Description of Luxury Guided Tours - Vineyards of Argentina and Chile ULAR05
Day 1 Depart USA
You board your overnight flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital and one of the world's most sophisticated cities. Dinner and Breakfast served on board.
Day 2 Arrival in Buenos Aires
You arrive in Buenos Aires where your driver is waiting to take you to your deluxe hotel situated in the picturesque downtown neighborhood of Retiro and nestled amongst the art galleries and antique shops of Arroyo Street. You have a chance to explore the neighborhood or just relax. This evening you will go to one of the city's better steak houses and that means one of the best anywhere since Argentineans take their beef seriously.
Day 3 A City of Contrasts… and the Tango
Buenos Aires is, undoubtedly, the Latin American city that best resembles the cosmopolitan and aristocratic atmosphere of the big European capitals; both Paris and Madrid come to mind. But beyond this Buenos Aires there lies another one, holding the small colored houses of La Boca and the popular tango that lives in San Telmo streets. This is the mixture that makes the city an original and irresistible metropolis. With your private guide you view the city's highlights and delve into its history and culture. In the evening you dine at El Viejo Almacen the location, where, it is said, the Tango was created. It has also been said that only in Buenos Aires could the Tango be born. Only in this haunting city of immigrants could music of such emotional depth spring forth and take hold of a population Tonight you enjoy a musical ode to feelings of longing, passion and love as the sights and sounds of the Tango fill your senses.
Day 4 A Day on the Pampas
Today your driver will take you to the "gaucho" town of San Antonio de Areco which is located on the Argentinean Pampas about 70 miles from Buenos Aires. A Gaucho is the name given to Argentinean cowboys and, as you will have learned by now, Argentineans love their beef whether it be steaks, sausages or any other part of the cow. You have the chance to enjoy the countryside and the gaucho way of life as you visit Estancia La Bamba where you have the option of horse riding or riding in a sulky. You also enjoy a typical Argentinean barbecue cooked over hot embers and served with fine Argentinean wines.
Day 5 Mendoza, the heart of Wine Country
This morning is at leisure for some shopping or further sightseeing. After lunch you will be driven to the airport for the flight to Mendoza. Upon arrival you are taken to your superb hotel located in the heart of the city.
Day 6 The Vineyards of Lujan de Cuyo
Today you will spend the day sampling some of Argentina's finest wines. You start with Ruca Malen which is owned by Jean Pierre Thibaud the former president of Chandon Argentina. The winery has the capacity to produce 300,000 bottles per year and its vintages represent the potential of the local terroir enhanced by the traditional winemaking style. You will enjoy a special guided tasting plus a delicious lunch accompanied by the great wines of the winery. After lunch you are driven to Bodegas Tapiz, one of the best places for growing the indigenous Malbec grape. Formerly owned by Kendall-Jackson, the property is today owned by the Ortiz family of Buenos Aires. During your visit you will have the chance to meet the winemakers and walk along the vines; you will taste the wines from the tanks and at the cellar. You end our day with a visit to Alta Vista owned by the d'Aulan family; the former Piper-Heidseick champagne makers came to Argentina in the 1980's and created Alta Vista. You will sample the results of their efforts.
Day 7 Private tour of Mendoza and some surrounding wineries
Today you will have a privately guided tour of the old city starting with Pedro del Castillo Square. You will also go to the main park of the city, called San Martin and you will enter it through "The Gates". Inside the park you view the "Five Continents Fountain", a picturesque lake and the fine promenades. After lunch you will visit the Maipu district where professional guides will explain the process of growing the grapes and producing the wine. It goes without saying that a tasting will be included.
Day 8 Flight to Santiago
After breakfast you are driven to the airport for the flight to Santiago, the capital of Chile. Upon arrival and after passing though arrival formalities your driver will meet you and escort you to your deluxe hotel located in magnificent gardens in one of Santiago's best residential areas. After an opportunity to freshen up, your guide will pick you up for a personalized tour of the city including Moneda Palace and Plaza de Armas. You will drive down Parque Forestal which is modeled on the Champs d'elysees and continue to the bohemian area of Bellavista where you climb San Cristobal Hill for a panoramic view of the city with the Andes Mountains creating a breathtaking back drop.
