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Argentina Itinerary: The best of Argentina in 4 weeks

Overview

This itinerary offers the best of Argentina in 4 weeks. Soak up the easygoing way of life in the elegant, colonial town of Salta. Explore the charming wine region of Cafayate and its plentiful bodegas. Continue on to Mendoza, “The Land of Sun and Fine Wines,” located in the foothills of the Andes mountains. Head south to The Lake District, a region in northern Patagonia known for stunning glacial lakes, mountain ranges and alpine forests. Lastly, end your tour in the welcoming capital of Buenos Aires – the ideal place to get a taste of the good life, South American style.  Enjoy your wanders in Argentina!

Breakdown

Salta: 4 days + 1 travel day
Cafayate: 3 days
Mendoza: 4 days
The Lake District (Bariloche): 6 days
Buenos Aires: 10 days

Days 1-5: Salta

Locals eating in a market with authentic tamales in the foreground.

The laidback town of Salta is a wonderful introduction into Argentina. Enjoy balmy weather while strolling the many leafy plazas. Take in the colonial architecture, as well as the Neoclassical Cathedral of Salta. Relax while watching the world go by in the 16th-century Plaza 9 de Julio. Take the Salta Tram (Teleferico) to the top of San Bernardo Hill for beautiful views. Enjoy delicious regional specialties, from homemade tamales at Mercado San Miguel to Bife de Chorizo at a classic steakhouse like  El Viejo Jack. And don’t miss a local peña (social gathering) featuring traditional food, live music and dancing. For more details, visit our post on Salta, Argentina.

Days 6-8: Cafayate

Vineyards in the wine region of Cafayate, best known for its Torrontes grape.

From Salta, rent a car and make the scenic drive to Cafayate through the Calchaqui Valleys. On the way, stop for lunch in the quiet town of Cachi for authentic tamales. Once in Cafayate, head out to the wineries to learn how the desert climate creates more consistent wines. Get to know the Torrontés grape which only grows in Argentina. From the valley’s oldest winery,  Vasija Secreta Winery, to modern bodegas like Bodega El Transito, there’s a plethora of wine experiences, each as unique and individual as the wine itself. For more details, visit our post on Cafayate, Argentina.

Days 9-12: Mendoza

Bike riding in the wine region of Mendoza, Argentina.

From Cafayate, make your way back to Salta to take an overnight bus to Mendoza. Located in the foothills of the Andes mountains, Mendoza is a cosmopolitan city with easy access to one of Argentina’s premier wine regions. Explore downtown Mendoza with its lively pedestrian street of shops, cafes and restaurants. Check out the beautiful Andalusian tilework in Plaza España and people-watch in Plaza Independencia, the city’s central gathering spot. Once you’ve had your fill of city life, take a colectivo (shared bus) out to wine country in nearby Maipú. Upon arrival, rent a bike from family-owned, Mr. Hugo’s to get around to the different wineries. Enjoy a wine cellar tour at Rutini Vineyards. Learn about the wine making process at Bodega Familia di Tommaso. And relax on the outdoor patio at contemporary Tempus Alba. For more details, visit our post on Mendoza, Argentina.

Days 13-18: The Lake District (Bariloche)

A vintage car against a backdrop of iconic yellow Amancay flowers in the Lake District of southern Argentina.

From Mendoza, there’s a direct bus to Bariloche (18 hours.) If passing through San Martin de los Andes, you’ll also have the opportunity to travel along the Seven Lakes Route, one of South America’s most scenic drives. Once in Bariloche, it doesn’t take long to wander around the Swiss-inspired mountain village. Best of all, there are plenty of chocolate shops offering free samples. Main sights include the Centro Civico and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Nahuel Huapi, located along the crystal-clear glacial lake of the same name. Enjoy a day trip to Colonia Suisa, the region’s first European settlement, and make the short hike to the summit of Mount Campanario for some of the best views in the world. For more details, visit our post on Bariloche, Argentina.

Days 19-28: Buenos Aires

From Bariloche, yet another overnight bus brings you to Argentina’s vibrant capital, Buenos Aires. Check out the city’s oldest public square Plaza de Mayo, then join the crowds over at nearby pedestrian street, Calle Florida. Get to know the unique neighborhoods that make up Buenos Aires. Enjoy a café and people-watch in trendy Palermo. Walk among the dead in elegant Recoleta. Bargain for deals at Feira de San Telmo in historic San Telmo. Visit the home of the legendary Boca Juniors in La Boca.And while away an afternoon in colorful, kitschy Caminito. Like any capital city, Buenos Aires offers a wealth of things to do from museums to parks to gardens – and of course, an amazing nightlife. For more details, visit our post on Buenos Aires, Argentina, or join us on our wanders in Chile: The best of Chile in 2 weeks.

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