LWA

Wine & Wildlife of Chile & Argentina

10 days
from
incl. taxes
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Culture
Suitable for:
Age 18+
Activity level:
Leisurely
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
LWAW
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
6–14
Min age:
18

Meet South America's whales and penguins on this wine and wildlife adventure

Migrating southern right whales, one of the world’s largest nesting colonies of Magellanic penguins, breathtaking scenery and some of the world’s finest wines are just a few of the highlights that await you on this adventure in Argentina and Chile adventure. An exciting and rare combination of three unique regions creates an adventure to delight the senses as you journey from the wildlife-packed Atlantic shores of the Valdes Peninsula to the Andean paradise that is Argentina’s wine country and all the way to Chile’s premiere wineries on the Pacific Coast.  

Under the guidance and leadership of an excellent leader, local guides and oenologists, guests will search out interesting and unique species of the Patagonian steppe and Atlantic waters, walk amongst Magellanic penguins at one of the largest nesting colonies on Earth, witness the peak of the of the southern right whale migration where roughly 1,000 congregate to mate and give birth, and pay visits to some of the premier wineries that Chile and Argentina have to offer.  Multiple optional extensions can add even more to the experience.

Highlights

  • Southern right whales, elephant seals, fur seals, orcas & more sea life of the Atlantic coast
  • Walk among Magellanic penguins at one of the world's largest rookeries
  • Watch for herds of guanaco as well as rhea, lesser & greater cavy, Patagonian fox and more
  • Exceptional wineries in the world-famous wine regions of Argentina and Chile
  • Travel from Atlantic shores, over towering Andes to Pacific coastline

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 9 lunches, 7 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Internal flights for all bookings

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request) 
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

Santiago
to
Buenos Aires
  • Day 1

    Santiago

    Upon arrival in Santiago you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel, the Ritz Carlton Santiago. Join your fellow travelers and Expedition Leader for lunch and a tour of this historic city.

    Accommodation: Ritz Carlton Santiago or similar.

    Meals included: Lunch Dinner
  • Day 2

    Santiago / Maipo Valley

    Visit some of Santiago’s most interesting neighborhoods and important sites before paying a visit to Santa Rita winery. Founded in 1880 by Domingo Fernandez in the same area of Alto Jahuel where its main facilities stand today, from the end of the 19th century to mid-1970s the winery developed under the ownership of the García Huidobro family. The high quality of wines and rich history of the vineyard has given Santa Rita winery a prestigious and privileged position as a top producer and leading exporter of quality premium wines.

    Accommodation: Ritz Carlton Santiago or similar.

     

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Santiago / Casablanca Valley

    The unique cool-weather climate of the Casablanca Valley results in a longer ripening period. This produces distinct and outstanding sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, as well as pinot noir. Visit Casas del Bosque, learning about the area’s varietals from local experts. Casas del Bosque produces award-wining chardonnay, Riesling and sauvignon blanc as well as syrah and pinot noir. The premium carmenere and cabernet sauvignon are some of the best in Chile. After lunch, freshen up at the hotel prior to dinner at a local restaurant.

    Accommodation: Ritz Carlton Santiago or similar.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Santiago / Mendoza

    A highlight of your trip is crossing the Andes by road from Santiago to Mendoza, taking in the changing and contrasting landscapes along with unmatched mountain views along the way. At Los Libertadores Pass you’ll see Mt. Aconcagua (weather permitting), known as the “Colossus of the Americas.” At 22,841 feet above sea level, Mt. Aconcagua is the highest mountain outside of Asia. Arrive in Mendoza and check in to Huentala Hotel.

    Accommodation: Huentala Hotel or similar.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 5-6

    Mendoza

    Argentina's wine region has more continental weather patterns, with hotter summers and cooler winters than Chile's wine regions. There is also plenty of water coming from the mountains. All this combines to provide ideal conditions for the production of complex, distinct wines. With two-thirds of Argentina's wine coming from Mendoza province, this is the most important wine center in Argentina and one of the eight “Great Wine Capitals” of the world. 

