Wine Roads of the Andes Cycling

From: $4,699

per person dbl occ

Dates: Feb-Dec - see all dates

Total Days: 10

Activity Level: 2

Reserve This Trip

1-800-622-2236

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Monday–Friday,
7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

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Price:

2014

REI member: $4,699

Non-member: $4,975

2015

REI member: $4,899

Non-member: $5,275

Additional Fees

Internal airfare: $325 - Airfare subject to change

Single supplement: $1,499

Argentina entry fee: $160

Special payment and cancellation policy applies; see Trip Details tab for more information.

Trip Dates:

2014

  • Apr 12–21
  • Oct 18–27
  • Nov 15–24
  • Nov 29 – Dec 8
  • Dec 17–26
  • Dec 27 – Jan 5

2015

  • Feb 28 – Mar 9
  • Mar 21–30
  • Apr 11–20
  • Oct 17–26
  • Nov 14–23
  • Nov 28 – Dec 7
  • Dec 12–21
  • Dec 27 – Jan 5

Or, book a
private departure.

Group Size: 4-12

Activity Level: 2

Activities:

  • Cycling
  • Walking

Accommodations:

Hotels and wine lodges, 9 nights

Trip Highlights

  • Cycle along the beautiful wine roads of Chile and Argentina
  • Surround yourself with unsurpassable Andean panoramas
  • Visit the region's fine wineries, sample delicious wines, and even blend your own
  • Explore vibrant Buenos Aires and bustling Santiago
  • Ride 10-30 miles a day on quiet, mostly flat country roads

Treat yourself and your senses to the cuisine, culture, and breathtaking beauty of the wine roads of the Andes on this cycling tour through the most acclaimed wine regions of Argentina and Chile.

Beginning in Buenos Aires, we tour distinct barrios by bike and enjoy a fine meal, topping it off with an evening of traditional tango. Then it's off to Mendoza, where we sample the region's outstanding Malbecs as the experts at our featured wineries share unique insight with us. We even blend our own wines and learn to prepare a favorite regional treat with an expert chef. Travelling overland through the spectacular Andes, we stop for a stroll and scenic picnic lunch at the foot of Aconcagua, the tallest peak on the South American continent.

Crossing the border into Chile, we explore bustling Santiago, one of Latin America's most fascinating cities, before setting out on the wine roads of the Colchagua Valley where we discover the dining secrets of the locals and enjoy more great wines and rides.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Arrive in Buenos Aires, a tantalizing mix of cultures.
  • Day 2 - Ride through Buenos Aires's barrios, arts district, and waterfront.
  • Day 3 - Travel to Mendoza and ride through Uco Valley with views of the Andes.
  • Day 4 - Bike to Clos de los Siete and Monteviejo wineries, Uco Valley's finest.
  • Day 5 - Sample the wines of Ruca Malen. Mix your own blend!
  • Day 6 - En route from Mendoza to Santiago, stop for a walk to Lake Horcones.
  • Day 7 - Visit Santiago's notable sites on foot including the Mercado Central.
  • Day 8 - In the heart of the Colchagua Valley, explore historical Santa Cruz.
  • Day 9 - Cycle past vineyards and farms to the award-winning Montgras winery.
  • Day 10 - Visit one last winery, and raise a glass to an amazing adventure!

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Arrive in Buenos Aires, a tantalizing mix of cultures.

    Our trip begins in Buenos Aires, Argentina. REI Adventures provides a group transfer from the airport to our hotel. The day is free to explore or rest before meeting our guide this evening. We'll walk to a lovely local restaurant and review the trip itinerary while enjoying dinner and some of Argentina's most distinctive wines. Dinner included.

  • Day 2 - Ride through Buenos Aires's barrios, arts district, and waterfront.

    We set out to explore Buenos Aires with a bike tour of the city's diverse "barrios". We'll cycle through the arts district of San Telmo, along the bustling waterfront, and through the Plaza de Mayo. Following lunch, we set out to ride through the exclusive Recoleta neighborhood before ending our day in vibrant Palermo. This evening we explore the celebrated tradition of Tango. Try a few steps yourself during a tango lesson with the locals at an authentic venue. Breakfast and lunch included. Dinner is on your own.

