Depart USA for Mendoza, Argentina
Depart home city via your chosen air carrier to Mendoza, arriving the following day, Wednesday, November 10th. (Please see Information for suggested flight itineraries/schedules).
Arrive Mendoza, Argentina
Arrive in Mendoza, “the land of good sunshine and good wine!” After clearing customs, you will be personally met by Carl who will escort you to your awaiting transportation to take you to the Five Star Deluxe Hotel Diplomatic, our “home” for the next four nights (www.diplomatic.parksuites.net/diplomatic_city.htm). Anne will meet you on arrival at the hotel and will help you with check-in. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy a little time to unpack, freshen-up, rest, relax and explore the property.
This evening, please join Carl, Anne and your fellow Friends of Carl and Anne (FoCA) traveling companions… commonly known as Focas, for a special “Welcome to Mendoza” reception followed by dinner at La Bourgogne Restaurant (located in the Diplomatic Hotel).
Mendoza City Tour & Wine Region
After breakfast, we will depart on a tour of the old city of Mendoza. This will help you to become familiar with your surroundings and to get acquainted with the most beautiful city in Argentina. After a visit to the old city, we will continue to the downtown area, known as Alameda, to visit General San Martin Park, Cerro de la Gloria Hill, and the Frank Romero Day amphitheater, which is the central stage of the Vintage national festival. At noon, we will enjoy a typical barbecue lunch at Familia Zuccaqrdi Winery (www.familiazuccardi.com). Return to the hotel in the afternoon.
This evening is free for you to enjoy dinner at your leisure. The Diplomatic Hotel is conveniently located just a few blocks from the city center, which is laid out around five beautiful and picturesque plazas. Two of the more popular plazas are the Plaza Italia, which is in the very center of town, and the nearby Plaza Independencia. Your local host at the FoCA Hospitality Desk will be happy to tell you about dining options in Mendoza and make dinner reservations for you, if you wish. Your host can also answer any other questions that you may have about Mendoza, in general.
Personal note: Anne and I will provide you with a list of nearby restaurants and their website links before the trip so you can have an idea of which ones you may want to consider before arriving Mendoza.
Mendoza / Tour of the wine Region of Lujan De Cuyo
This morning, after breakfast, we will depart for the wine growing oasis of Mendoza to visit two prestigious wineries and participate in a great wine tasting. Our first visit will be to Belassco de Baquedano Winery (www.belascomalbec.com), where Malbec wine is a passion and a mission. The Malbec is still processed in the traditional artisan style in order to preserve the subtle aromas and flavors and richness of body and color. Our guide will teach us about wine, its elaboration process, vineyard conduction systems, and wine tasting secrets and techniques.
Our next stop is the Norton Winery (www.norton.com.ar), where you will enjoy an unforgettable gastronomic experience. The Bodega Norton, established in 1895, is one of the leading traditional wineries of Argentina with the longest presence in the main markets of the world. After a great wine tasting and lunch, and as the sun sets behind the Andes Mountains, we will return to the hotel. Tonight the evening is on your own. This is your chance to experience some of Mendoza’s fine restaurants from which you have a good variety to choose from. For the carnivores in the group, you may want to try La Marchigiana (Centro/Downtown), one of Mendoza’s best asado (Argentine BBQ) restaurants. They use a firewood grill to barbeque “cuyano” style, the favorite way to cook meat in the region. Bonus! – If perhaps you are not a carnivore, La Marchigiana is also a fine Italian restaurant for the pasta lovers in the group. Something for everyone! (www.marchigiana.com.ar)
Mendoza / Tour of the Wine Region of Uco Valley
A special day today! After breakfast, we will depart to the beautiful winegrowing area of the Uco Valley where we will visit two superb wineries. Located in the upper reaches of Mendoza’s Uco Valley is the Salentein Vineryards (www.bodegasalentein.com/bodega/wines_by/index.html). This vineyard is made up of three Fincas (estates); El Oasis, La Pampa, and San Pablo. Each of these estates blessed with pure snowmelt water and cooler night time temperatures, giving the wines of this area a very special quality.
Continuing on, we will visit the O Fournier Winery (www.ofournier.com/web), located at approximately 3,950 feet above sea level. We will visit the interior of the winery including a visit to an impressive and unexpected cellar 33 feet underground. O Fournier wines are diverse and rich, grouped in two “constellations”, “Alfa Crux” and B Crux”, which are based on the stars of the magnificent Southern Cross. This constellation is only visible in the Southern Hemisphere. After another splendid wine tasting, we will have lunch at Urban Restaurant on the O Fournier premises. Its glazed cubicle structure next to a lake and its sober and minimalist décor is offset by the view of the Andes Mountains. Return to the hotel in the afternoon.
Since this is your last night in Mendoza, you are free to dine on your own. Should you want to celebrate your special farewell dinner in style, we suggest that you consider the Francesco Ristorante. The “Momma” of the restaurant, Maria Teresa, warmly welcomes everyone who wants to visit and taste the restaurants special dishes (www.francescoristorante.com.ar/english/index.html). Passion, creativity, sensitivity and love inspire each dish through its taste, aroma and freshness. This will be a night to remember!
