No trip to Argentina is truly complete without sampling rural life at an estancia. Horsemanship and a love of the outdoors are fiercely ingrained in the national psyche, and during your stay you will have the chance to experience the much-loved Argentine countryside as you ride through soul-stirring landscapes beneath the vast skies of the pampas. This is Argentina's rural heartland, and a warm welcome is assured.
Estancia Los Potreros
Let a deep sense of history rush over you as you ride across the rolling open hills, sierras and meadows surrounding Estancia Los Potreros, an Anglo-Argentine working cattle ranch near Córdoba. The 200-year-old ranch house has been in the same family for generations and great care is taken to ensure that guests are comfortable, both in and out of the saddle. With 50 excellent, responsive horses, riding is the main draw card here, but non-riders and beginners are welcomed warmly. Besides riding, guests can take part in polo matches, walking and birdwatching, and there is an outdoor pool to enjoy on relaxed summer afternoons.
Estancia Nibepo Aike
The only working ranch within Los Glaciares National Park to accept guests, Estancia Nibepo Aike is a sweet and charming hideaway with just five cosy rooms. Furnished with local textiles and country-cottage florals, the guestrooms and lounge have a homely ambience and, after a long day enjoying the idyllic surrounds on horseback or on foot, a seat in front of the open fire is the perfect way to relax. Here you are warmly invited to take part in everyday Patagonian life by watching the gauchos herd cattle and shear sheep or getting involved in the farming activities.
Estancia Huechahue is a rider’s paradise: if you dream of living the life of the gaucho on a typical Andean cattle ranch, Huechahue will live up to your expectations and then some. A self-sufficient working farm belonging to an old Anglo-Argentine family, the estancia is located in a remote part of the eastern cordillera with views of the snow-capped Lanín volcano and open plains for riders to gallop across to their heart’s content. Besides riding, activities on offer include rewarding hikes, ancient Mapuche indian caves and rafting on the Chimehuin river. The area is also prime location for birdwatching, with a nesting cliff for condor nearby.
Estancia La Sofia Boutique Hotel & Polo Resort
With just six guestrooms, Estancia La Sofia Boutique Hotel & Polo Resort in the pampas offers personalised service and a heartfelt welcome. Horsemanship is central to the life of the property; there is an included daily ride lasting around an hour or two which is adapted to your level of riding experience (being a complete beginner is no hindrance to enjoyment). Polo lessons are also offered at extra cost by the genial owner, a former international polo player, and are highly recommended. Beyond the charming main house, there is an attractive swimming pool surrounded by immaculate lawns, while the horses are free to graze in the tranquil grounds – a particularly striking scene in the early morning mist.
Rincón del Socorro
Once part of a cattle ranch, Rincón del Socorro's historic estancia building has been converted into a small, atmospheric guesthouse, its walls adorned with images of the region’s wildlife. A haven of rural tranquillity nestles on the fringes of the remote Iberá wetlands in Argentina’s balmy north-eastern corner, home to an impressive array of fauna including river otters, capybara, alligators and over 340 species of birds. Cooling tiled floors, whitewashed walls and an outdoor pool add to the relaxed, subtropical feel of the place. Ostriches and capybara roam Socorro’s palm-studded lawns.
Last updated: 16 Jun 2017