Take in the sights and tastes of Mendoza, Argentina's principal wine region on this quick 5-day tour. Located near the border with Chile, the Mendoza region produces the country's premier varietals, including Argentina's flagship: Malbec. Begin your adventure in the European-inspired capital of Buenos Aires and tour the city. Then, head off to Mendoza to enjoy vineyard tours and wine tastings as well as a kayaking excursion.

Highlights

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

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Buenos Aires - Explore the City Buenos Aires
Day 2 Fly from Buenos Aires to Mendoza Mendoza
Day 3 Mendoza Full-Day Wine Tour Mendoza
Day 4 Potrerillos Half-Day Kayak Excursion Mendoza
Day 5 Mendoza to Buenos Aires - Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Buenos Aires - Explore the City

The Obelisco, a central monument in Buenos Aires
The Obelisco, a central monument in 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 far and away 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. The best starting point would be the city center.

Suggested activities include:

  • Visit the Obelisco, which might be the most famous icon of the city. This obelisk (which even Argentines admit is a little too reminiscent of the Washington Monument) is worth a visit for its location alone. It sits right in the middle of Avenida 9 de Julio, which boasts a whopping 16 lanes, making it the widest city street in the world.

  • Stop by the Teatro Colon, one of South America's premier opera houses. The horseshoe-shaped gallery features 2,487 seats and incredible acoustics. Even if you plan on taking a tour or catching a show here on another day, it's always breathtaking to pass by its exterior. The Colon's neoclassical facade has been the face of one of the most handsome buildings in Buenos Aires since its opening in 1908.

  • Stroll Puerto Madero, an upscale waterfront neighborhood adjacent to downtown. Puerto Madero may be the "new money" finance center of Buenos Aires, but it's also one of the most pleasant walking areas in a city famous for its walking areas. A romantic stroll involves walking over the canal on the Puente de Mujer ("Woman's Bridge") at sunset. 

  • Dine at an Argentine steakhouse or parilla. When night falls and dinnertime arrives, do like the locals and enjoy 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 Mendoza

Vineyard in Mendoza
Vineyard in Mendoza

After breakfast, a driver will meet you and you'll transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Mendoza. It's another world here when compared to Buenos Aires. This western region of the nation is a wild expanse of fertile land that's ground zero for the country's booming viticulture industry. A seemingly limitless number of vineyards abound here, with many producing Argentina's flagship wine grape: Malbec. Originally a French import, the Argentines took a largely ignored European berry and ran with it. The result is one of the most robust wines anywhere in the world.

Mendoza also features some breathtaking scenery and outdoor opportunities. With the Andes looming high above the area's vineyards, there is a wide range of opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting.

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

Some suggested activities around town include: 

  • Stroll Mendoza's famous parks. One of the most popular meeting spots for locals is Plaza Independencia. It features impressive fountains and is dotted with elegant acacia and tall plane trees. Parque General San Martín is the most impressive park in the city, as its well-manicured grounds dotted with palm trees were designed by the famous Argentine landscape architect Charles Thays (who also designed the most famous parks in Buenos Aires). 
  • Visit a museum. There are a few in Mendoza. One recommended option is the Museo del Pasado Cuyano, which features many exhibits on the history of Mendoza as well as collections of weapons from the independence era.
  • Enjoy some local cuisine. Mendoza sits in the middle of the rugged countryside at the foot of the Andes. So as you'd expect the 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 3: 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 4: Potrerillos Half-Day Kayak Excursion

Lake Potrerillos
Lake Potrerillos

After breakfast, transfer from your hotel to the town Potrerillos, about an hour away. This town is located in the foothills of the Andes and is known for beautiful views, along with great kayaking, hiking, and rafting opportunities. The damning of the Mendoza River here has created an artificial lake that is perfect for a kayaking excursion. Upon arrival, you will get your gear and receive an introductory safety talk from the professional guide. You'll spend the day kayaking on the lake and taking in the beautiful views.

In the afternoon, you'll return to shore and transfer back to your hotel in Mendoza. You'll have the remainder of the evening to relax and explore at your leisure.

Day 5: Mendoza to Buenos Aires - Departure

Evening view of Las Mujeres Bridge, Buenos Aires
Evening view of Las Mujeres Bridge, Buenos Aires

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!