In Argentina, estancias form part of the Argentine culture, which is music to the ears of horse lovers. Dating back to colonisation, many of these stunning estancias boast grand European houses with land as far as the eye can see. Nestle around the campfire or asado (barbecue) at night after a day of riding to learn more about the tradition and history of the guachos and the estancia.
Discover your inner guacho (cowboy) at Los Potreros as you spend the afternoon rounding up horses, cattle, or the deviant bulls on one of the many fabulous horses they have. If you’re desperate to ride as much as possible, you can! The highlight for many is the opportunity to ride both criollos as well as Peruvian Pasos, gallop through the boundless fields, learning to lasso or play polo with the other guests.
Set in the hills above Córdoba is this fabulous estancia – the colonial house dates back to 1895 and has been restored after its abandonment 40 years ago, retaining the spirit of the place. You can go for a short ride independently on one of the mixed criollos, all of which were born in the mountains, or if you want to ride for between 3-10 hours you will be accompanied by a guide. They also offer three-day riding safaris through the mountains; it doesn’t get much more scenic than that. After which you can relax in the pool or rivers, or enjoy some fishing – there are some great rainbow trout to be caught.
A working cattle ranch in Patagonia, Huechahue (pronounced “way-cha-way”) has been passed down through four generations of the Wood family. They have been welcoming guests since 1990 and have a whopping 15,000 acres of rugged Patagonian steppe. Maintaining traditional values and traditions, the cows graze and roam to their heart’s content, and the food is all home-grown. Ride the rolling hills, through the Andean gorges, and gallop through the vastness of Patagonia, all the while looking out for the Andean condor and eagles. Those who want to unleash their gaucho spirit are encouraged to herd cattle and horses.
Escape Buenos Aires and take some time out in these beautiful surroundings, with countless lagoons, wetlands and rivers that offer great fishing, abundant bird watching, and the perfect location for riding the criollos across the land. Keep an eye out for caiman, alligators, and capybaras, all of which are common in this area. Afterwards, you can learn how to make empanadas or relax by the pool.
Combine your wine tasting tour with a horse ride through the vines among the wine valleys. See the vines up close and personal and climb up to the viewpoints where you will see the outstretching vineyards. Once you have enjoyed your ride, you can taste some of the famed Malbec and Cabernet produced right here.
This enchanting eco-lodge is found within Argentina’s first and largest national park, Nahuel Huapi National Park in the Northern Patagonian Lake District. Discover the sublime vistas and the variety of flora and fauna by horse. Take a picnic and swim in the lake while your fiery steeds have an afternoon siesta. They cater for all ages and expertise, so there’s no excuse not to saddle up. You can also enjoy great trekking, kayaking and boat rides, as well as the wellbeing program.
Estancia Don Manuel is one of Argentina’s leading polo schools, just a short jaunt from the capital so you can be cantering along, jostling for the ball and scoring a hat trick in no time. If you want a slice of this favourite Argentine pastime, why not try the ranch day where you can get the real feel, with a large lunchtime asado, followed by watching a couple of chukkas.
La Bamba was originally one of the post houses on the Camino Real back in 1830, making this boutique, colonial estancia one of the oldest in the country. Enjoy the surroundings by horse, or if you’re feeling rather regal, by carriage. After, you can sit back and relax by the pool, or treat yourself to a hot stone massage. If you’re really lucky, you might be there at the same time as the international polo team.