THE BEST 5 ESTANCIAS (ranches) OF BUENOS AIRES

The smell of the countryside is felt from the first moment

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THE BEST 5 ESTANCIAS (ranches) OF BUENOS AIRES

Jun 14, 2019

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The smell of the countryside is felt from the first moment

Are you looking for the best ranches in Buenos Aires?

Experience the famous Gaucho Party and enjoy the best day in the Argentine Countryside? Here you have everything you need to know about the Estancias in Buenos Aires

The smell of the countryside is felt from the first moment: glycine, grass, leather, firewood. Its DNA is also heard: the steady march of a gallop over the dry earth, the mooing of a cow, the song of the hornero, the flames of a nearby fire and the chords of a guitar that sounds more like zamba in the distance. Wherever you look, images appear that tempt us to photograph: like the man in the hat that urge the hacienda in his horse, the horse herd that awaits saddle the hour of the walk, the mud nest at the top of the ombú, the best cuts of Argentine meat on the grill (an invitation to taste), and that countryman who scratches his strings under a pergola of violet clusters. What you feel is part of the “argentine estancias" experience, a unique tourist proposal to know and live the sacred roots of the local tradition through the five senses.

A few kilometers from Buenos Aires, we can discover the gaucho spirit: the one that still wears bombachas, moves on horseback and carries a facón to the waist; also the one who respects and takes care of their lands and their people. Today, as a kind of enriching privilege, many estancias open their gates to share, for a few hours or a few days, part of that heritage as creole as it is legitimate.

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Within the rural tourism we find offers of the most varied and different categories where you can ride or practice polo, participate in gaucho festivities, folkloric shows or cuadreras races, among other native and colorful programs. How to know what to choose? Buenos Aires To Go selected the best 5 establishments so you can feel the famous hospitality and idiosyncrasy of the local ancestors and know a lifestyle that seems frozen in time. The best 5 Estancias (ranches) of Buenos Aires...

SANTA SUSANA: HOME OF THE GAUCHO RITUAL

Why do we choose it?

Because everything is perfectly planned to take a super-complete country experience in just 6 hours. Because the Rossiter family, who acquired these lands in 1960, know exactly what they do: they have been at the forefront of national and international tourist activities for 30 years and there is always someone congratulating them on their hospitality. Because they have the best empanadas criollas that anyone has ever tasted. Because the property, which was once of the descendant of irishmen Francisco Kelly and his wife Susana Caffrey (to whom the place owes its name), keeps the park and the old town as a monument to the good living of a golden age. Because we saw the happiness of Josefa when dismounting a horse: she said that she is from Quito, Ecuador; she is already retired; and travels with her friends since her husband died; that she has more years than she appears ("seventy-six", she swore, "recently"); and that for this, her first stay in Buenos Aires, she proposed to settle some debts, such as riding a horse for the first time. "Amazing, I don’t know how I didn’t try it before. I loved it! This place will be part of me forever. And I hope to visit it many more years to come. "

Because of these things, we choose it.

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What to do?

Follow the agenda to the letter, only that. Programmed to the smallest detail, a couple dressed as civilians receive visitants with an empanadas criollas reception (meat, fried, empanadas which all praise) and came in front of their pulpería; then they invite us to take a ride on horseback or in a cart traveling through part of the 1200 hectares of this estancia; the sound of the bronze bell calls for lunch (a feast of meat, chicken and roasted offal and a variety of salads) culminating in a tango and folklore show with malambo and boleadoras skills; the visit to the olt town and to the chapel follows, today turned into museums; and then, to close the visit, we participated in an exhibition of entrevero de tropillas and carrera de sortijas and cuadreras where the gaucho's mastery of his horses is demonstrated, a spectacle that closes in applause. And, if you want to take a souvenir, before the return, we recommend you to enter the Gift Shop where you can buy typical regional products at a good price (mates, light bulbs, ponchos, silverware, genuine leather accessories). Santa Susana has everything you need, and more, to make you feel 100% Argentine for a day.

Where is it located?

78 kilometers from the Federal Capital by highway. In Route 6, km 188, Los Cardales, Campana, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Estancia Santa Susana - Buenos Aires

LA CANDELARIA: FRENCH LUXURY WITH CREOLE CHARM

Why do we choose it?

Because it knows how to be up-to-date and today combines the exquisiteness of an opulent past with a minimalism that is also exquisite but more modern. For its unique park: one hundred hectares with more than two hundred and forty species of trees and shrubs, lagoon, statues, fountains and gazebos designed by the famous French landscaper Carlos Thays, the same that gave life to the forests of Palermo and the National Park Iguazú. For having preserved its castle since 1894, the work of French architect Alberto Favre, inspired by a similar one that the old owner, Manuel Fraga, saw on the banks of the Loire river, with its norman towers and gothic portico: divided into three floors, are 1,200 meters covered with baroque details, it has 10 bedrooms, several living rooms, dining rooms, libraries and exclusive details; as the main fireplace in carrara marble and a chandelier of 600 crystal beads. Because it is always renewing:  opened to the public the 5to Chukker, a restaurant with polo as its main theme, where the gourmet dishes are fused with the most authentic creole cuisine (the vedette of the menu: ravioli of gizzard). In addition to all above, because it is gay friendly.

