Classic Argentina & Chile Itinerary: Private Tours, Great Wines & Sumptuous Food

A 10 day trip to Argentina & Chile 
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Indulge in the contrasts and embrace the distinctions explored during your itinerary through Argentina and Chile and be immersed in timeless charms, unique culture, and unparalleled landscapes. Your customizable journey will take you from the neighborhoods of Buenos Aires to the vines of Chile’s Central Valley to taste the famous barbecue and enchanting chocolates found between. Survey the trails that lead to vistas of snow-capped volcanoes, and then follow the traditional gauchos on a horseback ride along the ridges of the Andes Mountains. Indulge in a view of reflective lakes and evergreen forests as your Argentina and Chile itinerary will feature relaxing luxuries, fantastic adventures, and unforgettable classic moments in South America. 

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General Information

Photos
Vineyards at winery in Mendoza.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Bariloche, Santiago, Colchagua Valley 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Buenos Aires – Arrive in Lively Buenos Aires and Enjoy a Tango Show

Buenos Aires is a city of art and movement, elegance, and glamour. Art Nouveau architecture adorns the tree-lined boulevards, and antique shops offer captivating window displays along the cobblestone lanes. Colorful corrugated homes overlook outdoor cafes, and chic boutique shops fill the vintage arcades. Your flight will land at Ministro Pistarini International Airport, where your private transfer will greet you upon arrival. Your hotel will be located in the peaceful neighborhood of Recoleta, known for beautiful mansions, quiet streets, and the lavish mausoleums of the city’s most famous inhabitants situated inside the Recoleta Cemetery.

Nearly 50 neighborhoods provide the distinct culture of the city of Buenos Aires. The day is yours to enjoy the streets of the city at your preferred pace, leading you to the Manzana de las Luces, once the heart of culture and learning in colonial Buenos Aires. Two of the five original buildings remain along the unearthed defensive tunnels built by settling Jesuits. The grounds were used to convert Indigenous peoples before the buildings were being transformed into legislative offices and museums. In the evening, you will partake in the perfect introduction to the city in the form of a tango performance. Music will fill the gallery as the dancers take the stage, embracing one another and staring into their partner’s eyes.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, dinner

Day 2: Buenos Aires – Discover Bustling Buenos Aires on a Private Guided Tour

The splendors of Buenos Aires begin in the morning as the streets fill with the aroma of frothy cappuccino dusted with cinnamon and sugar. One favorite cafe, originally opened in the mid-19th century, offers a selection of seductive coffees accentuated by the sounds of jazz, tango, and poetry. Your guide will greet you at your hotel after breakfast eager to lead you on an in-depth tour of the seductive city often referred to as the “Paris of South America.”

The Buenos Aires Obelisk adorns the heart of Plaza de la Republica.  The monument was erected in the 1930s, at the height of 235 feet, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the city’s founding. You make your way next to the Plaza de Mayo, the center of the civic government that is adorned with the rosy hues of the Casa Rosada, the presidential palace. Another obelisk rises out of the center of the plaza and marks the first anniversary of Argentina’s independence from Spain. The neo-classical style of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires contrasts with the eclectic Italianate style of the Casa Rosada. You can easily imagine Evita, Eva Peron, giving a speech from the balcony while framed by the arches and columns.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Mendoza – Venture to Mendoza for a Half-Day Tour of the Serene City

The aroma of rich espresso and leather books emanate from the unique gallery of El Ateneo Grand Splendid, celebrated bookstore and café. The former Art Nouveau theater captures the imagination of locals and visitors alike with rows of books that spread across the terrace and ground floor with a café set along the former stage that overlooks the gallery. Your private transfer will greet you at your hotel after breakfast and escort you to the airport for your flight to Mendoza. As the plane descends into Governor Francisco Gabrielli International Airport, you will have a fantastic view of the sprawling vineyards along the valley floor and the snow-capped peaks of the bordering Andes Mountains.

Chocolate aromas drift down the city’s cobbled streets as channels of water line the lanes and walkways to provide a soothing trickling sound throughout the city. Cafes place tables and chairs alongside the pedestrian-friendly streets for patrons to view the passersby. The scent of grilled meats accompanies the endless shade of sycamore and oak trees. Your private transfer will greet you at baggage claim and bring you to your gorgeous hotel with stunning views of the quiet parks and open plazas of Mendoza.

