Code:
Duration: 11 Days
Base Price: 2349 CAD
Price is per person based on double occupancy

Wine & Wonders of South America

Highlights Include:  Santiago, Wine Train, Colchagua Valley, Crossing the Andes, Mendoza, Los Caminos del Vino route, Wine Pairing Lunch, Buenos Aires, Tango Show

Relish renowned Chilean & Argentine wines during visits to picturesque vineyards in Colchagua Valley and Mendoza

Ride the Tren del Vino, an historic 1913 steam locomotive that travels through the Chilean wine country of Colchagua Valley

Journey through the breathtaking Central Andes across Chile and to the land of sol y vino - sun and wine - Mendoza

Prices will vary based on tour dates and local land pricing.

 


Inclusions
Exclusions

  • admissions as per the itinerary
  • meals as indicated
  • ground transportation and the services of an English-speaking professional guide
  • hotel accommodation double occupancy
  • 15 meals including 9 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 dinners
  • airport transfers if airfare booked at time of tour booking

  • round trip air transportation (call for a quotation)
  • approximately $30 in domestic and international departure taxes must be paid in Argentina in U.S. or local currency.
  • Upon arrival by air, Canadian visitors are required to pay a reciprocity fee of $132 U.S. valid for the life of the passport.  Passengers may also have to pay an entrance fee upon arrival in Argentina which is approximately $132 U.S. but is subject to change by the Argentinian government without notice.
  • meals and entrance fees not indicated in the itinerary
  • gratuities for the guide and drivers
  • internal flights in the program are NOT included in the land price and need to be arranged and purchased separately if you arrange your own air
  • Internal flights ARE included with the air portion if you purchase your air through Merit Group Travel

Itinerary

Day One: Overnight Flight

Discover the generous bounty of Chile and Argentina on a journey through amazing landscapes of the lofty Andes.  Your South American adventure begins with an overnight flight to Santiago.

Day 2: Santiago, Chile - Tour Begins

Arrive in Santiago, Chile's vibrant capital set against the magnificent Andes. *Language Discovery* Your tour Manager helps you discover the origin and history of the local language along with key words and phrases to help you communicate.  This afternoon, a Santiago city tour includes La Moneda Presidential Palace and Paseo Ahumada pedestrian avenue.  Ride the cable car up Cerro San Cristobal for sweeping views of Santiago and the Andes and admire the Statue of the Immaculate Conception.  Embark on a walking tour through Barrio Lastarria, a culturally rich and historic neighbourhood, and visit a bustling local market where delicacies such as Chilean sea bass are abundant.  *Join your fellow travellers this evening for a welcome dinner and folkloric performance celebrating Chilean culture.*  Today, dinner is included.

Day 3: Santiago

A day at leisure provides you with countless opportunities.  Shop Santiago's chic boutiques and dine at one of its cafes, enjoying the city's cosmopolitan atmosphere.  Or, perhaps join an optional tour to colourful Valparaiso - a UNESCO World Heritage city - and visit the chic beach resort of Vina del Mar and venture into the lush, green valleys of Curacavi and Casablanca, stopping at a local vineyard for a sampling of Chile's famous wines.  Today, breakfast is included.

Day 4:  Santiago

Climb aboard Chile's famous wine train the Tren del Vino! This 1913 coal-fired steam engine locomotive explores Colchagua Valley, a fertile expanse often compared to the Napa Valley.  Names Wine Enthusiast's 2005 Wine Valley of the Year, Colchagua is particularly suited for red wines, especially carmeniere, a cabernet family grape that thrives in the climate created by the steep Andean valley.  *Delight in a wine tasting, hors d'oeuvres and Chilean fold music during your train journey.*  Visit the award-winning Santa Cruz vineyard and learn the techniques of wine making and enjoy a tasting, followed by a traditional Chilean lunch.  then, take an aerial tram ride up Chaman Hill for sweeping views of this picturesque valley.  Explore the outdoor museum and learn more about Chile's indigenous cultures before heading back to Santiago.  Today, breakfast and lunch is included.