    Cycling: 5 miles; Hours in the saddle: 1; Terrain: Flat, on paved roads and bike paths.

  • Day 3 - Travel to Mendoza and ride through Uco Valley with views of the Andes.

    Early this morning, we transfer to the Buenos Aires domestic airport for a flight to Mendoza, one of the largest wine producing areas in South America. A short drive brings us to Familia Bonfanti, a small family-owned bodega serving superb wines. We'll enjoy a wine tasting and then transfer to the town of Tupungato in the Uco Valley for lunch. In the afternoon we'll set out on our first bike ride in the wine country to experience breathtaking views of the towering Tupungato section of the Andes. This evening we will meet with a local chef and learn how to prepare a favorite regional treat, delicious empanadas! We spend the two nights at a lovely resort in the Uco Valley. All meals included.

    Flight time: ~2 hours; Cycling: 27 miles; Hours in the saddle: 3; Terrain: Flat on paved roads.

  • Day 4 - Bike to Clos de los Siete and Monteviejo wineries, Uco Valley's finest.

    Our morning ride features two of the Uco Valley's finest wineries. We begin with a visit to Clos de los Siete, a joint venture initiated by the world-famous French winemaker Michel Raolland. We then ride along the bodega's inner roads beside the foothills of the Andes to Monteviejo Winery before our lunch stop at a favorite local hotspot, Posada del Jamon. Here, we'll eat a traditional asado lunch (Argentine barbecue) with magnificent views of the Andes. From our lunch stop, we'll stroll a few miles back to our lodging. The afternoon offers leisure time as well as an optional second bike ride at the foothills of the Andes. Breakfast and Lunch included. Dinner on your own.

    Cycling: 22-35 miles; Hours in the saddle: 2.5 (add 1-2 hours for optional ride); Terrain: Mostly flat, paved and unpaved roads.

  • Day 5 - Sample the wines of Ruca Malen. Mix your own blend!

    A lovely two-hour ride through the Uco Valley, followed by a short van transfer, leads us into the heart of indigenous Mapuche to sample the award-winning wines of Bodega Ruca Malen. We'll also have the opportunity to blend a variety of red grapes to produce our own unique wines – a truly memorable experience! After lunch at the winery, the afternoon is free to relax at our next lodge or you can opt to cycle in the surrounding countryside. Breakfast and lunch included. Dinner on your own.

    Cycling: 20 miles; Hours in the saddle: 2; Terrain: Mostly flat, on paved roads.

  • Day 6 - En route from Mendoza to Santiago, stop for a walk to Lake Horcones.

    We depart Mendoza in our private van, to make the journey across the Andes to Santiago. Our road brings us to the foot of colossal Mt. Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas. At Aconcagua Provincial Park we'll stop for a short walk (weather permitting) to Lake Horcones for the dramatic views of Aconcagua's impressive South Face and a delicious picnic lunch. Resuming our journey through the Andes, we'll pass through customs as we cross into Chile and arriving into Santiago in the evening. Breakfast and lunch included. Dinner is on your own.

    Van transfer: 3 hours; Walking: 1 hour on easy terrain, at altitude.

  • Day 7 - Visit Santiago's notable sites on foot including the Mercado Central.

    A walking tour of Chile's vibrant capital city provides a wonderful introduction to Santiago. Among Chile's most precious treasures are its well-known mariscos (seafood), and the best Chilean chefs obtain their seafood from the historic and impressive Mercado Central. We'll enjoy lunch at this site before continuing our walk to visit some of Santiago's notable historic sites. The remainder of the afternoon and evening are free to explore or rest. Breakfast and lunch included. Dinner on your own.

    Walking: 2-3 miles, 3 hours. Terrain: paved city sidewalks.

  • Day 8 - In the heart of the Colchagua Valley, explore historical Santa Cruz.

    Some of Chile's favorite wines are produced in the Colchagua Valley south of Santiago. We'll head straight for the heart of the valley to the town of Santa Cruz, where we take time to walk around the historic town before beginning our day's ride. We cycle along back roads from Apalta to the Hotel Vina la Playa, our evening's accommodations. Owned by Vina Sutil Wineries, the hotel produces a range of varietals (wines made primarily by a single named grape variety) and reserves. A wine tasting provides a deeper understanding and appreciation of the country's most emblematic wines. Breakfast and dinner included, lunch on your own.

