Argentina: Mendoza and Patagonia - 8 day(s), South America

Overview

On this Food and Wine Journey you’ll discover cultural landmarks and historic treasures as you walk from the heart of Argentina’s wine country, along the foothills of the Andes, to the majesty of the Patagonian steppe, full of archeological wonders. Along the way, enjoy the local wines and hearty cuisine of this region known for its natural beauty.

What’s Included

  • Internal airfare
  • 2 expert, local guides (for groups of 8 or more)
  • All meals with local wine and beer included with dinners
  • All accommodations (with private bathrooms) while on tour
  • Transportation from the meeting to the departure point
  • Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary
  • Gratuities for all hotels, meals, services, and drivers

Dates and Pricing

Start date

End date

Duration

Price

Start date:
11/15/14
End date:
11/22/14
Duration: 8 Days
from6,713.00
Availability: 8 seats left
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Itinerary

Day 1 – Mendoza
Upon arrival in Mendoza, you are met at the airport and proceed directly to your hotel for the next three nights, a country house-style property located in a picturesque village called Chacras de Coria, only 20 minutes from the regional capital of Mendoza, the heart of Argentina’s best-known wine routes and gastronomic venues. Following time to settle in to your room and a traditional lunch at the hotel, you set off for an introductory walk to acquaint you with the surroundings. You explore the Plaza de Independencia and Emilio Civil in route to General San Martin City Park. Originally designed as a place to train the Argentine Army, locals and travelers alike now explore its beautiful Rosedal or rose garden and Cerro de la Gloria (Mt. Gloria). Atop Mt. Gloria, sweeping views unfold of Mendoza with the backdrop of the Andes mountain range. This afternoon you return to the hotel with time to relax before dinner at a favorite restaurant within walking distance, toasting the start of your adventures with wines from surrounding vines.
Day 2 – Clos de Chacras and Norton Wineries
Following a good night’s rest, you wake to a satisfying breakfast at your hotel. Mid-morning, you set off for Clos de Chacras, a boutique winery constructed in 1921 but with a history dating back to 1883. Next you visit the Bodega Norton, a classic Argentine winery started in 1895 by one of the pioneers of Argentine viniculture, Sir Edmund James Palmer Norton. Among the growing vines, you are enlightened by our expert guide who gives a detailed explanation about the leaves, grapes, and techniques of cultivation. Next up is the asado. A quintessentially Argentine experience. As a participatory feast, you learn about Argentina’s barbeque tradition as you help prepare it, which is an art in itself. Enjoying the fruits of your labor in the beautiful vineyard gardens, you taste some of Mendoza’s best Cabernet and Malbec wines, while savoring insights from your wine expert. You return to your hotel in the late afternoon with time to enjoy its pool and grounds, or simply relax. Later, you venture out for dinner at a celebrated restaurant in the city of Mendoza.
Day 3 – Horcones Valley
Today you set out early for a two-to three-hour scenic drive in the direction of the snowcapped Andes Mountains, and the starting point for a full day’s invigorating walk. The day’s destination is the Horcones Valley at the base of Mount Aconcagua; which, at 22,944 feet, is the highest mountain in South America and, as one of the famed “Seven Summits,” a magnet for dedicated mountain climbers worldwide. The walk is a moderate route into the Horcones Valley, which eventually leads to Mount Aconcagua. Your extremely accomplished mountain guide—who has summited Mount Aconcagua 32 times—accompanies you through rolling terrain at over 9,000 feet. Wildflowers flank the path, which leads toward the south face of Aconcagua and provides incomparable views of the snowcapped peak. A picnic lunch is unpacked in the fresh air, in full view of Mount Aconcagua. Returning to your hotel later in the day, you may enjoy your final evening in Mendoza as you wish, either by opting to stay at your hotel and enjoying a gourmet meal in the hotel’s dining room, or following your guide’s suggestions for a nearby restaurant within walking distance.
Day 4 – Transfer to Bariloche and Cerro Llao-Llao
