This eight-day itinerary covers three highlight regions of Argentina. Kicking off in Buenos Aires, you'll venture south to Bariloche for kayaking and hiking around Lake Nahuel Huapi. Next, you'll visit the wine capital of the country—the eastern region of Mendoza—for tastings and tours. The adventure culminates with a trip to the far north and a visit to Iguazú Falls, the second largest falls in the world.

Highlights

  • Explore high-energy Buenos Aires on foot
  • Stroll the streets of Bariloche, an alpine town as beautiful as any Swiss village
  • Go kayaking on Lago Mascardi followed by a nature trek through the forest
  • Visit different wineries in Mendoza on a tasting tour
  • Hike the thundering cliffs of Iguazú Falls in both Argentina and Brazil

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Day 2 Fly from Buenos Aires to Bariloche Bariloche
Day 3 Kayaking & Trekking on Mascardi Lake Bariloche
Day 4 Fly from Bariloche to Mendoza Mendoza
Day 5 Mendoza Full-Day Wine Tour Mendoza
Day 6 Fly Mendoza to Puerto Iguazú - Explore Foz do Iguaçu (Brazilian side) Puerto Iguazu
Day 7 Explore Iguazú Falls (Argentine Side) Puerto Iguazu
Day 8 Buenos Aires Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Buenos Aires

The famous Obelisk, in downtown Buenos Aires
The famous Obelisk, 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: Fly from Buenos Aires to Bariloche

The beautiful shore of Lago Nahuel Huapi
The beautiful shore of Lago Nahuel Huapi

This morning, after breakfast in Buenos Aires, a driver will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to Aeroparque Airport, located in the city. You will then catch a flight to Bariloche, located southwest in Argentina's Lake District

San Carlos de Bariloche was founded in 1902 on the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi, which itself is part of the larger Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. If you detect some native influence in that name, you're correct. It comes from the Mapuche indigenous people who once inhabited the area, and it means "jaguar island." The lake straddles the Chilean border, with the city of Bariloche located on the southeast shore. This region is beautiful and you'll be able to experience its majesty on nature hikes and excursions.

Upon arrival at Bariloche's airport, a driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. Even though you may be tired from your flight, try to get out and explore the city. The charming chalet-style buildings and alpine architecture can be seen and enjoyed on a brisk walk around, and the city center abounds with waterfront plazas, chocolate shops, and upscale restaurants. 

When dinnertime comes around, be sure to sample the local cuisine. You'll find that it differs considerably from what's typically found in Buenos Aires. Here regional fare like wild boar and lake trout is popular and delicious, as is the fondue (a culinary addition first introduced by the city's Swiss immigrants).

Day 3: Kayaking & Trekking on Mascardi Lake

Enjoy lunch on the shore of Lago Mascardi
Enjoy lunch on the shore of Lago Mascardi

Today is a special day with a combined excursion that mixes kayaking on Lago Mascardi with a nature trek through the forest. The adventure begins with a pickup at your hotel followed by a forty-five minute drive south of Bariloche along the famed Ruta 40 to get to the lake.

Your first destination is a lakeshore campsite owned by the local indigenous community. Here you'll jump into your kayak and begin paddling for Playa Leones, a beautiful pebble beach on Mascardi. Once you arrive at this tranquil beach, you'll be able to relax on shore and enjoy the surrounding wilderness.  

Afterward, you'll embark on a hike through native coihue forests until you reach a secluded lagoon. Then it's time to head back to Playa Leones, where you'll enjoy lunch while relaxing on the shore. Finally, you'll kayak back to the starting point and return to Bariloche in the late afternoon.

Day 4: Fly from Bariloche to Mendoza

Pretty fountains in downtown Mendoza
Pretty fountains in downtown Mendoza

It is time to say goodbye to Bariloche! This morning, you'll head to the airport for your domestic flight to Mendoza where a wine experience is waiting for you. Once you arrive in Mendoza, you will be picked up at the airport and taken to your hotel.

This relatively sleepy city of about a million people is more than the sum of its parts, as it sits in the heart of Argentina's world-famous wine region. This is ground zero for viticulture in the nation, and it's home to Argentina's flagship wine: Malbec. There's also impressive landscapes and interesting sights all around the city, from the high peak of Aconcagua to the Mendoza River to the little villages that dot the countryside, like Uspallata, which date back to pre-hispanic times.

You'll have free time to explore the city as you see fit. 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 decide to do, enjoy your day in Argentina's wine capital.

Day 5: 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 6: Fly Mendoza to Puerto Iguazú - Explore Foz do Iguaçu (Brazilian side)

View of the falls from the Brazilian side
View of the falls from the Brazilian side

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Mendoza airport for your flight to Puerto Iguazu. This city is home to the Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls, the world's second-largest waterfall system. Upon arrival in Puerto Iguazú, you will transfer to your hotel.

After settling in, you will transfer to the Brazilian side of the falls (Foz do Iguaçu) for a half-day tour. This side features a sweeping panorama of the entire waterfall system, giving you a sense of the vastness of Iguazú Falls. In the afternoon, you'll transfer back to your hotel on the Argentinian side.

Day 7: Explore Iguazú Falls (Argentine Side)

Touring Iguazú from the Argentine side
Touring Iguazú from the Argentine side

After breakfast at your hotel, a driver will pick you up and drop you off at the entrance of Iguazú National Park, the Argentine side of the falls. This is where you will begin the day's adventure, a full-day tour that involves walking the three circuits that weave around the falls. Each of these offers different vantage points from which to view the water. 

The three circuits include:

  • The upper circuit (1 hour) is made up of 2,624 feet (800 m) of walkways elevated above the jungle floor to avoid disrupting the natural paths of indigenous fauna. On this route, you'll see the upper portion of Iguazú, including countless panoramic vistas of the surrounding falls.
  • The lower circuit (2 hours) is 5,250 feet (1,600 m) long and is also made up of elevated walkways, which go directly below and around the falls. This circuit takes you near the base of the falls and right up to the crashing torrents of water. You'll be able to feel the magnitude of the falls from up close.
  • The Devil's Throat (2 hours) is the star of the show. A small tourist train leaves from the Cataratas Station and travels 18 minutes to Garganta Station, where you'll find restrooms, a snack bar, and the start of the path. You'll walk 3,937 feet (1200 m) over the river until you reach the viewing platform. From there you'll be able to peer 269 feet (82 m) down into the water, as the highest of Iguazu's falls thunders all around you.

At the end of the tour, the driver will pick you up and take you back to your hotel.

Day 8: Buenos Aires Departure

Goodbye, Argentina!
Goodbye, Argentina!

This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight back home. Until next time!

Map

Map of Classic Argentina: Patagonia, Mendoza, & Iguazú - 8 Days
Map of Classic Argentina: Patagonia, Mendoza, & Iguazú - 8 Days