    Cycling: 17 miles; Hours in the saddle: 3; Terrain: Mostly flat on paved and dirt roads.

  • Day 9 - Cycle past vineyards and farms to the award-winning Montgras winery.

    Setting out from the lodge on our bikes, we head to the village of Peralillo, stopping at a local bakery for coffee or pastries. There is a short shuttle, then we are back on our bikes to cycle through picturesque vineyards and farms we arrive at the Montgras winery in the Colchagua Valley. Following a picnic lunch, we return to the Hotel Vina la Playa, with free time to explore in the area before a celebratory dinner together. All meals included.

    Cycling: 24 miles; Hours in the saddle: 2.5 - 3; Terrain: Mostly flat on paved and dirt roads.

  • Day 10 - Visit one last winery, and raise a glass to an amazing adventure!

    This morning we visit the Laura Hartwig Winery in the Colchagua Valley. The Hartwig family takes great care to master their terroir - making soil, climate and grape work together in richer harmony. The vineyard's Cabernet Sauvignons are full of lavish spice and berry flavors, with pleasant touches of vanilla and chocolate. From here we will walk the vineyards to the Vino Bello restaurant for our farewell lunch. Our adventure ends this afternoon with a transfer back to Santiago for evening flights connecting to the U.S. Breakfast and lunch included.

    Van transfer: ~3.5 hours.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.

Air Travel

Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.

Bicycles

We provide 27-speed Zenith hybrid bikes for all cycling days, except in Buenos Aires where we ride urban cruiser-style bikes. The Zenith hybrid bikes have unisex-style frames of various sizes, 26 inch wheels, Shimano components, disc brakes, front suspension, flat pedals, a water bottle cage and bottle. You can bring your own shoe and pedal system, or your own pedals with toe baskets/cages/clips attached, and the guides will install them on the Zenith bike.

Price Includes

Meals as noted in the daily itinerary; hotel accommodations; guide leadership; bicycles; group airport transfers; ground transportation; winery tours, park fees.

Not Included

Airfare to trip's start in Buenos Aires and from trip's end in Santiago; any additional hotel nights; 1 lunch and 5 dinners; cost of medical immunizations; insurance of any kind; excess baggage charges; airport taxes (if any); alcoholic beverages (not included with meals, but wine tasting is included); Argentina's reciprocity fee (subject to change); gratuities to guides; items of a personal nature.

Special Payment and Cancellation Policy

In addition to the $400 deposit required to reserve your space (fully refundable up to 91 days prior to departure), the cost of the internal flight between Buenos Aires and Mendoza (subject to change) is also due at the time of registration. This payment is due in full and is non-refundable unless REI Adventures cancels your departure for any reason. If you needed to cancel your participation on this trip for a reason covered by your optional Travel Insurance plan, this flight cost would be reimbursable by that plan.

Qualifications

This trip is rated Easy Active [2]. It includes easy walking tours and cycling on both paved and unpaved roads. Everyone must be in fair (or better) physical condition, comfortable on a bike and enjoy the outdoors. Please note that we cover a fair amount of distance on this trip, traveling from Mendoza in Argentina to Santiago in Chile while crossing over the Andes. Some days of the tour involve a van transfer of 3 – 4 hours.

Weather

March and April is autumn in Argentina and Chile, so you may be traveling during picking times and when the wines are being made.  Typical fall daytime highs are in the high 60s to low 80s, dropping about 20 degrees at night into the mid-40s to mid-70s. October and November is springtime in Argentina and Chile and by December it is summertime. Expect warm, sunny days, cool nights and typically very little rainfall. Daylight lasts from 6 a.m. to nearly 10 p.m. Typically, temperatures are in the 70s and 80s, dropping to about 55 degrees at night. Higher elevations will be slightly cooler with a breeze. Strong westerly winds are common at this time.

Single Travelers

If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the single supplement fee. There is no single supplement fee for those willing to share accommodations, and we will assign you a roommate of the same gender if possible. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Wine Roads of the Andes Cycling Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. This gear list has been created to help you in choosing your equipment for the trip. Try to bring only what is necessary, as this will help you and the field staff.

