Argentina Discovery | Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Buenos Aires Airport. Note there is currently a reciprocity fee of $140 for US citizens that needs to be paid before proceeding through immigration.  Our local guide will meet you and transfer you to your select hotel. Time to settle in and relax before a short afternoon walking tour of the city. This is a great introduction to your surroundings and we offer a selection of approaches for you to focus on history, cafes and bookstores, architecture, modern Buenos Aires, and nature. For those that prefer a little more adventure, we can arrange for a tour by bike.

Day 2: Morning visit of the city of Buenos Aires. The Four Balconies of Buenos Aires is an exclusive visit in which a guide, professor of the University, uses four parks and plazas to introduce passengers to the city, its history, its everyday life and the peculiar psychology of the “porteño”, the inhabitant of Buenos Aires.

THE FOUR BALCONIES OF BUENOS AIRES is an exclusive visit of Buenos Aires, in which a scholar, professor of the University, uses four parks and plazas of Buenos Aires (Plaza de Mayo, Parque Lezama and La Boca, Plaza San Martin and Recoleta) to introduce visitors to Argentina, its history, its contrasts, its contradictions and the characteristic psychology of the “porteños”, the inhabitants of Buenos Aires.
The tour offers a first approach to the city including its highlights on the way:

Plaza de Mayo, the heart of the city of Buenos Aires both from the historical and political point of view and the site of its foundation.

Parque Lezama & La Boca as the old South. One of the oldest districts in the city, crowded by artists´ateliers and colorful houses of rambling architecture at La Boca and lots of Antiques shops and cobblestone streets in San Telmo , which showcase the early times of Buenos Aires

Plaza San Martin & Retiro show the link and the passage from the Old South to the New Residential quarters developed at the turn of the XIXth Century when Argentina and specially Buenos Aires looked after Europe as a role model.

Recoleta, the sophisticated and stylish district in Buenos Aires with a strong French influence to be noted in its architecture, avenues and barrios. We will include a visit to the world famous Recoleta Cemetery where Evita Peron is buried.

Afternoon free to explore on your own. This evening enjoy a tango show and dinner. Transfers are provided, and you’ll return to your hotel in the late evening. (B, D)

Day 3: Free day to explore on your own.  Optional tours include:  Visit outside the city to the Tigre Delta area, Literary walks, Architecture tour, Gardens of Buenos Aires, photo tour, nature walks, sea kayaking, etc. (B)

Day 4:  Transfer to the domestic airport of Aeroparque, located very close to the city center. After a 2 hour flight, you’ll arrive in Iguazu Falls. Our local representative will meet you and transfer you to your select hotel. Check-in for a two-night stay. (B)

Day 5: Born in Brasil in the Serra do Mar at 4250 feet (1300 m), and only a short distance from the Atlantic coast, the Iguazú River flows towards the west in a winding course for more than 300 miles (500 km), emptying into the Paraná River. Its lower course widens to approximately 4920 feet (1500 m) and curves first southward, then north, forming a large U-shaped bend, which includes the fault, which creates the falls. In this large curve, which is just above the falls, a large number of rocks and small islands, some of them entirely covered by jungle divide the river into many arms forming a true delta. Upon reaching the fault, each of these arms becomes a fall, all of which constitute the great fall known as Iguazú Falls. All along its length of 1.6 miles (2700 m.), the great fault, which is shaped like two winding and converging arches, creates a series of 150 to 260 falls, according to the river’s changing water levels. The largest falls, situated in the horseshoe where both arches converge, are where the main course of the river flows and is known as the “Devil’s throat”. All along its perimeter the water falls more than 2230 feet (70 m), exploding onto the rocks below and creating dense clouds of mist.

We will enjoy a full day exploring the dense subtropical rainforest and the mighty Iguazú Falls.  Upon arrival to Iguazú National Park, the first stop will be the Visitors´ Center Ibyra-reta, which in native language (Guaraní) means “The Tree Country”, a big construction with a permanent exhibition on the rich bio diversity of the area.

To visit the falls the best way is using a fancy train “Tren Ecologico de la Selva” that connects 3 areas of the National Park. This small train was built in England and specially designed for the park.

