of Chile and Argentina on an eight-day adventure from Santiago to Buenos Aires. Tour the stunning Argentinean wine region of Mendoza, home to over a thousand wineries, and indulge in a meal of local specialties with wine pairings. Explore the charming historic quarter of Valparaíso and relax in the elegant sidewalk cafés of Buenos Aires before heading home with lasting memories.
Hotels (7 nights)
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Kenton Palace (or similar)
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