Gear Checklist

Provided Gear
  • 27-speed Zenith hybrid bikes, unisex style, with flat pedals and water bottle cage
Required Gear
  • Helmet
Official Papers
  • Valid passport
  • Airline tickets
Luggage
  • One piece of luggage, wheels and a retractable handle are recommended
  • Daypack
  • Daypack rain cover
  • Luggage tags and locks
  • Security wallet or money belt
Footwear
  • Cycling shoes (see “Things to Consider”)
  • Sturdy cross-training or running shoes for longer walks/short hikes
  • Casual shoes or sandals for evenings
City Clothing
  • Sweater and/or light jacket
  • Shorts
  • Long pants
  • T-shirts
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Swimsuit
  • Sun hat
  • Dress clothes for Tango lesson in Buenos Aires. No jacket required.
Cycling Clothing
  • Cycling jerseys, short and long sleeve
  • Cycling tights or pants
  • Cycling shorts
  • Cycling raingear, jacket and pants, waterproof and breathable
  • Cycling vest
  • Arm and/or leg warmers
  • Cycling gloves, both short and long fingered
  • Headband, sweatband, beanie, etc.
  • Cycling socks
Travel Accessories
  • Water bottle
  • Sport/cycling sunglasses
  • Sunblock and lip balm
  • Toiletry kit
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Water bottle (1 is provided, or bring your own if you have a preference)
  • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries/bulb
Optional Field Gear
  • Shoe & pedal system, or pedals with toe baskets/cages/clips
  • Camera & accessories
  • Electrical adapter plug/converter
  • Ear plugs
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Watch with alarm or travel clock
  • Laundry bag, cord and soap
  • Insect repellent
  • Motion sickness remedies
  • Bike rear view mirror
  • Bike computer
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Saddle or gel seat cover
  • Favorite energy snacks / drinks

Things to Consider

  • Please remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, a change of clothing (including hiking shoes), and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
  • We recommend bright-colored bicycle clothing for visibility and safety.
  • Always test your clothing layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding.
  • If you are not bringing a shoe and pedal system (optional), you will need a shoe designed for cycling or cross training to be used with the provided flat pedals. Consider these features: lightweight, closed toe, designed with stiffer soles to provide more efficient energy transfer as you pedal. Stiff soles protect your feet while riding and support the full length of your foot to reduce cramping and fatigue.
  • If you bring your own saddle, please bring only the seat and not the seat post. Seat posts are not universal and will likely not fit the bike you’ll be riding. You are welcome to bring a gel seat cover for use on the provided saddle.
  • With the exception of the Tango dinner, formal attire is not required at restaurants. Comfortable, casual clothes are appropriate for sit-down meals. We suggest bringing slacks, shorts that are mid-thigh or longer, skirts, or summer dresses in fabrics that are easy to wash and wear.

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresWine Roads of the Andes Cycling
 
5.0

(based on 8 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Activity level (8)
  • Exceeded expectations (8)
  • Group camaraderie (8)
  • Guides (8)
  • Accommodations (7)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Casual adventurer (5)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • I liked the itinerary (7), Destination (6), Travel with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts (6), All the details planned for me (4), Active adventures (3)

      Reviewed by 8 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-8

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Absolutely Wonderful Vacation

      By AZWineFan

      from Scottsdale, AZ

      About Me Casual Adventurer

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Accommodations
      • Activity Level
      • Exceeded Expectations
      • Food
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides
      • Quality Equipment Provided
      • Variety
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Wine Roads of the Andes Cycling:

          First and foremost Victor, our guide for this trip, was wonderful. He and his team put together a great intinerary for this trip. Each destination, both wineries and hotels, were unique with a little something different to add to the memories.

          In each of the large cities, Buenas Aries and Santiago, we had guides that gave us nice tours. Daniel and Claudio are local and had a lot of insight and information.

          Each winery we visited had tours and tastings that were very impressive. I've never seen so many spotless wine glasses in my life.

          All the hotels were what I would consider 4 or 5 star hotels, (and I work in the hotel business). They are better than I usually stay in at home. Many of them were located in the vineyards and were very peaceful, (might be different during harvest season).

          The food was great. Again, there was lots of variety and several things I've never tried before. But it all was good. One lunch we had at a vineyard was, (still is), the best meal I've ever had. Multi-course with wine pairings and perfectly done. I may go back just for the lunch.

