In five days you can tour the highlights of Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires, plus take an epic wine tour of Mendoza. The nutrient-rich soil around this city in eastern Argentina is the stuff of legend, as it feeds the vineyards that produce the country's premier varietal: Malbec.  Beyond sampling great wine, you'll take a cooking class and learn to prepare authentic Argentine dishes.

Highlights

  • Take a city tour of Buenos Aires and visit its most iconic sights
  • Stroll the wide boulevards of Mendoza, ground zero for wine in Argentina
  • Tour vineyards and bodegas and sample great wines

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Buenos Aires - Explore Buenos Aires
Day 2 The Argentine Culinary Experience Buenos Aires
Day 3 Fly from Buenos Aires to Mendoza Mendoza
Day 4 Mendoza Full-Day Wine Tour Mendoza
Day 5 Mendoza to Buenos Aires - Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Buenos Aires - Explore

The Obelisco in Buenos Aires
The Obelisco in Buenos Aires

Welcome to Argentina! The capital city of Buenos Aires is known as the "Paris of South America" and the "Queen of El Plata." Famous for its mix of European ambiance and Latin American culture, it's the birthplace of the tango and is filled with beautiful Baroque architecture. Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will transfer you to your hotel. Once you've had the chance to rest, you can head out and explore. The city center is your best starting point.

Suggested activities include:

  • Visit the Plaza de Mayo, the city's oldest square. This plaza is ringed with ornate government buildings, the Metropolitan Cathedral, City Hall, and the Casa Rosada (Presidential Palace).
  • See the Obelisco, one of the most famous landmarks in the city. This iconic national monument sits in the middle of Avenida 9 de Julio, which boasts a whopping 16 lanes, making it the widest city street in the world.
  • Discover the Teatro Colón, one of South America's premier opera houses. The horseshoe-shaped gallery features 2,487 seats and incredible acoustics. You can opt to take a tour or watch a show here. The Colón's neoclassical facade has been the face of one of the most handsome buildings in Buenos Aires since its opening in 1908.
  • Take a walk in Puerto Madero, an upscale waterfront neighborhood adjacent to Buenos Aires' downtown. Here you can enjoy a romantic stroll over the canal on the Puente de la Mujer bridge at sunset. 
  • Dine at an Argentine steakhouse or parilla. You should plan on eating late—since Buenos Aires' culture thrives after dark and it's common to have dinner after 9 pm—especially on weekends.

Day 2: The Argentine Culinary Experience

Tuck into some succulent Argentine beef
Tuck into some succulent Argentine beef

To truly get to the heart of Argentine culture, you must do so one bite (and sip) at a time. While the nation's cuisine may be defined by its beef, a closer inspection reveals a more eclectic array of dishes. And being the hotbed of activity that it is, the capital of Buenos Aires is the perfect place to learn about this culinary heritage in a fun and entertaining way. This is where the Argentine Experience comes in. It's a convivial gastronomic odyssey that celebrates great Argentine food and wine.

Hosted in the trendy neighborhood of Palermo, guests at this unique "dinner party" share a table and prepare a gourmet meal while enjoying a few glasses of the country's famous wine. Professional hosts guide you through the evening and explain how Argentine culture and how it reveals itself in its food. You'll learn how to prepare handmade empanadas plus make alfajores (delicious Argentine cookies). You'll also prepare your own maté, an herbal tea that is the lifeblood of the country.

The evening begins by preparing three different kinds of wine cocktails as well as some delicious tapas to pair with them. As you progress through the night, you'll also try different boutique wines from the house cellar. By the time the experience ends, you will have enough first-hand knowledge of the traditional food and drink of this country to practically be considered an honorary Argentine!

Day 3: Fly from Buenos Aires to Mendoza

Plaza Independencia, Mendoza
Plaza Independencia, Mendoza

After breakfast, a driver will transfer you to the airport for your flight to Mendoza. This western region of Argentina is ground zero for the country's booming viticulture industry. A seemingly limitless number of vineyards abound here, with many producing Argentina's flagship varietal: Malbec. Originally a French import, the Argentines took this largely ignored berry and ran with it. The result is one of the most robust wines in the world.

Mendoza also features some breathtaking scenery and opportunities for outdoor activities. With the Andes Mountains looming over the area's vineyards, travelers can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting. Of course, vineyard tours and wine tastings are also popular activities in the region. 

Upon arrival in Mendoza, you'll transfer to your hotel for check-in. You'll then have the rest of the day to relax and explore the city at your leisure. The center of Mendoza features expansive plazas and wide boulevards shaded by canopies of bushy green sycamore leaves. In stark contrast to Buenos Aires, people here move at a relaxed pace, making this the perfect city in which to enjoy a leisurely stroll.

Suggested activities around town: 

  • Stroll Mendoza's famous parks. One of the most popular meeting spots for locals is Plaza Independencia with impressive fountains and elegant acacia trees. There's also Parque General San Martín for well-manicured grounds dotted with palm trees. 
  • Visit a museum. There are a few in Mendoza. One recommended option is the Museo del Pasado Cuyano, which features many exhibits on local history as well as collections of weapons from the independence era.
  • Enjoy some local cuisine. Mendoza sits at the foot of the Andes, so fare here tends to be rustic. That said, you'll find a wide variety of eateries and many high-end options, too. There's none more famous and revered than 1884, the flagship restaurant of legendary Argentine chef Francis Mallman, who perfected the technique of cooking over an open flame. The food here is heavy on grilled meat and can best be described as "haute country." This is one of the most popular restaurants in Argentina, so be prepared to splurge. 

Day 4: Mendoza Full-Day Wine Tour

Vineyard in Luján de Cuyo
Vineyard in Luján de Cuyo

Today you'll enjoy a full-day Argentine wine experience. You'll travel to several wineries to learn all about how the wine is produced and, more importantly, how it tastes. 

After breakfast at your hotel in Mendoza, you'll head to the region of Luján de Cuyo, located at the base of the imposing Andes mountains. Boasting many centuries-old vineyards, this area is known as the cradle of Malbec. Over the course of six hours, you'll visit three different wineries accompanied by a multi-lingual guide. Note that the proposed wineries change according to the season, so we can't give a specific list here. 

Regardless of what season and which specific vineyards you visit, today you'll enjoy a delicious three-course meal paired with a selection of delectable wines right at the winery. And looking out over the grapevines to the Andes mountains beyond is the perfect way to enjoy your meal.

Day 5: Mendoza to Buenos Aires - Departure

Goodbye, Argentina!
Goodbye, Argentina!

Today you'll transfer from your hotel in Mendoza to the airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival, you'll hop in another car to the international airport for your flight home. Buen viaje!

Map

Map of Argentina's Wine Country - 5 Days
Map of Argentina's Wine Country - 5 Days