Mendoza to Buenos Aires
After breakfast and hotel check-out, we will transfer to the airport for the flight to Buenos Aires…the “Paris of the Americas.” You’ll be met at the domestic airport in Buenos Aires and transferred to the Five Star Deluxe Intercontinental Hotel, located in the historic Montserrat neighborhood, near the Old Town. The Old Town area is filled with theaters, bistros, and classic coffee shops. It’s also within walking distance to the famous Calle Florida (Florida Street) which is an exclusive pedestrian-only street filled with inviting shops and intriguing street stalls. Be sure to put Florida Street on your “must do” list!
The balance of the afternoon and evening are free for you to explore the hundreds of unique restaurants, cafés, bars and nightclubs that are located throughout Buenos Aires’ charming neighborhoods. Since this is your first night in Buenos Aires, one of the most vibrant cities in the world, you must be adventurous! Ride a streetcar to a different area of town and have dinner at one of the many quaint bistros or picturesque asadas that line the streets. Take a dance lesson from one of the talented Tango dancers that teach you on the street under a street light, or just “park” yourself at one of the neighborhood restaurants or bars and be amazed by the myriad of different people walking by. Whatever you do will be fun and memorable…guaranteed!
Buenos Aires City Tour / Optional Evening Dinner and Show – Complejo Tango
After breakfast, we’re off and running on a sightseeing tour of Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan city, situated on the Plata River (Rio de la Plata). It is the eighth largest city in the world and perhaps one of the most beautiful. That is why it is known as the “Paris of South America.” After walking through its parks, along its avenues and streets, you will discover a little something from Old World Europe within each step. Renowned for its bursting cultural life, tango dancing, great grilled meats and wine, the city will fulfill every visitor’s expectations with its sophistication, charm and excitement.
After the city tour, we must be fed (Heaven forbid that we should miss a meal)! For our next “feeding,” we will head north along the river to have lunch at the famous asada, Rodizio Restaurant Costanera. After lunch we will drive to Buenos Aires’ historic district and tour specific sites such as the Plaza de Mayo, the Metropolitan Cathedral and “The Pink House” - Argentina’s version of the White House (think Eva Peron and the Broadway play/movie Evita). Buenos Aires is a magical city that everyone will enjoy!! Return to the hotel late afternoon.
The evening is free for you to enjoy the hundreds of unique restaurants, cafés, bars and nightclubs that are located throughout Buenos Aires’ charming neighborhoods. If you love Tango, then you may want to consider going to the Complejo Tango Show (http://www.complejotango.com.ar/english/index2.html). This can be a dinner and show or show only experience. Whichever you choose, you won’t be disappointed! The FoCA Hospitality Desk hosts will be happy to book this exciting dinner/show for you as well as give you additional information for this evening’s adventure.
Buenos Aires / Optional Evening Dinner and Show – Opera Pampas
Today is a “Free Day.” It is your opportunity to enjoy a leisurely breakfast and head out on your own. Yesterday’s tour of the city should have helped you to get your bearings and now you are ready to venture out and blaze new trails! In preparation, please feel free to visit with our local host at the FoCA Hospitality Desk for any help or information that you may need for your day “on the town.”
Since this is the last “on your own” evening in Buenos Aires, you must make the best of it. One suggestion for tonight is to do a dinner and show at the Opera Pampa (www.operapampa.com.ar). This is a unique show about the early days of Argentina and its traditions.” The show depicts the gaucho’s epic adventure, from the arrival of the horse in the Americas until the birth of a Nation. This is a first rate show, comparable to anything you have seen in the world, with 50 dancers and horses on stage, dazzling choreography, splendid horses of different breeds, performing spectacular equestrian feats, original music, amazing light and sound effects, fireworks, etc. It is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience...and of course, there will be food and plenty of wine!
Buenos Aires / Free Day
Today is your last Free Day and there are lots of options. You can visit charming San Telmo and enjoy the fair, the antiques, the tango dancers in the streets and have lunch at one of many local restaurants. Or you may choose to visit one of the fascinating museums. Or you may simply choose to spend the day next to the water at Puerto Madero. Whatever you choose to do, it will be wonderful...as there are no bad choices.
This evening, please join Carl and Anne for a farewell dinner extravaganza at Esquina Carlos Gardel (www.esquinacarlosgardel.com.ar). There will be delicious food, amazing wines and a wonderful tango show! What a great way to spend our last night in beautiful Buenos Aires!
Buenos Aires to the USA
After breakfast, and depending on your flight schedule, take one last stroll around Buenos Aires. Pick up some last minute souvenirs (for yourself or others) at one of the many boutiques. Perhaps a few more bottles of wine! Transfers to the Ezeiza International Airport will be arranged as the FoCA group air or per your individual flight schedules back to the USA or to wherever your final destination may be. You will arrive back in the USA on Friday, November 19th.
Carl and Anne hope that you will choose to join them on this incredible adventure to South America! This is your opportunity to visit with old friends and make some new friends. Together you will explore a whole new part of the world!!
Adios and thank you for sharing your friendship with us.
We hope to see you in November!
Carl & Anne