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Vineyards with the stunning Andes mountains in the background, Argentina
Caption: Vineyards with the stunning Andes mountains in the background, Argentina
Caption: Iguazú Falls on the Argentina/Brazil border
Caption: Salinas Grandes salt flats, Argentina
Caption: Rock formations at Quebrada de las Conchas near Cafayate, Salta Province, Argentina
Caption: Couple dancing the Argentine tango in La Boca, Buenos Aires

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Journey Snapshot

Activity level: Level 2 Requires moderate physical activity. You need to be able to participate in physical activities such as longer walking tours, walking over uneven terrain, climbing steps and be comfortable with some periods of standing. Not suitable if you have limited mobility or require a wheelchair/mobility scooter.
Destination: Argentina
Wine Tour
Duration: 14 days, 13 nights
Flight information: International flights from London Heathrow Airport [LHR] to arrive at Buenos Aires Airport [EZE] on Day 1 and return from Buenos Aires Airport [EZE] to London Heathrow Airport [LHR] on Day 14
Pickup location: Buenos Aires International Airport [EZE]

Overview

Choose your own departure date for your group

Argentina’s wine regions beckon travellers to their fertile valleys...join us as we explore Argentina and its award-wining wineries.

As one of the world’s biggest wine producers, Argentina’s wine regions have become a popular destination in their own rights. Perhaps as well known as Patagonia’s famed glaciers and more alluring than the bohemian enclaves of Buenos Aires, Argentina’s wine regions beckon travelers to their fertile Andean valleys.

From Salta in the north where torrontés grapes are cultivated, producing a strong yet, aromatic wine to Argentina’s biggest wine producing region, Mendoza. Well-known for producing Malbec, the region has started cultivating a far more expansive range of wine, as a result of a complex wine blending process, ushering in a new era of wine production in the country.

Join us on our tour of Argentina, visiting award-winning wineries, incredible waterfalls and nature, and at times desolate, yet stunning landscapes.

Itinerary

Itinerary summary: DAY 1 - Welcome to Buenos Aires
DAY 2 - Half day tour of Buenos Aires
DAY 3 - A day with the Gauchos at Estancia La Bamba de Areco
DAY 4 - The Mighty Iguazu Falls
DAY 5 - Cataratas del Iguazú National Park
DAY 6 - Salta the Beautiful
DAY 7 - Salinas Grandes Salt Plains & Purmamarca
DAY 8 - Salta to Molinos via Valles Calchaquies
DAY 9 - Tour of Calchaquies Valley and the Colome Winery
DAY 10 - Quebrada de las Conchas & Mendoza
DAY 11 - Visit wineries in Valle de Uco
DAY 12 - Visit wineries in the Mendoza area
DAY 13 - Mendoza to Buenos Aires & Tango Show
DAY 14 - Farewell to Buenos Aires
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Full Itinerary

DAY 1 - Welcome to Buenos Aires

Welcome to Argentina! You will be met at Buenos Aires International Airport [EZE] and transferred to your hotel accompanied by an English speaking guide. Tonight we'll meet up for our welcome dinner for a chance to meet your Big Journey Company Tour Director and fellow group members you'll be travelling with.

Included meals: Dinner 
Accommodation: Buenos Aires  

DAY 2 - Half day tour of Buenos Aires

After breakfast we go on a half day tour of the Argentinian capital. Our exploration begins in the Palermo residential neighbourhood with its quiet curvy streets, wonderful parks and rose gardens, monuments and city mansions. This is an oasis of calm in the city. Next we head to the posh Recoleta District where we can stroll along Avenida Alvear, the most palatial street in Buenos Aires. With its elegant architecture and tree lined promenades, this distinct area was once home to the porteño aristocracy who gave it buildings such as the Pereda Palace, now the Brazilian Embassy. A visit to the mausoleums and statues of Recoleta Cemetery is a must. This is the final resting place of Eva Duarte, known throughout the world simply as Evita. She is perhaps Argentina’s most famous figure.

