Uruguay & Argentina: Tango, Vino & Patagonian Glaciers
Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.
Montevideo, UruguayOctober 18
Arrive in Uruguay’s capital city and check in to your River View Room at the Hyatt Centric, situated on the beautiful waterfront promenade, the Rambla. After an afternoon at leisure, join your fellow travelers at the Tango Museum La Cumparsita. La Cumparsita was composed by the Uruguayan musician Gerardo Matos Rodriguez in 1917 and is among the most famous and recognizable tangos of all time. After a tour of the museum, enjoy a wine tasting followed by a welcome dinner and a private tango presentation.
Montevideo / Punta del EsteOctober 19
This morning, embark on a walking tour of the city’s historic center. Begin at Constitution Square, the oldest plaza in the city, flanked by the Metropolitan Cathedral and Colonial Town Hall. Continue to the Solis Theatre for a guided tour of the venue where Carlos Gardel used to tango. View the monument dedicated to national hero José Gervasio Artigas and his mausoleum in Independence Square, then drive to the imposing Uruguayan Legislative Palace. In the Central Farmers Market, observe a bounty of foods and fresh local produce, then visit the Centenario Soccer Stadium where the very first World Cup final was played—and won by Uruguay—in 1930. In the Mercado del Puerto, enjoy a glass of the traditional drink medio-medio, a mix of white wine and sparkling wine. Continue to the Estancia La Baguala, located on the shores of the La Plata River, for more wine tasting; you’ll even try a few wines from the Tannat grape, considered to be the national grape of Uruguay. During your tasting the chef will explain the secrets of typical Uruguayan asado, traditionally cooked in a parrillero, a wood-fired oven. Afterwards drive to Punta del Este, known as the St. Tropez of Uruguay for its miles of beautiful, pristine beaches, exclusive resorts, and glittering nightlife. Check in to your Ocean View Room at the Grand Hotel with the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Punta del EsteOctober 20
After breakfast, become better acquainted with Punta del Este. At Portezuelo and Punta Ballena take in sweeping views of the coast, then visit the Museum Casa Pueblo, home and atelier of the famous Uruguayan artist Carlos Paez Vilaro. The dazzling white complex, resembling Spanish-Moroccan architecture, is situated on a rocky bluff overlooking the ocean. Vilaró built it in 1958 with his own hands, using only traditional tools. Narrow steps lead to a maze of rooms scattered on different levels and filled with the artist’s works. Drive through the elegant residential areas of Punta del Este, such as San Rafael, Cantegril, Parque Golf, and Beverly Hills to our lunch venue—Restaurant Lo de Tere which offers seasonal products, the best Uruguayan beef, fresh seafood, and a selection of the most prestigious Uruguayan wines.
The afternoon is free to explore Punta del Este and its beaches on your own. Take a walk along Gorlero Avenue, visit the art galleries, grab a coffee at a beachfront café, or go shopping on 20th Street, where many great designers have their boutiques.
Punta del Este / Colonia del Sacramento / CarmeloOctober 21
After breakfast, depart overland for Colonia del Sacramento. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, then embark on a tour of this charming town on the shores of the La Plata River. Visit the San Carlos Bullfight Arena and San Benito Chapel, as well as charming neighborhoods and shopping areas. Then take a walk through the pedestrian-only Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded in 1680 by the Portuguese, in the historic center you will find the old city gates, the atmospheric “Street of Sighs,” the ruins of the San Francisco Church (the oldest ruins in Uruguay), the Lighthouse, Governor’s House, the Sacramento Basilica, and other captivating sites.
Afterward, continue to Carmelo. Set along the shores of the Río de la Plata, it is perhaps Uruguay’s best-kept secret—boasting golden, riverfront beaches, quaint cobblestone streets, and an up-and-coming wine region. Check in to your Bungalow Room at the Hotel Carmelo Resort & Spa.
Carmelo / Fray Bentos / CarmeloOctober 22
Today, take a scenic drive to the small Uruguayan town Fray Bentos, once called the “Kitchen of the World.” Here, in 1863, the German-British Liebig Extract of Meat Company was established and produced meat extract, tinned beef, and by-products that fed generations of Europeans and allied troops during World Wars I and II. At the Museum of the Industrial Revolution, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, view the machinery used to process meat, an 1893 Merryweather water pumping machine, a complete canning plant, a laboratory, and hundreds of photos showing the workers’ lives at the Liebig Company.