    Explore this historic city on a guided walking excursion before your local wine specialists, known as oenologists, and your leader immerse you in the wine cultures of the Uco Valley and Maipu area, two of Argentina's preeminent and most prestigious. Known especially for Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Semillon and Torrontes varieties of wine, the Uco Valley is probably Argentina’s most popular and rewarding wine region at this time. High quality white wines, such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, are also being grown here. Not to be confused with Maipu Valley in Chile, though its name does derive from that region, the Maipu area of Argentina is also known for high quality Malbec, as well as other acidic and strong red wines.  Here we find the highest altitude wineries, from 5,500 ft and up. Many of the wineries in the Maipu area have been family-run for generations and you can be assured that all the wineries you visit will be filled with friendly locals eager to share their culture with you.

    Visit three wineries in each region, learning about the different varieties, processes, care, breeding and fractionation of different types of wine while you also drink in the awe inspiring scenery. Picture-perfect vineyards, blue skies and rolling hills stretch to the horizon where they meet the imposing and towering Andes Mountains. Careful attention will be paid to the current overall quality of experience (quality of wines, best menus, best service, visitor numbers, etc.) when our local staff selects the wineries and restaurants you will visit. Enjoy boutique accommodations at Huentala Hotel in Mendoza City.

    Accommodation: Huentala Hotel or similar.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Mendoza / Puerto Madryn

    This morning, board your flight to Puerto Madryn and transfer to Terrirotio Hotel for check-in. Spend the afternoon exploring this lovely coastal city with your leader. 

    Accommodation: Terrirotio Hotel or similar.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Puerto Madryn / Peninsula Valdes

    The fantastic Valdes Peninsula Reserve is home to roughly 32,000 southern elephant seals, nearly 8,000 southern sea lions and the largest breeding population of southern right whales on Earth. Every year between early June and mid-December up to 1,000 of these majestic cetaceans gather here for mating and to give birth to their young. They spend up to 7 months a year in the pristine waters of this remote paradise. Venture out on a whale watching/photography excursion to get up-close and personal with these amazing creatures. Your expedition has been timed for when the mothers are raising their young in preparation for leaving the area until the following year. With luck and good weather the photo opportunities and whale viewing should be excellent. Watch for orcas, dolphins, Magellanic penguins and many other sea creatures while on and along the water. During your time on the peninsula you’ll stop at any of a number of seaside lookout points and walkways to watch and photograph the seals and sea lions.  You may even be lucky enough to spot orcas hunting these aquatic mammals as they lounge, unsuspectingly, in the sun onshore.

    Herds of guanaco roam freely on the peninsula where they are a protected species. As such, they are quite abundant here. Also in great abundance are Magellanic penguins. Visit Estancia San Lorenzo, a private property where around 50,000 penguins nest along the shore and into the Patagonian steppe. Magellanic penguins dig their own nesting burrows under bushes or in open areas not far from the shore. They are quite accustomed to the presence of humans in their breeding grounds and do not run from the visitors. Quite the contrary, with penguins standing and walking right next to your feet the photo opportunities and simple joys of wildlife watching are endless. Enjoy a typical Argentine BBQ lunch in the estancia's great hall.

    Also found on the peninsula is the largest rodent in Patagonia; the mara (Patagonian cavy). A smaller cousin of the mara, the lesser Patagonian cavy, is frequently found soaking in the sun just outside Magellanic penguin burrows where they find shelter. Two species of armadillos live there as well. Dwarf armadillos are normally very tame and do not hesitate to get close to humans. Shyer mammals such as the Patagonian grey fox might be spotted and keep an eye out for South America’s largest bird, the flightless rhea, along with eagles and many other species of birds as you spend your days combing the coast line and interior of the peninsula enjoying the wildlife and vistas.

    Accommodation: Hotel Territorio or similar.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 9

    Puerto Madryn / Buenos Aires

    A boat excursion will give you the unique chance to see Commerson’s dolphins. These waters are one of the few places they can be seen along mainland South America. They are known to be one of the most curious species of dolphins, not at all shy about approaching the boat and enjoying surfing in the wake from the engines. Watch for more marine wildlife on your excursion before your flight to Buenos Aires.
    Spend this even at Madero Hotel. 

    Accommodation: Madero Hotel or similar.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Buenos Aires

    This morning explore Buenos Aires with your Expedition Leader. After lunch, relax in your room until it’s time for your independent overnight flight home.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Chile

British, most European and most other nationalities, including Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders, do not require visas. All other nationalities should contact the nearest Chilean Embassy if in doubt. Citizens of Australia pay a fee on first entry into Chile by air (cash US Dollars only, no credit cards or cheques) $95 - valid for only 90 days). There is no fee for other nationalities at the time of writing. The one-time charge is valid for the life of your passport so keep the stub stapled in.