We also visit the historical and financial centre of Argentine politics, “la city”. From Casa Rosada, the presidential palace, the Avenida de Mayo leads to the National Congress building. Towards the banks of the river we take in Puerto Madero, once the old city docklands. This is now a completely updated area with modern buildings and avant-garde restaurants and this makes for an interesting contrast with San Telmo, the old quarters of the city. Here we see the traditional charm of colonial houses, cobblestone streets, and churches. La Boca grew around the first Port in Buenos Aires. It was inhabited by immigrants and gave birth to the Tango.

After our introduction to Buenos Aires, you can enjoy the afternoon at your own leisure.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Buenos Aires  

DAY 3 - A day with the Gauchos at Estancia La Bamba de Areco

Immerse yourself into the gaucho (cowboy) culture of Argentina with a full day at a traditional “estancia” (ranch) in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Come close to local traditions and history in a calm atmosphere, surrounded by nature. Argentina’s wealth came from its farmlands producing quality cattle and agricultural goods. A visit to this traditional ranch provides a glimpse of life on the pampas and offers the chance to share in the country’s farmland customs, traditions and asados (barbeques).

As one of the oldest estancias (ranches) in Argentina dating from the 1830s, La Bamba de Areco is a 90-minute drive out of Buenos Aires on the Camino Real (royal road) that originally connected the capital city to Northern Argentina. At the heart of the area that gave birth to the gaucho (horseman or cowboy), La Bamba became a pioneer in opening its doors to welcome guests and today its renovated facilities keep its original charm intact.
Upon arrival, you are welcomed with homemade empanadas (traditional turn-over pies) and invited to explore the premises: strolling around the gardens, visiting the local “gaucho” museum and the church.

During your lunch you can savour a typical argentine asado (barbeque) with a variety of cuts of beef and salads paired with Argentine wine.

The evening is free in Buenos Aires

Included meals: Breakfast & Lunch 
Accommodation: Buenos Aires  

DAY 4 - The Mighty Iguazu Falls

After breakfast at the hotel we head to the airport to board our flight to Iguazu. The flight takes around 1h 45m and we will be met at Iguazu airport and transferred to our hotel.

In the afternoon we cross the border to visit Iguazu National Park, the first conservation area in Brazil to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984. Described as ‘an ocean falling into the abyss’, the Iguazu Falls are impressive: imagine nearly three million gallons of water plunging down every second. The Iguazu Falls span the border between Argentina and Brazil. Some 80 metres (263 feet) high and 3 km wide, the falls are made up of roughly 275 cascades and rapids (depending on the water level) that generate vast sprays of water and produce one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world.

These frothing, all-powerful cascading jets of water form clouds of spray that are conducive to the growth of lush vegetation which in turn is home to many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna.

Whilst the Argentinean side of the falls allows visitors to get "up close and personal", the Brazilian side offers spectacular panoramic views.



Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Iguazu  

DAY 5 - Cataratas del Iguazú National Park

Today we remain on the Argentinian side of the Falls and visit the Cataratas del Iguazú National Park, home to roaring waterfalls and colourful wildlife in the heart of the jungle. A towering mass of spray and thundering waters, “Iguazú” means “big water” in the language of the semi-nomadic Guaranís who inhabited the area before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century.

It has been described as a shimmering necklace of 275 separate falls divided by emerald-green jungle islands that stretch nearly 4 kilometres (2.5 miles). At its largest and most dramatic conjunction, the water is whipped into thick creamy clouds that tumble through rainbows of light. The resulting spray rises so high that, from a distance, the falls almost seem to be travelling in two directions. These breath-taking natural falls are truly worthy of their place among the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

The Argentina side of the Iguazú Falls will take one full day to explore as the falls can be from a number of angles: the Lower trail, the Upper trail, and the Devil’s Throat:

Lower Trail: over a kilometre (1/2 a mile) of paths run across individual falls of immense natural beauty. The misty air takes guests into charming corners of the jungle to admire begonias, orchids, ferns and palms with flocks of parrots, toucans and countless butterflies. From the Lower Circuit (optional) guests can navigate to San Martin Island where a circuit of paths goes to some of the less-visited falls.

Upper Circuit: these catwalks literally hang over the falls offering a breath-taking sight. The paths are often dotted with lizards squirting past, monkeys jumping from branch to branch and colourful parrots and butterflies.