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What to do?

Spend a field day and enjoy its typical gastronomy (roasts with export meat, empanadas and homemade desserts or their own pastry at the time of mate and tea), horse ride, ride in a vintage sulky, sunbathe in the outdoor pool, play tennis, football or volleyball, get lost in the forest trails or visit the castle. On Sundays, in addition, you will be surprised with the traditional dance show and the skills of the gauchos in a great sample of unique creole skill. You can also take polo lessons (a complete service with a cost that goes from the horses to the tacos, so that you can be encouraged to try the most authentic Argentine sport). For those who wish to stay, the estancia has 4 categories of accommodation: the castle rooms; the colonial rooms, 10 chic country style suites located in the first hull that the estancia had; in the exclusive Molino suite, 2 floors with hall and private bathroom located in the middle of the park; or in the Bungalows of the forest, two independent cabins with fireplace in rustic and country style. Oh, and you can even get married in the chapel where the remains of their first owners rest (Don Orestes Piñeiro, his wife Candelaria del Marmol, his daughter Rebeca and his son-in-law Manuel Fraga); the souls that gave life to the place.

Where is it located?

1:36 hs from the Obelisk. In the National Route No. 205, km 114.5, Lobos, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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LA BAMBA: THE SOPHISTICATION OF SIMPLICITY

Why do we choose it?

Coco Chanel would say if she had known the place: "Simplicity is the key to true elegance". The phrase could perfectly summarize the style of La Bamba de Areco: a luxury break with gourmet cuisine, which won the Relais & Chateaux category; a badge that only hold 8 lodgings in Argentina. This terracotta color old town, built at the beginning of the 19th century, was carefully recycled to become what it is today: a boutique hotel with a charming character and gaucho spirit, where each corner reveals an alchemist's talent to transform the old into modern and sumptuous in an exquisite sobriety. With works by the best, such as Alejandro Moy's polo pictures and Aldo Sessa's photographs, the common spaces (such as the watch tower library) have a touch of privacy to be enjoyed in solitude or company without anything or nobody alter the harmony during the stay.

Its 11 rooms are named after famous polo horses ("Mariposa" or "Lalabai") and are adorned with antique furniture and noble materials objects, such as wood, leather, wool and Egyptian cotton. Among its amenities, not only is the exclusivity but also the original touch: like the espadrilles that offer instead of slippers to move around the suite or the house. In the park, there are two polo fields, stables, vineyards, a swimming pool, a dining room where the table is served for the barbeque every afternoon and an old grocery store that mutated in a distinguished refuge to rest, read, have a drink or share a few mates next to the home. Chosen by María Luisa Bemberg to the film Camila and by Francis Malman for the series Amigos x la cocina, this estancia, the oldest in San Antonio de Areco, invites you to return to the essence from a cozy, friendly place, as if you were in your own home but with the best of many worlds. Because La Bamba gets its name from the Celtic word "Bahamba", which means place of rest and hospitality. And that's what you get.

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What to do?

Traditions, are always in the air: different types of roast, mate tasting, gaucho shows, folk dances, indigenous dressage and equestrian skill games (Pato, Boleadoras and Sortija) are part of a unique show that impresses locals and foreigns alike. Is that they are in charge of Martín Tatta, the horse charmer from Areco, who toured the world showing his hypnotic equine art: he arrives galloping and stops in front of the public, then raises his legs to stand on the back of the animal, keeps the balance without touching the reins and there he stand still, then goes down, hugs him, caresses his mane, leans his face against the horse, leans his body against the back and both fall almost together to the ground, Martin leans his head on the neck of the horse, the horse supports its legs on the legs of Martin, and thus they unite and commune. That is part of the Indian dressage, a meekness that does not need whiplash or violence; like the one practiced by the first settlers of these lands. The connection is magical and total confidence. Horses are undoubtedly the soul of La Bamba de Areco. Its owner, the French entrepreneur Jean-Francois Decaux, is a polo enthusiastic: he leads his own team and the estancia serves as a training base, allowing visitors to watch games. You can also take classes, if you wish and ask for it with enough anticipation. Among its outdoor activities are horseback riding guided by a gaucho, wagon tours, and also all-terrain bicycle tours, bocce game or sunbathing in the pool. For those looking for more relaxation, you can take turns and take a massage with hot stones. La Bamba invites you to spend the day or to stay for a more complete experience enjoying all its facilities and new proposals that can adapt to your taste and need.

Where is it located?

126 kilometers from the Capital, in RP 31 & RP 41, San Antonio de Areco, Buenos Aires.

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EL OMBÚ: FOLKLORE AND ROOTS

Why do we choose it?

