- Experience Argentina's culture, from tango shows to country ranches
- Tour Argentina's northern deserts and colonial cities like Salta
- Hit the wine trail from Cafayate to Mendoza to central Chile
- Take a wild boat ride up close to Iguazú Falls in northern Argentina
- Tour the high Andes mountains and canyons in Argentina and Chile
|Day 1||Arrive in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Dinner & Tango Performance||Buenos Aires|
|Day 2||Neighborhoods Tour, Argentina Culinary Experience||Buenos Aires|
|Day 3||Day Trip to San Antonio & Estancia El Ombú||Buenos Aires|
|Day 4||Day Trip to Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay)||Buenos Aires|
|Day 5||Fly to Salta, Optional Activities||Salta|
|Day 6||Day Trip to Cafayate||Salta|
|Day 7||Day Trip to Cachi||Salta|
|Day 8||Day Trip to Purmamarca & Salinas Grandes||Salta|
|Day 9||Salta Whitewater Rafting Tour||Salta|
|Day 10||Fly to Puerto Iguazú||Puerto Iguazú|
|Day 11||Iguazú Falls Tour (Brazilian Side), Parque das Aves||Puerto Iguazú|
|Day 12||Iguazú Falls Tour (Argentine Side) & Boat Trip||Puerto Iguazú|
|Day 13||Fly to Mendoza||Mendoza|
|Day 14||Uco Valley Wine Tour||Mendoza|
|Day 15||Full-Day Aconcagua Park Tour||Mendoza|
|Day 16||Spa Day at Termas de Cacheuta||Mendoza|
|Day 17||Fly to Santiago (Chile)||Santiago|
|Day 18||Santiago Markets City Bike Tour||Santiago|
|Day 19||Full-Day Winery & Alpacas Tour||Santiago|
|Day 20||Day Trip to Cajón del Maipo & El Yeso Reservoir||Santiago|
|Day 21||Depart Santiago|
Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Dinner & Tango Performance
Welcome to Argentina! This three-week wine, culture, and adventure tour begins in Argentina's capital of Buenos Aires. This port city on the Río de la Plata estuary has captivated visits for well over a century, and it's no secret why. Its European-inspired streets are lined with neoclassical and Baroque architecture, while its historic neighborhoods haven't lost any romantic charm. In this city, you can stroll cobbled streets while plaintive notes of tango reverberate from nearby milongas (music halls).
Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will transfer you to your hotel in the city. Later, you'll head out to discover Argentina's most famous export: tango. Born in the 19th century near the port of the historic San Telmo district, this musical/dance style merged the country dances of rural Spain with other influences from newly arriving immigrants. By the early 20th century, it had become famous around the world. You'll see the magic of this genre live when you sit down for dinner and a live performance at a local milonga.
After dinner, you can learn the tango steps during a dance lesson and/or sample various Argentine wines with an optional tasting. Later, you'll return to your hotel.
Day 2: Neighborhoods Tour, Argentina Culinary Experience
Wake up early and meet your guide for a city tour around Buenos Aires by vehicle. This three-hour, small-group tour will take you to famous landmarks like 9 de Julio (the widest avenue in the world), the soaring Obelisco monument, and the Teatro Colón, which has consistently been ranked one of the great opera houses in the world since its opening in 1908.
You'll also visit upscale Puerto Madero and historic Plaza de Mayo, home to the iconic Casa Rosada (Presidential Palace), plus stroll the cobbled streets of San Telmo, the oldest neighborhood in the city. Continue south to La Boca, an old port area known for its zinc houses and colorful Caminito Street. It's home to La Bombonera, the country's most famous fútbol (soccer) stadium. The tour ends in the old-money Recoleta neighborhood with a visit to its stately cemetery (the final resting place of Eva Perón), after which you'll return to the hotel.In the evening, you'll head out for an activity perfect for amateur chefs and inveterate foodies. During this three-hour culinary experience, you'll meet a group, 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 reveals itself in its food. You'll learn how to prepare handmade empanadas, the famous chimichurri sauce, and alfajores (delicious Argentine cookies). You'll also try maté, an herbal tea that is the lifeblood of the country.