The Devil's Throat or Garganta del Diablo: wander along on the ecological train as you take in the chirping sounds of birds and wildlife in the forest. At Estación Garganta stroll over the pathway that leads to a fantastic lookout point hanging over what is often considered the most spectacular fall: Devil’s Throat. Gallons of water plunge and sprout back up as an eternal cloud of mist creates blazing rainbows. This trail is in full bloom at dusk when the light gives it a special aura.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Iguazu  

DAY 6 - Salta the Beautiful

After breakfast catch our transfer to Iguazu Airport for our flight to Salta. On arrival we'll be transferred to our hotel.

Exploring the city of Salta will demonstrate to us all why this town is nicknamed Salta La Linda (Salta the Beautiful): the town has kept a colonial feel intact in many of its important monuments and historical buildings. The 9 de Julio Square in the centre of the town is surrounded by an important part of the well preserved architectural legacy dating back to the 18th century.

The Cabildo, where important historical events took place, houses the Museo Historia del Norte. The Cathedral, a beautiful pink building, features a golden alter and its floor and ceilings are beautifully thought out reflecting the richness of the city and the influence of colonial architecture. The plum red and gold building has the tallest church tower in South America. The facade’s colours reflect the colourful landscape of the red rocks and snow-capped mountains of Salta.

After exploring this area, we'll head to Salta for a short evening tour, before we check into our hotel. The evening is free for some time at leisure.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Salta  

DAY 7 - Salinas Grandes Salt Plains & Purmamarca

We depart our hotel early to explore a section of the tracks on the “Train to the Clouds”. One of the world’s railway engineering marvels weaves through the Andes at 4,200 m above sea level, connecting Argentina with Chile and making this the third highest train system in the world.

We continue our journey by road, to the Quebrada Del Toro (Bull’s River Gorge) and past the Ruins of Santa Rosa de Tastil, an ancient pre-Inca settlement and the mining town of San Antonio de los Cobres, a typical highland settlement with adobe houses. We take in the vistas as we cross Puna to the expansive 212 square km salt flats of Salinas Grandes. The striking landscape is an invitation to take some creative jumping, handstanding and optical illusion photos, and purchase a llama or cactus figurine carved in salt.

After visiting this natural phenomenon, the winding, beautiful Cuesta del Lipan descends to Purmamarca, a quaint village with dusty streets at the foot of multi coloured mountains known as the “Seven Colours Hill”. The minerals and sediments in the surrounding mountains create brilliant green, purple, red, orange, and white stripes that swirl through the rocky mountain faces. The streets in Purmamarca are flanked by craftsmen selling colourful blankets and hand-woven hats, scarves and an array of hand-crafted objects.

We return to Salta where you have the evening free at your own leisure

Included meals: Breakfast & Lunch 
Accommodation: Salta  

DAY 8 - Salta to Molinos via Valles Calchaquies

The road from Salta to Cachi is one of the most spectacular drives in Northwest Argentina. We pass through four different ecosystems and travel from the green jungle of the Yungas to the semi-desert of Calchaquí Valley. The mountain road brings us close to Paso Piedra de Molinos, 3400 meters above sea level.

See whether you can spot Andean Condors soaring above you against the deep blue skies. The national symbol of Argentina this near threatened bird is the largest flying bird in the world with a wingspan of 3.3 metres and can weigh up to 15 kgs. Expect to see guanacos and wild burros (donkeys) among thousands of Cardones, the local species of cacti. We make time for a walk in a small, rarely visited red desert and a moment of relaxation in a cosy Molle in the charming colonial village of Cachi where the sun shines almost all the year round.

Our lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Cachi before we continue to Molinos, a tiny village of nine hundred souls that seems as though it may have stopped in time hundreds of years ago, were it not for the sporadic satellite dishes on the roofs and the occasional car slowly driving by.

Dinner will be served at the hotel tonight.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: Molinos 

DAY 9 - Tour of Calchaquies Valley and the Colome Winery

Today we depart Molinos and drive northwest towards Colomé Winery. The Bodega Colomé was founded in 1831 by the Spanish Governor of Salta. In 1854, his daughter brought the first French Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon vines to Colomé. Grapes from three vineyards planted in that year are still being used in the production of Colomé Reserva wines. We visit the winery and James Turrell Art Museum, followed by lunch at the Colomé Winery.