The small train has 3 stations: Central Station (where the visitors´ center is located), the Cataratas Station, which gives access to the trail head of the lower and upper trails in the falls and the Devil’s Throat Station, to reach the imposing fall.   It is a 14km route which demands a 25 min. ride. 

To reach to the Falls Area (Trail heads of the Upper and lower trails) we can either use the train or hike the Green Trail, which goes by a swampy area where we will be able to observe birds, lots of butterflies and other interesting species. This trail demands a 15 min walk (600m).

Upon arrival at the Cataratas Station, we find a plaza which is the starting point of the Upper and Lower Trails.
The upper trail will offer great panoramic views of the falls from above on its 650 m long. Normally it takes about 1, 30 hours with stops on the way; there are six ample lookout points and rest areas.

The other Trail, the so-called lower one, allows for a closer approach of the falls from below, where the water cannons into rocks. The trail -1700 m – has 8 lookout points of great beauty where getting wet is guaranteed!

This circular trail demands between 1, 30 to 2 hours visit and it is an even trail with some steps to reach different levels. We have the view of the falls from below and front and we are also able to sight some of the falls on the Brasilian side.

Time permitting we will have the opportunity to cross over to San Martin Island which offers magnificent vistas of San Martin and Escondido falls as well as of a peculiar rock formation known as La Ventana (the Window). To reach this Island, we get to a small pier at the end of the lower trail where we embark on a safe boat and cross over to the isle (5 min navigation). Once on the island, there are about 172 steps to climb to reach the top! This requires some physical effort, so participants must be fit. 

And then we jump again on the train to reach the last of the Stations – Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo). From here a trail -of about 1100m- traverses the Iguazú River to the breathtaking Devil’s Throat. The duration of this trail is of 2 hours approximately.  In the park there are various small restaurants and snacks as well as toilette facilities.

At the end of the day, you’ll enjoy a navigation up the Iguazu River to approach the amazing Devil´s Throat, the most imposing view of the falls.  Be prepared to get wet! Return to your hotel to enjoy the evening on your own. (B)

Day 6:  Transfer to the airport for your flights to Mendoza.  Depending on the day of the week, this will either be a direct flight, or via Buenos Aires.
On arrival you are met and transferred to your select hotel, where you check-in for a 3-night stay.    (B)

Day 7: Wine Tasting Tour.  This is a special tour that combines 3 different wineries in terms of style, production and which show the rich variety of the Wine Business in Mendoza.

Our first stop is at the Alta Vista Winery.  This winery is equally managed by Argentine and French directors, seeking to fuse the best of the Argentine and French tradition, creating superb wines of extremely high quality. Highly awarded by the international press, Alta Vista produces outstanding wines such as Alta Vista Gran Reserve Terroir Selection 2003 (91 points Wine Spectator), Alta Vista Alto 2002 (93 points Wine Spectator) and Los Escasos, an experimented line of only 200 cases. Located in Chacras de Coria and surrounded by vineyards, this winery delights visitors with its warm atmosphere.

We then head to Cap Vistalba Carlos Pulenta.  Surrounded by 53 hectares of 40-year-old vineyards, Carlos Pulenta Winery is the perfect result of modern technology and years of experimentation in high altitude vineyards. Carlos Pulenta, fifth generation of argentine vintners is proud to present his winery to the world. This young winery is taking the interest of the international specialized press, especially after the launching of the Vistalba Corte A (91 points in The Wine Cellar) a 40% each Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon with 20% Bonarda. The winery has already gained two important Awards given by Great Wine Capitals of the World: Best of Architecture and Best Restaurant in Winery of the World for the amazing restaurant the Winery houses: La Bourgogne.

And the last winery we visit is Norton, maybe one of the largest and oldest in the area. In 1895 Edmund James Palmer Norton first set eyes on Mendoza countryside during the construction of a train line that joined Mendoza and Chile. Very impressed by the terroir, he founded Bodega Norton, south of the Mendoza River, with a plantation of vines imported from France.

After a long tradition in the wine making history, Jorge Riccitelli – Bodega Norton´s Chief Winemaker- was awarded as "WineMaker of the year 2012" by the prestigious magazine Wine Enthusiast, being the first award given to an Argentine Winemaker.
The fun of this tasting includes a taste from a fermentation tank and an oak barrel.

