Explore the streets of Buenos Aires and take in a tango show before heading off to the vineyards of Mendoza for wine tasting and cooking classes. Finish off at the breathtaking Iguazú Falls with this relaxing itinerary that gives you a chance to see three very different parts of Argentina at a leisurely pace. 

Highlights

  • Take in a tango show at one of Buenos Aires' famous tanguerías
  • Sample some Malbecs at the foot of the Andes mountains with a full-day wine tour
  • Learn traditional cooking techniques from a local chef
  • See the Iguazú Falls up close and look down on the Devil's Throat

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Buenos Aires, Dinner & Tango Show Buenos Aires
Day 2 Buenos Aires City Tour - Fly to Mendoza Mendoza
Day 3 Mendoza Wine Tour Mendoza
Day 4 Mendoza - Half Day Cooking Class & Dinner in the City Mendoza
Day 5 Fly from Mendoza to Iguazú Falls Iguazu Falls
Day 6 Full-Day Iguazú Falls - Argentine Side Iguazu Falls
Day 7 Half-Day Iguazú Falls - Brazilian Side, & Fly to Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Day 8 Leave Buenos Aires  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Buenos Aires, Dinner & Tango Show

Couple dancing tango

Welcome to Argentina! Known as the "Paris of South America," Buenos Aires, the capital, is a city defined by passion—as evidenced by its 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 pick you up in a private car and take you to your hotel, where you can relax after your long flight. But make no mistake: the city will be calling. So after a quick power nap, be sure to venture out into the tree-lined avenues of Buenos Aires to explore. The best starting point is the city center.

Suggested activities include:

  • Visiting the Obelisco, which might be the most recognizable monument in 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 one of the widest avenues in South America.
  • Stopping by the Teatro Colón, 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 worth walking by to take in the beautiful intricacies of its architecture from the outside. The Colon's neoclassical façade has been the face of one of the most handsome buildings in Buenos Aires since its opening in 1908.
  • Strolling through 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 places to walk in a city famous for its walkable neighborhoods. For a romantic stroll, cross over the canal on the Puente de la Mujer ("Woman's Bridge") at sunset. 

In the evening, we'll pick you up for a night on the town: dinner and a tango show. Here you’ll discover one of Argentina's most famous traditions. Tango is more than our national dance: it's a story of love, sensuality, and passion. A live band of local musicians will serenade you and world-class tango dancers show off their best moves, while you enjoy an à la carte dinner of delicious Argentine cuisine. 

Day 2: Buenos Aires City Tour - Fly to Mendoza

Tango dancers at a flea market in San Telmo
Tango dancers at a flea market in San Telmo

This morning, you'll hit the highlights of the capital with a 3-hour city tour before heading to Mendoza in the afternoon. The itinerary includes Recoleta Cemetery, the Bosques de Palermo, the Obelisco, the Colón Theatre, Plaza de Mayo, San Telmo, La Boca, Puerto Madero, and other notable neighborhoods. 

After the tour, you'll have time to pack your luggage in preparation for your transfer to the airport where you'll catch a flight to Mendoza. 

Upon arrival in Mendoza, you'll have free time to explore. This relatively sleepy city of about a million people sits at the heart of Argentina's world-famous wine region, and is home to Argentina's flagship wine: Malbec. There are also impressive landscapes and interesting sights to see outside the city, from the high peak of Aconcagua to the Mendoza River to the little villages that dot the countryside, like Uspallata, which dates back to pre-hispanic times.

This afternoon you'll have free time to explore the city or lounge by your hotel's 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 3: Mendoza Wine Tour

Sample some Malbec varietals
Sample some Malbec varietals

It's time to get out in the countryside to discover the region's wine culture. On this circuit, you'll visit the most famous wine destinations around Mendoza, from the vineyards around the town of Luján de Cuyo to the fertile soil of the Maipú Valley. It's a fun-filled excursion that mixes equal parts wine history with wine tasting.

First, the history. Over the course of the tour, you will glean insight into how Mendoza developed over the centuries to become Argentina's premier wine-making region. The story begins with the Jesuit priests and European immigrants who settled here and combined their wine-making knowledge with the irrigation techniques (canals and ditches) handed down from the Huarpe indigenous people—techniques which had allowed the Huarpes to transform a vast desert into a productive oasis. The end result is a region that is now home to renowned wineries producing high-quality varietals that are deservedly famous on the global viniculture stage.

