Days
10
Price from
R41,060ZAR

Wine and dine on the culture of Chile and Argentina on a journey from Santiago to Buenos Aires

There are few better ways to gain insight into a country and its people than with a glass of wine. A sip provides a taste of the earth that has nourished and grown a people; of the natural elements that have both aided and hindered civilisation; and a taste of the hard work, talent, and love of the people themselves. This journey through Chile and Argentina visits two of the countries’ premier vineyard regions for a chance to sample their culture. Artistic Santiago sets the tone for this trip, which travels through colourful Valparaiso and crosses into Mendoza - the home of Argentinean Malbec. Encounter the rural cowboy traditions on an estancia stay, then finish up with a tantalising mix of European and Latin flair in Buenos Aires.


Start
Santiago, Chile
Finish
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Countries
Argentina, Chile
Style
Peregrine
Code
PSSB
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
102 reviews
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Discover the colonial charm, neoclassical plazas and stylish neighbourhoods of Santiago. This city is full of history and perfect for exploring on foot.

  • Explore the vibrantly colourful port town of Valparaiso, where culture spills out into the streets.

  • Experience traditional gaucho life with a unique retreat to an estancia ranch in Argentina.

  • Test your palate at a traditional lunch in Argentina’s malbec-producing wine region, Mendoza.

  • Indulge in the cuisine, culture and nightlife of cosmopolitan Buenos Aires.

Is this trip right for you?

  • There are several orientation walks during this trip so there will be quite a lot of walking. The heat and humidity can also be quite extreme during the summer months, particularly in Buenos Aires. It’s important to always bring plenty of water, wear comfortable walking shoes and ensure you use adequate sun protection. Wearing layers is a good way to tackle the heat.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2018 to 31 December 2018. View the itinerary for departures between 06 February 2017 - 31 December 2017

Welcome to Santiago, Chile. Set within a circle of snow-capped mountains, Santiago is vibrant, artistic and gourmet. Once arrived, take an included transfer to the hotel. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you arrive early into Santiago, perhaps take a short walk to get your bearings of the city, with the Andes serving as a spectacular backdrop to your exploration.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Altiplanico or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Please advise us of your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to departure for the complimentary airport transfer. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Some departures of this trip are part of a combination trip. As such, some of your fellow travellers may have started their trip 15 days ago in Lima on Essence of South America (PSSEC) or on Rhythms of South America (PSRSC), or 23 days ago in Quito on South America in Depth (PSSIC).
Today at 10am get to know Santiago on a walking tour with a local guide (approximately 2.5 hours). You’ll discover more about the city that was founded in 1541 by the Spaniard, Pedro de Valdivia, and has experienced a turbulent history filled with native conflicts, floods and earthquakes. Head to the Plaza de Armas, the heart of the city and home to the cathedral, and walk through the central market to try some local specialities. Next, take the cable car to the top of Cerro San Cristobal for the best view of the city. Finishing the tour in the bohemian Bellavista neighbourhood. Tonight, take the chance to dine out at one of the city's famous restaurants and sample some local ceviche. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel Altiplanico or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Santiago - Half-day guided walking tour
  • Santiago - Cerro San Cristobal Funicular
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a free morning in Santiago. Perhaps visit the Mercado Central (Santiago’s celebrated fish market) to savour some breakfast empanadas with pebre, a delicious Chilean condiment of coriander, garlic, olive oil and peppers.

Later about 2pm head west towards the coast. Stop for a wine tasting on the way in the Casablanca Valley, located about 45 minutes outside of Santiago. Sitting on a coastal plain between the capital and Valparaiso, the valley is Chile’s fastest growing wine region, with its rich soil and perfect climate making it a wine lover’s paradise. This visit (approximately one hour) is focused more on the sustainability and organic goals of the vineyard and the characters of biodiversity rather than tasting wine. Nice to know however that this area is known for crisp Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, but also for stunning reds like Pinot Noir, Merlot and Syrah.

Continue (approximately 1.5 hours) through the lush green vineyards to the coast and the colourful city of Valparaiso, notable for its brightly hued houses spread across a series of hills overlooking the ocean. As a creative hub, the city has no shortage of options for a drink, so perhaps find yourself a place to sip some ancho reyes alongside locals for the evening.
Included Activities
  • Casablanca region - Tour of an organic & biodynamic vineyard including wine tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Listed as a World Heritage centre in 2003, Valparaiso used to be South America’s busiest port before the opening of the Panama Canal. It has since transformed itself into Chile’s most creative city which you'll learn more about on the walking tour today at 9:30am with a local guide (approximately 3.5 hours). The ramshackle streets have long been home to artists, writers and musicians so there is no shortage on visual inspiration to prompt some questions about its background. The hills of Cerro Concepcion and Cerro Alegre are dotted with kaleidoscopically coloured houses, with cobbled streets weaving sharply uphill and concealing all manner of galleries, restaurants and shops. Later on, visit the Lukas Museum which houses the collection of original works by the cartoonist, illustrator and chronicler Renzo Pecchenino, Lukas.
Included Activities
  • Valparaiso - Guided City tour
  • Valparaiso - Pisco Sour workshop & Sunset
Optional Activities
  • Valparaiso - Puppet Museum - CLP60000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
At 9am in the morning, travel through the Andes and across the Argentinean border by local bus to Mendoza (approximately 6 hours on the bus). Please note that crossing the border can take up to three hours depending on local traffic so it’s a good idea to bring plenty of water and snacks, as the trip may incur delays. On a clear day it may be possible to see Mount Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas at 6,962 meters above sea level. Once in Mendoza, get to know the city with a gentle stroll around its tree-lined streets, or visit the local cafes and restaurants for some Argentinean fare.
Accommodation
  • Villagio Hotel Boutique or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
SEASONAL WEATHER CONDITIONS:
During the colder months, usually between May and August, the border crossing between Chile and Argentina may be closed due to snowfalls. In that event, your emergency fund may be needed to purchase a flight between Santiago and Mendoza.
Mendoza is Argentina's most prolific and significant grape-growing region, producing nearly three-quarters of the country's wine. The climate produces an excellent variety of grapes, with the region's signature being Malbec. Expect an 8:45am pickup today, visit several wineries and cellar doors to see and taste the quality for yourself. Afterwards about 1pm, stop at a closed door restaurant for an exclusive included lunch. Sit back and enjoy being served delicious food in this unique private eatery. Return to the centre around 3:30pm.