Day 3: Day Trip to San Antonio & Estancia El Ombú
Get ready for a full day on the prairie to experience Argentina's famous frontier culture. In the morning, you'll meet your driver for the 72-mile (117 km) transfer northwest from Buenos Aires to the Pampas flatlands and San Antonio de Areco. This bucolic town is the heart of Argentina's gaúcho (cowboy) culture and even today retains its equestrian and silversmith traditions. It's also rich with folk history, inspiring Argentine author José Hernández's epic poem "Martín Fierro." The ballad recounts the exploits of its fictional hero as he endures life on the frontier.
Your destination is right outside San Antonio, at Estancia El Ombú. This colonial-style mansion was built in 1880 and sits on expansive green grounds, offering visitors an authentic Argentine countryside experience. Once here, there's a variety of options for activities: you can go horseback riding, hiking, or sightseeing in an old-fashioned, horse-drawn carriage. The estancia is also a working farm, and you can observe typical ranch-style activities such as herding animals, branding cattle, and milking cows.
A highlight of the day is sitting down to a traditional asado (Argentine barbecue). Enjoy grilled meat and empanadas paired with Argentine wine while being entertained by horse shows and traditional folk dancing. Afterward, you'll transfer back to Buenos Aires and your hotel.
Day 4: Day Trip to Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay)
You're in for a treat, as this morning, you'll hop the border into neighboring Uruguay, located right across the Río de la Plata from Buenos Aires. The day starts with a transfer to the river terminal, where you'll board a ferry for the 1.5-hour ride to Colonia del Sacramento. Dating to 1680, it has the distinction of being the only colonial town in the Río de la Plata region founded by the Portuguese as opposed to the Spanish. Its history, cobbled streets, and distinctive architecture have been remarkably well preserved, which has led to it being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Upon arrival at the port, you'll meet your guide for a walking tour around the historic neighborhoods of this charming town. Enjoy the beguiling mixture of Portuguese, Spanish, and post-colonial architectural styles as you stroll its cobbled streets. Stop in at local cafés and restaurants for a coffee or to snack on an empanada, and be sure to take advantage of the great shopping here—Colonia del Sacramento is home to a free trade zone. At the end of the day, you'll board the ferry for the return trip to Buenos Aires.
Day 5: Fly to Salta, Optional Activities
This morning, you'll transfer back to Buenos Aires' airport for the two-hour flight north to Salta. Officially founded in 1582, this metropolis has a well-preserved colonial center defined by landmarks like the 19th-century Salta Cathedral, which overlooks Plaza 9 de Julio, the main square. Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will transfer you to your hotel in the city. If you like, you can then head out on a self-guided tour.
Salta is an easy city to explore on foot. Its historic downtown is lined with gorgeous neoclassical buildings, lively cafés, and bars teeming with a young crowd. You can also head to the city's eastern edge and ride the cable car eight minutes to the top of Cerro San Bernardo. The panoramic views atop this 853-foot (260 m) hill are the best in the city. In the evening, consider visiting an authentic peña. These watering holes and restaurants are places where locals come to enjoy traditional Argentine folk music
Day 6: Day Trip to Cafayate
It's officially time to hit the wine trail! Meet your driver in the morning and leave Salta, heading south on Route 68 for about three hours until you reach the town of Cafayate. To say this is a scenic drive would be an understatement. Along the way, you'll pass some of northern Argentina's most beautiful landmarks.
One highlight is the Quebrada de las Conchas, a deep valley of red canyons characterized by intense colors and unusual rock formations. The names of these geological wonders reflect their characteristics, like the Devil's Throat, the Amphitheater, the Frog, and the Obelisk. Because you're in the passenger seat, you can stop wherever and whenever you like to take a walk around and snap photos.
