This month we’ve been featuring wine destinations in Argentina and Chile. Today, we’re happy to share a plan for how to put it all together into one fabulous South America wine tour package. Start in Chile and cross over to Argentina, making sure to hit the highlights of these two exciting destinations. When you combine travel to Argentina and Chile, you’ll not only explore wine country, but you’ll also have a chance to discover urban treasures, embark on adrenaline-inducing adventures, and become immersed in vibrant cultural traditions.
Santiago provides an ideal starting point for a wine tour in South America. The capital city is also Chile’s economic heart and boasts a lively cosmopolitanism typical of South America’s urban centers. Travelers can expect outstanding hotels (such as the Grand Hyatt or the W Santiago), internationally-acclaimed restaurants, and other fine amenities to get a South America vacation started off on the right foot. Before heading deeper into wine country, a brief detour to the coastal cities of Valparaiso & Viña del Mar is the perfect way to round out a trip to Chile. Characterized by beautiful beaches, a laidback bohemian vibe, and fascinating historical attractions, Valpo and Viña are perfect stops for a bit of seaside relaxation.
Santiago also offers convenient access to Chile’s Wine Country, which can be visited via day trips into the wine valleys or an overnight stay in a countryside resort. The latter option allows adventure-loving travelers to explore the valleys, mountains, lakes and waterfalls of central Chile and to engage in activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, kayaking, and skiing in the winter season.
La Serena is one of the country’s northernmost regions for growing grapes, which are used in the production of wines as well as pisco. Arid desert conditions combine with cooling coastal breezes to create a mild climate around the year, making La Serena a top Chile vacation spot among locals and foreigners. Be sure to venture into the nearby Elqui Valley. The hilly terrain provides the setting for La Ruta del Pisco, a road connecting various pisco distilleries, and the valley is also home to a handful of astronomical observatories that offer unparalleled views of nighttime skies set ablaze by the twinkling of millions of stars.
From Chile hop over the high peaks of the Andes to Mendoza, the undisputed wine capital of Argentina. The first week of March is a great time to visit because this is when Mendoza celebrates its annual Fiesta de la Vendimia, the wine harvest festival, with a full schedule of events, including wine tastings, street parades, folkloric dance and music, and the election of a beauty queen. However, with its ideal desert climate and wide range of attractions, Mendoza is a year round destination for Argentina travel. Proximity to the Andes provides active travelers with a perfect stage for trekking, mountain climbing, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, cycling, skiing, and more.
Add a touch of indulgence to a Mendoza wine tour with a stay in the suburb of Lujan de Cuyo, host to some of the best vineyards, boutique wine hotels and lodges in the region. We recommend Finca Adalgisa, Lares de Chacra, and Cavas Wine Lodge – each of these boutique hotels and wineries provide superb facilities and amenities surrounded by acres of vineyards. On a wine tour, the small town of Chacras de Coria is the perfect place to stop for a gourmet meal or to enjoy the nightlife in one of the many cafes and restaurants. Notable wineries around Mendoza include Bodega y Cavas Weinert, Bodega Nieto Senetiner, Bodega Catena Zapata, and Bodega Ruca Malena.
With your new-found knowledge, travel to Buenos Aires for an excellent conclusion to a South America wine vacation. Explore the countless cafés for a taste of BA’s old world languor and wander the city’s various districts to witness its modern flavor and energetic diversity. Top restaurants usually have a wide selection of Argentine and Chilean wines, providing an excellent opportunity to practice pairing wines with cuisines, though expert sommeliers are always happy to help.
This is just one way to organize a wine tour in Argentina and Chile. There are countless other possible itineraries that highlight the natural and historic wonders of South America travel. No matter how you organize your wine tour, South America can’t be beat as a top destination for sampling some of the best wines in the world.
Anabel has been exploring the length and width of South America since 2010. Ditching preconceptions, settling into the local pace, and embracing the unexpected are the tenets of her philosophy of travel – and life.