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April 29 - Santiago (D)
City Tour and dinner
Arrive in Santiago in the morning where you will be met and transferred to your hotel
*Our transfers will be available between 7-10am
Accommodation: The Singular Hotel, 1 night
You're steps away from the hipster cafe/restaurant scene along Jose Lastarria. Inside a slinky bar where you can enjoy a Pisco sour, a house specialty. Singular by style as well as name, the hotel underwrites its individuality with its own signature-brand coffee, and even beer. Guest rooms are light and bright. In the stylishly appointed subterranean spa is the chromotherapy treatment, you choose the color!. There is also a rooftop bar, already a hit with the after-work crowd.
4:00pm – Gather in the Lobby for our introduction to Santiago City Tour. The tour will conclude with dinner at El Galeon
Restaurant which opened in 1935 in the Central Market. It is a lively place highlighting local ingredients in a typical Chilean atmosphere.
April 30 -SANTIAGO, Colchagua Wine Valley (B/L/D)
Wine Tasting at Casa Silva. Wine tasting and lunch at Lapostolle Vineyard
This morning we will drive two hours south to reach Chile’s outstanding wine area.
Accommodation: Viña La Playa, 3 nights
Viña La Playa is the fruition of a long held dream of Soren Axelsen who left his home in Denmark in 1952 to see the world. The Axelsen family made a name for themselves in the Californian wine industry, but the Colchagua Valley stayed in Soren’s memory. In 1989 he founded Viña La Playa with his two sons as a joint venture with the Errazuriz and Sutil families of Chile, both of which are very well known in the Chilean wine industry. In 2004 they built this eleven room Inn in a typical Chilean Colonial style surrounded by 250 hectares of vineyardsand expansive gardens. For dinner this evening we will enjoy a special Chilean ranch barbeque of ‘Cordero al Palo’, slowly roasted lamb on a pit.
Vina La Playa
Chile’s Colchagua Valley is a historic agricultural hotbed located roughly 100 miles south of the capital city of Santiago, beginning at the foothills of the Andes Mountains and reaching west to the Pacific Ocean. It looks much like Napa Valley with its ubiquitous vineyards, valley floor, river and tree-studded foothills. Though the majority of its vineyards lie in the center of the valley, new plantations are extending into the hillsides and west towards the sea. Overall, Colchagua is an oasis of rural calm blended with just enough sophistication for wine aficionados.
Viña Casa Silva is one of the most attractive wineries in the Colchagua Valley, and the colonial architecture of its old cellar makes this the perfect place to experience Chilean wine. Enjoy the best wines from the Andean and coastal terroirs along with the sensational landscape of the Chilean countryside, birthplace of our country’s traditions. Immerse yourself in the incredible world of wine and the history of a family that has been passionate about producing Chile’s finest wines for five generations. Their restaurant and wine bar offer the opportunity to taste wines with different varieties, textures, and aromas and an unforgettable cultural and gastronomic experience that includes the pairing of our wines and traditional Chilean cuisine.
Afterwards we will visit Lapostolle Vineyard for lunch and wine tasting. Lapostolle was founded by Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle and her husband Cyril de Bournet in 1994. The Marnier Lapostolle family, founders and owners of the world-renowned liqueur Grand Marnier, is famous for producing spirits and liqueurs, but the family has also been winemaking for generations.
In creating Lapostolle, they have pursued the same uncompromising approach to quality that made Grand Marnier a global success. Its objective is as simple as it is ambitious: to create world- class wines using French expertise and the superb terroirs of Chile. Today, Lapostolle owns 370 hectares in three different vineyards and produce a total of 200,000 cases of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère, and Syrah. Lapostolle is distributed in more than 60 countries around the world.
*Return to our hotel for dinner.
May 1 - Colchagua Wine Valley (B)
Visit of the Colchagua Museum in the town of Santa Cruz with time for shopping
From its beginnings, Santa Cruz was a center of handcrafted artifacts and agricultural development, with wheat, tomatoes, and wine being the main products of the area. Santa Cruz offers an authentic look at the rural traditions of Chilean culture expressed in the wine, the food, and the traditional sports such as the rodeo.
