Argentina wine and culture tour
Description of Argentina wine and culture tour
Enjoy a private "hidden city" tour of Buenos Aires, visit the world-class vineyards of Mendoza and sample some of Argentina’s premium wines. Discover the dusty desert towns of Northwest Argentina, then take a three-day self-drive adventure through the spectacular Calchaqui Valleys.
On this 12-day luxury itinerary you’ll experience Argentina’s dynamic culture and rich heritage, exploring spectacular landscapes and natural wonders, as well as tasting the very best in Argentine food and drink.
You’ll start in vibrant Buenos Aires, where you can explore the streets and soak up the history and lifestyle of the stylish porteños (Buenos Aires residents). Your expert local guide will show you the iconic sites, as well as hidden gems, plus you'll also enjoy a delicious dinner and wine-tasting experience at a fine dining restaurant in the Palermo neighbourhood.
Next, you’ll head to Mendoza, the wine capital of Argentina. Here, you’ll visit sip on local vino and tuck into relaxing lunches in the sun, plus you can enjoy outdoor activities, such as cycling or horse riding through the vineyards, or even more adventurous pursuits including white-water rafting, zip-lining and kayaking.
From Mendoza you’ll head to Northwest Argentina. This off-the-beaten track region is home to vast salt plains, striking red mountains, dramatic rock formations, towering cacti, charming towns, picturesque vineyards and ancient ruins. Northwest Argentina is a complete contrast to the rest of the country; this is where Franciscan monks first settled, building whitewashed churches in the desert and there’s a distinct Bolivian influence here, with colourful Andean costumes and indigenous markets and music.
You’ll start in Salta, the capital of the Northwest, before setting out on a three-day self-drive ride through the Calchaqui Valleys, stopping at small villages, ancient ruins and breathtaking vineyards, staying in luxurious properties and enjoying traditional Argentine cuisine and boutique wines.
|Day 1:||Arrive in Buenos Aires - Upon arrival at Ministro Pistarini International Airport (also known as Ezeiza International Airport), you'll be met by a representative and transferred to the Casa Sur Palermo, where you’ll stay for the next two nights. Casa Sur Palermo is a new luxury boutique hotel offering exclusive accommodation, fantastic food and a range of excellent services and facilities, including an outdoor swimming pool and a spectacular rooftop terrace, plus a spa and fitness centre. This stylish hotel is located in the heart of the trendy Palermo Hollywood barrio (neighbourhood) of Buenos Aires, surrounded by hip cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as chic boutiques and art galleries. This evening, you can head out for dinner and you’ll find an abundance of dining options close to the hotel, from parrillas (steak houses) to fine-dining restaurants.|
|Day 2:||Exploring Buenos Aires - After breakfast, your English-speaking guide will meet you at your hotel and you’ll embark on a private "hidden city" tour. On this fascinating half-day trip, your expert guide will show you the iconic sites of Buenos Aires, as well as the hidden gems. You’ll discover some of the "forgotten" neighbourhoods and magnificent historic buildings, heading to places such as Barracas, Nueva Pompeya, Parque Patricios and Bodeo to uncover the urban grounds of old factories, working class housing projects, beautiful churches and tranquil parks. You’ll see incredible street art and traditional bars, where you’ll learn about the history of the city’s infamous inhabitants and secret societies and hear the stories of the immigrant workers who founded Buenos Aires. This evening, you’ll head to a local restaurant in the heart of Palermo to enjoy the "Casa Coupage experience," where you’ll be served a beautiful gourmet meal paired with some of Argentina’s finest wines.|
|Day 3:||Transfer to Mendoza - After a delicious breakfast at the Casa Sur Palermo, you’ll be picked up by your private driver and transferred to Jorge Newbery airport, where you’ll take a 90-minute domestic flight to Mendoza in the heart of Argentina’s wine country. On arrival at Mendoza, you’ll be met by a driver and transferred to Cavas Wine Lodge, located 30 minutes south of Mendoza city. Cavas Wine Lodge is nestled in the shadows of the Andes and a perfect gateway to explore Argentina’s world-famous wine region. This luxurious boutique lodge has 18 suites, all of which feature a king-size bed, large private deck, wood burning fireplaces, and a spa-style bathroom with a dual vanity, separate shower and a vintage soaking tub. The suites also feature an outdoor shower and private plunge pool, offering breathtaking views of the Andes Mountains, plus spectacular sunsets and dazzling starry skies at night. You’ll stay at Cavas Wine Lodge for three nights on a full-board basis with a range of activities included.|