Antes de llegar a esta estancia, hoy manejada por Eva Boelcke y sus hijos Diego y Juan Pablo Viaggio,Pereyra trabajó 31 años en “La Porteña”, el establecimiento de Ricardo Güiraldes (el autor de Don Segundo Sombra) donde conoció a su esposa y educó a sus 5 hijos. “Para nosotros, los patrones siempre fueron parte de nuestra familia. Nosotros, de la suya. Aquí, puedo hacer lo que más me gusta y mejor sé hacer, estar entre caballos y tocar mi guitarra”.

Because it has plenty of history where you look at and activities that ensure a stay of fun and relaxation. It has 350 hectares dedicated to cattle and sheep, farm and horse breeding, two outdoor swimming pools, 9 rooms and an Italian-style old town that Lieutenant General Pablo Richieri ordered built in 1880. The Ombú preserves the shadow that protected the first gauchos of the Pampa. The native Argentine tree that gave name to this estancia is still standing and is the meeting point at the time of folklore. Because after the barbecue served with a Malbec of own label in the huge gallery of the house, one of the most emblematic characters of San Antonio de Areco appears: Don Oscar Mosco Pereyra, for years, the standard-bearer of the "Day of the Tradition". Born and raised in these lands, each November, this 77-year-old tamer muleteer with a gray mustache heads the ritual of marching by waving the Argentine flag mounted on his creole horse. But now he is under the Ombú because it is time for him to do the everyday activity: share his singing, play some chacareras and dance "El Gato" with Rosa, his wife, making all the visitants wanting to tap, the shake, to dance and turn around to the beat.

Before arriving to this estancia, today managed by Eva Boelcke and her children Diego and Juan Pablo Viaggio, Pereyra worked 31 years in "La Porteña", the establishment of Ricardo Güiraldes (the author of Don Segundo Sombra) where he met his wife and he educated his 5 children. "For us, the bosses were always part of our family. And us, of theirs. Here, I can do what I like best and I can do better, be among horses and play my guitar".

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What to do?

Everything you want: guided horseback riding (there are 70 horses available for riders with or without experience), sulky rides, guitar dancing, folk dances, demonstration of Indian dressage and management of horse herds. In addition, you can take a free time in one of the swimming pools, make a bike ride, play a game of football or volleyball with friends or go to the games room (it is inside the main hull and has a pool table, foosball, toad in the hole, ping pong and reading room). For those who prefer, the quieter activities: you can practice "bird watchinges" a hobby that becomes trend (the estancia has binoculars for bird watching), join as a spectator of rural activities (milking, stock, vaccination, marking, dehorns) or, simply, choose to relax under a tree in one of its many deck chairs. The Ombú is open the 365 days of the year and has everything to spend a dream country day (with reception of empanadas and drinks, creole roast with salad for lunch and cupcakes with infusions, mate and sodas before the farewell) or join to the rural life with lodging and full allowance (where you add the continental breakfast and the fixed menu dinner with appetizer, main course and dessert).

Where is it located?

About 124 kilometers from the capital, almost 1 hour forty minutes of travel from the Obelisco porteño. It is located on Route 31, Cuartel VI, Villa Lía, San Antonio de Areco, Buenos Aires.

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DON SILVANO: PAMPEAN HERITAGE

Why do we choose it?

Because it is a unique rural space that is still in the hands of the fourth generation of Don Silvano's family: an Italian who liked to receive family and friends so much that he built the first two guest rooms to socialize, entertain and share his paradise of 380 hectares with your guests.

With a Victorian main hull dating from 1930, the heirs were adding new rooms to continue with the legacy and hospitality of Don Silvano to make the stay of the great-great-grandfather what it is today: a rural refuge open to all eager to know him. Because their renovations conserve the characteristics of the early times: like the 16 rooms with private bathroom raised in the old stable, the gaucho decoration of the salon for 400 people, and the carriages and old tractors strategically located along its wooded paths.

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What to do?

As all the proposals of rural and countryside tourism, there are plenty of horse and carriage rides, folk dance shows during a roast, carreras de sortijas, cuadreras and demonstrations with boleadoras; an ancient indigenous skill that was acquired by the gauchos of the pampas from the time of hunting prey and until the moment of dancing a malambo. It has swimming pools, bicycles, children's playground and a game room for small and big challenges: pool, foosball, ping pong, toad in the hole, and board games. Don Silvano, as for almost 90 years, invites you to stay or spend a country day so you can enjoy what you like most: share with the people you love.

Where is it located?

It is 1:15 hours away from the Obelisk. At kilometer 87,300 of Route 8, Capilla del Señor, Partido de Exaltación de la Cruz, Buenos Aires.

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TO STAND OUT BETWEEN THE BAMBA AND THE OMBÚ

SAN ANTONIO DE ARECO: CAPITAL OF THE TRADITION.

Not coincidentally, two of the five best estancias selected are in the same place: San Antonio de Areco, National Capital of the Tradition. Located 112 kilometers from the Buenos Aires, it is the cradle of the gaucho origin since the early seventeenth century, when Querandi Indians and Spanish conquistadores mixed their blood to give birth to this picturesque character who dominated and dominates the Pampean region.

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