After lunch, we continue the drive south along Route 40, one of the longest roads in the world. The road winds its way past desert scenery, small ranches and vineyards, through the limestone mountains and the striking Quebrada de las Flechas (Arrows Gorge).

Cafayate is famous for its wine production. The perfect combination of weather, soil, vines, human expertise and altitude make the Calchaquí Valley the perfect place for the production of Torrontes: the region’s distinctive varietal white wine.

This is our destination for this evening. Here you have the evening at your own leisure.

Included meals: Breakfast & Lunch 
Accommodation: Cafayate  

DAY 10 - Quebrada de las Conchas & Mendoza

After breakfast we explore the Quebrada de las Conchas’ Gorge (meaning Gorge of the Shells), a 74km long and deep ravine, with a rich archaeologial history. This one time ocean floor (marine fossils have been found in the area), was created many million years ago when huge deposits of minerals have been moulded by water and is now a huge valley surrounded by colourful mountains.

We continue to Salta Airport in time for our afternoon flight to Mendoza. We'll be met at Mendoza Airport and transferred to our hotel before enjoying dinner together tonight at the hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: Mendoza  

DAY 11 - Visit wineries in Valle de Uco

Today we visit the remote Valle de Uco, named after an Indian chief who ruled the area hundreds of years ago, is still relatively underdeveloped. But is slowly being discovered by top wineries who found that the valley's fertile soil was perfect to grow high quality grapes. Intensely green, with never ending vines, lined by golden poplar trees along the dirt roads, and the dominated by the snow-capped Mount Tupungato, this valley is a winemakers’ paradise.

Here you learn, other than tasting, the subtle art of winemaking by blending your own wine. The winemaker will conduct the tasting and explain the blending process. Split into small groups, you will be given three components (i.e. Merlot, Malbec & Cabernet) and as a group are tasked to blend our own unique blend. After three tries, each group will submit their best blended wine and a jury of experts will decide on the best wine. The winners will be awarded a prize, but all participants will also receive a diploma for their newly acquired belnding skills.

We move on to the state of the art winery of Andeluna. This 200 acre mountain vineyard is located in a spectacular setting. Our lunch at the Andeluna Cellars is a combination of wine tasting and fine food, as each of the six courses is paired with a wine. After lunch you can visit four separate tasting areas and you can enjoy a stroll enjoy of the grounds which has produced some of Argentina’s finest wines.

Our final visit of the day is the Bodega Diamandes, part of the famed Clos de los 7 project led by French winemaker Michell Rolland. Other than producing the famous Gran Cru wines, this winery’s stunning architectural design (winners of Best Architecture 2011 by Best of Wine Tourism) and blends harmoniously into the stunning Andean scenery. The Bonnie family (owners of renowned Chateau Malartic – Lagraviere (Grand Cru Classe de Graves) and Chateau Gazin Rocquencourt left France in search of new horizons in the world of wine. In 2007 they had their first harvest; it was the beginning of a new era of creating elegant wines with the authenticity of the Uco Valley

In the evening we dine at La Gloria Cantina, located in the heart of Chacras de Coria, this restaurant boasts traditional Argentinian food in a very informal atmosphere. The chef owner Federico was in charge of the well known restaurant La Bourgogne in Buenos Aires.


Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: Mendoza  

DAY 12 - Visit wineries in the Mendoza area

Our last day of wine tasting will be in Mendoza's prime winery area of Agrelo where many of the best-known export oriented Argentinian wineries are located. If there is a Napa Valley in Mendoza, this is it.

We first visit the Maal winery, which has a completely different and ground-breaking take on making wine. The whole winery was built completely out of recycled materials. The main structure of the winery is made out of five big abandoned container and recycled pipes. Inside the chairs have been made from old church pews and the tasting room, where we do some wine tasting, is completely made from old oak from barrels. The wines are superb and their iconinc Biolento wine is the perfect example produce of this unusual winery. The organic wine is made grapes grown without the use of fertilisers and pesticides, fermented with indigenous yeasts and bottled unfiltered.

