Region guide: Trips from Buenos Aires
By Sorrel Moseley-Williams
A 90-minute flight from Buenos Aires, Malbec lovers should spend at least two nights in Mendoza, Argentina’s most extensive wine-producing region tucked at the foot of the Andes. Luján de Cuyo is the emblematic red’s heartland, home to a cluster of bodegas open to visitors for tours and lunch. Lagarde and Nieto Senetiner both date back to the 1890s and you can peg on vineyard horseback excursions at the latter. Serious aficionados should book into De Angeles Viña 1924 and Matías Riccitelli Wines for tastings. Stay at boutique vineyard lodging Finca Adalgisa (fincaadalgisa.com).
Take a morning flight to Patagonia and you could be spotting whales by the afternoon. From June to November, embarcations depart from Puerto Pirámides, a tiny village on the Unesco-protected Valdés Peninsula, to observe the impressive southern right whale – among the world’s largest mammals, weighing in at 23 tons. Wildlife lovers can also spot orca, Magellanic penguins and sea lions at other times of the year. Fly into Puerto Madryn or Trelew in Chubut province, gateways to the peninsula. Stay at eco lodge Océano Patagonia (oceanopatagonia.com) in Puerto Pirámides.
This northwestern province is home to the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a fascinating Unesco cultural heritage site that’s a two-hour flight from BA. This vibrant canyon was conquered by the Inca, and its adobe houses and Inca influence is still obvious today. The Siete Colores (Seven Colours) hills in Purmamarca are best seen in the morning, while llama trekking in Tilcara makes for a great afternoon activity. Stay at boutique lodging and spa El Manantial del Silencio in Purmamarca (hotelmanantialdelsilencio.com). The valley is also an up-and-coming wine region.