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The Vineyards of Chile and Argentina

15 days from £6434pp

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The Vineyards of Chile and Argentina:
Trip Dossier

Argentina and Chile both have an abundance of attractions. These are easily linked by a comprehensive local flight network, and, even better, there are some wonderful top of the range places to stay where you can base yourself to enjoy not only the landscapes but also the magnificent food and local wine.  A few days spent at each of these are an experience in itself.
We have chosen among our favourite properties, all in interesting and beautiful locations such as the canyon country of the exotic northwest of Argentina, the sunlit wine-country on the slopes of the Andes and the tumbledown port of Valparaiso. In addition you’ll visit the magnificent Iguazú Falls on the border with Brazil. Your private tour begins in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, considered to be Latin America’s most sophisticated and European city, with its wide boulevards, colonial architecture and café society. It ends on the other side of the continent at the Pacific coast in Chile.

Short itinerary

Holiday itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Buenos Aires. Transfer to your hotel in Palermo district.

Day 2

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

Day 3

Argentine-style barbeque at a colonial estancia on the pampas.

Day 4

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

Day 5

At leisure to explore the Argentine side of the falls.

Days 6-8

Fly to Salta, stay at a working estancia. Optional activities at your countryside lodge.

Days 9

Fly to Mendoza and drive to luxury vineyard.

Days 10-11

Activities at the winery, with food and wine.

Day 12

Fly from Mendoza to Santiago, Chile; by road to Pacific coast port Valparaiso.

Day 13

Walking tour of Valparaiso.

Day 14

Transfer to Matetic winery.

Day 15

Transfer to airport.

Detailed itinerary

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

Matetic winery

Day 15

Transfer to airport.

Essential information


3 flights (longest 3hrs);  4 road journeys (longest about 3hrs).


Argentina and Chile have a fine choice of first class estancia and country wine estate accommodation. The estancias and wineries are intimate, cosy, and stylish properties. They all have beautiful settings, good facilities and a range of activities. The standard of cuisine at the countryside properties is exceptional and a good range of national wines is available.


Breakfast daily, lunch day 3, dinner days 2,9,14; full board days 10, 11.


We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.

Included excursions

  • City tour of Buenos Aires.
  • Tango show with dinner in Buenos Aires.
  • Excursion to Brazilian side of the Iguazú Falls.
  • Activities at Salta estancia.
  • Excursions from Cavas Wine Lodge.
  • Walking tour of Valparaiso.

Summary of nights

15 days, 14 nights: Buenos Aires 3; Iguazú Falls 2; Salta estancia 3; Mendoza vineyard and winery 3; Valparaiso 2; winery near Santiago 1.

Included in the journey price

• Services of our team of experts in our London office.
• Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides.
• All land and air transport within Latin America.
• Accommodation as specified.
• Meals as specified.
• Excursions as specified, including entrance fees.

Not included in the journey price

• International flights to Latin America.
• Tips and gratuities
• Meals other than specified.
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
• Optional excursions.


The unit of currency in Argentina is the Argentine peso, in Chile the Chilean peso.

Daily spend

It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$50 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more.

How to take it

Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds. 

We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency, and possibly some travellers’ cheques, though these are gradually falling out of use (American Express are the most widely accepted). Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.


Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. 

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.

Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier.


Travel insurance is essential. 

Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.

Airport taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Journey grade

Given the long distances to cover on this holiday we have chosen domestic flights as the most convenient way to get around. There are a few land transfers. 

This holiday is suitable for all able reasonably fit visitors. If you are travelling alone or have a disability or other special requirement, please do call us.


Buenos Aires and the pampa plains have similar weather conditions – they are hottest January-March (very humid with tropical showers, occasionally over 40°C during the day). They can be cold and cloudy July-August, so weather conditions are best for a visit in spring and autumn. 

Mendoza and Salta are year round destinations with plenty of sunshine. Temperatures dip from a high of 30°C to 15°C in winter but most rain falls in the southern hemisphere summer. The vineyards near Mendoza are stunning when cloaked in the fiery red of their autumn plumage. 

In the Santiago and Valparaiso area expect a Mediterranean type climate. In October, November, March and April  temperatures range between 15°C  and 25°C and there’s a good deal of sunshine. January and February are hot, around 30°C or higher.

Clothing and special equipment

The southern hemisphere summer will be hot, therefore in Buenos Aires take loose-fitting light clothing for maximum comfort at this time. An umbrella is a good idea in case of a tropical shower. Spring and autumn are milder and less predictable.

South America is in general a relaxed continent and you won’t need clothes for formal dining but you may wish to take some smart casual wear for dining at the estancias or at top of the range restaurants.

Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in South America.


Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements. Protection against malaria is advisable for the Amazon cruise. 

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.


Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins.  Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

APIS and ESTA - important flight information:

ESTA - if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online.

This costs $14 per person. This must be done by you personally.

Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.

APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.

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