Our final long haul bus ride in South America took us 14 hours west to Mendoza. Mendoza is the wine capital of Argentina, and most people who live and work here support the industry. The area is known for its Malbecs, but we were surprised to find quite a few varieties in this region.
Without a car or booking a tour it's difficult to reach many of the wineries, plus many are closed on the weekends. There are budget friendly biking options available, but after some internet searching we decided to book a full day tour with Trout & Wine. This way we made sure we would get the most out of our short time in the area. The tour included four winery visits and lunch.
We visited Kaiken, Alta Vista, Finca Agostino for lunch, and Carinae. Kaiken was our favorite, but it may have been because it was our first stop. Predictably, our taste buds got a little, lets say - fuzzy, as the day went on. At Kaiken we walked through the vineyard and saw great views of the nearby Andes range. After the tasting we bought a few bottles for our return to the US. The lunch at Finca Agostina was incredible. There we enjoyed a five course meal with wine pairings along the way. It was delicious! Needless to say, by our final stop late in the afternoon we were both ready for a nap. We would highly recommend this tour. It was such a convenient way to get an understanding of the region, and we thought we received a generous amount of food and wine for the price.
Back to Santiago
The following day we crossed back into Chile so we could return home via Santiago. It was a beautiful drive where we climbed to around 11,000 feet elevation before descending toward the city. This completed our five week loop, and we crossed the mark of 10,000 miles traveled in South America. In Santiago we visited the observation deck of Costanera, the tallest building in Latin America, and spent time walking around a few different neighborhoods. We ended up being there again in a Monday, so the museums were all closed. We resorted to wandering through a few parks, checking out the central market, eating in the Bellavista neighborhood, and soaking in all we could before our adventure in South America came to an end.
Chris & Taylor
Read our travel blog as we visit three continents in 2017.