Then, continue to Cafayate. This tourist town is nestled in the Calchaquí Valley of Salta province and is renowned for its vineyards. In fact, this is the premier wine-growing region of northern Argentina, famous for producing the torrontés varietal, an aromatic white wine. Upon arrival, you'll check into your accommodation and can then visit a winery to sample the famous torrontés. After a wine tasting and a break for lunch, you'll transfer back to Salta via Quebrada de las Conchas.
Day 7: Day Trip to Cachi
Today's destination is the well-preserved historic town of Cachi. Meet your driver in the morning and set out on a journey through the Lerma Valley. This route delivers more mesmerizing northern scenery, especially as you enter the Laureles and Escoipe gorges.
It also includes a section on the Cuesta del Obispo, a road that snakes up a scenic mountain slope carpeted with lush vegetation. In this area, you'll likely spot plenty of native wildlife, including vicuñas, pumas, and falcons. Later, you'll pass through Los Cardones National Park and Piedra del Molino (Mill's Stone), the highest point on the trip at 11,102 feet (3,384 m) above sea level.
Eventually, you'll arrive at Cachi, known for its unique architecture combining Indigenous and Spanish influences. During a stop, you can take a stroll around town and admire the adobe houses and whitewashed colonial buildings, like Cachi's iconic 16th-century church. Also, visit the Museo Arqueológico de Cachi, a museum showcasing locally excavated artifacts, some dating back 10,000 years. Afterward, you'll return to Salta on the same route.
Day 8: Day Trip to Purmamarca & Salinas Grandes
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Leave Salta again this morning as you head north on a three-hour road trip to Purmamarca. This popular village in Jujuy province, which is filled with adobe houses and craft markets, sits at the base of the iconic Cerro de los Siete Colores (Hill of the Seven Colors) in the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a narrow mountain valley and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After touring the town, the day trip continues up and over the steep and winding Cuesta de Lipán mountain pass to the impressive Salinas Grandes. These vast salt flats cover 82 square miles (212 sq km) and are one of the most popular destinations in the Jujuy region. Have fun here snapping forced-perspective photos and marveling at the sunlight bouncing off the bright salt crystals. Afterward, you'll transfer back to Salta.
Day 9: Salta Whitewater Rafting Tour
Trade the road for water today as you head out on an adrenaline-pumping whitewater rafting trip. At 8:30 am, you'll meet your car to transfer to the Río Juramento put-in. There, on the banks, you'll participate in a brief rafting and safety course led by your river guides. Then, after receiving your equipment, you'll hop on the raft and set off down the river.
This two-hour excursion will take you through some of the most scenic areas of this dramatic river canyon, which was carved out during prehistoric times. Parts of the journey are tranquil and feature easy Class II rapids, while other areas are more challenging and feature a few Class III rapids. After about 7.5 miles (12 km) on the river, you'll reach the end of the route and transfer back to Salta.
Day 10: Fly to Puerto Iguazú
In the morning, you'll transfer to the airport in Salta and catch a two-hour flight east to Puerto Iguazú at the tri-borders with Brazil and Paraguay. This city is the gateway to Iguazú Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second-largest waterfall system in the world after Victoria Falls. Needless to say, it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of South America.
At the airport, a driver will pick you up for the transfer to your hotel. Then you'll have the rest of the day free. Be sure to take it easy and acclimate to the warmer weather—temps here top 90°F (32°C) in the summer months.
Day 11: Iguazú Falls Tour (Brazilian Side), Parque das Aves
It's time to visit the famous falls! On a half-day tour, you'll visit the Brazilian side (as opposed to the Argentine side) of Iguazú. It's an excellent introduction to this natural wonder, as the Brazilian side offers easily accessible viewpoints without the extensive walking required on the Argentine side.
First, transfer to the visitor center at Iguazú National Park. There, you'll hop on a bus for a 30-minute ride through tropical forest to a lookout point offering great views of the falls on the Argentine side. Then, it's a short hike along the Río Iguazú to the Brazilian side. The walkway passes over the river to the Salto Floriano (Floriano Falls) and affords more great views of the lower Iguazú.
