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The Vineyards of Chile and Argentina

15 days from £7,060pp

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The Vineyards of Chile and Argentina


Private Journey


Day 1

Arrive in Buenos Aires. Transfer to your hotel in Palermo district.
You will be met at the airport and escorted to your top-quality boutique hotel in the Palermo district by one of our local representatives. Palermo is a stylish neighbourhood of wide avenues lined with colonial mansions. The city zoo, the botanical gardens and racetrack are all here.

Buenos Aires is an elegant, cultured and cosmopolitan city famed for its interesting museums and the fascinating port district of La Boca, with its cobbled streets and brightly painted houses. It was here that the tango was born, and Diego Maradona honed his footballing skills. The centre of town is home to the colonial heartland, government buildings and churches, as well as chic shopping districts, which have a nostalgic Parisian feel. The bohemian quarter of San Telmo is full of quaint old houses interspersed with antiques shops, tango bars and classy restaurants. Slightly further out of the centre is the Recoleta district, even more evocative of the French influence, where Evita Perón was laid to rest.

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La Boca

Day 2

City tour with a visit to Teatro Colón. Dine at a live tango show.

Your guided city tour takes you along Avenida 9 de Julio, one of the widest boulevards in the world and studded by the Obelisk, an emblematic symbol of the city. Along this majestic highway is the 19th century Teatro Colón (guided tour included) which is considered one of world’s best.  On to the Plaza de Mayo, with the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Town Hall and the Casa Rosada, the presidential palace. The tour continues to bohemian, arty La Boca, which was settled and built by Italian immigrants and has streets lined with brightly painted corrugated iron-clad houses. Visit the district of Recoleta.

Evening guided visit to a tango show with a traditional Argentine dinner. The passage of time has given respectability to a dance once confined to the seedy underworld bars of the red-light La Boca district. Nowadays, a number of 'tango houses' offer a dinner and show as an evening out - prior to the performance you can even learn a few steps yourself as an informal group tango class is included. You’ll visit  La Gala tango, an intimate venue in French-colonial style complete with crystal chandeliers. The whole experience feels very exclusive and guests can learn a few tango dance moves before the performance gets underway.

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Buenos Aires

Day 3

Argentine-style barbeque at a colonial estancia on the pampas.
Inspired by the renowned Argentine gaucho – the iconic cowboy rider of the Pampas, today’s excursion starts with a private transfer to the colonial town of San Antonio de Areco, 113km from Buenos Aires.  Here, you'll visit a beautiful silverwork collection.  You'll explore the Ricardo Güiraldes museum, a converted ranch housing an imitation pulpería - a local store where gauchos used to gather, and display knives, books, paintings, clothes and utensils. From here, you'll visit the Molina Campos museum, which preserves original work from Florencio Molina Campos (1891-1959) - the artist who best depicted the gaucho way of life. 

Finally, on to the peaceful and graceful La Bamba, a top-notch, exclusive estancia, where you can relax by the pool, glimpse at rural country life, venture off horse riding, enjoy a trek and spot the various local birds. You'll enjoy welcome drinks and regional snacks, followed by a delicious asado (a traditional Argentine barbeque) lunch.

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Day 4

Transfer to airport and fly to Iguazú Falls. Excursion to the Brazilian side of the falls.

Transfer to the airport and fly to Puerto Iguazú in the subtropical northeast corner of Argentina (2 hrs).  Your hotel is a short stroll from the Iguazú Falls, it’s the only property inside the national park on the Argentine side.

The Iguazú Falls constitute one of the most extraordinary natural phenomena in the world.  A total of 275 falls thunder over a rust-coloured cliff surrounded by dense tropical forest. The u-shaped Devil’s Throat is the most dramatic sight, here the frothing water of the Iguazú river crashes over a 1.5km wide precipice and columns of vapour are thrown skyward. Elsewhere the river flows decorously through the rainforest breaking up into dozens of smaller cascades. You can usually spot colourful toucans and many other exotic birds perched in the foliage above the tumultuous waters.

You'll be taken on a memorable excursion to the Brazilian side of the falls. Cross the bridge which spans the Iguazú river and links the cities of Puerto Iguazú in Argentina and Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil. You'll board a (shared) national park service here and continue by road for the final stretch to the falls themselves. There's a walkway of about a kilometre, with viewpoints at strategic intervals - you get a panoramic view of the whole sweep of the cataracts - an entirely different experience from the Argentine side. Towards the end of the walk, there's an observation tower adjacent to the falls, and a walkway at the bottom takes you out for a closer and much wetter (plastic macs on sale) experience.

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Iguazu Falls, Brazilian side

Day 5

At leisure to explore the Argentine side of the falls.

A full day at leisure to explore the Argentine side of the falls from the comfort of your hotel within the national park itself. This means you can be inside the park as soon as it opens (usually 8am) and have a full hour to appreciate the falls before most other visitors arrive from hotels outside the park.

