If you’re the epicurean sort who’s looking to experience some gourmet living, try this culinary trip on for size. You’ll spend 11 days travelling Chile and Argentina, immersing yourself in the Mendoza and Maipo Valley wine regions and taking a taste (or three) along the way. Add to that an estancia (ranch) stay in Uruguay for some tasty BBQ and a visit to a culinary school for a demonstration and more tastings, we can guarantee you won’t find South American cuisine food fresher than this.
Arrival transfer. Full-day tour of wineries with tastings in the Maipo Valley. Full-day Mendoza wine tour with tastings, gourmet lunch and cooking class. Buenos Aires orientation walk. Two nights at a rural Estancia in Uruguay. Visit to a culinary school with demonstrations and lunch. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Taste your way through the Maipo Valley and Mendoza vineyards, learn to prepare local specialties at a cooking class in Mendoza, live the cowboy life at a stylish ‘estancia’ ranch in Uruguay, visit a culinary youth training project for cooking demonstration and lunch, explore Buenos Aires’s trendy neighbourhoods
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
LUGGAGE WEIGHT ALLOWANCE
Please note that Aerolineas Argentinas allows 1 piece of luggage that weighs up to 15kg on internal flights. For every extra kilo the airline will charge $10 per kg at the time of check-in.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, also known as the CEO (Chief Experience Officer). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, Avg 12.
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Bus/van, plane, ferry, walking.
All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your correct passport information in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Comfort hotels (8 nts), Estancia (ranch) (2 nts).
My Own Room Exceptions
Nights 7-8: Estancia.
An arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour. Upon leaving the baggage claim area you will see a large open area with sign boards all around. Look for a G Adventures sign board with your name. As there are many people and signs in this area it may be difficult for you to spot the sign immediately. Please take your time in doing so and if at that stage you do not see a G Adventures sign board with your name go to the customer service area to wait. In the event that your driver does not arrive within 20 minutes please ask the information desk to arrange an official taxi for you which should cost approximately $50 USD (25,000 CLP) and this money will be reimbursed by your CEO or local representative.
**Please note, the arrival transfer included occurs on Day 1 of the tour. If you plan to arrive prior to Day 1, you will be required to arrange pre-tour accommodation through G Adventures to be eligible for the transport from the airport. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.
Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning. Your Leader will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip.
Santiago’s International Airport is Arturo Merino Benitez, located 26 km from the city, about a 45 minute drive.
SANTIAGO AIRPORT “LANDING FEE”: Please be advised that Chile’s international airport in Santiago charges a steep arrival fee to people of certain nationalities. At the time of writing, this fee was $132 USD for Canadians, $160 USD for US citizens, and $95 USD for Australian citizens; there is currently no fee for EU or New Zealand citizens. This is payable immediately upon arrival before proceeding through immigration. Once this fee is paid, it is valid for the duration of the passport. Please check with your local embassy/consulate for the exact amounts.
ARGENTINA’S “RECIPROCITY FEE”:
Effective January 7, 2013 all US, Canadian and Australian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity tax in order to enter Argentina. This reciprocity tax must be paid in advance online with a credit card. Cash at the border or airport is not accepted. Please check with your local embassy/consulate for the exact amounts.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Buenos Aires, Argentina
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
From outside Argentina: +54 11 2150 2581
From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 011 2150 2581
After hours Emergency number
From outside Argentina: +54 9 11 3425 0380
From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 011 15 3425 0380
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
We recommend the use of a soft rolling bag, duffel bag or backpack (whatever you find easiest to carry). A good size daypack is also essential.
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and trip details
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
•Small towel and swim wear
•1 pair of shorts/skirt
•2 pairs of long trousers
•1 pair hiking pants/track pants
•hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
•Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
*1 smart outfit for nights out
•Watch or alarm clock
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).
-Camera with extra memory cards and batteries
-Waterproof backpack cover
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.
ARGENTINA’S “RECIPROCITY FEE”:
Effective January 7, 2013 all US, Canadian and Australian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity tax in order to enter Argentina. This reciprocity tax must be paid in advance online with a credit card. Cash at the border or airport is not accepted.
ONLINE PAYMENT FORM:
US citizens: 160USD, valid for 10 years
Australian citizens: 100USD, valid for 1 year
Canadian citizens: 92USD for one entry and re-entries from bordering countries within 3 months
This trip crosses the border between Argentina and Chile on Day 3 of this tour. The border name is Cristo Redentor and borders the cities of Santiago and Mendoza.
The second crossing is the border between Argentina and Uruguay on Day 9 of this tour. The border name is at the boat terminal in la Boca and borders the cities of Buenos Aires and Colonia. The third crossing is returning to Argentina from Uruguay across this same border between Colonia and Buenos Aires on Day 11 of this tour.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The currency in Uruguay is the Uruguayan Peso (UYU), in Argentina the Argentine Peso (ARS), and in Chile the Chilean Peso (CLP).
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank.
