I will be the first to admit that I’m extremely lucky to call New York City home, but one of the biggest drawbacks to living in what is arguably the greatest city in the world is the fact that it can make traveling to other urban destinations seem a lot less appealing.
Our trip to Argentina was the perfect example of this. The week-long journey began in the cosmopolitan capital of Buenos Aires. While the city was culturally-rich and each of the steaks we ordered were more succulent than the last, my husband and I felt that we had exhausted our city tour after just two days. The trip went from ordinary to extraordinary when we hopped on a shuttle plane and took a 90-minute flight to the magical wine country better known as Mendoza.
WHEN TO GO
We visited Buenos Aires and Mendoza in October and found this temperature to be ideal for city walking tours, bike rides, vineyard visits, candle-lit dinners outdoors, and hot-tubbing at night. In general, October through April are prime months to travel to Argentina.
WHERE TO STAY | Cavas Wine Lodge
For reasons unknown, we got upgraded to the most marvelous suite at the Cavas Wine Lodge. This idyllic, private resort is situated on a 55-acre vineyard that is surrounded by lavender fields and sweeping views of the majestic Andes mountains. This was one of the most unique and beautiful hotel stays we’ve experienced to date and I cannot recommend this hotel more. You can expect gorgeous rooms, attentive staff, good food, and remarkable views throughout the property.
During the day we rode our hotel bikes through the vineyards and at night, we sipped on glasses of Malbec while taking in breathtaking sunsets, starry nights, and a live tango performance right on the hotel grounds.
WHAT TO DO
Wining and dining at the nearby vineyards is a must. Not only are the tours educational and interactive, but many also include a delicious al fresco lunch as well.
While the wine tours were tasty and relaxing, our most memorable experience by far was our day trip to a local estancia (Argentinian cattle ranch) where we met a gregarious gaucho, ate an authentic Argentinian picnic lunch, and embarked upon a private horseback ride through the most magnificent countryside I’ve ever seen. I had never really been on a horse before, but our gaucho made sure to give me a few pointers and stay nearby as he, his adorable dog, and my husband and I galloped the day away. Our only regret is that we didn’t spend a night at the ranch. If you have the time, I’d recommend booking a room at an estancia for a truly beautiful and bucolic experience.
WHERE TO EAT | 1884 by Francis Mallman
While we typically prefer to dine at local and decidedly low-key restaurants, we had heard that this particular eatery would provide a spectacular experience for all five of our senses. The restaurant’s sexy vibe was matched by its chic and well-heeled crowd consisting of locals and some in-the-know tourists. I was immediately impressed by 1884’s effortlessly cool but elegant decor: Think over-sized striped chairs, fireplaces, and a gorgeous outdoor bar. I was also thrilled with their vast selection of freshly-baked breads. What can I say? I love my carbs. For dinner, I started with a delicious pear salad and ordered the skirt steak as my main and both were quite tasty. My husband and I shared the flan for dessert and enjoyed a few more drinks at dusk before we headed back to the hotel. 1884 is definitely on the pricey side, but if you’re looking to savor a special night out, this is a great place to spend your hard-earned pesos.
WHY YOU SHOULD GO
Wine-filled days and nights, lavender fields that go on forever, and horseback rides along a backdrop that looks too breathtaking to be real. Need I say more? Mendoza is pure magic.