In the evening, perhaps test your palate by attempting to pair the perfect wine with an authentic Argentine asado (barbecue-style food). A visit to Aristides Villanueva Street after dark is a must if you enjoy a bit of nightlife. If you're feeling adventurous, try one of the most popular drinks in town: fernet with coke – an acquired taste and not for the faint-hearted!
Accommodation
  • Villagio Hotel Boutique or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mendoza - Full-day winery tour - Includes lunch
  • Mendoza - Closed-door restaurant lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This afternoon fly from Mendoza to Buenos Aires, which only takes around one and a half hours. On arrival about 6pm, travel in a minivan for just over an hour to a traditional estancia (ranch). This is where the group will be staying for the next couple of days. During your time here, you could go horse riding, take a cooking class or simply read a book. Estancias are ideal for relaxation and provide a great base for activities. Please remember that activities vary depending on the days that you are there. If in doubt, ask your trip leader for more information.
Accommodation
  • Estancia La Eloisa or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • 2-night stay at a traditional estancia
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today, your leader can assist the ranch staff to brief you about the sport Polo. This nail biting game will enthral and impress you; combining skill, endurance, elegance and danger! You may be lucky enough to see a game in action, but if not, you will still get to meet the horses up close and get a feel for the equipment and gear used.
Later, head into the kitchen to take part in an Empanada workshop! Empanada's are an Argentinean snack, almost like a small pie. They can be sweet but most commonly savoury. During the workshop you will learn how to make the dough and a traditional filling from scratch.
Accommodation
  • Estancia La Eloisa or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Estancia - Polo workshop
  • Estancia - Empanada Making Workshop
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast travel back to cosmopolitan Buenos Aires (approximately 1.5 hours) to experience its old charm and cosmopolitan streets. Soak up the Argentinean capital’s irrepressible mix of European and Latin culture on an orientation walk with your leader. Visit Florida street, National Congress and the presidential palace of the Casa Rosada (Pink House) in the Plaza de Mayo. If there is time, your group may get to visit the Obelisk and possibly either La Boca or Recoleta. During the free afternoon, perhaps visit the elaborate tombs on display in the famous Recoleta Cemetery, be seduced by the world's most passionate dance at a tango bar, attend a raucous football match, or gorge yourself on the city's sophisticated culture and food.
Accommodation
  • Tango de Mayo Hotel or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Tango show (ticket price depends on the location and inclusions) - USD120
  • Buenos Aires - Football game (ticket price depends on the game) - USD120
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning.
Optional Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Tigre day trip - USD60
  • Buenos Aires - Polo day - USD175
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Plane, Local bus

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights), Estancia (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Santiago - Half-day guided walking tour
  • Santiago - Cerro San Cristobal Funicular
  • Casablanca region - Tour of an organic & biodynamic vineyard including wine tasting
  • Valparaiso - Guided City tour
  • Valparaiso - Pisco Sour workshop & Sunset
  • Mendoza - Full-day winery tour - Includes lunch
  • Mendoza - Closed-door restaurant lunch
  • 2-night stay at a traditional estancia
  • Estancia - Polo workshop
  • Estancia - Empanada Making Workshop
  • Buenos Aires - Orientation walk

Reviews

Our Chile & Argentina trips score an average of 4.49 out of 5 based on 102 reviews in the last year.

Chile & Argentina, June 2017

Brian McKay

Chile & Argentina, June 2017

Helen Palmer

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Chile & Argentina trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Jump to a departure month

Important notes

ARRIVAL TRANSFER:
An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at time of booking.

PASSPORT DETAILS:
The airlines require the full name as per passport & passport number to issue tickets. Please provide this information at time of booking.

DOMESTIC FLIGHTS:
This trip includes a domestic flight. Argentina is particularly strict on excess baggage and usually enforces a maximum allowance of 15Kg for check in luggage.

SEASONAL WEATHER CONDITIONS:
During the colder months, usually between May and August, the border crossing between Chile and Argentina may be closed due to snowfalls. In that event, your emergency fund may be needed to purchase a flight between Santiago and Mendoza.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip.

CHILE VISA:
If you are entering Chile at Santiago International Airport as a tourist, some nationalities are required to pay a reciprocity fee (Australians US$117). The fee does not apply to travellers arriving at other airports or entering the country via land borders.

ARGENTINA VISA:
The Argentine government charges Canadian citizens a reciprocity tax. This tax must be paid online prior to travel and a receipt for this payment must be produced at every border crossing into Argentina.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.