You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money, a combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Please bear in mind that cost of living in the southern cone countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile) is much higher than the rest of South America, and in the case of Argentina, more comparable with Europe. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
We do not recommend bringing travellers cheques as they are very difficult to change in country.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Many airline tickets already include this departure tax as part of the paid fare. Please check your ticket and ask at the airline counter when checking in for your flight.
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
All prices are per person(unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators. Please note that many optional activities will need to be paid in cash.
Pisco distillery tour $6
City tour $20
City tour $25
Full day mountain trek $70
Whitewater rafting $70
Bike rentals $10/hour
Tango Show $$60-100
Coastal train $10
Teatro Colón $5
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
Please note: You should be especially careful when wandering about Buenos Aires on your own, particularly at night. Tourists are easy prey for individual pickpockets or groups of two or more people working as a team on the streets. Pay particular attention to anyone who ‘accidentally’ spills anything on your clothes or belongings (mustard, etc.) and then apologizes and offers to help clean up. They will clean you out instead! Be safe and leave your passport, credit cards, travellers cheques and cash funds you won’t be using immediately in the hotel’s safety deposit box. Most Porteños are honest and genuinely helpful and friendly, but be safe and enjoy the city!
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
Associated Planeterra Project
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour.
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.
Max 16, avg 12
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
Allow USD375-490 for meals not included.
10 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners
PRODUCT_LINE: SCTS, ID: 23043
Day 1: Santiago
Arrive any time. Arrival transfer included. The day is free to spend at your leisure exploring the city until our welcome meeting this evening.
Santiago is Chile’s largest city and capital, with internationally recognized vineyards and Andean ski resorts very close by. Explore the many museums and parks, and visit the vibrant neighbourhood of Bellavista to see some handicrafts and trendy cafés.
There is a lot to do and see, in and around Santiago, we highly recommend booking pre-nights if you want time to explore.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2: Santiago (1B)
Head out on a full-day excursion to the Maipo Valley area for an in-depth look at the region that produces such fine quality wines. Chilean wine is top-notch, with only France and Italy selling more wine worldwide. Visit some of the vineyards that are not only well-known internationally, but best-equipped for attending to visitors and situated in the midst of stunning scenery. Learn more about the process from local experts, taste a range of wines including the Carmenere, one of Chile’s specialties.
Maipo Valley Wineries Tour
Day 3: Santiago/Mendoza (1B)
Cross the Andes into Argentina and arrive in Mendoza, the heart of that country’s wine growing region.
Mendoza is a lovely city, known worldwide for its fabulous wine. It is home to 1,221 wineries producing nearly a billion litres of wine yearly. The Malbec varietal is sustained by the crystalline waters of the Rio Mendoza fed by the melting snows of the Andes.
Border Crossing (Chile – Argentina)
Private Vehicle (9.00-10.00 hours, 339km)
Day 4: Mendoza (1B, 1L)
Explore the Mendoza region and its wineries. Enjoy a full-day wine tour including a visit to three different wineries, a gourmet lunch, and an included cooking class.
Mendoza Wine Tour
Day 5: Mendoza (1B)
Mendoza is also the provincial capital, and outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting and skiing/snowboarding are plentiful depending on the season. There will be free time for optional hiking or cycling.
Day 6: Mendoza/Buenos Aires (1B)
Fly to Buenos Aires and take an orientation walk with your CEO. Opt to take a city tour or enjoy a tango dinner show.
Known as the ‘Paris of the Americas’, Buenos Aires is a vibrant city full of life. Visit the districts of La Boca, Recoleta, and San Telmo or catch a tango show at one of the many famous tanguerías. Wander the pedestrian walkways and see some dancing in the streets. Whatever you do, Buenos Aires is sure to leave lasting memories.
Plane (1.50-2.00 hours)
Day 7: Buenos Aires/Mal Abrigo (1B, 1L, 1D)
Catch the ferry to Colonia, Uruguay, take an orientation walk through this beautiful town. Continue to the rural estancia, our guest ranch for the next two nights.
Border Crossing (Argentina – Uruguay)
Ferry (1.00 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours, 125km)
Day 8: Mal Abrigo (1B, 1L, 1D)
Enjoy a relaxing day in rural Uruguay. Devour homemade meals from local ingredients and delicious barbecue while acquainting yourself with the gaucho (cowboy) lifestyle. Free time for optional hiking and horseback riding.
Day 9: Mal Abrigo/Buenos Aires (1B)
Rest your weary feet and enjoy a drink in one of the many sidewalk cafes and restaurants and you will begin to understand the contemplative Argentine way of life. Since Buenos Aires will be your last chance to try the succulent beef and parrilladas, dig in and enjoy!
Border Crossing (Uruguay – Argentina)
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours)
Ferry (1.00 hour(s))
Day 10: Buenos Aires (1B, 1L)
Visit a community project outside the city to see the empowerment and apprenticeship of youth through culinary arts. Enjoy a cooking demonstration and lunch at the school.
Organic Farm youth project Cooking Demonstration and lunch
Private Vehicle (1.50 hour(s))
Day 11: Buenos Aires (1B)
Depart at any time.