Today you fly to northern Patagonia, better known as the Lakes Region of Argentina, not far from the border with Chile, a geography of peaks, lakes, and unique forest. Upon arrival at the airport, you proceed to your hotel for the next four nights, a lakeside property located on the San Pedro Peninsula, just 25 minutes outside the city of Bariloche. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery of forested hills and crystalline lakes, the hotel is perfectly situated for your explorations of the region. After settling in, you venture out to the scenic Llao-Llao Municipal Park. A sustained ascent brings you to a mirador, or lookout; you will want to have your camera ready. The wooded path leads past giant Coihue trees. The walk culminates at the edge of Nahuel Huapi Lake, where glacial waters tempt the hardy for a brisk swim. Later in the afternoon, you return to the hotel with time to relax before a fine dinner in the hotel’s intimate restaurant, which serves locally produced Argentinean meat and local organic vegetables, prepared on the grill or in its clay oven.
Day 5 – Victoria Island
Today’s excursion begins by navigating across the sparkling waters of Nahuel Huapi Lake and up to Victoria Island, rich in natural beauty, and part of the Nahuel Huapi National Park, one of Argentina’s oldest and largest parks. The island itself was originally called Nahuel Huapi, meaning Tiger Island, in the aboriginal Mapuche language; this name was later applied to the entire lake. You set off on a trail leading past isolated beaches and among a network of unique trees. A natural wildlife reserve, Victoria Island is home to an amazing diversity of flora and fauna. If you are quiet and a little lucky, you might spot deer or pheasant. You enjoy a delightful picnic lunch on the island during this full-day visit. Returning to your hotel in the later afternoon, you may choose to unwind in its spa facilities. Dinner this evening is at a favorite pub-style restaurant not far from the hotel.
Day 6 – Patagonian Steppe
Today is dedicated to exploring the Patagonian Steppe—immense, in places rugged and harsh, the steppe is a unique habitat characterized by vastness of land and horizon, with evidence of human history dating back over 12,000 years. The day starts at Laguna de Los Juncos, with its unusual rock formations with condor nests above, and with spectacular views looking over the Pichi-Leufu River Valley. At the highest point of the walk, your guide prepares a typical Patagonian lunch. A sustained descent leads to the walk’s conclusion, and you return to the hotel in the later afternoon. You are free this evening to head to a nearby restaurant, or perhaps to stay in and enjoy the hotel’s restaurant, which also specializes in homemade pastas and wood-fired pizzas.
Day 7 – Brazo Tristeza Balcony
Please note: a short section of this walk requires crossing a wooden bridge with a steep drop-off on one side. If you have any concerns about vertigo, we strongly urge you to contact a AAA Travel Professional. Early risers this morning may wish to take a short walk, following the path down from the hotel to the lakeside dock. Following breakfast, you depart for Bahia Lopez, the start of the day’s walk. The route begins near the rocky beach of Nahuel Huapi Lake, along a wide, wooded trail, a gradual but steady ascent, flanked by purple mutisia wildflowers. After a short, steep rocky section (the section that could be uncomfortable for those who have concerns about vertigo), you are rewarded with outstanding views of the surrounding mountains, including the 12,000-foot, glacier capped Mount Tronador, an extinct volcano that constitutes the border between Argentina and Chile. Upon arrival at a natural balcony, carved out of the granite cliffs by glaciers, you can relax and enjoy a gourmet lunch prepared high in the mountains—food for the body and spirit. With luck, you may spot giant condors soaring in the wind. After descending from the loop walk and returning to the hotel, this afternoon a kayaking option is available for those who wish to enjoy the scenery from another vantage point. Others may wish to take the afternoon to relax at the hotel or perhaps enjoy its spa. Another option is to take a taxi to downtown Bariloche for shopping opportunities. Tonight you celebrate your final evening together in true Argentine style at an exclusive private restaurant featuring local organic gourmet cuisine and fine Argentinean wines.
Day 8 – Depart
Following breakfast this morning, you say adios to your newfound friends. Airport transfers are provided for departures, either to Buenos Aires for additional time exploring the city or connecting to an international flight home.

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Member Price from $6,713
Nonmember Price from $6,763
Tour Code:
FW141115
Main Activity:
Culinary
Other Activities:
Hiking
Sightseeing
Walking
Activity Level:
0
1
2
3
5
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