Your guide will greet you in the lobby eager to lead you through the charms of the city beginning at the Museo Fundacional. The museum protects the excavations of the original town council that was destroyed in a mid-19th-century earthquake. The architecture blends a contemporary aesthetic inspired by Spanish colonial style, and you will venture underground and along the creole and red tiles that articulate the colors of history.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, flight, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Mendoza – Delight in a Full Day Wine Tour of Argentina’s Central Valley

In the morning, the chocolateries craft beautiful window displays around the city and once more fill the streets with the aroma of sweet confections. The cafes set out their tables and chairs, and locals enjoy the shade along with their hot cappuccino. Your guide will greet you after breakfast and lead you into the Central Valley that spreads across the landscape outside of Mendoza for insight into the pleasures of the wine grown in the region. The landscape shifts between the barren desert and verdant vines as they spread towards the foothills of the Andes Mountains.

Monks originally brought the vines from Spain in the 16th century after settling the region, with the first commercial vineyard opening in the 19th century. You will arrive at your first winery, and your guide will lead you through the rows of vines to share the importance of the dry soil to produce an intense flavor in each grape. The grapes have a waxy, plump texture and dark purple hue against the course green leaves.

Learn the process of cultivation on the estate with vintners eager to produce the perfect bottle of Mendoza Malbec. In the cellar, you can feel the temperature difference with the clay walls helping to keep the room cool from the desert sun. The oak barrels fill the air with a buttery, vanilla aroma as the tasting room has a large window that overlooks the vineyard and an orchard of olive trees. Your guide will pour a sample of a Malbec shimmering with rich ruby tones as you find an aroma of blackberries and plum floating upwards from the glass. 

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Mendoza – Traverse the Andean Foothills on a Horseback Riding Tour

Bakeries across Mendoza display their gorgeous alfajores in the light of the morning. The shortbread cookies sandwich creamy dulce de leche for a mixture of buttery and sweet flavors with a crumbly texture. The sounds of trickling fountains emanate from the serene plazas across Mendoza as your guide greets you at your hotel to escort you into the countryside for a unique excursion through the terrain on horseback. The ranch is family owned and covers more than 7,400 acres, and the stunning plain spreads into the foothills of the Andes Mountains to bring a mixture of snowy rides, shading trees, and rugged inclines. You will mount your horse and follow your professional gaucho guide through their stunning countryside.

Red deer graze on the vast grass-tufts, and the males of the herd can grow up to more than eight feet tall with antlers as large as 30 inches long. The cool mountain air offers a fresh herbaceous aroma that is filled with the scent of wildflowers. A stream rushes through the landscape and imitates the winding nature of the hills. Your guide will point out a wild boar as it sips from the rapids of the narrow body of water fed by the nearby glacier. In the afternoon, you will return to the estancia to the aroma of slow-cooked meat over an open flame for a traditional Argentinian barbecue.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Bariloche – Fly to the Lakes District for a Half-Day Tour of Bariloche

At breakfast, you will savor the serene ambiance of Mendoza with a cappuccino and freshly baked medialuna, a traditional Argentine pastry similar to a croissant, close at hand. Your private transfer will greet you at your hotel and escort you to the airport for your flight to Bariloche. The Lakes District is often considered the Gateway to Patagonia with verdant landscapes embellished by the captivating mountains and reflective waters as you cross the western border into Chile. Your flight lands at San Carols de Bariloche Airport. Your private transfer meets you at baggage claim and escorts you to a luxurious hotel nestled on the shores of Nahuel Huapi and Moreno lakes. The waters reflect the granite cliffs and evergreen forests wrapping around the shoreline.

You notice a couple kayaking across the glassy waters while families relax on the pebbled beaches. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the alpine ambiance of town as the pine-knotted buildings remind you of the half-timbered homes of Switzerland. The clock tower overlooks the water fresh air sweeps through the cobbled Plaza Expedicionarios del Desierto. You can sit beneath the neo-Gothic Cathedral of Nuestra Senora de Nahuel Huapi in Plaza Italia and enjoy the greenery and monument of a wolf suckling two babies in honor of the legend of Romulus and Remus.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Bariloche – Revel in the Beauty of the Lakes District at your Leisure

At breakfast, you will bask in the aroma of fresh coffee in the comforts of the dining room while enjoying the view of the evergreen trees and sapphire waters of Nahuel Huapi Lake. The day is yours to enjoy the majesty of the landscape and culture around the Lakes District at your preferred pace. Locals skateboard through Plaza España and then relax amongst the park benches and flowerbeds while small children play in the grass. The trails leading around Lake Nahuel Huapi fill with the aromas of wildflowers, from musk rose to the vibrant red spindles of the Norto tree. You can take to the waters of the Manso River for a rafting excursion or enjoy the small town ambiance of Villa la Angostura in search of the cinnamon-colors of the Arrayanes tree.

