Over 12 days you'll immerse yourself in two of Argentina's most handsome cities: Mendoza and Buenos Aires. Besides tours of historic neighborhoods, you'll also take day trips to nearby ranches and boat rides up the Río de la Plata. In Mendoza, you'll partake in wine tours of the area's famous vineyards plus travel by horseback into the Andes Mountains and hike up to incredible viewpoints.

Highlights

  • Enjoy dinner and a tango show in Buenos Aires
  • Visit a working Argentine estancia (ranch) for a BBQ
  • Tour the vineyards of Mendoza and enjoy wine tastings
  • Embark on a horseback ride to the Andes
  • Hike to a viewpoint overlooking the tallest peak in South America

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Day 2 Walking Tour of Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Day 3 The Argentine Culinary Experience Buenos Aires
Day 4 Gaucho Experience at Estancia Santa Susana Buenos Aires
Day 5 Buenos Aires to Tigre Buenos Aires
Day 6 Visit the Palermo Soho Neighborhood Buenos Aires
Day 7 Fly from Buenos Aires to Mendoza Mendoza
Day 8 Mendoza Vineyard Tour & Tasting Mendoza
Day 9 Horseback Riding in the Andes Mendoza
Day 10 Full-Day Tour & Trek in Aconcagua National Park Mendoza
Day 11 Mendoza Free Day Mendoza
Day 12 Flight to Buenos Aires - Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Buenos Aires

The famouos Obelisco in downtown Buenos Aires
The famouos Obelisco in downtown Buenos Aires

Welcome to Argentina! Renowned as the "Paris of South America" and the "Queen of El Plata," the capital city of Buenos Aires is defined by passion. This is exemplified in the rich tango heritage and its citizens' limitless enthusiasm for fútbol (soccer), which is by far the country's most popular sport. 

When you arrive at the airport, your driver will be waiting to take you in a private car to your hotel where you can relax after a long flight. But make no mistake: the city will beckon you. So after a quick recharge, be sure to venture out into the welcoming arms of Buenos Aires and explore. 

When evening falls and dinnertime arrives, do like the locals and order a thick, juicy steak (Argentina has some of the best beef in the world) drizzled with the nation's famous chimichurri (a garlic, herb, and vinegar sauce).  Know that Buenos Aires is a culture that thrives after dark, and it's not uncommon for locals to have dinner well past nine in the evening, especially on weekends.

Day 2: Walking Tour of Buenos Aires

The Teatro Colón
The Teatro Colón

After breakfast, you'll take an organized tour of Buenos Aires. During this three-hour walking excursion, you'll visit the neighborhood of Retiro plus stroll Avenida 9 de Julio—South America’s widest avenue. You'll pass through the historic city center, home to the Teatro Colón opera house, National Congress, Plaza de Mayo, and the Casa Rosada (Presidential Palace). Then, visit the oldest neighborhood in the city, San Telmo. Afterward, you'll stop by the city's original port, La Boca.

In the evening, enjoy a delicious meal accompanied by a tango performance—one of Argentina's most well-known cultural highlights.

Day 3: 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 4: Gaucho Experience at Estancia Santa Susana

Argentinian gauchos in colorful garb
Argentinian gauchos in colorful garb

Just as North Americans have their cowboys, Argentines have their gauchos. This frontier culture is strongest in the pampas (prairies) immediately surrounding the capital since this is where the country was first settled. Gauchos are national symbols in Argentina, whether it's the real-life horsemen who still exist today, or the folk heroes of epic Argentine poems, like Martín Fierro, whose stories are passed down over generations.

Today you'll get a real gaucho experience. You'll be picked up in the morning and whisked off to Santa Susana, a working Argentine estancia (ranch). Here you'll enjoy a welcome reception that includes wine, soft drinks, and empanadas. After a guided tour of the property, you'll do some horseback riding (or perhaps enjoy a carriage ride) before settling in for a traditional folkloric music performance—and everyone's invited to get up and dance.

Lunch will be an Argentine asado (mixed grill) paired with even more of the country's fantastic wine. Real gauchos will then showcase their prowess with the bolas—traditional throwing weapons comprised of round weights connected by cords. Their displays will demonstrate how these deceptively simple weapons, when used in the right hands, can be effective at bringing down horses, cows, and even people. 

After lunch, you'll be treated to more entertainment. The gauchos will continue to showcase their abilities, this time as they perform a series of feats known as carreras de sortijas (ring races). These are typical in gaucho equine competition and showcase the cowboys' great skills on horseback. You will end the day at the estancia with a late-afternoon serving of mate, the popular tea-like infusion that is an indispensable part of Argentine culture. 