Return to your hotel in Carmelo for an afternoon at leisure. This evening, go to the nearby vineyard and estancia (ranch), Finca Narbona, for a tasting of their exclusive wines and homemade cheese. Dinner will be served in The Cave, delightfully decorated with candles, a long wooden table, antique candelabra, and vintage barrels from France. After more wine, cheese, and a superb dinner, enjoy famous dulce de leche pancakes, a typical Uruguayan dessert.
Carmelo / Colonia del Sacramento / Buenos Aires, Argentina / Mendoza / Uco ValleyOctober 23
After breakfast, transfer to the ferry for your journey to Buenos Aires, the political, cultural, and economic center of Argentina. Enjoy lunch along the riverfront before transferring to the airport for your flight to Mendoza. Check in to your Deluxe Villa at The Vines Resort & Spa, nestled at the base of the Andes.
Uco ValleyOctober 24
A combination of high altitude, alluvial soils, and more than 250 sunny days per year, makes the Uco Valley a premier grape-growing region. Join local guides to visit world-class vineyards and wineries where you will learn about growing techniques and sample a variety of vintages accompanied by perfectly paired snacks. Your day ends with a typical Argentine asado among the vineyards.
Uco Valley / MendozaOctober 25
This morning, return to Mendoza and check in to your Andes Room at the Mendoza Park Hyatt with the rest of the morning at leisure. An afternoon city tour takes you to the Franciscan ruins, various plazas, and San Martin Park, a beautiful green space with a large artificial lake. Your tour ends at the delightful Zampa Restaurant for a dinner of tapas.
Mendoza / Buenos Aires / El Calafate / Bahia Tranquila / Glacier CruiseOctober 26
Today, board your flight for El Calafate via Buenos Aires. Upon arrival, transfer to Bahia Tranquila and embark the elegant M/V Santa Cruz for an expedition to the Southern Patagonian Glaciers. Settle in to your deluxe cabin and enjoy dramatic scenery as the ship navigates the narrow fjords; disembark for a hike before dinner on board.
Glacier CruiseOctober 27
After breakfast, disembark for a scenic hike. Back on board, the ship will cruise toward Canal Spegazzini, where you will have lunch facing the spectacular Spegazzini Glacier. Continue to Upsala Glacier where you will be able to view a flotilla of icebergs in every imaginable shape and size. The final stop of the day is Bahía Toro at Seno Mayo where you will disembark for a hike to view a lovely waterfall.
Bahia Tranquila / El CalafateOctober 28
Today the ship cruises south, making stops at the Mayo and Black Glaciers. Navigate through the Canal de los Tempanos to the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the few advancing glaciers in the world. Disembark in Bahia Tranquila and transfer to El Calafate, a peaceful town located on the shores of Lake Argentino. Check in to your Superior Room at Hotel Kosten Aike with the rest of the evening at leisure.
El Calafate / Buenos AiresOctober 29
Today, visit the Glaciarium Museum, the first museum in South America dedicated to the glaciers and ice of Patagonia. This interactive museum has themed rooms, exhibitions showing recent research, multimedia programs, and audiovisuals. After this, enjoy lunch at Il Macchiatto Restaurant, and transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires. Check in to your Junior Suite at the Alvear Palace Hotel with the chance to settle in before a grand farewell cocktail party and dinner at Casa Coupage in Palermo, one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires.
Buenos Aires / DepartureOctober 30
A morning tour immerses us in the history of Argentina’s enticing tradition, the tango. We’ll explore the birth of the tango in the 19th century in La Boca, Buenos Aires an iconic neighborhood of colorful houses and vibrant cultural traditions.
After seeing tango performed in its birthplace, we’ll celebrate the golden age of tango, the 1940s, in a Milonga atmosphere. Then, at an authentic Tango Salon, we’ll share a modern tango with a champagne toast of farewell to Argentina before heading back to our hotel. Transfer to the airport for your independent homeward flight this evening.