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Argentinian Wine and Eclipse tour
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Argentinian Wine and Eclipse

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4.6 . Excellent
93%
Travel Style: For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
12 days
From: $ 5,460 $ 455 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • Eclipse - View a total solar eclipse guided by an astronomer
  • Wine - Taste Argentina's full-bodied wines in the wine-making regions of Mendoza and San Juan
  • Buenos Aires - Wander the streets of arty San Telmo, and watch locals dance tango in La Boca
  • National parks - Explore Argentina's rocky deserts and imagine life in the land of dinosaurs
  • Night skies - Visit Leoncito Observatory, located in an area famous for its air quality and astronomical importance

Short Description

There really is no greater place to drink Argentina's most famous export than underneath the lofty peaks of the Andes, and this trip gives wine-lovers the opportunity to not only experience the solar eclipse, but to taste the local specialty in two different wine-producing areas. Blending the intensely Latin flavour of Buenos Aires with the more relaxed and traditional areas around the Northwest, we discover two sides of a wonderful country, from inspirational mountain scenes, red-rock canyons and fertile winelands to the pulsating rhythms of tango found in the streets of the capital.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City N/A
End City Buenos Aires
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Itinerary

Day 1 - Join trip in Buenos Aires

Description

We join the tour in Buenos Aires and check-in to our hotel. Here we find ourselves in the midst of Argentina's capital, located on the southern shores of the Rio de la Plata.
Since its founding in 1536 the city has thrived on trade and its streets are filled with an eclectic mix of European architectural styles, with Spanish, French and Italian classicism rubbing shoulders with remnants of Victorian grandeur. Gaining independence from its Spanish overlords in 1816 the city grew to rival the great cities of Europe, its wide avenues and elegant squares earning it the title of the Paris of the South.

Included Meals : None

Day 2 - Walking tour of the city including Plaza de Mayo and La Boca

Description

Today we will explore the city on foot, exploring the major landmarks around the Plaza de Mayo, site of the famous mass demonstrations by supporters of Juan Domingo Peron in 1945, organised by his wife Eva. We'll also visit the elaborate mausoleums of the famous Recoleta Cemetery, the final resting place of some of Argentina's most revered figures, including Eva Peron herself. Our tour will also take us via Palermo Park and the tango-filled streets of La Caminito in the La Boca district of the city. Settled originally by Italian migrants, the area is famed for its colourful houses and lively street performers.
After our city tour we have some free time, which you may wish to spend wandering the cobbled streets of the arty district of San Telmo. This evening we will discover the most Latin of dances during one of the city's famous tango shows, with wine tasting and dinner included.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3 - Fly to Mendoza; discover the city on foot and choose to visit a wine museum

Description

This morning we board our flight to Mendoza, the beautifully located city at the heart of Argentinian wine production, with its incredible backdrop of the mighty Andes mountain range. We spend the morning exploring the city on foot, including the sweeping views from the Hill of Glory (Cerro de la Gloria), which commemorates the Army of the Andes' successful defeat of the area's Spanish rulers in 1817. In the afternoon we have free time to spend exploring the city, maybe taking the opportunity to visit the wine museum in preparation for tomorrow's tasting. Alternatively, Mendoza is a great place to try some of the local delicacies - alfajores are an Argentinian staple, a cakey biscuit filled with 'dulce de leche', perfect with an afternoon tea or coffee. We may even try mate - a bitter green tea drink that takes centre stage in most Argentinian social gatherings. Throughout our trip we may often see people walking around the towns and cities, flask in hand, as they go about their daily business. If you are offered some, take note - mate is served in a communal cup, with a 'bombilla' (straw) to drink through, and is passed around the circle, each drinker enjoying the mate before passing it back to the server to be re-brewed. Be careful not to say thank you, as this signifies that you have had enough!

