Your journey at a glance
Your adventure kicks-off in Chile’s wine country. Despite the long history of wine production in Chile, its wine was mainly produced for domestic consumption. Things have changed over the past 20 years or so, during which Chile’s wines have made a huge impact on the world stage due to their high quality and value for money. Next you are off to Chile’s capital city, Santiago, which is a progressive, colourful, and eclectic metropolis. After exploring the many attractions of Santiago, you will venture across the Andes to the city of Mendoza, in the heart of Argentina’s main wine producing area.
The city offers a leafy, provincial charm, but the real gems are to be found in the surrounding valleys that are an ideal base for exploring the stunning wineries where Malbec dominates. The area also offers myriad adventure options, including hiking, rafting, and horseback riding. The last leg of your journey takes you to beautiful Buenos Aires, which needs little introduction. A city with a European grandeur, an almost palpable tango heritage, and an unmistakable character, Buenos Aires is one of the world’s greatest cities.
What to expect …
Transfer to Colchagua Valley Day 1
On arrival at Santiago’s International Airport you will be warmly welcomed by a member of the &Beyond team, who will assist you through passport control and baggage claim, and will drive you south of the capital to the Colchagua Valley in the heart of Chile’s main wine production area.
Overnight in Colchagua Valley Day 1
The Colchagua Valley is arguably Chile’s most outstanding wine area, particularly for Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Carménère. The latter is a variety of wine grape that formed part of original six red grapes of Bordeaux, wiped out by the devastating phylloxera virus in Europe in the 19th Century, and presumed extinct for over a century before being rediscovered in Colchagua in 1994. It is now the most emblematic of Chilean varietals, flourishing in the ideal climate and terroir of Colchagua and other valleys. Colchagua however is not only home to dozens of fine boutique wineries, but also the seat of Chile’s rural culture and traditions, which gives the place a real identity.
Spend two nights at Viña Vik, with all meals included. Alex and Carrie Vik are the art-collecting couple behind two of South America’s best boutique hotels. Their most recent project, Viña Vik, is by far their most ambitious, and one of their main aims is to produce Chile’s first 100-point wine. Each of its suites are modern and minimalist in their design, with large windows that offer sweeping views across the valleys.
Upon arrival, lunch will be served at the hotel and later in the afternoon you can embark on a guided off-road experience where you will explore the hills and roads of this magnificent property.
This evening, dinner will be served at the hotel, accompanied of course by Vik’s superb wines.
Explore the vineyards of Apalta, Rosario and Maipo Valley by horseback, bicycle, or hot air balloon Day 2
Famous for their superb wines, steep slopes and ideal climates these valleys boast wines that have a longer ageing potential, due to the slow maturation that preserves the fruit and gives high levels of natural acidity.
Chile’s oldest and most important wine-producing region, the spectacular Maipo Valley is the birthplace of some of the country’s most prestigious wines. The valley also offers the chance to sample the artisanal chocolate, honey, spices, deli meats and delectable pastries.
Embark on your extraordinary excursion meandering through the wine lands enjoying private wine tours and tastings hosted by renowned sommeliers.
Entertain your senses with world-class wine and food pairings, and delight in Al fresco picnics at different wine estates, wine glass in hand gazing at magnificent surroundings. Fancy gastronomic delights? Why not revel in a culinary experience and cooking class with a vineyard chef to highlight the region’s flavours. Tantalize your taste buds with a traditional outdoor Chilean barbecue inspired by the local Huaso countrymen. Embrace the festivities and squelch succulent grapes during jubilant harvest season.
The spectacular surroundings lend themselves to exploration on horseback, bike tours, rafting down the churning rapids of the Maipo River while surrounded by the towering peaks of the Andes, or rising high in the heavens over the scenic vineyards in a hot air balloon.
There are various tours offering fun biking experiences through the captivating milieu that include:
Biking through the Rosario Valley, biking through the vineyards among rows of Sauvignon Blanc and Estate Horseback Riding led by expert guides in the company of a Huaso (Chilean cowboy), you will ride through the valley and the vineyards, seeing native plants, seasonal flowers and with the chance to spot some of the native wildlife.
Transfer to Santiago Day 3
After a scrumptious breakfast, you will be driven north to Maipo, one of South America’s most famous wine-producing areas and home to some of the New World’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon. Today’s tour will focus on small, independent wineries in the central coastal region that few have even heard of. Wineries located between Santiago and the coast are producing some of the most interesting wines in the country. Not only are these wineries creating a high quality product, they are also adhering to ecologically sound practices.
Early this evening you will continue to Santiago, where you will have the opportunity to discover this city at your own pace. basis.
Overnight to Santiago Day 3
Spend one night at The Singular Santiago.
Transfer to Mendoza Day 4
This afternoon, you will arrive in Mendoza, Argentina’s famous wine making region, where you will be met by an &Beyond representative who will drive you to The Vines Resort & Spa, located in the heart of Uco Valley.