A full day excursion to Volcan Lanin National Park will bring you in search of the 12,385-foot tall volcanic peak. You will follow the winding paths in view of the granite slopes above San Martin de Los Andes as the park covers more than 102,050 acres. The evergreen trees fill the air with a spiced scent, and you can see the barren foothills give way to layers of snow and ice along the upper edges. The cold air bites at your cheeks as the river rushes past your feet and gurgles around the rocks and boulders for a small patch of whitewater. The view is spectacular and offers a pristine panorama of the looming peak and nearby mountain ridges, along with the expansive evergreen forest filled with Roble beech and Monkey-puzzle trees.  

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 8: Colchagua Valley - Transfer to Santiago for a Half-Day Tour Chile’s Capital

In the morning, the decadent aroma of chocolate sweeps across the black-pebbled beaches of Nahuel Huapi Lake. The confectioners place elegant chocolate displays in their windows to encourage passersby to step inside. Your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and bring you to the airport for your flight to Santiago, Chile. The capital city has a relaxed cosmopolitan ambiance embellished by the bohemian neighborhoods and captivating public artwork. In the summer, the produce stands around the Central Market scent the air with blended passion fruit and strawberries for fresh juices. The 26 distinct neighborhoods of the city maintain a distinctive style beneath the centralized peak of Cerro San Cristobal and looming snow-capped mountains of the bordering Andes to the east. Chess players enjoy the outdoor parks in Downtown near the Plaza de Armas.

Your private transfer will meet you at Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport upon your arrival. You will then make your way through the city on a half-day tour for a culturally immersive experience. The cobbled lanes along the foothills of Cerro San Cristobal weave through the neighborhood of Bellavista until they reach the shores of the Mapocho River. Oak trees shade the walkways, and street artists blanket the structural walls for a bohemian ambiance that spills into the restored mansions and manors. Pablo Neruda’s home, La Chascona, adds to the luster and poetic charm of the district.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, flight, tour, breakfast

Day 9: Colchagua Valley – Explore the Beauty and Flavor of the Colchagua Valley

The morning light will wash over the sea of world-class vineyards that span the Colchagua Valley. At breakfast, the scent of herbaceous mate tea will fill the dining room accompanied by an array of fresh berries. You will taste the custard apple to find a rich, creamy texture and semi sweet flavor. After the meal, your guide will greet you in the lobby eager to escort you along the arid soils caused by the long, hot summers. In the spring, the valley turns lush and ripe from the refreshing rain, perfect for stressing vines to grow petite grapes in the shade of the dangling leaves, made unique by the distinct qualities of the region protected by the Andean ridges to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Your guide will lead you off of the main road to a family vineyard that is home to one of the oldest cellars in the valley. Their restaurant fills the air with fresh grilled sea bass dressed with a sauce of lemon and butter as the parched vines add an aroma of baked clay. You can tour the grounds for a view of the snow-capped peaks of the Andes before tasting a selection of wines produced on the property. The scent of dried plum fills the glass and leaves a touch of vanilla that lingers on your palate thanks to the wine aging in oak barrels.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 10: Colchagua Valley - Depart for Home

In the morning, you will delight in your refreshing cup of cappuccino amongst the gauchos that are tending to the estate who prefer the slightly bitter flavor of mate tea. They ride on their horses with handmade wooden gourds, sipping from a metal straw attached to the cup.  After one last morning to taking it all in, your private transfer will greet you at your hotel when you are ready. You can make your way directly to Santiago or take your time to visit the beachside cities of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar for a different perspective on the hills and gardens that overlook the Pacific Ocean before continuing to Comodoro Arturo Merino International Airport for your flight home.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast

Price

Starting Price 

$2,495
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.