The Colchagua Museum was designed to incorporate the concept of a journey through the history of the planet and humankind in the Americas. The tremendous variety of collections that founder Carlos Cardoen has gathered over the years allows visitors to explore paleontology, archaeology, and Pre-Colombian art from Chile and throughout the Americas, as well as the History of the Conquest, Colonial times and Independence of Chile and the Americas and through the Republican era. It also includes thematic rooms dedicated to such topics as Modernity, the History and Development of Arms, traditional huaso gear, Coaches and Carriages, Agricultural Machinery, and the Railroad.
*Proposed lunch on our own at Hotel Santa Cruz giving us time to shop afterwards.
*Return to our hotel to relax. Dinner on own
may 2 - Colchagua Wine Valley (B/L)
Wine Tasting and lunch at Montes Winery. Wine tasting at Viu Manent
Montes Winery is right in the heart of Apalta, a beautiful area of the Colchagua Valley. This large, modern and sustainable winery is impressive with its inventive design, feng-shui approach and Gregorian chants played to mature barrels. In 1987 Aurelio Montes, head winemaker and Douglas Murray partnered with a great dream. Montes also produces wines in Napa Valley under Napa Angel and Mendoza, Argentina under the label Kaiken. The first premium wine that brought fame to the winery, was the Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon which is still produced today. Several of the Montes wines continue to score 90+ points through the Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast. A feature of the winery is the impressive, semi-circular underground cellar that lies at the heart of the building. Its concentric half-rings of 800 new French oak barrels give it the appearance of a theater stage, on which the quiet maturation of the finest Montes wines plays out. Its silence and tranquility (sometimes broken by the sound of Gregorian chants) must make it a favorite resting place for the Montes angels. And if you want to take away mementoes of your visit, drop by the Tienda Montes shop, where you will find all of their wines at special ‘winery gate’ prices and a large selection of attractive souvenirs, gifts and award-winning books.
From here, we will continue to a family owned vineyard, Viu Manent.
A horse-drawn carriage takes you through the vineyard as part of the tour, before finishing with a wine tasting. Viu Manent was founded in 1935 when Catalan immigrant Miguel Viu García and his two sons, Agustín and Miguel Viu Manent, founded Bodegas Viu in Santiago de Chile. The winery began by marketing wines purchased from other suppliers and bottled under its own brand name. More than thirty years later, in 1966, Miguel Viu Manentrealized his dream of producing his own wines by acquiring the old Hacienda SanCarlos de Cunaco vineyards and winery in the heart of the Colchagua Valley wine growing region.
*Return to our hotel to relax. Dinner on own
May 3 - Colchagua Valley - VAlparasio - Vinna del mar (B/d)
We depart early from our hotel in Colchagua and head to the Pacific coast, crossing the Coastal Mountain Range and the Casablanca and Curacaví Valleys (Approx 4 hour drive). Visit of Valparaiso including Pablo Neruda’s La Sebastiana.
Accommodation: Atton San Martin Hotel, 2 nights Ocean View rooms
Our modern hotel is situated on the famous Vina del Mar coast and close to many restaurants and Vina’s popular Casino. From this traditional hotel we can explore this historic city where the wealthy Chilean and Latin American families came to spend their summers. Valdiviam Port , just next to Vina del Mar, shows its bohemian and colorful past in its buildings and narrow winding streets.