|Day 4:||Exploring Mendoza - There are more than 900 wineries in this vast region at the foothills of the Andes and more than 25 top wineries are located around Cavas Wine Lodge. Your stay at Cavas Wine Lodge includes a full-day visit to wineries in the area, such as Viña Cobos, Budeguer and Matervini. Your stay also includes a one-hour massage per person, plus complimentary use of the outdoor pool, jacuzzi and fitness centre. You can select an activity from white-water rafting, zip-lining, kayaking, mountain biking, golfing or horse riding between the vineyards, or if you wish you can exchange the activity for another day of winery visits.|
|Day 5:||Exploring Mendoza - Today, you’ll have a free day to explore historic Mendoza, visit the local vineyards or enjoy the various adventure activities offered by Cavas Wine Lodge, before drinking a glass of wine on the terrace and watching the sun set behind the Andes Mountains. During your stay at Cavas Wine Lodge, you can choose to dine in the vineyards, wineries or restaurant, and you can also choose from the a la carte menus of participating restaurants around Mendoza, allowing you to explore the culinary delights of the city. (Participating restaurants are subject to availability and currently include Brindillas, Francis Mallmann’s 1884 in Bodega Escorihuela, Zampa, Maria Antonieta, OMOI, and Dantesco & Azafrá).|
|Day 6:||Transfer to Salta (Northwest) - After breakfast at Cavas Wine Lodge, you’ll join a shared transfer to Mendoza airport for your domestic flight to Salta in Northwest Argentina. On arrival at the airport, you’ll pick up your car hire and drive to Kkala Hotel, your accommodation for the next two nights. Kkala Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel set at the foot of one of the mountains that surrounds Salta; located in a quiet residential area, just a short walk to the city centre. The hotel has 10 stylish rooms, in four categories: classic, superior, deluxe, and suite. The rooms are named after national parks and must-visit places in Salta (Acay, Baritu, Chani, Cardones and Yungas, Valle, Salinas, Tolar and Nevado). All rooms feature king or twin beds, central heating and air-conditioning and a minibar. This afternoon, you can explore the city of Salta, take a dip in the heated pool or relax by the fireplace in the library, and then this evening you can enjoy a delicious meal in the onsite restaurant.|
|Day 7:||Exploring Salta - Today, you’ll have a free day to explore Salta and the surrounding area at your leisure. As you’ll have a hire car we recommend driving to the beautiful mountain town of San Antonio de los Cobres, the vast shimmering salt plains of Salinas Grandes, and the picturesque village of Purmamarca which is located in the province of Jujuy just north of Salta, beneath the shadows of the spectacular Cerro de los Siete Colores (Hill of Seven Colours).|
|Day 8:||Calchaqui Valleys Circuit - This morning, you’ll begin your three-day self-drive tour of the Calchaqui Valleys Circuit. During this incredible self-drive adventure, you’ll have an opportunity to experience the culture, wine and traditions of this off-the-beaten track region. You’ll take in spectacular natural landscapes of rugged deserts, rock-sculpted valleys and majestic mountains, discover ancient ruins, witness local life away from the tourist trail, visit the stunning Calchaqui Valley vineyards, and enjoy fantastic local wine at the end of the day. Today, you’ll cross Los Cardones National Park on the Recta del Tin Tin (known as the Tin Tin Straight Line), part of a network of Incan trails running through northern Argentina, towards the ancient town of Cachi in the Calchaqui Valleys. Tonight, you’ll stay at La Merced del Alto, a beautiful hotel set at the foot of the Nevado de Cachi, with wonderful views of the valley, hills and rivers.|
