March 02, 2011

Beyond Buenos Aires: Estancia Experience

Discover Argentine Culture at Estancia Los Patos

Argentina is famous for its pampas, and for its gauchos, the strong, dark, mythical cowboys of the Argentine plains. Visiting an estancia, on e of the large farms set on the unending pampas, is a memorable experience, and more and more private estancias are opening their gates to visits and overnight stays.

Should you visit one of the distant estancias, you should allow two or three days to be able to absorb the atmosphere of the pampas. If you don’t have so much time, you should take a private full day tour to learn about gaucho culture and experience the traditional estancia lifestyle.

Our Experience

We spent a day out at an Estancia called Los Patos about 120 km out of Buenos Aires City. Angel and his sister Silvina welcomed us and while we had delicious tapas and drinks, they gave us an in-depth introduction of the life in the pampas.

We were given a ride on a horse and we were able to watch the gauchos showing off their horsemanship skills which were extraordinary and impressive.

The highlight was the “asado” (barbeque) which can only be described as a banquet- with unlimited drinks and unlimited offerings of meats, salads and typical dishes. This was followed by a private Tango Lesson - the best of which was a tango dance display which was highly emotive.

After hitting the dance floor, we decided to take a Polo lesson and we practiced polo on beautiful horses. Estancia Los Patos is any polo lover’s dream. There you can indulge in your passion for this popular Argentine sport. Learn about its history and how to play with the help of a professional player.

The experienced players at the on-site polo clinic instruct guests of all levels. Alternatively, take part in a game or just sit back and watch.

What to do:
Bird Watching: The plains and lakes of the pampas surrounding the estancia are home to a huge variety of birdlife. Many birds can be seen within the estancia grounds.

Horse-back riding over the plains

Enjoy the breathtaking pampas landscapes, with vast plains and spectacular sunsets, on horseback, driving cattle and sheep with a gaucho.
There are many activities to do in the Estancia: biking, shooting, horse back riding lessons, herding cattle with gauchos and bird-watching provide opportunities to explore the pampas. Another option is simply lounging: by the pool in summer, enjoy delicious mealtimes and learn about history and traditions in the pampas surrounded by a fabulous landscape.

You will take with you special memories that will never be forgotten. Estancia Los Patos is an authentic traditional working ranch which makes it an ideal contrast to the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires.

Other Experiences Options:

Traditional ‘sulky’ horse cart rides; culinary classes; Jineteada (local rodeo).

Please ask your Ideas Travel Consultant for more details about these options.

Easy Add-Ons:
Holidays to an estancia can be combined with a stay in Buenos Aires or a winery estate or a number of other destinations, including Patagonia, Iguassu, Salta and Mendoza Wine Country.

March 01, 2011

Visit Tigre and Delta of the Paraná River


Best Side Trip

The Delta is a limitless source of untouched nature. You’ll be astonished by the verdant green tranquillity of this natural escape, just 45 minutes north of the city of Buenos Aires. We strongly recommend you to sail the Paraná River while you come to know the islands that make up the 5th largest delta in the world.

The Paraná is South America's second longest river, after the Amazon. It originates in southeastern Brazil at Paraíba and Grande Rivers, flows 1,600 miles (2,570 km) through Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and when it joins the Uruguay River to form Río de la Plata estuary, the delta region is known as Tigre.

The Paraná River delta is a 14,000 square kilometre area where thousands of islands and inlets, water channels, rivers and backwaters form a sub-tropical wonderland about twenty miles northeast of Buenos Aires. Many “porteños” choose this popular destination for a day outing or a weekend getaway.

Attractions along the Parana River and the Tigre Delta include fine examples of colonial architecture, wooden bridges, green islands, inlets, boat tours, places to stay and eat, and additional recreational activities.

Tigre is a pretty little town where from the main station, the Estación Fluvial, you can wander about the town, get a boat ride or enjoy a meal at one of the local restaurants. Tigre is still an important timber processing port. The “Puerto de Frutos” (fruit port) is now a crafts fair located in the old fruit market by the riverside. The Naval Museum is also nearby. Antiques shops, riverside restaurants and pubs, the casino and Parque de la Costa, an amusement park and its renowned natural beauty make Tigre a popular tourist destination throughout the year.

If you are looking for new sensations and experiences, this visit is ideal for you. Sail the channels surrounded by green vegetation and beautiful landscapes. After sailing an hour and a half you will arrive at an exclusive lodge where you will taste typical dishes and engage in outdoor activities.

For locals and tourists alike, vintage mahogany commuter launches and motorboats are the favourite way to travel through its web of inter-connecting rivers and streams. English-style rowing clubs, countless marinas, humble dwellings and elegant mansions from the “Belle Époque”, such as the Tigre Club, are to be seen, as well as small pensions and upscale lodges, restaurants, teahouses and simple picnic sites.

If you visit the Delta, the restaurant that we strongly recommend you to visit and have lunch on a sunny day is called Gato Blanco . If you are want to visit a Spa 20 minutes away from Tigre Station, we suggest Delta Eco Spa relax resort where organic and delicious food is served.

You can rent a canoe or a kayak and paddle yourself around. You can take a guided tour of some of the channels or you can take a several days cruise on a motor or sailboat to really relax and see the delta. You can amend the tour and program anyway you wish.

We can help you make the arrangements. Send us an e mail to Ideas Turisticas.