San Antonio de Areco

At an estancia (private estate) in the South American pampas

At an estancia (private estate) in the South American pampas

Dates visited: January 1, 2014

San Antonio de Areco is 71 miles northwest of Buenos Aires and makes for a good day trip if you want to get away from the hustle-bustle of city life. The town is located right in the pampas (South American grasslands) region, and is popular for its gaucho (cowboy) culture. There are many estancias (ranches) that allow one day visits or longer stays designed to immerse you in the gaucho experience.

We visited one such estancia for a day trip and had a good time on the ranch. The ranch itself was vast, and with a gentle breeze nudging us, we went horseback riding in the pampas with a gaucho. Rohan surprised us with his high confidence and ability to handle his horse because this was only his second time riding a horse (first one was in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica). It got a little hot as it approached noon, so we all sat down under the cool shade of a huge tree. And in that moment of doing nothing but relaxing, we appreciated the quietness and solitude of this place. The only sounds coming were from the horses playing around and the birds chirping in the trees; a total contrast to the noise pollution endured by us in our daily city life. In the afternoon, we saw a couple of horse-taming and musical performances by gauchos while being served at an asado (barbeque) with perfectly cooked meats and Argentine wine.

All and all, it was a great start to the New Year, and a day well spent.

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