Some of the most beautiful Estancias in South America are in Argentina. To find out more about these Argentinian ranches read our guide for facts & information…
An estancia is a ranch in Argentina. Many people are familiar with the romanticized gauchos, the Argentine cowboys who worked the vast cattle estates of the central plains region of the country. Although some of the estancias are now primarily tourist resorts, there are still working ranches in the region, some of which also accommodate guests.
The pampas are an 800,000 mile area of Argentina where most of the estancias are located. A flat grassland with few trees, the area is perfect for cattle and sheep. The gauchos who work these ranches have both a Spanish and native tradition. Courteous and hospitable, they live without most modern conveniences in a way that has changed little in 300 years. Most estancias identify more with European traditions than with those of the natives of the area.
The main homes of these ranches are large and many are historic. Built in a combination of English, French and colonial styles, many have been transformed into guest accommodations. Cattle ranching often does not provide enough income for the upkeep of these estates and providing accommodations and entertainment for tourists helps make up the shortfall.
Estancias near Buenos Aires
There are several estancias within easy driving distance of Buenos Aires that are perfect for a day trip. The accommodations range from first class with full room service to private apartments with kitchens. One of the oldest estancias near Buenos Aires is Santa Rita which was built in 1790 and has been fully restored. Estancia Villa Maria is only 31 miles from the city and offers the amenities of a first class resort, while Estancia La Horqueta has a more casual atmosphere with horseback riding and nightly bonfires.
Dos Talas is among the most historic estancias in Argentina, dating back to the 16th century. It remains in the family of the founder, now in its fifth generation. At 127 miles from Buenos Aires, it is not a day trip but it is great for a weekend stay. Tourists with an interest in polo will love Estancia La Bamba and El Rosario De Areco. These ranches raise and train polo horses and offer lessons in the sport.
Argentina estancias offer something for every kind of tourist from the history buff to the dedicated horseback rider. The accommodations and prices vary and it is best to book well in advance of an anticipated stay since the most popular estancias seldom have vacancies. It is possible to stay in estancias close to Buenos Aires and enjoy rural activities during the day while traveling into the city for the night life. Most guest estancias have their own websites or can be booked through a travel agent.