          I also had great travel companions for this trip. We had a small group, but the others were also REI members, so I was pretty confident that we'd get along. This certainly helped make this trip a memorable one.

          This is a vacation I am considering to take again. I can't say enough good things about the entire guide team; Victor, Jorge, Daniel, Claudio, Matias, Roxanna, Angel and the others whose names I've forgotten. The only thing I'd have to reconsider is which dates to go on. I went in December, the middle of summer, and I'd like to go again during harvest season.

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • I'm interested in the wine industry in AZ and the style of wine in South America is similar so I thought this would be a good match to my interest. It included cycling at a pretty casual level and I've never been to SA.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • Each day had a highlight as every one had something a little different. If I had to choose one, though, it would probably the day we drove over the Andes. It was clear and cold, but we could see so much and it was beautiful. Sadly, I broke my laptop on that same trip.
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • Don't worry. Pack light. The guides for this trip were great, everything is planned perfectly. I trained some for the cycling, but there was no problem completing any of the rides. I packed dress clothes which I never used. Those shoes took up space I could have used for wine.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Excellent Wine/Food with some biking

          By pmh-ftc

          from Fort Collins, CO

          About Me Light-weight Adventurer

          Site Member

          Pros

          • Activity Level
          • Exceeded Expectations
          • Food
          • Group Camaraderie
          • Guides
          • Well Organized Itinerary

          Cons

          • Quality Equipment Provided

          Best Uses

            Comments about REI Adventures Wine Roads of the Andes Cycling:

            Great about the trip:
            1. Jorge Barcelo and the staff, drivers and other guides he brought to the trip. He is knowledgeable, a good communicator, has a very good sense of humor, wants you to enjoy the trip, created a positive environment, would love to do another trip with him and his hand-picked staff. Jorge went above and beyond to take care of us.
            2. Pedaling around Uco Valley with the Andes as a backdrop to all the vineyards.
            3. Driving over the Andes and stopping for a short hike to view Aconcagua.
            4. Spending one-day each in Buenos Aires & Santiago--just enough to peak your interest.
            5. The opportunity to sample numerous wines from Mendoza and Colchagua.
            6. The excellent food at upscale as well as more humble restaurants (La Cava de El Querandi, Posada del Jamon, La Casita de Barreales.
            7. This tour had 6 people and we all got along well--so we were lucky but happy about that.

            Could be better:
            1. Hotels Esplendor (in BA), Hotel Fuente Mayor (Mendoza) & Torre Mayor Hotel all had poor A/C--the rooms were not comfortable because they were a little to really (Fuente Mayor) hot.
            2. Santiago walking tour was too long--it was supposed to a part of the day and it was most of the day. We could have skipped or spent less time walking through parks for example.
            3. Tour guide for Santiago could not talk loud enough to be heard by 6 people and we had no map to look at while we were walking around. Loved Santiago but did not think the guide cared that we could not hear him because we kept asking him to speak up and he wouldn't.
            4. The bikes were a bit beat-up. I was expecting them to look better. Mine worked fine--I brought my saddle and pedals. I would have liked to bring extenders for the handle bars (as another couple did)--but didn't know we could. However Jorge found some for me and added them to my bike by day 2 --which helped tremendously.

            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
            • Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
            • Why did you choose this trip?:
            • Wanted a wine & food itinerary with some bicycling in Mendoza & Chile. I also wanted to share it with people who were at least casual adventurers but not die-hard outdoor enthusiasts expecting rigorous activity. I was also very concerned about traveling with a group of strangers, so as a long-time member of REI (since 1983), I thought having REI in common would help attract a good group.
            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
            • There were many excellent moments on the trip. Some of the highlights: our guide Jorge Barcelo--every day; Wine-blending and five-course, paired wine & food lunch at Bodega Ruca Malen; outdoor cooking demonstration & tasting at Hotel Fuente Mayor & Resort of the empanadas and the steak dinner, prepared over an open fire; visiting Aconcagua viewing area.
            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
            • The bike rides every day are approx. 1.5 to 3 hours long on generally flat terrain. If you are a biker, this will not be enough activity for you. If you rarely ride a bike this might not be as fun of a trip as you would like. Best part of riding bike everyday it that you can pretty much eat & drink what ou would like and not worry about gaining weight.