From Iguazú National Park, it's about a one-hour drive to Parque das Aves. You'll then have two hours to enjoy this 40-acre (16 ha) bird sanctuary in the Paraná province of Brazil. Its immersive aviaries allow you to admire the more than 1,000 birds comprised of 143 species, including toucans and the vibrant scarlet macaw. There are also habitats for caimans, anacondas, and butterflies.
Day 12: Iguazú Falls Tour (Argentine Side) & Boat Trip
After breakfast, a driver will pick you up for the ride back to Iguazú National Park. Here, you'll begin your tour of the Argentine side. The hike will take you along both the lower and upper walkways that weave around the cascades (prepare to get wet!). One highlight is traversing the boardwalk at the top of Iguazú to the famous Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat), one of the largest of Igauzu's cascades. From a viewing area, you can peer over the edge and see the thundering falls plunge 262 feet (89 m) to the river below (an experience not for the faint of heart).
Then it's time for another adventure as you head down to the lower Río Iguazú. A truck ride along a forest trail will take you to the dock at Puerto Macuco, where you'll board an inflatable speedboat for a ride to the base of the falls. From this vantage point, you'll experience the full scope and majesty of Iguazú, which is comprised of 275 different cascades. Like with the waterfall hike, you'll definitely want to wear waterproof clothing. At the end of the trip, you'll return to the dock and transfer back to your hotel.
Day 13: Fly to MendozaIt's time to head back south. In the morning, you'll transfer to the airport and catch a connecting flight to Mendoza. Located in western Argentina near the border with Chile, this is the country's most famous wine region. Here, the bulk of Argentina's most famous grape—malbec—is harvested. Mendoza is also a lovely city in its own right, full of tree-lined boulevards, expansive plazas, and a youthful college-town vibe. At the airport, a driver will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel in the city.
Day 14: Uco Valley Wine Tour
You've heard all about the Mendoza region, now it's time to taste the fruits of its terroir. And there's no better place for such an introduction than the Uco Valley. This renowned wine region is nestled in the Andes foothills just south of Mendoza and is known for producing some of the world's finest malbecs.
Leave for a full-day wine tour in the morning and visit celebrated wineries, such as Salentein, Domaine Bousquet, and Andeluna Cellars. During a tour of each one, you'll stroll the vineyards while enjoying stunning mountain views, visit the production facilities and barrel rooms, and enjoy tastings of different varietals. In between the tours, there'll be a break for lunch—another great opportunity to pair Argentine dishes with fine local labels.
Day 15: Full-Day Aconcagua Park Tour
Today, you'll venture into the mighty Andes to visit a number of landmarks. As you do, you'll admire views of Cerro Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere (22,841 ft/ 6,961 m). The adventure begins at 8 am with a pickup by your guide at the hotel. Then, you'll transfer southwest from Mendoza along National Route 7 to Poterillos, a small town in the foothills. There you'll be treated to views of Cordón del Plata (an Andes sub-range) and Potrerillos Dam. Then, pass through tunnels and over bridges to Uspallata, a town in the Andes famous for its Inca petroglyphs.
From there, you'll arrive at Aconcagua Provincial Park, a massive protected area that covers 712 square miles (1,843 sq km) in the Andes. Visit some of its famous landmarks like Puente del Inca (Inca Bridge). This natural arch was formed over the Río Cuevas by glaciers and hot springs in the Cordillera mountain range. It was named after the Inca, who frequented the area for its therapeutic hot springs. Those same springs were also the centerpiece of a famous spa resort in the early 20th century.
Continue up into the mountains to a viewpoint at 9,022 feet (2,750 m) that offers incredible views of Aconcagua. Following the same route, you'll arrive at the final destination, the European-inspired village of Las Cuevas. This is the base for trips up to nearby Cristo Redentor, a famous monument sitting at 13,779 feet (4,200 m) above sea level (be sure to take plenty of photos). After visiting the monument, you'll travel back down the mountains and return to Mendoza.
