Home of the gaucho: Argentina’s best estancias

Argentina is famous for many things: great wine; spectacular landscapes; the tango; Maradona… but for a truly authentic taste of this South American giant spend some time at one of the country’s beautiful estancias. Home to rugged gauchos – or cowboys – estancias are places where you can get your hands dirty with activities such as cattle rearing, sheep shearing and horseback herding, or simply enjoy your surroundings with leisurely horseback rides, a game of polo and, of course, a delicious asado (barbecue). Here are some our favourite estancias in Argentina:

La Bamba

La Bamba is an imposing colonial-style house that sits amongst extensive grounds including a 600-acre cattle ranch and 32-acre park. Its beautiful red hues emerge from manicured lawns set up for a little light croquet and place to dine al fresco when the weather allows.

La Bamba

The property is one of Argentina’s oldest estancias and its location is deceiving: despite being only a stone’s throw away from Argentina’s capital city, Buenos Aires (123km to be exact), this estancia feels a world away, tucked neatly in the rolling Pampas countryside.

Monte Dinero

This is perhaps my favourite estancia in all of Argentina; its beautiful setting, wonderful people and amazing food are hard to beat. The property itself lies in the heart of Patagonia and is the family home of the Fenton’s. The property has been in the same family since its establishment.

Over the years Monte Dinero has been extended and adapted, and now houses six rooms, a library, billiards room, small restaurant and in house parilla serving some stunning food and wines. Learn the art of sheep shearing through demonstrations and visit the Cabo Vírgenes Lighthouse and the penguin colony, which neighbours the estate.

Huechahue

Huechahue is situated in the foothills of the Andes, near to the Chilean border and about 70km east of the quaint town of San Martin de los Andes. Outdoor activities are a must here and you can spend your time rafting and swimming in the river, traversing the awe-inspiring landscape on horseback, trout fishing and joining the gauchos in their daily activities, before refuelling with a traditional barbeque lunch. Don’t miss birds of prey flying overhead, or the ancient Indian drawings in nearby caves.

Huechahue

Peuma Hue

Peuma Hue is an estancia with a difference. Situated in the Nahuel Huapi National Park, this property lies on the idyllic shores of Lago Gutierrez. Marketed as a wellbeing mountain lodge a stay here is a spiritual experience, where yoga and wellness treatments go hand in hand with horse riding and hiking. One of the guides is even a horse whisperer! Surrounding the property is 500 acres of countryside home to pristine forests, creeks, waterfalls and valleys for wandering at leisure.

El Colibri

Quite possibly the most luxurious estancia on this list, El Colibri is an imposing colonial-style mansion just 45 minutes from Cordoba Airport. Despite its extravagance, this is a great property for families, honeymooners and adventure travellers alike, where activities include polo, swimming, horse riding, mountain biking and trekking.

Relax in one of the beautiful rooms or outstanding suites, the latter being luxuriously appointed with huge beds, an impressive sound system, fireplaces and separate shower and bathrooms, before enjoying a treatment at the spa. Head to the property’s clubhouse for a traditional asado and drinks, or join other guests in the living room for evening activities.

Craig Burkinshaw is a Founder Director of Audley Travel.

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Comments (6)

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  1. Maria says:

    We are going to Argentina in July. Will definitely check out these estancias, they look amazing! Would love to try living as a cowboy and do some horse back riding! The Huechahue place looks so beautiful.

  2. Hi Maria,

    If you have time I would definitely recommend spending a night or two in an estancia. It’s a great experience and the traditional barbeques are amazing! Have a great trip.

  3. Jaia says:

    Lovely blog post and really interesting ideas here. We adore Argentina and one place not on the list that is also amazing (and one of our favourites) is Patios de Cafayate which is simply stunning, definitely worth a look. Keep them coming.

  4. Monic says:

    hello Maria

    I have a question. Is Argentina safe for lone-travel woman? Im considiring travelling there. Thank you.

  5. Leslie Van Cleave says:

    How difficult is it to reserve a room at La Bamba or El Colibri on 2-3 weeks notice? Our travel agent messed up our South American travel itinerary, which was supposed to conclude in Brazil (she did not advise us until a week ago that Americans need visas to travel to Brazil) and now she is scrambling to find us a lovely estancia to conclude our vacation in Argentina. What is our best bet?

  6. Rob Chandler says:

    We are very interested as a couple. Which of the estancias would you recommend ? My wife is a very accomplished equestrian. But we both enjoy food and drink! Lmk. Thank you

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