Itinerary: Buenos Aires and Mendoza

An Indicative 10-11 day itinerary

*Scroll down to Day 9 for the Mendoza-wine country component


2011 was the year of Buenos Aires and Mendoza –or more specifically eight nights in Buenos Aires followed by two in Mendoza, the capital of the Argentine wine industry – situated beneath the Andes mountain range. Further, we have just returned from The Andes and are in the midst of designing a 2 night/3 day horse trek into the Andes (to 3500 meters)

For general information on day-to-day expenses refer preamble in Itinerary One.

Day 1 (Thursday)

Day: Depart Auckland 7:00 pm

Day: Arrive Buenos Aires 3:30 pm same day

Met by Mike Howie: Transport to city and allocated apartment. Later in day briefing, introduction and distribution of B.A. information packs and general orientation over a wine in Plaza Dorrego.

Evening: Dinner at local Spanish tapas bar.

Day 2 (Friday)

Day: A ‘take it easy-acclimatize’ day – including gentle urban hike to a couple of the main historical areas in Buenos Aires and introduction to city’s history and general city orientation. The ‘art of slow travel’ is central to the ethos of these trips with one of the aims being to give guests the knowledge and confidence to navigate their way around the city or back to certain preferred landmarks.

Evening: Dinner at a ‘private restaurant’ (known as ‘puertos cerrados’)  – a recent phenomenon in Buenos Aires in recent years. The selected private restaurant designs a completely new menu each week using only Argentine produce accompanied by an Argentine wine flight.

Late Evening: Following dinner a visit to a local milonga (tango hall) – ‘milongas’ are where the locals go to tango – and a wonderful opportunity to get away from the usual ‘tango show’ experience.

Day 3 (Saturday)

Day: Breakfast at the Eva Peron Museum followed by a tour of Recoleta Cemetery

Recoleta Cemetery is famous for its veritable avenues of mausoleums that house the wealthy, famous and infamous of Argentina…including Eva’s.

Attend a live ‘futbol’ (football) match along with 60, 000  mad Argentines. This is a must when visiting Buenos Aires simply for the spectacle and to appreciate a unique take on the Argentine theater of life.

Evening: Dinner – traditional Argentine Parrilla -’heaven is an Argentine steak and a bucket of Malbec’

Day 4 (Sunday)

Day: Mid morning a wander around the San Telmo Antiques Market followed by lunch and a walk to the River Plata via an outdoor salsa party. For those interested (depending on fixture) attending a live football match in the late afternoon – at either the Boca or River Stadiums (for others afternoon tea at the Park Hyatt).

Sunday is busy day as this is when the people of Buenos Aires get out en masse to enjoy their city. Sunday can be a day of eating, walking as well as the live dramatic theatre of a football game. This last activity is indescribable and we’re talking about the crowd – flags as big as six storey buildings, chanting, not to mention mothers and sons swearing in unison at the other team.

Optional is to rent bikes and explore the upper reaches of Palermo and the city’s vast green belt.

Evening: Dinner at an infamous Basque restaurant.

No trip to Buenos Aires is complete without being served by suave old men in white aprons who’ve mastered the art of ‘respectful surliness’ as they nonchalantly serve up succulent fare that in the Basque eatery always includes a sherry aperitif.

Day 5 (Monday) A ‘short (bloody) history of Argentina and walk up Avenida de Mayo with lunch at Spanish restaurant. If time we take the ‘A’ Line (oldest tube line) north for coffee at one of the oldest cafes in Argentina.

Evening: (Early) Gig by Argentine-Brazilian percussion group in dis-used oil refinery – up to 2000 attend this open air event each week in an old refinery. (Weather dependent).

Option 2: Pizza at working men’s pizza joint then jazz club or cocktails at stately home which is now a hip bar.

Day 6 (Tuesday)

Day: Three options: Day trip to Uruguay via Fast Ferry to colonial Spanish village of Colonia (A World Heritage Site) for lunch and a sightseeing.

Option Two: Argentina cooking class at a private Buenos Aires home followed by lunch with the chef.

Option Three: Bike tour to La Boca, Puerto Madero and San Telmo – includes morning tea at one of the newest contemporary art galleries (rooftop cafe).

Evening: Dinner with light meal at local Italian restaurant or own arrangements.

Day 7 (Wednesday)

Day: The MALBA (Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires)-  once privately owned Latin America’s leading modern art gallery. Worth a visit for the building and its surrounds.

Evening: Tango-Neo Punk 12 piece orchestra in a warehouse on the ‘far side of town’. Imaginative and an excellent example for the new, vibrant Argentina that is now happily putting an interesting spin on it’s own history and culture.

Day 8 (Thursday)

Free Day:  As it’s the last full day in Buenos Aires an opportunity to explore, lunch and shop in the high-end design part of the city with options to also peruse the factory outlets and ‘Las Pulgas’ (the second hand market or flea-market).

Dinner: In Palermo Hollywood at Italian family-run joint – with cocktails beforehand.

Day 9 (Friday)

Morning: Depart for Mendoza – from downtown Jorge Newbery Airport. (Flight time 1 hour 50 mins)

Day: Met at airport by Mendoza by mini-van and head out to Argentina’s premier wine growing region - Lujan de Cuyo visiting 3 major vineyards including a 5 course lunch (wine flights included) at French-Argentine vineyard  – return to city early evening.

Evening: At local neighbourhood Mendoza bistro.

Day 10 (Saturday)

Day:

Head out to horse breeding estancia for gentle ride up through the Lunlunta Hills with its dramatic Andes Mountains backdrop. The trek is over one of the leading estancias (ranches) in the country for breeding the traditional Argentine Criollos horses. The Estancia is currently ranked 4th out of over 600 estancias in Argentina for their breeding and training. It is a working ranch.

This horse trek is a very relaxed three hours and includes three course lunch at the Estancia with wine. (Lunch is a traditional Argentine asado (bbq) served with home made empanadas and farm grown vegetables and salad  – accompanied by superb regional wines. (Note: the 1.5  day Mendoza wine/horse-trek tour is a private Howdy Buenos Aires tour)

Evening: Depending on energy levels – a light snack at wine bistro near to the boutique hotel.

Day 11 (Sunday)

Depart Mendoza (mid-morning) for a bonus day in Buenos Aires – before departing Argentina late Sunday evening.

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or email mike howie…to say “let me on the plane, I want in!”

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