Day 5: Santiago - Mendoza, Argentina

Start your panoramic journey into the soaring Andes through the scenic Aconcagua Valley, following the route of the famed Transandine Railway, currently in reconstruction and expected to be one of the most spectacular railway journeys on earth.  Catch views of the glaciers on Aconcagua Mountain, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere and enjoy lunch at leisure in the boutique ski resort of Portillo before into Argentina.  marvel at the puente del Inca natural bridge, formed by the interaction of the extreme elements in the area - avalanches, ice and hot springs.  At a market you can do as the locals do and enjoy a sweetened yerba mate tea, traditionally infused in a dried calabasa gourd.  *Continue your journey through the breathtaking landscapes of the Central Andes en route to the land of sol y vino - sun and wine - Argentina's wine country where vineyards and olive groves flourish.*  The French grape, Malbec, has taken to the region and has made Argentine wine cherished around the world.  Today breakfast and dinner is included.

Day 6: Mendoza

Take in the atmosphere of relaxing Mendoza during a tour of this tranquil city which highlights the vast Parque General San Martin and the lively central Plaza Independencia.  It's easy to see what makes Mendocinos so warm and welcoming.  Before your tour ends, indulge in a sample of the local Italian-inspired ice cream with a Mendocino twist, such as vanilla with malbec or peach with Syrah!  Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to stroll,k shop or sample specialties from the local cafes.  Today breakfast will be included.

Day 7: Mendoza

Mendoza produces 70% of Argentina's grapes and wines witha  viniculture history dating back to the 16th century.  A vast network to aqueducts and dykes, dating back to the reign of the Inca Empire, makes the most of its annual six inches of rain to transform the city into a verdant oasis on the high plan.  Thanks to the world's attention to the quality of wines from this region, there are now said to be over 1,000 wineries - or bodegas as they are called here - in the fertile Maipu, Lujan de Cuyo and Uco valleys.  *Revel in visits to three bodegas on the Los Caminos del Vino wine route and enjoy a gourmet wine pairing lunch and ample opportunities throughout the day to sample the bounty of the Argentine vineyards* Today, breakfast and lunch is included.

Day 8: mendoza - Buenos Aires

Leave the Andes and fly to Buenos Aires home of the legendary Eva peron and birthplace of the tango. Stretching along the banks of the Rio de la Plata, this "paris of South America" is a mosaic of European-styled architecture, South American spirit and proud national identity.  *Tonight, enjoy a home-hosted dinner with a local Argentine family where you have the opportunity to experience local culture in a personalized setting and ask questions about daily life* Today, breakfast and dinner will be included.

Day 9: Buenos Aires

Today you will enjoy a Portenos tour of the capital, viewing the lavish Teatro Colon, the famous opera house; the Avenue 9 de Julio - the wide, elegant boulevard that honors Argentinean independence; Recoleta Cemetery where Evita rests in a oft-visited tomb; the Presidential Palace, the Casa Rosada; and the historic San Telmo barrio, lined with cobblestone streets and tango clubs.  Later, take a stroll trhough San Martin park or Calle de Florida, a shopper's paradise.  Perhaps you will opt to visit a local market or art museum or spend the rest of the afternoon at an elegant sidewalk cafe in one of the city's many fashionable neighborhoods.  Today breakfast will be included.

Day 10: Buenos Aires

Today is yours to independently enjoy the charms of Buenos Aires.  you may choose an optional excursion across the famous Pampas to experience the culture and lifestlyle of Argentina's gauchos, or relax and continue to soak in the city's cultural delights at your leisure.  Join your fellow travellers this evening to discover thespirit and elegant passion of the tango, the national dance of Argentina. *Embrace the art of this once scandalous dance during a lesson.  Then, indulge in a delicious Argentine dinner, followed by an unforgettable tango performance!*  Today breakfast and dinner will be included.

Day 11: Buenos Aires - Tour Ends

From the high valleys of the magnificent Andes to the cosmopolitan verve of Santiago and Buenos Aires you've tasted the best of Chile and Argentina.  Your tour ends in Buenos Aires.  Board your flight home with an abundance of South American memories.  Today breakfast will be included.