Overnight in Mendoza Day 4 - 7
Spend three nights at The Vines Resort & Spa. The Vines of Mendoza is an extraordinary place, rooted in the pleasures of making, drinking and sharing wine, while immersing its guests in the delights of Argentine culture, rustic natural beauty and warm-hearted hospitality.
Immerse yourself in the world of winemakers Day 5
Experience the thrill of making simple vino patero wine as you stomp on plump grapes in massive wooden barrels, or directly engage with pioneering winemakers and embark on informative tours around notable wine estates, engaging in the complex and age-old process of wine-making, with a brand new twist.
The award-winning wineries nestled in Mendoza are world renowned. They range from craft estates to breathtaking architectural masterpieces that house the most diverse selection of wines. Situated at the foothills of the Andes, these estates draw food lovers, wine connoisseurs and adventure seekers. The Valle de Uco contains several micro terroirs, where the characteristic taste and flavour of a particular wine is determined by the environment in which it is produced. This relatively unexplored region has undergone a revival , where a new generation of winemakers has injected the industry with creativity, passion, and a technical knowledge that extracts maximum expression from local grape variations. These innovators have built boutique wineries that boldly experiment with pioneering and enterprising ways of implanting vines to cultivate the best grapes and produce limited editions of very specific wines.
The Mendoza province is known as Argentina’s premium wine region, responsible for nearly two-thirds of the country’s entire wine production. Ideally located on the eastern slopes of the Andes, near the towering Aconcagua Mountain, the vineyards are often 1 000 metres (3 280 feet) above sea level, with the grapes planted at some of the highest altitudes in the world. Malbec is the area’s chief grape variety, followed closely by Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
The last twenty years of wine making in Mendoza put Malbec wines on the global map, resulting in generous investment into the area and the subsequent developments, such as elegant architectural work, new technology, luxury accommodation and world class food and wine menus.
Take over an authentic kitchen Day 6
The south west of Valle de Uco, situated in the foothills of the mighty Andes Mountains, features breath-taking scenery and bountiful vineyards that stretch across the vista. The region is peppered with generational farmlands that make use of age-old planting methods. Here, rooted in the pleasures of gourmet fare and great wines, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in authentic Argentinian culture. Keeping in line with the growing industry in the area and the vast landscape, Mendoza promises a treat for every traveller, from rural family-run eateries to internationally recognised celebrity chef restaurants.
Food lovers will delight in learning to cook traditional Argentine cuisine in an authentic, winery kitchen, taught by a qualified chef and winemaker. The family-run winery has a homely feel that’s instantly welcoming and warm, with a troupe of residents and workers. Run by one family for over a century, these wine makers are awash with the knowledge, folklore and history of the region. The winery chef presents guests with delightful, mouth-watering menus that can be recreated in cooking classes on site. Prepare your own deep fried, gold crusted empanadas, learn to carve different cuts of the world famous Argentine beef and try your hand at manning the traditional mud oven. Discover the rich, organic ingredients used in traditional Argentine cookery and marvel at the unique techniques employed to produce delicious fare, effused with the deep flavours of the mountain and the fragrant aromas of its spice, interlaced with the heat of the smoke-lined kitchen.
Flight to Buenos Aires Day 7
After a wholesome breakfast you will have the opportunity to wander through the historic sites and elegant parks of Mendoza. Highlights of the city include Parque General San Martin, an impressive 420 hectare park, and the Mercado Central, which is where locals go hunting for cost-effective (and very good) pizza, empanadas (savoury, stuffed pastries) and sandwiches. It is a must for foodies. After a good look around town, you will be driven to the airport to board the flight to Buenos Aires.
Upon arrival in Buenos Aires you will be greeted by your &Beyond representative who will escort to the Algodon Mansion, where you will spend one night on a bed and breakfast basis.
Overnight in Buenos Aires Day 7
Spend one night at the Algodon Mansion.
Algodon Mansion is a luxury boutique hotel located in the Recoleta neighbourhood. This landmark 1912 building is fashioned in French Classical design and has been impeccably restored, yet re-imagined with inspired contemporary elegance and sophistication. The suites are exceptionally spacious and offer superior comforts in amenities, including impeccable service, design and luxurious finishings.
Transfer to airport Day 8
Your final leg of the journey will include a walking tour of Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires is often compared to European cities like Paris, rightly so in terms of the atmosphere, café culture and architecture in areas such as Belgrano, Recoleta and Palermo. However, its European influence stems mainly from Italian cities, in particular Genoa, where immigrants from that city left their mark in La Boca and San Telmo. This tour will explore colourful barrios as well as elegant and leafy avenues to give you a taste of this majestic city.
After your adventure, we will wave a fond farewell as you are transferred to the airport for your outbound flight.