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            For love of vineyards, pleasant biking.

            By GinaL

            from Denver, CO

            About Me Avid Adventurer, Casual Adventurer

            See all my reviews

            Pros

            • Accommodations
            • Activity Level
            • Exceeded Expectations
            • Food
            • Group Camaraderie
            • Guides
            • Well Organized Itinerary

            Cons

            • I didn't want to go home

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Wine Roads of the Andes Cycling:

              I've already booked my trips for next year!

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
              • Why did you choose this trip?:
              • Combined favorites of non-competitive biking with wine appreciation. My previous experience with REI was excellent. The co-travelers tend to be fun and interesting people; and guides have nice personalities, are well-organized and are good problem-solvers.
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • The comaraderie, fun and laughter between the fellow travelers (I was a solo female traveler, but did not feel left out or awkward among the world of traveling couples). The itinerary included things I would want to see, and there were worthwhile stops beyond just biking and wine-tasting that enhanced the whole experience. The biking was enjoyable, and completely appropriate for the rated level. And the wine tasting and meal experiences were on the whole great. The guides were qualified for their jobs,very friendly and courteous, and paid close attention to our safety (an essential consideration for an adventure trip). Everything was very-well organized and on-time. I have no negative comments except that one or two members of the trip had on-going technical problems with their bicycles (mine was fine).
              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
              • Follow the equipment list. Prepare yourself exercise-wise. Learn a few phrases in Spanish, because I have experienced that citizens of the country you're visiting really appreciate any efforts to speak their language (and don't be shy to try a few words or phrases!) It really enhances the whole experience of traveling outside of one's own hometown.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Unbelievable Trip!

              By natj03

              from Brunswick, Ohio

              About Me Casual Adventurer

              Site Member

              Pros

              • Accommodations
              • Activity Level
              • Exceeded Expectations
              • Food
              • Group Camaraderie
              • Guides
              • Once in a Lifetime Experience

              Cons

              • None

              Best Uses

                Comments about REI Adventures Wine Roads of the Andes Cycling:

                This trip was excellent! Our guide Victor was great and knowledgable. The cycling was fun, but mostly more often than not was on gravel roads. The accomadations were great! The food was excellent and the wine was superb! I want to do this trip again!!

                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                • I Liked the Itinerary
                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                • I did the Treasures of China trip in 2006 and I really liked what REI Adventures had to offer.
                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                • Mixing our own wine blends and getting to bottle and label them.
                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                • Book this trip now! If I could change anything I would go during harvest though in Feb or March

                (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Amazing Trip!!!! Loved it!!!

                By Riskphilly

                from Philadelphia Metro

                About Me Casual Adventurer

                Site Member

                Pros

                • Accommodations
                • Activity Level
                • Exceeded Expectations
                • Food
                • Group Camaraderie
                • Guides
                • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                • Quality Equipment Provided
                • Well Organized Itinerary

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about REI Adventures Wine Roads of the Andes Cycling:

                    No details to provide except to say it was a great trip beginning to end and we'd do it again and again.

                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                    • We always wanted to visit Argentina.
                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                    • There are so many. It truly was one great package - no parts of it were sub par. Both countries were amazing all around, the food and wine were stellar and the trip organized perfectly! But the highlights was the head guide - Jorge and his assistant Santiago. They were amazing professionals! Plus we met great people on the trip - we feel we'll be friends for life.
                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                    • Go in November - it feels like the equivalent of June in the NE USA. That adds to the energy. Second, you don't need all the stuff REI suggests - might lead to over packing. But 75% is useful.

                    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Fantastaic wine and bike trip

                    By Roger the wine maker

                    from Sacramento CA

                    About Me Casual Adventurer

                    Site Member

                    Pros

                    • Accommodations
                    • Activity Level
                    • Exceeded Expectations
                    • Group Camaraderie
                    • Guides

                    Cons

                    • Departure times
                    • Pickup at the airport

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about REI Adventures Wine Roads of the Andes Cycling:

                      The views were fantastic. The riding was not relaxed but can be done at your own rate if you communicate your needs to the group leaders. The food and wine were exceptional. The leaders could not have been more accommodating. The city tour in Santiago could have been moved to the end of the trip to make airport transportation easier. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed the trip.

