Visitors who can’t make it out of Buenos Aires will find wine bars where they can sample the country’s best, and restaurants around the country carry a broad selection.
But true aficionados should spend at least a week in and around Mendoza—not nearly enough time to visit all the 100-plus wineries around the provincial capital.Destination:Activities:
San Rafael grew around its wineries, and while some have moved to the outskirts, others are central. On foot or by public transportation, it’s possible to visit four or five in a single day.Destination:Activities:
On San Juan’s southern outskirts, the locality of Pocito is home to a cluster of wineries that are worth sampling, even if they can’t match Mendoza’s size and diversity. All are on or near RN 40, the paved highway from Mendoza.Destination:Activities:
Nobody at Anillaco, at an elevation of 1,800 meters in the mountains north of La Rioja, apologizes for the widely despised former president Carlos Menem—it’s his home town, and his late father’s winery (no longer open for visits) is one of its main employers (it overoptimistically produced wines to be uncorked on Menem’s anticipated third inauguration after the 2003 presidential elections, but he withdrew from a runoff in the face of a certain crushing defeat by Néstor Kirchner).Destination:Activities:
When foreigners think of Patagonia, their first thoughts are usually of a remote region in the antipodes, where the winds blow and the snow falls. Few think of grapes and even fewer of wine grapes, but in reality, grapes grow as far south as Punta Arenas (Chile), Estancia Sara (in Argentine Tierra del Fuego), and even the Falkland Islands.Destination:Activities:
Winter blues got you down? Looking to escape muggy summer days at home? A long weekend in the exploring Baja's wine region may be just the answer.
Travelers based in the western United States can reach San Diego, Ensenada, Loreto, La Paz, or Los Cabos by air in a matter of hours. From these international airports, a variety of weekend itineraries are possible.Destination:Activities:
Riviera del Pacífico
During the U.S. Prohibition era, heavyweight boxing celebrity Jack Dempsey built a massive resort on the Ensenada waterfront called the Playa Ensenada Hotel and Casino.
On opening night in 1929, Bing Crosby and the Xavier Cugat Orchestra entertained the crowd. A local singer named Margarita Carmen Cansino joined the orchestra—and later changed her name to Rita Hayworth.
A symbol of Ensenada’s newfound prosperity, the resort thrived for a few years until the repeal of Prohibition and the onset of the Great Depression sent most of the gamblers home. Management tried reopening the hotel as the Riviera del Pacífico, but by 1938, the doors had closed for good.Destination:Activities:
The Valle de Guadalupe is an internationally recognized winemaking region that has been gaining attention from Southern California residents and the U.S. travel press in recent years. Baja California wines are shipped all over Mexico and Western Europe, but because of U.S. and Canadian trade policies, they weren’t exported north of the border until recent years. They’re still difficult to find in Canada and the United States.Destination:Activities:
You know you’ve entered the agricultural valley of Santo Tomás (pop. 400) when you start to see rolling hills covered in a carpet of brilliant green, rows of grapevines, olive groves, and fields of wildflowers.
Misíon Santo Tomás de Aquino
Dominican Padre José Loriente established this mission (1791–1849) midway between Misíon San Miguel to the north and San Vicente to the south. He planned to raise livestock and planted the first mission crops, including olives and grapes. The mission’s wine became known all over the peninsula, and the Bodegas de Santo Tomás continues the tradition today.Destination:Activities:
For first-time visitors, the key sights are the Atacama Desert and Torres del Paine, but both mean considerable flying time on a relatively short holiday. Except for Santiago to Punta Arenas (about 3 hours, a little more with a stopover) and Easter Island (5 hours) flights are less than 2 hours.
This is usually a summer itinerary—the arid but relatively cool Atacama can be ideal at any season, but most people prefer Patagonia in summer. At any time of year, though, unpredictable Patagonian weather can short-circuit even the best-planned itinerary.Destination:Activities:
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