You'll visit two wineries that still rely on traditional irrigation methods as well as others that use the latest winemaking technology. On tours of the bodegas' facilities, you'll learn about vinification methods, processing, bottling, and even the labeling of wines. Of course, this will all accompanied by tasting the different varietals these bodegas offer. You'll also get to sample locally grown olives, artisanal cheeses, and even eat Malbec grapes right off the vine.

Day 4: Mendoza - Half Day Cooking Class & Dinner in the city

Vineyards of Mendoza

Enjoy your free day swimming in a pool with a gorgeous mountain view, or visit local hot springs. You can also have lunch in a vineyard—and try some more Malbecs. 

If you feel like continuing your immersion in Argentine wine culture, take a day tour to a new bodega and meet the winemakers themselves. 

Half-Day Cooking Class & Dinner in the City
In the evening, immerse yourself in Argentine culture by taking part in a unique culinary experience with a bilingual local chef, who will teach you how to prepare a traditional meal. Learn how to cook vegetables and meat in glowing red flames and smoky ambers—and of course, pair each dish with a different wine produced in the region.

Day 5: Fly from Mendoza to Iguazú Falls

Aerial view of the falls
Aerial view of the falls

This morning a driver will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the airport for your flight to northern Argentina's Misiones Province. Here you'll find the jewel in the crown: Iguazú Falls, the largest waterfall system in the world.

Upon arrival at the city of Puerto Iguazú, you'll check into your hotel and then have the option to take a half-day tour of the Brazilian side of Iguazú Falls (as opposed to the Argentine side), which begins in the afternoon. This is a good introduction to the falls, as the Brazilian side gives you a more panoramic view. So you'll be able to enjoy the majesty of this natural wonder without the extensive walking that accompanies a visit to the Argentine side (don't worry, because you'll experience that tomorrow). 

Enjoy a stroll past the falls as you acclimate to the warmer weather (temps here can top 90°F in the summer months). Also, be on the lookout for exotic animals that call the area home, such as monkeys and coatis. 

Day 6: Full Day 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 transfer you to the entrance of Iguazú National Park, on the Argentine side of the falls. This is where you will begin the day's adventure. It's a full-day excursion that involves walking three circuits around the falls, each of which offers unique vantage points from which to view this magnificent natural wonder. 

The three circuit routes include:

  • The upper circuit (1 hour) features 2,624 feet (800 m) of catwalks. These walkways are elevated from the jungle floor so as not to disrupt the natural pathways used by indigenous fauna. The circuit gives you views of the upper portion of Iguazú, which means you'll be treated to countless panoramic vistas of the surrounding falls.

  • The lower circuit (2 hours) is 5,250 feet (1,600 m) long. These paths are also elevated and offer views from directly below and around Iguazú falls. This circuit takes you near the base of the falls and provides a unique experience where you'll be right near the base of the falls and feel the power of the rushing water from up close. 

  • Devil's Throat (2 hours) is the star of the show. A small tourist train leaves from within the park at the Cataratas Station and travels 18 minutes to Garganta Station, where you'll find restrooms, a snack bar, and the start of the wooden pathway. Then, walk about 3,937 feet (1200 m) to see over the river, and reach the viewpoint. Just hearing the plunging falls echoing up around you is a one-of-a-kind experience. Actually peering 269 feet (82 m) down into the cavernous abyss as the highest of Iguazu's falls thunders below you is downright unforgettable. 

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

Day 7: Half Day Iguazú Falls - Brazilian Side, & Fly to Buenos Aires

View of Iguazu Falls from Foz do Iguacu, Brazil
View of Iguazu Falls from Foz do Iguacu, Brazil

Now that you have seen the Argentine side of the Iguazu Falls, it's time to see the Brazilian side through a half-day excursion to Foz do Iguaçu, if you haven't already. Here, you'll admire a sweeping panoramic view of the entire waterfall complex that you visited yesterday for an overall sense of its vastness.

In the afternoon, you'll transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires. Once you arrive, a private driver will take you to your hotel downtown. Enjoy the rest of the evening on your own, perhaps taking advantage of any restaurants or lounges you may have missed at the beginning of the trip.

Day 8: Departing Buenos Aires

Goodbye, Buenos Aires!
Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires

Enjoy one last breakfast in Buenos Aires. When it's time to go, a driver will take you to the airport for your flight home. Buen viaje! 

Map

Map of Relaxed Buenos Aires, Mendoza, & Iguazú Falls - 8 Days
Map of Relaxed Buenos Aires, Mendoza, & Iguazú Falls - 8 Days