A sequence of causeways and passarelles links dozens of tiny basalt islands at the top of the sheer rock face and the walkways cross the myriad of streams of the Iguazú river as they cascade over the lip of the precipice: the water thunders on to the rocks below. A little train takes you to where a kilometre-long walkway leads across the river to the thunderous Garganta del Diablo, (Devil’s Throat). From this spectacular vantage point you can feel the incredible power of the water, and the flow is mesmeric as it plummets into the vortex below.

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Iguazu Falls

Days 6-8

Fly to Salta, stay at a working estancia. Optional activities at your countryside lodge.
Travel back to Puerto Iguazú airport and fly to Salta. The city is renowned for its colonial architecture, friendly population and elegant claret-red ponchos. It lies in the arid eastern foothills of the Andes, the only Argentine region where vestiges of indian heritage are still visible.

Spend a few days on the Estancia el Bordo de las Lanzas, a beautiful colonial residence decorated with elaborate religious paintings and woodcarvings dating back to the 17th century. It’s in the fertile Siancas Valley, 61km east of the city. The estate is an extensive working ranch with sugar cane and tobacco plantations. Cattle and horses are also raised here. There are lovely gardens and a swimming pool.

The Arias family, descendants of  the patrician family which has occupied this finca for centuries are excellent hosts. There are several optional activities and excursions to consider. You might visit the vineyards and bodegas of Cafayate, a region where the wine’s reputation is fast-growing, or explore the nearby canyon country, where stark, arid mountains and steep gorges display a rainbow of earthy colours from russet to gold, purple to crimson.

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Salta area

Days 9

Fly to Mendoza and drive to luxury vineyard.

Fly to Mendoza in Argentina’s wine country in the shadow of the eastern flank of the Andes, and continue to Cavas Wine Lodge. The celebrated vineyards in this region provide the perfect place to enjoy fine vintages and a superb gastronomic experience. Cavas Wine Lodge is situated amid vineyards 30km from the city. The design of the main house remains faithful to Spanish colonial traditions. Its wine cellar is stacked with dozens of Argentina's most notable labels and the kitchen uses locally produced olive oils, herbs and spices. Along with the outdoor sports facilities there's a small spa offering wine therapy treatments.

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Mendoza vineyards

Days 10-11

Activities at the winery, with food and wine.

At leisure at Cavas Wine Lodge. The property is ideally situated as a base to visit some of the regions finest private wineries including Catena Zapata, Chandon, Achaval Ferrer, and Fabre Montmayou. Your stay includes visits to different wineries each day and offers a unique, gourmet experience which, besides wine-tasting opportunities, allows you the flexibility to dine out at well-regarded local restaurants. You can also take advantage of one of the outdoor sports on offer which include biking, trekking, horse riding and golf followed by a massage courtesy of the lodge, the ideal pre- dinner aperitif.

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Cavas Wine Lodge

Day 12

Fly from Mendoza to Santiago, Chile; by road to Pacific coast port Valparaiso.
Fly to Santiago, Chile and continue to the port of Valparaiso on the Pacific coast.

Modern Valparaiso, Chile's principal port is in effect two towns. The cramped lower part, with narrow streets facing the bay, acts as the business centre. Above, covering the hills, there is an agglomeration of fine mansions, tattered and multicoloured houses and shacks reached by a combination of steps, funicular railways and winding lanes. Galleried walkways or miradores provide panoramic views of the city.

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Day 13

Walking tour of Valparaiso.
You’ll have a guided walking tour of the city. Start off down close to the busy quay where you’ll taste the salt in the wind blowing over the many containers, fishing and leisure craft. The strategically located port was of pivotal importance to international trade in the 19th Century and many imposing, Victorian-style public buildings glower over dark, cramped streets.

Climb away from the bustle in a funicular elevator, just one of 15 ascensores which lead up the steep hills to meandering little residential streets above the city. While up there enjoying the views, you’ll continue to Cerro Concepcíon, one of the city's loveliest neighbourhoods with colourful corrugated iron buildings with pitched roofs. After walking along a couple of the pleasant, peaceful streets continue by trolley bus to Plaza Aduana. Take the Artilleria elevator, which enjoys outstanding views over the city, back down to Paseo 21 de Mayo with its numerous arts and handicraft shops.

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Day 14

Transfer to Matetic winery.
Transfer to Matetic, a vineyard just 90mins’ drive away from Valparaiso heading back towards Santiago.

This young vineyard is situated in the Antonio Valley, where a refreshing microclimate supports the cultivation of Pinot Noir and Shiraz grapes. This huge estate has a very peaceful, rural setting amid rolling hills covered in Mediterranean chaparral forest. It's a state-of-the-art design winery, ultra modern in appearance, established only in 1999 and in 10 years has already won awards for the quality of its wine and its biodynamic practices. You spend your last night here: facilities include a restaurant specialising in Chilean cuisine with menus prepared to complement the vineyard's excellent wines, a spacious living room, pool table and bar. A tour of the winery and wine tasting is included.

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Matetic winery

Day 15

Transfer to airport.

About Private Journeys

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