South America is a rare breed. Where else can you find Andean peaks, Amazonian rainforest, Incan ruins, and pearly-white beaches all in one place? Here, a rich tapestry of differing landscapes will play host to both loud, metropolitan cities and quieter, green-crested valleys and vineyards. Here, sun-kissed shores will brush up against turquoise waters, and ancient temples will sit frozen in time and explored by you. Here, you’ll find millions of tourists every year – and it doesn’t take a genius to work out why.
Located in the central valley, the Chilean capital of Santiago boasts a landscape consisting of snow-capped mountains and the shimmering shores of the Pacific. Given its proximity to snow and sea, it’s not uncommon for people to try skiing and surfing in the same day (if you’re adventurous enough!). An exciting city tour of the area will take you to the renowned Plaza de Armas, a hub for trade and meet-ups, as well as the famous Cathedral and Post Office situated within the main square.
Santiago is also a perfect stepping stone for exploring other nearby areas such as Viña del Mar and Valparaiso. Valparaiso is a World Heritage Site with a colorful history running through its core, while Viña del Mar has been dubbed the “Garden City” for its plethora of green spaces. After visiting these idyllic cities, you’ll commence the first of your many winery tours at the Concha y Toro winery in Pirque, a short drive from Santiago.
The second slightly boozy portion of our trip will take us to Mendoza in Argentina. Located in a region of foothills and high plains, this is the birthplace of some of Argentina’s most exquisite wines and often referred to as one of the nine Great Wine Capitals. We’ll make our way to the vineyards of MaipúandLujan de Cuyo and brush up on our knowledge of the production process.
But Mendoza isn’t just a catnip to wine connoisseurs; this beautiful city also houses museums such as the Mendoza Museum of Modern Art, not to mention it’s a stone’s throw from the Aconcagua Mountain, the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas, making it a perfect stopover for hikers and climbers eager to scale this mighty beast.
Once we’ve wined and dined sufficiently, we’ll then make our way to Buenos Aires for the last leg of the trip. Argentina’s capital is a sparkling, metropolitan paradise consisting of more than 280 theatres, green spaces, and captivating neighborhoods. The San Telmo area and its tanguerias will have you on the dance-floor till dawn, grooving to Latin beats, and you’ll be able to grab a bite from the cantina restaurants which litter the La Boca area afterward.
To brush up on our history, we’ll head to the Plaza de Mayo, the city’s political epicenter, and observe the impressive Pyramid de Mayo and Presidential Palace before venturing to the famous La Recoleta cemetery, the final resting place of Eva Peron.