                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                        • We needed a get away over Thanksgiving
                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                        • Fantastic wines, great guides, wonderful group of folks that made everyday a memorable experience.
                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                        • Be prepared to define and let the guides know your level of participation so that they can meet your needs.

                        (10 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        A wonderful trip!

                        By Sara W

                        from San Francisco, CA

                        About Me First-Time Adventurer

                        Pros

                        • Accommodations
                        • Activity Level
                        • Exceeded Expectations
                        • Group Camaraderie
                        • Guides
                        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                        • Well Organized Itinerary

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about REI Adventures Wine Roads of the Andes Cycling:

                            Jorge, our main guide, and his assistants Mariela and Santiago, were all wonderful. They made the trip truly amazing for our group. They are knowledgeable, personable, and fun to be around. The places that we went and the things we did and saw were great, but it's not an exaggeration to say that everything was better because of the people leading us.

                            This is a difficult area to travel in if you are vegan or vegetarian. The food is great for meat lovers, but I found that these cultures don't really understand vegetarianism, let alone veganism, especially outside the capital cities. I keep a vegan diet at home, but decided to eat dairy and eggs when necessary on this trip. It was difficult, but possible, to maintain a vegetarian diet by eating eggs and cheese. I frankly don't see how you could maintain a vegan diet outside the capital cities, unless you brought a lot of your own food, or unless you can pretty much exist on salad. And speaking of salad, watch out for tiny pieces of chopped ham in salads and other "veggie" dishes. Pasta is usually a safe bet in Argentina (vegetarian, not vegan), but make sure to specify no ham or meat of any kind. Be aware that they don't always think of ham as meat. Chile is even more difficult because pasta is less prevalent. Also be aware that empanada dough is often (usually?) made with lard. The guides are helpful in communicating with waiters about dietary restrictions, but they're not always with you at every meal, and even they are not always aware of the extent to which restaurants will add meat to otherwise veggie dishes.

                            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                            • Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                            • Why did you choose this trip?:
                            • I wanted to see South America, I love wine, and I wanted to have some activity and exercise along the way. This seemed like the perfect trip for me, and it was.
                            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                            • Trying so many amazing Argentine and Chilean wines.
                            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                            • I went in December (summer in S. America) and it was very hot, making the biking more difficult than it would be in cool weather. I would advise maybe going a different time of year if you want a less strenuous activity level. I would also think twice about going on this trip if you are a strict vegan (see more below re food issues).

                            (14 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Far Exceeding Exceptations!

                            By greggoindenver

                            from Denver, CO

                            About Me Avid Adventurer

                            Pros

                            • Accommodations
                            • Activity Level
                            • Exceeded Expectations
                            • Food
                            • Group Camaraderie
                            • Guides
                            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                            • Quality Equipment Provided
                            • Well Organized Itinerary

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about REI Adventures Wine Roads of the Andes Cycling:

                                This trip is more than just wine. Its more than just biking. It is an exploration of the cultures and history that has shaped the wine-making process across these two South American countries.Our guide, Jorge [*], brings a passion about wine and the outdoors that makes the experience unforgettable. Like a well-written and nail-biting novel, we found ourselves at this trip's conclusion realizing exactly why and for what reasons we visited each of the locations on this itinerary.From seeing the jaw-dropping architecture of Mendoza's biggest and most-known vintners to the simplicity of others in Chile's Curico valley, we left having biked a lot and learned more than we ever expected about wines, foods, and the pure emotion that is this part of the world.This is not an experience that you'll get by simply flying here and building a tour yourself. With Jorge and his team, we feel like we truly understand the South American wine and food culture more than we ever expected. Thanks, Jorge!

                                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                • My wife and I were looking for a trip that combined our love for wine with an active itinerary. We wanted to see a completely new part of the world, and learn a bit about wine at the same time.
                                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                • It would absolutely be the opportunity to *create* our own wine! Using raw materials from one of the wineries we visited, we sampled, mixed, sampled some more, and eventually created two different blends that we could call our own.
                                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                • Come on this trip! Prepare for lots to do, just enough down time, fantastic food, and an intelligently designed itinerary that's specifically created to show the traveller the important differences between the vintages, grapes, and geographic valleys across two different countries.

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