One of the most uniquely South American types of accommodation, estancias are country estates traditionally built around cattle rearing. These rustic, ruggedly authentic ranches provide not just atmospheric lodgings but an extremely memorable travel experience in itself, richly evoking the lifestyle and legend of the charismatic gaucho – a figure that populates much of Argentine folklore and literature.
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. On these riding trips you will meet and get to know the gauchos who work at the ranch: hardy herdsmen, practically raised in the saddle, who wear distinctive cowboy garb. At most estancias you'll also be treated to nightly feasts of barbecued meats (asado) savoured around the fireside and washed down with a glass of Malbec. This is Argentina's rural heartland, and a warm welcome is assured. Nearby Uruguay - with its dreamy rolling pastures and glorious golden coast - has its own collection of countryside properties waiting to be discovered.