This In-Depth Mendoza Wine Tour starts with wine-tasting in the Mendoza region, and then moves on to the natural landscapes of Argentina's northwestern region, including the Uspallata Valley and Ischigualasto, the Moon Valley. Enjoy wine tasting at several bodegas, and then taste the natural beauty of surrounding region. Mendoza was once an arid region, but pioneers transformed it into a fertile valley using irrigation techniques; you can see how the surrounding region is still arid - yet still quite beautiful.
Fly into the Mendoza airport, where your tour guide will be waiting to pick you up. Enjoy a half-day city tour of Mendoza's historical landmarks. Learn about how this sun-drenched land was once a barren desert, but Spanish colonists irrigated the valley from the Mendoza River, and transformed it into a fertile wine-growing region where premier wines thrive. Stroll through the shaded avenues bordered by "acequias" (irrigation ditches). In the afternoon, your guide will take you to your hotel in Mendoza, where you can relax for the rest of the evening.
Mendoza Winery Tour
After breakfast, depart on a day filled with incredible scenery and delicious wines. Visit some of the most important wine cellars of the Mendoza region. First see La Rural, with its Wine Museum, which exhibits original wine cellar elements. We will also visit Lopez Winery, one of the most traditional in Argentina. Enjoy a full lunch at a restaurant. In the late afternoon, return to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Uspallata Valley, Puente del Inca, & Las Cuevas
Have breakfast in your hotel, and then depart early towards the Argentine-Chilean border, passing by the Uspallata Valley. Finally, your guide will show you the Puente del Inca, the Inca Bridge, which is a natural rock bridge that the Incas used in the 14th century. Although the Inca Empire centered in Peru, at its peak, it stretched as far south as northern Argentina, as this bridge attests. Also there are natural hot springs here. Enjoy a delicious lunch at a local inn.
Continuing on to Las Cuevas, stop en route at the Horcones Lagoon for an enjoyable afternoon hike. Then continue to Las Cuevas and spend the night.
Free Day in Uspallata Valley
After breakfast, spend today enjoying optional activities in the Uspallata Valley, such as hiking through the Andes, white water rafting in the Mendoza River, or mountain biking. Then return to the hotel in the evening.
Cross the Uspallata Valley to Ischigualasto
After breakfast this morning, depart for San Juan, passing by
Mendoza/Uspallata - Breakfast. Departure to the leafy green city of San Juan passing by Barreal, Calingasta, Iglesias, Flores, Pismanta, Jachal, and other towns in the San Juan province. Check in to the hotel and relax for the rest of the day.
The next morning, enter San Augustin del Valle Fertil, a fertile valley (as the name suggests). After breakfast in the town, continue along the route to Ischigualasto, the "Moon Valley." This remarkable valley of bright red rock formations, cliffs, and lunar landscapes is one of northwest Argentina's most beautiful natural landscapes.
Depart from San Juan Airport
This morning, have breakfast and then depart from San Augustin del Valle Fertil to San Juan. Transfer to the San Juan airport for the flight to Buenos Aires or to your next destination.