Enjoy a local “picada” a choice of cold cuts, cheese and breat with wine before returning to the hotel.

Optional Upgrade:
For an additional charge ($125 pp for 2; $90 pp for 4), you can subsitute today's tour with a visit to local boutique wineries, including lunch, top shelf wine tastings, chilled water, snacks. Wine and restaurant tips included.

This day is especially designed for those that want to discover small, boutique wineries, the new, up and coming in Argentina, those producers that take special care, the estates that make small lots of hand crafted wines.

Achaval & Ferrer Boutique Winery – Barrel Tasting
Founded in 1998 by Argentines Santiago Achaval and Manuel Ferrer, Achaval & Ferrer is dedicated to the limited production of single vineyard Malbecs. In their short history they have become positioned as producers of some of the highest quality Malbecs in Argentina. Their icon wine, Finca Altamira, has received 98 points from Robert Parker and their Quimera wine has placed in Wine Spectator’s Top100 wines in the world.
Private Guided Tasting:
Barrel tasting with components of Quimera and the evolution to the bottle.
Achaval & Ferrer Quimera – 92 pts. - The Wine Advocate, Aug. 09

Caelum Winery. Visit & Tasting
Caelum is a family project that was born in 2009. After more than ten years of dedicated farm work and selling grapes to neighboring wineries, they decided to complete the cycle of the vine elaborating wine. With a small production of 40.000 cases, this winery is now expanding their capacity to 90.000 for the 2012.The beautiful and cozy winery is surrounded  not only by vineyards, but also by pistachio trees . In April it s also see the pistachio harvest and dried process and of course all tastings are accompanied by pistachios

Piatelly Vineyards Lunch at the Winery paired with wines
Great location, a beautiful view, friendly people and great wines…What else can someone ask for ?. This Tuscan style winery is located in a prime area and was built in 2004. With the expertise consultation of Roberto de la Motta( one of Mendoza’s more recognize winemakers), Piatelly is producing very good wines, still at an affordable price .The Wine Enthusiast have rated their Malbec Grand Reserve 92 points for the 2007 vintage. Piattelly pays special attention to the vineyards, owning two farms in Agrelo and a third one in Salta, in the North of Argentina, where they produce a great Torrontes. All of their vineyards are certified organic, which demands more work, but the results are proved in the bottle

Bodega Alta Vista. Visit & Tasting
Bodega Alta Vista is equally managed by Argentine and French directors, seeking to fuse the best of the Argentine and French tradition, creating superb wines of extremely high quality. Highly awarded by the international press, Alta Vista produces outstanding wines such as Alta Vista Gran Reserve Terroir Selection 2003 (91 points Wine Spectator), Alta Vista Alto 2002 (93 points Wine Spectator), and Los Escasos, an experimented line of only 200 cases. Located in Chacras de Coria and surrounded by vineyards, this winery delights visitors with its warm atmosphere. (B, L)
*NB: Wineries may change from the listed above

Day 8: Day at leisure in the wine country. You may wish to add another wine tasting tour to explore another valley of this region. Other popular activities are bike riding or horseback riding through a local vineyard combined with some wine tasting, or an afternoon of thrilling river rafting.
You can explore Argentina’s great cuisine with a cooking workshop, spend some time visiting the city of Mendoza, or simply relax at your hotel and enjoy the facilities. Whatever your choice our local office can assist with arrangements.

Day 9: Free day until transfer to the Mendoza airport for your continuing flights.
B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner

Note:  If you are planning to continue to Brazil, we can revise the itinerary to visit Iguazu Falls last

 

Departures

Daily/on request

Price

Moderate/3* hotels
4 people/2 dbls
$1795 p/p
2 people/1 dbl
$2095 p/p

First Class/4* hotels
4 people/2 dbls
$2225 p/p
2 people/1 dbl
$2575 p/p

Deluxe/5* hotels
4 people/2 dbls
$3350 p/p
2 people/1 dbl
$3650 p/p

5 star/Luxury hotels
4 people/2 dbls
$TBA
2 people/1 dbl
$TBA

Travel Style
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