Day 16: Spa Day at Termas de Cacheuta
Leave in the morning on a scenic, one-hour transfer west of Mendoza to the thermal waters of Termas de Cacheuta. Cradled in a narrow valley surrounded by the Cordón del Plata, this luxurious natural spa features a network of stone lagoons filled with thermal waters. Here, you'll enjoy a full day of thermal hydrotherapy, including a sauna in a natural grotto, a soak in thermal relaxation pools, mineral mud therapy, and a dip in freshwater infinity pools overlooking the Río Mendoza.
Afterward, wash off in Finnish and Scottish-style showers and relax on a lounge chair in the solarium. The day's outing also includes a criollo (country) buffet lunch (including vegetarian options and a salad bar) featuring a full barbecue spread with beef, pork, chicken, and grilled vegetables. In the afternoon, you'll return to Mendoza and have the remainder of the day free.
Day 17: Fly to Santiago (Chile)
In the morning, say your goodbyes to Argentina as you transfer to the airport in Mendoza for the quick one-hour flight to Santiago. This metropolis sits at 1,700 feet (518 m) above sea level and is surrounded by snowcapped mountains. Lining its wide boulevards are a mix of modern skyscrapers and historic landmarks dating back to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
Upon arrival at Santiago's airport, a driver will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel in the city. After checking in, you'll have the rest of the day free to relax at the hotel. Or, you can hit the street and explore the city on a self-guided tour.
Day 18: Santiago Markets City Bike Tour
Explore Santiago on two wheels as you leave on a small-group bicycle tour in the morning. This fun excursion will take you to some of the city's most historic and colorful neighborhoods. One highlight is trendy Bellavista, known for its chic eateries, street art, and bohemian vibe. The next stop is La Chascona, once the home of Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet and cultural icon Pablo Neruda. Today, it's a museum.
The bike tour culminates with visits to La Vega Central, Santiago's largest municipal market. Here, you'll find everything from fresh produce and seafood to food stalls and more. On the way back to the drop-off point, you'll ride through the picturesque Parque Forestal, a 42-acre (17 ha) green space along the Río Mapocho in the city center.
Day 19: Full-Day Winery & Alpacas Tour
Today is the culmination of the wine trail you've followed since Argentina. In the morning, you'll transfer north of Santiago to Viña San Esteban. Located near the charming town of Los Andes in the fertile Aconcagua Valley, this winery delivers both taste and spectacular mountain scenery.
Upon arrival, you'll embark on a tour of the vineyards, cellars, and production facilities. Besides learning about the famous varietals they produce, like cabernet sauvignon and carménère, you'll enjoy an al fresco tasting. This includes sampling three different wines—two reserves and one signature. For lunch, you can opt for a picnic right on the grounds paired with a couple more glasses of vino.
The rest of the day you'll spend on a farm tour. From the winery, you'll transfer to nearby Quintessence, a family-run alpaca farm dedicated to breeding and caring for these prized South American camelids. On an educational tour, you'll learn about the cultural significance of alpacas, the sustainable and ethical farming practices, and witness how high-quality alpaca fiber is processed on-site. Of course, you'll also meet some of these endearing animals and learn about their breeding and care. At the end of the day, you'll transfer back to Santiago.
Day 20: Day Trip to Cajón del Maipo & El Yeso Reservoir
Head out for a full-day tour of yet another gorgeous region in Central Chile: Cajón del Maipo. Located about two hours southeast of Santiago, this scenic canyon is nestled in the Andes and features rugged mountains, lush valleys, and crystalline rivers.
The adventure begins when you arrive at San José de Maipo, a small town and hub for excursions into the canyon. From there, you'll travel to some of the canyon's most famous highlights, starting with the famous El Yeso Reservoir. This human-made lake dates to the 1960s and has become a popular tourist destination due to its turquoise waters fringed by snowcapped Andean peaks. Enjoy the best views after taking a short hike up to a lookout point that affords panoramic vistas of the reservoir and surrounding nature.
After a refreshment break, you'll continue to other famous areas, landmarks, and sectors, like the charming town of El Volcán and Gran Cascada, a plunging waterfall. On the transfer back to Santiago, you'll stop at Casa Chocolate, whose fairy-tale architecture compliments the delicious artisanal chocolates you'll get to sample there.