This active adventure covers two of Argentina's most desirable destinations: the sleepless capital of Buenos Aires and the relaxed Mendoza, whose surrounding vineyards stretch out to the Andes. Over eight days you'll partake in various activities including a walking tour, tango class, wine tasting, hiking, river rafting, and ziplining. You'll even take a day trip to a working gaucho (cowboy) ranch and enjoy a traditional Argentine asado (BBQ).

Highlights

  • Enjoy dinner and a tango show in Buenos Aires
  • Visit a working Argentine estancia (ranch) and enjoy a BBQ
  • Tour the vineyards of Mendoza on a bicycle
  • Hike to a scenic viewpoint overlooking the tallest peak in South America
  • Brave the rapids of the Mendoza River on a rafting trip

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Day 2 Buenos Aires Walking Tour - Tango Lesson Buenos Aires
Day 3 Gaucho Experience at Estancia Santa Susana Buenos Aires
Day 4 Fly from Buenos Aires to Mendoza Mendoza
Day 5 Half-Day Winery Bike Tour Mendoza
Day 6 Full-Day Tour & Trek in Aconcagua National Park Mendoza
Day 7 Full-Day Rafting & Ziplining Adventure Mendoza
Day 8 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: Buenos Aires Walking Tour - Tango Lesson

The National Congress building in Buenos Aires
The National Congress building in Buenos Aires

The absolute best way to experience the heart and soul of Buenos Aires is on foot. After a fortifying breakfast at your hotel, get ready for a fun four-hour walking tour throughout this European-inspired metropolis with the aid of an English-speaking guide. 

A few highlights include: 

  • Plaza San Martín, located at the end of downtown's commercial pedestrian thruway, Florida Street. This leafy plaza, anchored by a majestic ombú tree, is named after one of the heroes of Argentina's independence movement, General José de San Martín. 

  • The Obelisco, an icon that sits at the nexus of the city where the 16 lanes of Ave. 9 de Julio cross bustling Corrientes Ave. Here you'll find Buenos Aires' theater and music district. It's a hub of activity any day of the week but it's particularly alive on weekend evenings. 

  • Colón Theatre, a nearly 2,500-seat teatro that is perpetually vying with Rio de Janeiro's Theatro Municipal for the title of the most opulent opera house in South America. The building's elegant neoclassical exterior and pitch-perfect interior acoustics make this building a must-visit.  

  • Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires' main square and home to the Casa Rosada, Argentina's presidential palace. The famous "pink house" (as the presidential palace is colloquially known), is also rife with history. It's on the front balcony that dictator Juan Perón made some of his most famous speeches with his glamorous wife, Evita, at his side. 

  • Metropolitan Cathedral, is the principal Catholic church in the city and another historic building that also faces the Plaza de Mayo. It was consecrated in 1791 but its earliest origins date back to the late 16th century when a humble chapel first sat on the current site.

  • Puerto Madero, whose shimmering office towers and central canal make this one of the most elegant neighborhoods in the city. Upscale restaurants can be found here, as can Puente de la Mujer, a bridge whose sleek and sensual lines define its title of "Woman's Bridge."

  • Barrio San Telmo, which is BA’s oldest neighborhood and boasts a vibrant tango and arts scene. Its antique markets, cobbled streets dotted with faroles (French streetlamps), and old brick buildings with wooden balconies all add to the uniquely bohemian atmosphere. Sundays are especially buzz with activity as the main street market comes alive around Plaza Dorrego.

  • Barrio La Boca, is a well-preserved historic neighborhood that's nearly as old as San Telmo. It's home to colorful Caminito Street, a pedestrian zone teeming with old restaurants and tanguerías.

In the evening you'll experience an unforgettable night of dinner and tango performances in one of the best tanguerias of Buenos Aires. It's venues such as these that preserve the musical heritage of the city. You'll feel it in the ambiance, you'll hear it in the melancholy rhythms of the guitar and bandoneon, and you'll see it in the dances of fish-netted and besuited bailanderos. It's a dance that tells the story of loss and heartbreak, passion and love.  

If that's not enough, you'll have the opportunity to get up on the dance floor and partake in a tango class.

Day 3: 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 4: 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 5: Half-Day Winery Bike Tour

A vineyard in Mendoza with snowcapped mountains
A vineyard in Mendoza with snowcapped mountains

After breakfast in Mendoza, you'll be picked up for a half-day bike tour near the town of Luján de Cuyo in the heart of Argentina's wine country, famed for Malbecs and other reds. Not only will you get some exercise as you pedal through the beautiful vineyards framed by snowcapped mountains, but you'll also tour two wineries and take part in tastings.

Your first winery stop of the morning is Carlos Pulenta’s CAP Vistalba. After a tour and tasting, including two of their best wines, you'll pedal to the second winery called Nieto Senetiner, a historic Argentine producer that dates back to 1888. Here, you'll taste three different wines, followed by a three-course lunch with (more!) wine pairings that will be served at the on-site restaurant.

At the end of the bike tour, you'll be transferred back to Mendoza where you'll have the rest of the afternoon to relax and explore the city.

Day 6: 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 Argentine 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 7: Full-Day Rafting & Ziplining Adventure

Paddle your way along the Mendoza River
Paddle your way along the Mendoza River

After breakfast at your hotel, get ready for another outdoorsy excursion—this time to Potrerillos in the Andes, just under an hour drive from Mendoza. 

Your first activity of the day is a guided whitewater rafting trip of around 7.5 miles (12km) along the rapids of the Mendoza River. This moderate and fun activity can be enjoyed during the summer months, and the rapids are level 3/3+. You will receive safety instructions and gear before setting out on the water. 

After lunch, it's time to go ziplining—a rushing experience that allows you to glide along multiple long steel cables while suspended by a pulley and harness. This particular spot is a guided circuit of 4,593 feet (1400 m) formed by six stretches. You'll first receive some information, safety tips, and gear, and then it's time to trek up to the zipline's starting point above the valley floor. This is an unforgettable way to experience panoramic views of Potrerillos Valley and Cordon del Plata Mountain Range, which date back millions of years.

When these two activities are complete, you'll return to your hotel in Mendoza in time to enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening in town.

Day 8: 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 - 8 Days
Map of Buenos Aires & Mendoza - 8 Days