It’s somewhat of a touristy thing to do, but hey, the Argentines do get out of the city and visit las pampas (the grassy plains) on the weekend, too. And while I’m far from being a country gal I was curious about the famed Argentine gauchos (cowboys) so I signed up for a day tour to one of the many estancias (a large ranch) outside the city.
I was picked up promptly around 9am and drove from Buenos Aires to San Antonio de Areco – in all about 70 miles away and a 1 hour and 30 minute drive. On the tour, we walked around the town of San Antonio de Areco. It was a Sunday so most of the shops were closed and there were only a few locals out and about (good thing that part of the tour was short!). Then, the good stuff. We drove to El Ombu, one of the many estancias in the area and had a totally relaxing day just hanging out at the ranch!
El Ombu also has rooms to book so there were others who were staying there for many days. For us daytrippers though, we toured the ranch, enjoyed drinks and empanadas (ohmigod, they were so delicious) outside, and then went for a lovely hour and a half horseback ride. I loved the horseback ride because the horses were so peaceful and it was uh-mazing to see all the fields and fields of grassland surrounding us in every direction. I rarely get to relax (and if I do I have to schedule it) so I definitely welcomed the change of pace here!
After the horseback ride, it was lunch time and we were spoiled by all the good BBQ and the bottle of Malbec! Any tour that allows me to relax, feeds me, and gives me wine is alright by me! To top off the uber chill day, the gauchos sang and performed some nifty gaucho tricks while we topped off our meal with a cafe con leche and icecream (random fact: did you know that the Argentines are crazy about their ice cream?) before heading back to Buenos Aires. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by how well I took to this slower pace of life, so if you’re at all like me or just want to do something different, I definitely recommend visiting one of these estancias!
Check out some photos below:
If you’re planning on going:
- If you go in the winter time like I did, bring a jacket! I was perfectly fine in the sunshine but when I stood in the shade, I was freezing.
- Get a table close to the kitchen or grill if you want to get the first dibs on the barbeque!
- Be mentally ready to chill out for the day. This isn’t a high-paced adrenaline activity.