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 4 - Bike trip around the wineries, with included wine tasting

Description

30 minutes outside of Mendoza city we find Lujan de Cuyo - a wine growing region where row upon row of vines grow in neatly ordered lines under the shadow of the Andes mountains. Drinking wine in this landscape is an unforgettable experience, and today we will be jumping on our bikes and enjoying a leisurely cycle between three of the region's wineries. Although this area is home to many varieties of white, it is mainly known for its reds, particularly the famous malbec. We will have the chance to taste the multiple varieties of grape found in the area throughout this roughly 4km cycle (all flat!), and in the last winery we enjoy lunch with especially paired wines before returning to Mendoza.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5 - Walk in the Aconcagua Provincial Park and visit the Inca Bridge

Description

Today we have a full day trip to the beautiful Aconcagua Provincial Park, home to the magnificent Aconcagua - standing at 6961m it is the tallest peak in the Americas. At the bottom of the permanently snow-covered peaks we find lush meadows and some forested valleys, and our Explore Leader will take us on a short 1.5hr hike to the Horcones Lagoon, a glacier fed lagoon with outstanding views of the mountains. The trail is relatively flat and rocky, with mountains looking at either side of us and the peak of Aconcagua rising before us in the distance. Before returning to Mendoza, we also make a stop at the Puente del Inca, a geologically formed bridge once allegedly used by Incas to cross the river. The reddish oranges of the formation are caused by the minerals in the waters running beneath the bridge, and the remains of a slightly curious-looking stone chapel are still found built into the rock.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 6 - El Leoncito National Park and visit to observatory

Description

This morning we set off on our 8 hour drive to San Juan via Leoncito National Park. The national park is a protected area with very strict regulations on air pollution, and due to the quality of the atmosphere it is also an important centre of astronomy. In fact, the whole area around San Juan and this section of the Northwest is renowned for its clear skies, and is therefore a fantastic place to see a solar eclipse. The highlight of the park is the observatory, and there are also many trails around the rocky terrain and across the streams of the park, amid herds of guanacos (a smaller relative of the llama) with outstanding panoramas of the Andes mountains. Our Explore Leader will discuss the options on our arrival, and whether it's a visit to the observatory or a longer hike, this is a great landscape to explore. We arrive into the charming town of San Juan in the early evening, and no doubt Argentina's famous steak will be on the menu for many!

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 7 - Explore the red deserts of Talampaya National Park

Description

Today we will be discovering the magnificent Talampaya National Park. Once the kingdom of dinosaurs, this park, along with its neighbour, Ischigualasto, which we will be visiting tomorrow, contains an important number of fossils, providing a sequential record of life through the Triassic period. The scrub desert boasts fossilised remains of a wide range of indigenous animals and plants from roughly 250 to 200 million years ago. Even for those amongst us who are not scientifically-minded, the park is an impressive show of geological wonders. The main attraction is the canyon, an imposing red rock trench whose sides tower approximately 150 metres above us as we venture through it. During our visit to the park, we walk through the Don Eduardo Gorge, which is an approximately 8km hike on flat terrain. The dry riverbeds, red dunes and sand plains are more akin to a Martian journey than our expectations of Andean scenery. We head on to Villa Union, our base for this evening.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 8 - Hike in the lunar landscapes of Ischigualasto National Park

Description

Another other-worldly landscape awaits us today as we drive to Ischigualasto National Park. Popularly known as 'Moon Valley', this park, together with its neighbour Talampaya, were granted UNESCO heritage some years ago, and while yesterday's exploration had an overriding theme of 'red', today's scenery warrants the lunar nickname. The geological oddities that have been somehow formed by water, wind and sun over the last million years have turned the park into another planet. 'Bowling Lane' is one of the most well-known sites, with scores of perfectly polished round balls sitting on a flat surface, with apparently no explanation to their formation. We will have chance to do the one hour walk up to Cerro Morado (400m ascent) for panoramic views before heading to our accommodation near San Juan in preparation for the eclipse tomorrow.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 9 - View the total eclipse with a local astronomer

Description

A total eclipse of the sun will take place today, July 2nd 2019. We will be heading to a 'casa de campo' (country house) on the outskirts of San Juan. Here we will also be joined by other Explore groups who have been travelling around the country prior to the event, and over lunch we'll be able to share stories about our travels so far. The house has a large garden from which we will watch the eclipse - bear in mind that it is winter and will therefore be chilly in the afternoon, so warm clothes are recommended. Eclipse glasses will be provided to allow you to view this natural wonder safely, and we will be accompanied by an expert local astronomer to provide more information and answer any questions you may have.

At this time of year in San Juan, cloud cover is estimated to be at 20%, which is generally classed as on the cusp of 'sunny' and 'partly cloudy', although we are unable to make any guarantees regarding the weather conditions and the likelihood of seeing the eclipse.