|Day 9:||Calchaqui Valleys Circuit - After breakfast, you’ll set off on day two of your adventure through the Calchaqui Valleys. This morning, you’ll drive along the renowned National Route 40, taking an hour detour to Estancia Colomé, where you’ll enjoy a wine tasting experience and lunch in the phenomenal Colomé landscape. You’ll then drive south, visiting some charming towns along the way such as Seclantás, a small town by the Calchaqui River with uneven streets and houses with colourful facades, and Molinos, a town known for its adobe houses with mud roofs and a church dating back to 1639. You’ll also drive through Quebrada de las Flechas (Arrow Gorge), reaching this amazing site by sunset, to watch the sun rays lighting up the brilliant colours and formations. You’ll end your day in the town of Cafayate, renowned for its exceptional wineries and the Torrontés wine variety. It’s also home to the fascinating rock formations of the Quebrada de las Conchas (Las Conchas Gorge). You’ll stay at the luxurious Patios de Cafayate for the next two nights. This former colonial house is nestled in the vineyards of the El Esteco winery with incredible views of the Calchaquí Valleys.|
|Day 10:||Calchaqui Valleys Circuit - After breakfast, you’ll set out for your third day of the Calchaqui Valleys circuit. You’ll continue along the National Route 40, before arriving at the Ruins of Quilmes. After exploring this famous archaeological site, you’ll continue on your drive with visits to two local wineries, before returning to the Patios de Cafayate where you can enjoy a delicious dinner at La Rosa restaurant, accompanied of course, by wonderful regional wines.|
|Day 11:||Return to Buenos Aires - After an early breakfast you’ll depart Cafayate and head north through the Quebrada de Las Conchas (Shell’s Gorge). This scenic drive will take you to some fascinating rock formations, including The Castle, The Frog, The Amphitheatre and The Devil's Throat. After discovering these natural wonders you’ll drive back to Salta airport, where you’ll catch a domestic flight to Buenos Aires. On arrival at the airport you’ll be met by your private driver and driven to Casa Sur Palermo, where you’ll spend the final night of your itinerary. You can spend the evening enjoying the incredible food, wine and culture of Buenos Aires, toasting the end of an amazing holiday in Argentina.|
|Day 12:||Depart from Buenos Aires - After a final breakfast at Casa Sur Palermo, you’ll be picked up by your private driver and transferred back to the international airport for your return flight home. If you’d like to continue your adventure, we recommend hopping into neighbouring Chile, or venturing to the end of the world in Ushuaia, the southernmost city on earth, where you can board a cruise ship bound for Antarctica.|
PlanetAs with all of our luxury holidays, this itinerary has been crafted to ensure that it positively effects the local communities and environments visited.
This itinerary includes trips to some of Argentina's protected areas of natural beauty, including the mountainous Northwest and Los Cardones National Park. By visiting these sites (all entrance fees are included in your luxury tour), you are supporting the preservation and conservation of these areas, and indicating to authorities that tourists are interested in protecting Argentina's incredible natural environments.
Whilst exploring Argentina's areas of natural beauty, please ensure that you don’t leave any litter – everything you carry in, you must carry out. Aside from the environmental damage, litter can be harmful to the wildlife.
We also make a special effort to recommend accommodation providers which have responsible and sustainable initiatives. For example, Cavas Wine Lodge in Agrelo is committed to the environment through recycling programmes, an organic waste and compost process, solar energy and grey water irrigation policies.
PeopleAll the local guides referred to in this itinerary are paid a fair wage. We believe that using local guides is important, as it helps generate local incomes and creates jobs, plus it offers a more authentic travel experience.
We recommend independent local hotels, lodges, guesthouses and campsites, rather than international chain hotels, which helps support local communities and allows you to experience true Argentine hospitality. For example, this Argentina wine and culture holiday includes a stay in Cavas Wine Lodge in Agrelo. The lodge is involved with Agrelo´s community and helps in the development of children´s education and proper nutrition, as a proud member of the civil association “Caminos de Vino de Agrelo” and guests are invited to support children´s education by donating pencils, books and educational toys.
We believe getting to know the destination and the people who live there means that you will have a more authentic and meaningful travel experience.