The colonial city of Valparaiso presents an excellent example of late 19th-century urban and architectural development in Latin America. In its natural amphitheatre-like setting, the city is characterized by a vernacular urban fabric adapted to the hillsides that are dotted with a great variety of church spires. It contrasts with the geometrical layout utilized in the plain. The city has well preserved its interesting early industrial infrastructures, such as the numerous ‘elevators’ on the steep hillsides. The character of Valparaiso was strongly marked by the geography of its location: the bay, the narrow coastal plains (largely artificial) and the steep hills scored by multiple ravines together created the city’s amphitheatre-like layout. Pass parliament building as well as other examples of the historical architecture that makes Valparaíso a World Heritage Site since 2003. Come across Cerro Concepción, and discover it on foot with its Anglican and Lutheran churches, and the Paseo Atkinson alleyway with its famous Brighton Restaurant. Walk over to Paseo Gervasoni where the famous Café Turri and the house of the cartoonist Lukas are located. Cross over to Cerro Alegre where the Paseo Yugoslavo and Baburitza Palace, once home to a Croatian immigrant and now home to the recently renovated Fine Arts museum of Valparaiso.
*Dinner at a local restaurant to be determined.
May 4 - Casablanca wine valley (B/L)
Visit of Vina del Mar and continue to Casablanca Wine Valley for wine tasting at Casa's del Bosque and Matetic Vineyards for wine tasting and lunch
Our city tour will begin in Viña del Mar, known as the Garden City because of its many beautiful gardens, parks and beaches. We will stop at the Quinta Vergara built by one of the founders of Vina and Palacio Carrasco which opened in 1924 by the Carrasco Family. A major achievement of architect Alfredo Azancot was inspired in the French renaissance and was recently declared a historic monument. One of its attractions we’ll see is the sculpture called “La Defensa” from the French artist, Auguste Rodin.
Vina del Mar, aka “Vina”
Viña began in the 1870’s as a resort suburb of Valparaíso, connected to that city and to the capital by train. After a 1906 earthquake damaged Valparaíso, Viña expanded with new architecture transforming its seaside cliffs. One such structure is Castillo Wulff, a Germanic turreted granite castle set on a rocky point. Over the years, it has become a symbol of the city (much like the nearby giant floral clock that spells out the city’s name and faces the ocean, offering a brilliant greeting to passing cruise ships). Called Cerro Castillo, or Castle Hill, this part of town is one of the oldest, full of other century-old whimsical homes jutting from the cliffs. The city is divided by the Estero Marga Marga, lined with colorful midcentury high-rise towers, their facades faceted by balconies tilting to the sea.
Emerging from Chile’s coastal mountains into the Casablanca Valley, the gentle sea breeze coming in off the Pacific creates the perfect climate for one of the best valleys for producing white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
We’ll start off by visiting the Casas del Bosque Winery, which was conceived in 1993 to be a family boutique winery exclusively oriented to the production of high quality wines. Here they will receive you with its first level, and the best of its wines, Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy a shared tour through their modern wine cellar and wine tasting.
We will continue to Matetic Vineyards, in the San Antonio Valley. This completely enclosed valley, is 9,000 hectares in length and perpendicular to the ocean, features extraordinary light and possesses the ideal climatic and topographic conditions for both red and white organic wines.
*Return to Viña del Mar.
*Dinner on own.
May 5 - Valparasio - Mendoza (Argentina) (b/BL/d)
Today is a big day as we will enjoy the most spectacular drive in South America, crossing the Andes!
Route 7 unites Chile and Argentina and passes by the end of Aconcagua Park, where the highest peak outside of Asia, Mt. Aconcagua (6959 meters – 22831 feet), is to be found. It will be a thrilling day as you cross the Andes Mountains en route to Mendoza. If the weather permits we will see majestic Aconcagua (highest peak in South America) and continue through the heart of the Andes and its historical bridges. The scarce rainfall and violence of the winds (up 155 miles/hour), explain the minimum presence of eternal snows at its peak. The first successful ascension, via the northern slope, was achieved by Matthias Zurbriggen from Switzerland, who reached the top on his own in 1897. Through the much more difficult southern sector, the same feat was achieved in 1953 by a team of young Frenchmen includingthe famous Robert Paragot and Lucien Bérardini.
Weather permitting, we will experience awesome views, thrilling mountain capes, unbelievable skies… a thrilling day!