Day 9 Vina del Mar, Valparaíso, and the Maipo Valley
After breakfast your driver will meet you and head for the central coast of Chile traveling through the Curacavi and Casablanca valleys. The Casablanca valley has recently received notice as an up and coming wine area. Arriving at the coast you visit the beach area of Renaca and the town of Vina del Mar, known as the garden city for its attractive parks and flower lined streets. You will visit the gaming casino and take a drive along the coastal road After an enjoyable seafood lunch at Restaurant Delicias del Mar, you continue to the picturesque port of Valparaiso built in the 16th century on 43 hills and reached by narrow winding streets, staircases and a series of funicular elevators. After exploring this UNESCO designated city you begin your vineyard exploration with a visit to the Maipo Valley, the oldest wine-producing valley in Chile and home to such well known labels as Concha y Toro, Santa Rita and Almaviva, a joint venture between Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Concha y Toro. You arrive at Vinery Vina Tarapaca where you will be spending the night in its 19 bedroom estate house. Here you will meet your personal wine expert who will conduct a wine tasting at the vineyard followed by a dinner at the estate house.
Day 10 Tarapaca, San Fernando and Santa Cruz
After Breakfast your personal wine expert will guide you as you head to the Colchagua Valley, commonly referred to as "Chile's Napa Valley" because it produces some of the country's most exciting wines. You will stop at Vina Casa Silva, the oldest and most traditional winery in the Colchagua Valley. You enjoy a personal wine tasting and lunch at the vineyards renowned restaurant before heading to the small town of Santa Cruz where you will overnight.
Day 11 The Cachapoal Valley and Santa Rita
This morning our wine expert will take you for a visit to Vina Bisquerrt for a tour of the vineyard and some wine tasting. You then head to the Cachapoal valley which is quickly earning an international reputation for its premium Cabernets and Merlots. You will then spend some time at Hacienda Los Lingues where you will enjoy lunch. Held in the same family for over 400 years, the estate is like being transported back to colonial times. The buildings and décor are authentic and the grounds are home to a stable of registered "Acuelo" horses, first cousins of the famed Lipizzaner stallions. After an enjoyable visit you depart for your hotel which is located in the Santa Rita vineyards. An old estate house, it has been converted into a 16 room country retreat. You have time to enjoy a swim in the hotel's pool before dinner.
Day 12 Santa Rita and Santiago
Your day starts with an extensive tour of the gardens, vineyards, bottling plants and the cellars of Santa Rita. Your personal wine expert is your guide supplemented by the Santa Rita wine makers. After a complete wine tasting you enjoy lunch at the hotel before saying goodbye to your wine expert, returning to Santiago and your hotel. After a chance to relax your driver will pick you up in the late afternoon to view Santiago in its nightly illumination. You will finish the tour in Barrio Bellavista where you will enjoy one of Santiago's best restaurants Mesun Nerudiano named for Pablo Neruda, Santiago's most well known poet. In the basement of the restaurant, Jazz is featured many nights.
Day 13 Return to USA
After Breakfast your driver will pick you up at the hotel to visit some of Santiago's finest museums including the Museum of Pre-Colombian Art and La Chascona, Pablo Neruda's house. You will then be taken to the airport for your return flight to the US.
Day 14 Arrival in USA
You arrive back in the US at breakfast time.
Additional Pricing Information
• Transfers and sightseeing by private helicopter or aircraft as indicated on the itinerary
• Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
• Private Transfers to and from the airport at destination
• All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
•Entrance fees to all museums, attractions and other venues as indicated on the daily itinerary
• Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
• Baggage handling at all hotels and camps
• All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
• Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
• Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
• Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
• Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
• Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest information regarding passports and visa requirements)
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