Estancias, or ranches, play a huge part in Argentina’s culture and economy. In the early days these establishments were responsible for making Argentina one of the biggest meat and grain producers in world. Dotted around the vast, flat pampa we find delightful old estancias, which continue to retain their colonial elegance and charm. Perfectly juxtaposed with the cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, the estancias offer a chance to step back in time and imagine life as it was generations ago. Here one can relax, ride, watch the gauchos at work and enjoy an authentic – unbeatable Argentinian barbecue.
Estancias also give tourists the rare opportunity to stay as a guest at a working estancia in order to experience the unique gaucho ranch culture in a tranquil and beautiful setting of untamed countryside. Most estancias are over two hundred years old and still maintain traditional practices and values.
In Lobos at 115 Km from Buenos Aires, it is one of the most renowned estancias in Argentina, and the main house is a magnificent castle of French style built towards the year 1900 after the Loire castles in France, according to Argentina’s belle époque dictates, and designed by famous architect Alberto Fabre. The rest of the dependencies, of colonial style, are located in the park, which has more than 240 tree species and was designed by landscaper Carlos Thays. In addition to its exclusive assistance, its cuisine presents varied impeccable menues. Dishes made with selected ingredients are part of its delicious traditional productions.
Activities: Two illuminated tennis soft clay courts, swimming pool with diving board, horses, carriages, bikes, volley court , soccer field and English billiard.
Visitors to Estancia La Candelaria are invited to join in traditional gaucho festivities dominated by folk dancing, a gaucho show and a typical Argentine asado. The prestigious sport of Polo is played and practiced at the Estancia.
Close to Luján, on route 6, lies Estancia San Ceferino. It offers accommodations for large groups: it has thirty bedrooms and 7 meeting-rooms to house seminars, business meetings, barbecues and weddings. San Ceferino belongs to doctor Francisco Eleta, a keen collector of horsecarriages, which are neatly displayed Linder a huge shed, while his wife Hebe, is dedicated to saddles.
Apart from bucolic promenades on the coaches, activities include horse riding, swimming, volley-ball, soccer and pingpong. The food is impeccable and delicious.
Mora Spa at San Ceferino offers various activities to achieve greater well-being: massage, yoga and group activities as temazcal, the area of beauty and exclusive social gatherings original proposal.
Estancia Villa María lies on Route 205, one hour drive from Buenos Aires. Its shell is one of the most impressive examples of Tudor architecture in the Province of Buenos Aires. Villa María has 11 luxurious rooms located in its main shell. It has been specially conditioned to provide the best service to guests, who will feel immersed in a kind of well-being they will only experience at Villa Maria. The hotel has a gourmet restaurant, a bar, a wine cellar, a cigar room, billiards & board games, as well as a private room. All rooms are equipped with king-size beds or twin beds dressed with Egyptian cotton sheets and y L’occitane amenities. Some activities that may be enjoyed: Riding carts Horseback rides Outdoor swimming-pool Tennis and volleyball courts, soccer field Billiards and table tennis DVD library Board games Hikes around the lawn Bicycles.
Located one hour from Buenos Aires, loyal to the Areco gaucho tradition, the estancia built by General Richieri in 1890 has belonged to the Boelckes since 1930. They assumed the task of restoring and preserving the Italian Neo-classic style shell to open its doors to tourism in 1993. A 4-hectare park floods the pampas atmosphere with the aroma of its jasmines, lime trees and roses. Devoted to raising Hereford and Aberdeen Angus cattle, those approaching El Ombú may take part in ranch activities, saddling some pingos and going for a ride on a sulky or getting some binoculars and watching Argentinian birds. On summer middays, lunch is served in the shade of a leafy ombú: a real pampa pleasure. In the cosy and commodious dining-room, facing a large hearth, guests are treated to a wide selection of international or creole cuisine served with local wines. No stay will pass without at least one asado, the typical Argentinean barbeque of the world’s finest beef raised free-range on the estancia.
Other recreational activities include: a swimming pool with solarium; ping-pong; metegol (table football); volleyball and football; bicycle rides; golf and tennis at a friendly country club only 15 minutes drive from the estancia.
By the end of the last century, Mr. francisco Kelly , an Argentine citizen of irish descendance named his land Santa Susana as a homage to his wife, Susana Caffrey. The ranch is located in the district of Campana 40 minutes from Buenos Aires. It actually occupies an area of 1200 Hectares (2965 acres) mainly dedicated to agricultural activities, and since 24 years ago, it has also been exploited as a tourism resort receiving visitors Tuesday through Sunday every day of the year.
An opportunity to meet ‘gauchos’ in their own environment. A ride to the outskirts of the city into the countryside, the ‘pampas’, cradle of the ‘gaucho’ and the rich ‘gaucho’ tradition that was so beautifully portrayed by writer José Hernández in his famous ‘Martin Fierro’. The welcome is with delicious Argentine ’empanadas’ followed by a delicious asado criollo (barbecue) prepared in the traditional fashion, everything well accompanied by local wines. After lunch, a folklore show and a gaucho skills demonstration will complete the day.