4 Hours In Mendoza

The capital of Argentina's wine region is fast developing a reputation as the "new Napa" for its spectacular food and wine. Just remember that Mendocinos take their siestas very seriously: most businesses close between 1 and 5, so make sure your four hours coincide with sunset.

Stroll around the public gardens in Parque San Martín, impressively lush considering Mendoza's desertlike climate. At 200 hectares, it contains a world-class zoo and golf course.

Shop for leather goods, wine accessories and gaucho-inspired gear at one of the many high-end boutiques along Avenue Sarmiento. Sol & Vino carries an intricate assortment of Asado knives—just make sure you don't store one in your carry-on.

Taste some of the region's finest Malbecs at the Vines of Mendoza, South America's only regional tasting room. The staff guides visitors through flights of boutique labels, many of which are not available abroad (vinesofmendoza.com).

Eat at Azafran, a cozy steakhouse where customers can select bottles directly from the on-site wine cellar to pair with the menu's creative contemporary cuisine. A great steak in Mendoza goes without saying; for a delicious change try the pork tenderloin glazed with pomegranate (Avenue Sarmiento 765).