By the time you transfer back to your hotel in the evening, you can be happy in the knowledge that you've enjoyed a traditional Argentine frontier experience.

Day 5: Buenos Aires to Tigre

The canals of Tigre
The canals of Tigre

Today you'll travel up Río de la Plata where it converges with the Paraña River Delta, located about an hour north of Buenos Aires. During the boat ride, you'll enjoy views of the city skyline as you enter a network of freshwater canals and sail among the islands that make up this unique region. The main port is in Tigre, a Venetian-style village whose small-town and relaxing atmosphere contrast with Buenos Aires' bustling energy.

On the waterfront, you'll find Puerto de Frutos, a maze of craft markets, produce stalls, and artisanal goods. The Museo de Arte features a grand collection of Argentine art spanning two centuries. The Naval Museum and the Museo de Maté are other highlights worth a visit. The latter offers an overview and tasting of maté, an herb cultivated in the Paraná region of the country and used for tea.

After a day enjoying Tigre, you'll board a train back to Buenos Aires.

Day 6: Visit the Palermo Soho Neighborhood

Colorful street in Palermo Soho
Colorful street in Palermo Soho

This is a day at leisure to explore Palermo Soho, a historic neighborhood of tree-lined streets and cobblestone alleys. You can browse fashionable boutiques, enjoy a glass of Malbec, or simply while away the hours on a patio café as the world passes by. Don't miss a visit to Parque Tres de Febrero (aka Palermo Bosques), a wonderful urban park with opportunities for boating and biking.

Day 7: 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.

Day 8: Mendoza Vineyard Tour & Tasting

Malbec grapes in Mendoza
Malbec grapes in Mendoza

Today you will embark on a guided tour of two distinct wine-producing areas around Mendoza: the Maipú Valley and the town of Lujan de Cuyo. Maipú is located a mere 12 miles (20 km) away, while Lujan de Cuyo is located directly adjacent to Mendoza in the south.

The first winery tour includes a presentation on the viniculture process with a subsequent tasting. The second tour includes another tasting as well as more education about wine development. Lunch will be served in the winery's warehouse, where you will enjoy a gourmet menu paired with some of the best wines from the cellar.

Afterward, it's time to visit two more wineries before ending the day's excursion. With a full stomach and a head swirling with all the delicious varietals of Mendoza, you can spend the remainder of the afternoon and evening relaxing while enjoying your hotel's amenities.

Day 9: Horseback Riding in the Andes

Enjoy the mountain views
Enjoy the mountain views

Today you'll saddle up for a horseback-riding excursion. It begins in the morning when you transfer from Mendoza to the precordillera region of the Andes Mountains. Once on the horse, you'll ascent mountain trails to elevations of over 5,500 feet (1,700 meters) above sea level. The scenery at these altitudes is incredible, as you'll be surrounded by views of snow-capped Andean, some of which are over 15,000 feet (5,000 meters) tall.

Day 10: Full-Day Tour & Trek in Aconcagua National Park

Viewpoint of Mt. Aconcagua
Viewpoint of Mt. Aconcagua

Get ready for some spectacular scenery, because today you're going to enjoy a full-day driving tour through the Andes. After breakfast, you'll meet a bilingual guide and embark on the first part of the drive, which passes through small mountain villages such as Uspallata, Puente del Inca, Penitentes, and Horcones.

From here, the drive continues uphill where you'll stop for a short trek that reaches the viewpoint of Mount Aconcagua. Standing a whopping 22,837 feet (6,961 meters), this the highest peak in South America. Be sure to savor the views and snap plenty of photos. At the end of the trek, you'll return to the car and drive back to Mendoza where you'll have the evening free.

Day 11: Mendoza Free Day

Malbec grapes right off the vine
Malbec grapes right off the vine

In the mood for more wine-tasting? Or perhaps you'd rather go horseback riding in the foothills of the Andes? Or maybe, you'd just like to lounge by the swimming pool and make reservations for dinner at one of Mendoza's best restaurants. Whatever you want to do, enjoy a flexible extra day in Argentina's wine capital.

Day 12: Flight to Buenos Aires - Departure

Farewell, Argentina
Farewell, Argentina

After breakfast, you'll transfer to the airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival in the capital, you'll head to the international airport for your flight back home. Buen viaje!

Map

Map of Buenos Aires & Mendoza - 12 Days
Map of Buenos Aires & Mendoza - 12 Days