Argentina

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay.

No visa required for holders of British passport.

If you are crossing the border into Argentina from Chile on your trip, we will need to know your profession in order to provide when entering Argentina.

The Argentine government charges a reciprocity fee which applies to Australian citizens. The amounts are as follows: Australians - US$100 (multiple entry). This fee must be paid before you enter Argentina. For full details, and to make the payment, please visit: https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes

Vaccinations

Chile

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Argentina

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has updated the travel advice for Argentina with an update to the Health section – an outbreak of Hantavirus has been reported in Epuyén, Province of Chubut in southern Argentina; for more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Bilharzia is known to occur in some of the lakes or rivers in Argentina, we therefore advise all to take advice from your guide or leader locally before venturing for a swim.

Dengue fever is also a known risk in Argentina. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Due to a recent outbreak of Yellow Fever in the Misiones province of Argentina, vaccinations are strongly recommended if you intend to visit the Iguazu Falls.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 9 lunches and 7 dinners included.

Chilean cuisine stems mainly from the combination of traditional Spanish cuisine, Chilean Indigenous Mapuche culture and local ingredients, with later important influences from other European cuisines, particularly from
Germany, Italy and France. The food tradition and recipes in Chile are notable for the variety of flavors and ingredients, with the country’s diverse geography and climate hosting a wide range of agricultural produce, fruits and vegetables. The long coastline and the peoples' relationship with the Pacific Ocean add an immense array of
seafood products to Chilean cuisine, with the country's waters home to unique species of fish, mollusks, crustaceans and algae, thanks to the oxygen-rich water carried in by the Humboldt Current. Chile is also one of the world’s largest producers of wine and many Chilean recipes are enhanced and accompanied by local wines.

Argentine cuisine may be described as a cultural blending of Indigenous, Mediterranean influences (such as those created by Italian and Spanish populat ions) within the wide scope of agricultural products that are abundant in the country. Beef is the national dish of Argentina. Beyond asado (the Argentine barbecue), no other dish more genuinely matches the national identity. Nevertheless, the country's vast area, and its cultural diversity, has led to a local cuisine of various dishes. The great migratory waves consequently imprinted a large influence in the Argentine cuisine, after all Argentina was the second country in the world with the most immigrants, only second to the United States.

Weather

September/October is springtime for our destinations. Buenos Aires will be mild to warm, and we can expect the same at the Valdés peninsula, though typically at least a bit cooler so pack some warm clothes as well. It will be cool to cold in the mountains and Santiago, with little rain expected.

Is this trip for you?

This tour is graded 1: Leisurely

Get to the heart of Chile and Argentina's fantastic wine growing regions, and up close and personal with the wildlife of the Valdes Peninsula. This is a busy trip but with time to relax and take in the incredible landscapes that we visit along the way.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as not suitable for full wheelchair users, but it may be suitable for other persons of reduced mobility. Please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels and Lodges

Ritz Carlton Santiago

Situated in Santiago's El Golf district, the Ritz Carlton opened in 2003 and offers a wonderful base for seeing Chile's capital city and its surrounding area. 

Huentala Hotel

Huentala means “Valley of the Guanacos” and its name honors the ancient Huarpes, one of the first settlers of Mendoza. Opened in 1976, the hotel is a landmark in its four-star category. Located in downtown Mendoza City, on a beautiful cobblestone street, Huentala Hotel is just one block from San Martin Ave. and is in walking distance to the main attractions of the city. Classic rooms include free Wi-Fi, AC, LED TV, hairy dryer, and mini-bar.  The hotel offers a pool, gym, spa, laundry service and even a wine tasting cellar.  Authentic regional cuisine combines with elegant and peaceful atmosphere in Champay (House of Friends) Bistro while Kunuk Bar is known for its elegant cocktails, including a chinch corn drink for which the bar is named.

Hotel Territorio

This boutique hotel is located on the edge of town with wonderful views of Gulfo Nuevo. Built in the spirit of a traditional sheep shearing farm with infusions of modernity and elegance, the hotel features a lounge,  restaurant and highly attentive staff. 36 rooms all feature individual temperature control, mini-bar, hair dryer, en suite facilities and free Wi-Fi. The hotel offers a fitness room and laundry services.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Have you been on this adventure? Tell others what it’s like by writing a review.

Dates & Prices