After photo stops and a picnic lunch in the Andes we will arrive in the Mendoza Valley in the afternoon at the lovely Club Tapiz Winery for our dinner and overnight stay of two nights.
Accommodation: Club Tapiz, 2 nights
Club Tapiz is set in an 1890´s Renaissance Villa, surrounded by ten acres of vineyards and olive groves. Rooms at Club Tapiz have vintage décor with classic wooden floors. All feature air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and cable TV, and have stunning views of the Cordillera de los Andes. Guests can horseback ride, trek and canopy walk in the Andes. They can also white water raft in the Mendoza Rivers and relax afterwards with massage in the wellness spa or a dip in the pool.
Dinner at Fuente y Fonda Restaurant for some home cooking! This is Pablo del Rio’s second restaurant which he opened to highlight the best Argentine home-cooked meals “as his grandmother made them”. Small and intimate, it has already won an award for excellence
May 6 - Mendoza (B/L/D)
Mendoza City Tour with lunch at Finca Decero Winery. Dinner at El Enemigo Winery
Enjoy the setting of our hotel before we leave on a city tour of Mendoza followed by lunch at Finca Decero Winery.
Mendoza, is located in western Argentina at an elevation of 2,497 feet in the irrigated Mendoza River Valley at the foot of the Sierra de los Paramillos, a secondary range of the Andes Mountains. During the movement for independence from Spain it was the headquarters of General José de San Martín, who organized an expeditionary force to cross the Andes and liberate Chile in 1817. A monument commemorating this event is atop Gloria Hill, overlooking the city on the west. In 1861 Mendoza was destroyed by an earthquake, with heavy loss of life. A new city was planned (1863) with broad tree-lined streets, squares, and public parks close to the ruins. An influx of immigrants, mostly Italians, in the late 19th century stimulated economic development. Argentina's most highly rated Malbec wines originate from Mendoza's high altitude wine regions of Lujan de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. These Districts are located in the foothills of the Andes mountains between 2,800 and 5,000 feet.
Once a bare patch of dirt in the foothills of the Andes, Finca Decero is now a one-of-a-kind vineyard, where each vine is nurtured by hand and the winemaking is without compromise. Free from restraint and tradition, the creators of the winery developed an ‘amano' or ‘by hand' approach that is human, sustainable and sensitive to natural differences.
We’ll return to our hotel to relax before we leave for dinner at El Enemigo Winery.
El Enemigo Winery located in the East of Mendoza and with a magnificent view of the Andes range hosts the most traditional wineries of the region. Vigil started his own wine line, El Enemigo, and built his beautiful boutique winery in a new area: Chachingo. The winery is a ‘labyrinth’ inspired in La Divina Comedia, with areas named after the book: Paradise, Heaven, Purgatory and Hell.
May 7 - Mendoza - Valle De Uco (B/L)
Valle de Uco - Andeluna and Salentein Wineries with cooking class
The ‘Valley de Uco’, a relatively new and very exciting valley, where great grapes, walnuts and various fruits grow in abundance. The Uco Valley is compared by many to the Napa Valley 25 years ago. At a higher elevation than Luján de Cuyo, excellent high- altitude wines are produced from vineyards up to 4600 feet high, at the foot of the Andes
We will leave our hotel for an exciting cooking class and lunch at Andeluna Winery.
There is no better way to learn the secrets of a regional cuisine than by cooking it yourself. We have teamed with the area's best chefs to create an interactive cooking experience which presents the region’s wide array of fresh produce and ingredients while demonstrating the local culinary techniques and highlighting some of the most authentic dishes. It's not all about learning, however. You will have the chance to feast upon the fruits of your labor with special wines hand selected by us to pair with your personal creations
Located on 200 acres of mountain vineyards is the state-of-the-art winery of Andeluna. Set among the foothills of the Andes, Andeluna is a remarkably beautiful place. Visitors enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding areas. There are four separate tasting areas to enjoy, and a walk on the grounds is the perfect way to experience the rich history and tradition of the winery while enjoying Argentina’s finest wines.
