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Montalcino06 Jan 5th, 2010 09:17 PM

Argentina/Chile Travel Recommendations
My husband, 1 year old daughter and I are headed to Argentina & Chile Jan. 31-March 18. It's a last minute trip so we are still in the process of putting our plans together and I was hoping for some input. We are thinking about the following itinerary:

Jan. 30 - Lima to BA
Jan. 31-Feb. 2 Iguazu Falls
Feb. 2-7 BA (we already have an apt rented)
Feb. 7-17 Mendoza
Feb. 18-24 Bariloche
Feb. 24-25 Lake crossing to Puerto Varas
Feb. 25-26 Puerto Varas
Feb. 26-Mar. 8 Patagonia
Mar. 9-18 Santiago, wine country, Valparaiso/Vina del Mar

We were thinking about doing a cruise in Patagonia but weren't sure it would be a great idea with the baby. Any thoughts on that? If we do book a cruise, I hear Skorpios is the way to go...

We are wine fanatics and are doing our research on wine country plus have some hookups to a few wineries through US wineries with which we are acquainted. But, we would love suggestions for things to do in both wine countries that are not related to wine.

General thoughts on our itinerary and any suggestions for activities and restaurants (we are also foodies) in each location would be great. Thanks!

HappyTrvlr Jan 6th, 2010 09:54 AM

When you travel through the Casablanca Valley between Santiago and Valparaiso, you should include a visit to Matetic Vineyards( and Kingston Vineyards. The restaurant at Matetic is excellent and their winery is state of the art..

Montalcino06 Jan 6th, 2010 08:37 PM

Thanks. Matetic is on our list and Kinston is one of the ones we have been hooked up with through our US contacts. Would you recommend staying in Santiago and making that the jumping off point for visiting wine country or would you recommend staying in wine country?

HappyTrvlr Jan 6th, 2010 08:50 PM

We stayed in Santiago and Valparaiso..also Zapallar to the north, and at Matetic. Matetic's Casona is lovely but doesn't have a/c and no windows rather large French doors which need be opened to the outside. I would visit the Casablanca Valley from Valpariaso and Santiago, good roads. Chileans are such warm, friendly and kind people. I highly recommend a meal at Matetic's restaurant. Be sure to reserve a tour in advance at both wineries.

screen_name_taken Jan 8th, 2010 09:14 PM

I might be butting in where I shouldn't, but ...
Stay in Santiago or Valparaiso, not in "wine country" (Casablanca) if at all possible.

Casablanca is barely an hour + away from Stgo, even less from Valpo, and accomodations should be much better and plentiful than Casablanca, not to mention the rest of what's around in both Stgo and Valpo.

I don't quite understand what you mean by "both wine countries". There are vineyards in Casablanca (NW of Stgo, SW of Valpo.), outskirts of Stgo, and also more than you'd think south of Stgo. Which do you mean?

Huentetu Jan 9th, 2010 05:56 AM

Casablanca is easily visited from either Santiago or Valparaíso. The Colchagua valley really needs at least an overnight but is well worth a stay as it has the best infrastructure for visitors. There are several valleys you can visit.

HappyTrvlr Jan 9th, 2010 08:38 AM

I highly recommend staying at Casa Higueres in Valparaiso. Beautiful, well located, excellent food and amazing staff.
You can easily visit the winieries from there or Santiago.

Montalcino06 Jan 10th, 2010 05:15 PM

Thanks for the great advice. We are planning to visit wineries both north and south of Santiago and we wanted to spend some time in Valpo as well. Sounds like we would be best off staying in Santiago for visits to wineries south of the city and then staying in Valpo ({or Vina del Mar?) for some beach time and visiting wine country north of Santiago. The only winery we have set up is Kingston. We also plan to visit Matetic and Clos Apalta. Are there others that any of you think are a must?

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