The Moon orbits the Earth almost 13 times a year, and an eclipse happens if it lines up exactly with the Earth and the Sun. Solar eclipses occur at New Moon, when the Moon is between Earth and the Sun. Lunar eclipses occur at Full Moon, when Earth is between the Sun and the Moon. A total eclipse of the sun occurs when the moon appears the same size as the sun, thus completely obscuring the light.

Eclipses do not take place every month because the orbits of the Moon and Earth are tilted at an angle. Most of the time, the line-up is not precise enough for an eclipse. When an eclipse is total, the solar corona can be seen as a white halo around the black disk of the Moon.

Near the beginning and end of total and annular eclipses, the thin, visible slice of the Sun appears broken up into blobs of light. These blobs are called 'Baily's beads' after the British astronomer Francis Baily. They happen because the edge of the Moon is not smooth but jagged with mountain peaks. When just one bead is visible, the effect is often likened to a diamond ring.

The eclipse will take place at approximately 4.25pm, after which point we will return to our accommodation and spend the rest of the evening relaxing.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10 - Wine tasting in San Juan; fly to Buenos Aires

Description

Despite being somewhat overshadowed by the fame of Mendoza, San Juan is the second largest wine-producing region in the country, and this morning we have the opportunity to visit one of the many vineyards on the 'Ruta del Vino' to try some of the first-class local specialties. We take a flight later this afternoon back to the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires, which will be a huge contrast from the quiet and open landscapes of the Andean region. This evening is free to enjoy something of Buenos Aires' dazzling nightlife.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 11 - Free day in Buenos Aires

Description

Today we enjoy a full free day in Buenos Aires to explore more of one of South America's most captivating cities. There is much to enjoy just from wandering around the districts like La Boca and San Telmo, and you could also taste some of Argentina's most mouth-watering traditional food at one of the city's many parrillas (grills). Choripan comes highly recommended - a large chorizo in a homemade crusty bread roll, covered with spicy chimichurri sauce. Delicious! Alternatively, you can escape the city with a trip to an estancia (ranch) or take a boat trip on the Tigre delta, a fascinating insight into the manmade communities and stilted homes set around this swampy river.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 12 - Tour ends Buenos Aires

Description

Our tour ends this morning in Buenos Aires.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Availability

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Price From $ 5,460
Price Per Day: $ 455 per day
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Stride Featured in

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30 Explore! Travel Reviews & Ratings

93%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 24
Great 3
Average 1
Disappointing 1
Terrible 1
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.5

Argentinian Wine and Eclipse

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Company Reviews

Wonderful

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I was grateful to Explore with my booking as I was forced to cancel at a late date and then was enabled to rebook which meant the difference between having no summer holiday and a wonderful one. All of the administration seemed to be very efficient, friendly and professional.
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Wonderful holiday memories

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We have travelled all over the world with explore on their family adventure holidays. We have an only child and she benefited so much with instant friendships, and has some wonderful holiday memories. Explore has always been very helpful with the booking process, and we have found most of the tour leaders they use to be professional, committed, really good at their jobs.
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Extremely enjoyable

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I have travelled with Explore on several occasions. Each experience has been positive and every trip extremely enjoyable. The itinerary’s are excellent ensuring a full and varied experience and the use of local guides is hugely beneficial.
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It's fantastic trip

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
It's fantastic trip for me..just not very happy for accommodation. And the trip leader .If he can make more time with us.and make more interesting and funny when he was talking. It is should be good..other way he is good..
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wonderful

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Danijela, our tour guide, was wonderful. She shared plenty of facts about Croatia with us and managed all the arrangements really well. One of our group had a birthday while we were away and Danijela gave her a present and we celebrated. Transfers to and from the airport went well. Prior to going, the staff on the phones were really helpful with any questions.
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Great experiences

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was our third family adventure with Explore, all have been great experiences. Kids bond immediately and adults can melt into the background and relax. The size of the groups makes mixing manageable and the guides and crews have been first rate throughout.
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Details

Optional Activities

Optional Excursions

Buenos Aires - Tango show US$70 and US$120 with dinner; Tigre Delta cruise US$95 Pampas Ranch Excursion - US$ 166 per person

Accomodations

Accommodation Notes

In San Juan you will have 3 nights in a hotel made up of differing cabins and rooms. Here you may be in a studio apartment, a double room or a small cabin. This is the best available place to stay to see the eclipse near San Juan.

Guides

Tour Staff

Driver(s), Explore Tour Leader, Local Guide(s), Astronomer

Trip ID#:

explore-NWW

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