Just outside the city of
acres and acres of flat fields, which is home to Argentina
Estancia traditions. This wild, untouched land of the pampas is a great place
for eco-tourism adventures, for learning about the daily lives of the gauchos,
to participate in all the works carried out in the Estancias, such as cattle
marking, cow milking, cattle handling, sheep shearing and horse taming,
horseback riding, hunting, fishing and other sports like Polo. Buenos Aires
Many of the estancias offer their guests all of the amenities found in luxury hotels, but in the tranquility of a rural setting. While some estancias are known more for their horseback riding activities and facilities, others are famous for their Polo exhibitions.
Estancias play a huge part in
culture, economy and history. In the early days these establishments were
responsible for making Argentina
one of the biggest meat and grain producers in the world. They are large farms
which are spread over extensive areas, often 10,000 hectares. Estancias in the
southern South American grasslands, the pampas, have historically been estates
used to raise livestock (cattle or sheep) estate. Argentina
These enormous ranches dotted the entire countryside and are to this day where the best steaks in the world come from. For Argentines, superlative beef is not just a pastime but a national obsession, with more than 50 different cuts of meat that are offered in many restaurants.
Estancias also give tourists a rare opportunity to stay as a guest at a working ranch and to experience the unique gaucho culture in a tranquil and beautiful setting of untamed countryside. Most estancias are over two hundred years old and still maintain a daily way of life that is firmly grounded in traditional practices and values. Many are restored colonial houses, and each is unique.
Estancias and the life of the Gaucho are entwined
Estancias also are known for their excellent cooking, especially when it comes to barbeque, which usually means fresh local meats of lamb and beef with vegetables from the garden. Some chefs may even let you in on their recipes. It is also common to see a group of people at a fire playing the guitar in the evenings. If you know Spanish and can hold a tune, expect to be asked to join in!
Gauchos, much like the American Cowboy, have become a national icon, their lives retold in stories and legends. However, what passes for myth in the
United States is very much reality in .
Today they are still very much an integral part of the working estancia. Also
like the cowboys, gauchos are master horsemen. It is typical to see a
jaw-dropping taming or a horse show arranged in many towns on a daily basis, as
well as impromptu ones staged out in the fields during the cattle drives. Argentina
What to Expect on your Estancia Visit
While some are known more for their horseback riding activities and facilities, all estancias invite guests to experience their unique culture. You'll get a giant-sized taste of asado, traditional Argentine barbeque, empanadas (stuffed bread or pastry) and plenty of other local specialties, which often include dishes for which
is not as well known for such as finest freshwater fish offerings. Argentina
The typical Argentine estancia is a mansion in a combination of French, English, or colonial architectural styles, with the main residence usually having been converted to receive guests. These elegant and historic buildings overlook vast expanses of countryside where cattle, sheep, goats, and horses graze.
Specialized Estancias: Horseback Riding and Showmanship
Some estancias specialize in breeding horses and offer ideal conditions for travelers wanting the ultimate horseback riding vacation. Ranging from beginner to expert levels, these ranches usually offer guided trail rides, polo lessons, and a chance to ride along with the gauchos as they go about their daily ranch activities. There are even a few that will let small groups of guests take on roles almost to the point of being a gaucho for a week or more. At the other extreme, some ranches also have their own tack shops and will outfit a guest in gaucho apparel and equipment whether he or she ever rides a horse. Those estancias that cater more to serious riders tend to be located to the north and far south of
Learn more about San Antonio de Areco
Other estancias, while offering horseback riding for guests, also have regularly scheduled events on site that demonstrate the unique skill of the estancia's gauchos. On these ranches, a visitor usually will see gauchos displaying their world-class horsemanship as they break a young horse or display showmanship of their considerable equestrian talents.
Finding an Estancia near
For many visitors, a trip to
means a stay in and around . For those looking for equestrian showmanship or
opportunities to soak up the estancia culture without the need to test their
horseback riding skills, there are dozens of locations within an hour's drive
west and southeast of the city. Buenos
For a more complete visit, you can stay for a number of days in the acres and acres of the rolling fields known as the Pampas, arguably the true home of
estancia traditions. Argentina
Contact our experienced Travel Advisors and share your thoughts with them. Taking your preferences into account, they will help you plan your visit to the Estancia that will meet your expectations.