We will continue for overnight and wine tasting at Bodegas Salentein Winery.
*Dinner on own
Accommodation: Salentein Posada, 3 nights
This small and exclusive Posada is surrounded by Bodegas Salentein’s vineyards and the Andes’ foothills.. Rooms are divided in three houses, among vineyards, fruit plantations, and an organic garden. Here you can visit the interesting Killka Museum and Chapel, take a bicycle or horse ride at the San Pablo Ranch, enjoy the swimming pool overlooking the vineyards. This historic farmhouse, surrounded by an old grove, was built by the Jesuits. Nowadays, after more than 200 years, Bodegas Salentein grows Pinot Noir and Malbec, reliving that old great deed with a forward-looking approach and the aim of making a worldwide wine with a remarkable origin. This winery has received several international awards in recognition of its excellent wines. Visit the Kilken Art Gallery where you will find an outstanding collection of local art. In the year 2011, the Salentein Posada obtained the gold national medal in the contest “Best of Wine Tourism 2011” in the category “Accommodation
May 8 - Mendoza - Valle De Uco (B/L)
Wine tasting and lunch at Gimenez Riili Winery
The warm owners of this family-run winery with a stunning view towards the snowy Andes will immediately make you feel welcome. The family has been involved in winemaking for over a century and it is now the turn of the five siblings, a third generation of viticulturist, to be in charge of the winery and vineyards. Having estates in different terroirs of Mendoza, Gimenez Rilli produces dark purple concentrated wines that blend different altitudes and highlight the virtues of each.
In the late afternoon we will be hosted to a private tour through the Killka Museum followed with wine tasting including delicious Argentine empanadas.
Killka-Salentein Space is Bodegas Salentein’s meeting place for art, nature, wine and excellent cuisine. Its art space has an important collection of Argentinian and Dutch art of the 19th and 20th centuries. Its art gallery hosts three annual exhibits of renowned national and foreign artists. In the year 2008, Killka was awarded with the prize Oro Mundial (World Gold), in the category Art and Culture, in the contest “Best of” of the Great Wine Capitals
May 9 - Mendoza - Valle De Uco (B/L)
Visit to Clos de los Siete including tasting and lunch
Clos de los Siete is an ambitious project; five state of the art wineries, up to 2,000 acres of vineyards, $60 million in investment - all with the aim to produce some of Argentina's greatest wines. The main mover behind the project is Michel Rolland who, following 15 years as a consultant in Argentina, concluded that this was the country to produce "grand vin" outside of Europe.The seven partners of the Clos de los Siete group are also household names from France. They are: Laurent Dassault, also from Bordeaux, whose family are the owners of Dassault Aviation, well known in France for the construction aircraft, including the famous Falcon passenger jet and Mirage fighter; Benjamin de Rothschild, of Chateau Clarke in Bordeaux, and the financing company, Edmond de Rothschild; the family Cuvelier from the St Julien property of Chateau Léoville Poyferré; the family d'Aulan of the Champagne house Piper Heidsick; Catherine Péré Vergé, former owner of the crystal manufacturer Cristal d'Arque, but also with interests in Bordeaux with Chateau Montviel and Chateau La Gravière.
*Return to the hotel.
*Dinner on own
May 10 - Mendoza - Buenos Aires (B/L)
Today we’ll have an early departure from our hotel to the airport for our short flight to Buenos Aires. Flight will leave at 10:45am, arriving in Buenos Aires at 11:20am. Transfer to restaurant.
Lunch at Bajo Llave, a closed door restaurant
Closed Door restaurants have become popular with ‘foodies’ in Buenos Aires. It is like being at a friend’s living room surrounded by art representing local artists.
After lunch we’ll take time to relax at our hotel or walk around our neighborhood, Recoleta.