Our next stop is the boutique olive oil producer Maguay. This small “Olivícola” produces artisanal olive oil of spectacular high quality, with a very low acidity. It is situated in a building from the early 1900’s where the family winery used to be. The owners, the Giol family, live next door in a Victorian manor house and still take time to chat to visitors. The visit starts at the olive grove where you learn about the difference in varieties, irrigation system and harvest. The tasting is in the old cellar accompanied by fresh olives and wine.

Our last winery is the Mil Suelos, which produces certified organic wines. Its owner and winemaker Alejandro Sejanovich, has developed over 60 small wine projects and educational programs all over Argentina: from the northern tip of Argentina to remote and wild Patagonia in the south. Many of his wines have been widely recognized by specialist wine magazines. Our lunch at Mil Suelos is yet again a combination of wine tasting and fine food.

The evening is free.

Included meals: Breakfast & Lunch 
Accommodation: Mendoza  

DAY 13 - Mendoza to Buenos Aires & Tango Show

Today we depart Mendoza for our flights back to Buenos Aires. On arrival at the hotel, we have some time at leisure before our farewell dinner and tango show this evening.

Tango is everywhere in Buenos Aires. Argentinians believe that only in Buenos Aires could the tango be born- only in this city of immigrants could music of such emotional depth spring forth and take hold of a population. In the early days, tango was most often heard in seedy cafés and the dance was performed by two men. Today, tango has evolved into an important cornerstone of Argentine culture. The spirit of the dance is captured and expressed everywhere, from small milongas- tiny bars where an ageing porteño sings of a long-lost love to huge theatre venues.

This evening, get ready to watch dancers embraced in passion as they dance to the strong beat of Tango as we attend a show together for our farewell evening, to be enjoyed alongside a three-course dinner and wine. Wear your comfortable shoes in expectation of being shown a few steps yourself - a quick Tango Class is part of the evening.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Buenos Aires  

DAY 14 - Farewell to Buenos Aires

We bid a fond farewell to our fellow members today, as we fly home with unforgettable memories of our time (and wine!) in Argentina. We'll arrange your departure transfers to Buenos International Airport to meet your departure flights.

Included meals: Breakfast 

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More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • ATOL Protection
  • International flights from London Heathrow Airport [LHR] to Buenos Aires Airport [EZE] and return from Buenos Aires Airport [EZE] to London Heathrow Airport [LHR].
  • Regional airport departures available. Please ask at the time of booking. Supplement will apply.
  • Meet & Greet at Buenos Aires International airport [EZE) on arrival 
  • Domestic flights; Buenos Aires Jorge Newbury [AEP] - Cataratas de Iguazu [IGR]; Cataratas de Iguazu [IGR] - Salta [SLA], Salta [SLA] - Buenos Aires Jorge Newbury [AEP] - Mendoza [MDZ], Mendoza [MDZ] - Buenos Aires Jorge Newbury [AEP]
  • All activities, visits and excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Transport as detailed in the itinerary
  • Accommodation as detailed in the itinerary (or similar standard).
  • Meals as detailed in the itinerary.
  • English speaking tour guide throughout.
  • Tour Director from The Big Journey Company as well as the local tour guide (subject to minimum group size being reached.)

What's not included

  • Visas - NB - We will be enterting Brazil when we visit the Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls. All nationalities are required to check visa requirements prior to travelling as many will require a visa in order to enter Brazil!
  • Drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities
  • All entrance fees to non-stipulated attractions
  • Any personal items and anything not mentioned under included in price above
  • Any meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Any optional activities offered

Important information

  • Hold luggage allowance for the domestic flights included on this tour are 1 bag per passenger, no heavier than 15kg.
  • Please let The Big Journey Company know prior to travelling if you have any medical needs or take any medication that we need to be made aware of to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant tour.
  • Check in is after 2:00-3:00pm and check out is before 10am unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Cancellation 90 – 0 days prior to departure cancellation fee is 100%. It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Deposits are required on booking and are non-refundable.
  • Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking. The Big Journey Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.

The big journey promise

The big journey company was set up with one goal in mind, to share our passion for inspirational cultures, destinations and experiences. Over the last 10 years we have had the privilege to escort thousands of travellers on awe inspiring and sometimes life changing journeys. Our promise to every guest who joins us is that we will do everything possible to make sure your journey not only exceeds expectations but delivers at least one moment of true amazement.

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.

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