Accommodation: Mio Hotel, 3 nights
Stepping through the stunning six meter-high door made of French oak from wine barrels, on the distinguished Quintana Avenue, at the heart of distinct Recoleta, Hotel Mio Buenos Aires stands apart. A blend of daring design, comfort and meticulous service with state-of-the-art technology stands out as a fusion of luxury, high-tech functionality and pleasure. Fine materials such as calden wood, glass, cotton, oak, steel, marble and silk, all combine beautifully to create a unique aesthetic that stands apart in a tangible sensation of warmness and intimacy in each and every one of the thirty rooms and suites.
This Cosmopolitan city, the birthplace of tango, is a superlative introduction to Argentina. Buenos Aires is European in appearance and can keep any culture-oriented visitor busy indefinitely. Different aspects of its architecture and the diversity of its districts and suburbs reflect times of grandeur and plenty, cultural influences and migratory waves. Buenos Aires has been a true melting pot of native inhabitants, Spanish, Italian, British, French, German, Central European, Jewish, Arabian, Greek, Japanese and more recently, Chinese and Korean immigrants. It is evident there is a very active nightlife here. It will be an excellent opportunity for us to show you around the best tango, Argentine folk music and even help you take tango lessons if you wish.
May 11 - Buenos Aires (B)
Morning City Tour with free time for lunch and shopping in the afternoon. Dinner on own. Late evening Tango Show
In the morning we will enjoy an exclusive visit of the city to introduce you into Argentina, its history, its contrasts, its contradictions and the characteristic psychology of the “porteños”, the inhabitants of Buenos Aires. The places to be visited are Plaza de Mayo in Montserrat, Parque Lezama in La Boca, Plaza San Martin in Retiro and Plaza Alvear in Recoleta.
An original way of walking Buenos Aires visiting the four highest parts of the city plus the district of La Boca, the blue collar neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Then we’ll walk to the Italian neighborhood on Caminito Street and talk about the origin of Tango. We’ll visit San Telmo, the oldest "barrio" of Buenos Aires, where the city was founded in 1536. We’ll continue our walk to Parque Lezama, Defensa Street, the Flea Market premises, Ezeiza Family House and San Lorenzo alley talking about the slave market, the arrival of the great European immigration, literature and British Invasions in1806 and 1807.
Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada, the Metropolitan Cathedral and Recoleta, the most aristocratic area of the city is then explored, the French architecture of most of the buildings surrounded by wide parks is where we’ll spend some time, visiting the Cemetery founded 1822 where Eva Peron is buried.
After our tour we will stop at Cafe Tortoni* for lunch on our own. After lunch our guide will show us the best places to shop.
*Café Tortoni, Inaugurated in 1858 by a French immigrant whose surname was Touan, it was named Tortoni after the Parisian café of the same name located on Boulevard des Italiens(where the elite of the Parisian culture gathered in the 19th century). The café itself was Inspired by Fin de siècle coffee houses. Café Tortoni was selected by UCityGuides as one of the ten most beautiful cafes in the world
*Time for shopping with our guide before we return to our hotel.
*9:30pm – Depart to see a classic Tango show and experience the sensual magnetism of tango, performed by the best tango dancers and singers.
May 12 - Buenos Aires (B/L)
Visit the Gauchos at Estancia Candelaria del Monte
Only one and a half hour away you will find this brick colonial house furnished with antiques. It has a beautiful park, sycamores, Ginkgo bilobas, elms, a variety of pine trees and a swimming pool. The owner, Sebastian, speaks excellent English, is an artist and sculptor by trade. His work reflects the conflicting aspects industrial and rural life and if he’s in residence, he will be more than happy to talk to you about his inspirations and show you his home. Enjoy a typical lunch ‘Parrillada’. This is a great place to learn about the gaucho culture and all their traditions. And for those who want some time to just relax, it’s perfect for this as well. Savor the tranquility, take a refreshing dip in the pool or indulge in bird watching, a wonderful pastime here.
*Return to hotel. Dinner on own
May 13 - Buenos Aires (B)
Morning at leisure. Afternoon departure for the airport to catch your flight home.
*End of our trip