Did you know that Argentina receives more international tourists than any other country in South America? Surprisingly, even without heavy-hitting attractions like Machu Picchu or the Galapagos Islands, Argentina’s incredible diversity, including the enchanting estancias of Argentina, makes it a year-round destination for every type of traveller.
Notably, Argentina is famous for many things – tango, amazing steak, and incredible wine. However, the most enduring image of Argentine culture is gaucho culture, both a folk symbol and a way of life in many rural areas.
Fortunately, there are estancias in every corner of Argentina, making it easy to include a side trip in your itinerary. Now, let’s explore some of Contours Travel’s favorites!
Wine lovers, art enthusiasts, and anyone with an appreciation of stunning scenery are going to adore Estancia Colome. The estancia is situated in the foothills of the Andes, in the beautiful Calchaquí Valleys. It boasts amazing views and incredible high-altitude wines (grown between 2,300 to 3,111 meters above sea level). It also houses one of Argentina’s most surprising art museums – the only one in the world dedicated to artist James Turrell. While many visitors opt for a whirlwind tour en route to Salta or Cafayate, those in the know choose to stay overnight at the gorgeous 9-room estancia. Take your time to appreciate the world-class museum…and, of course, enjoy a glass of the exceptional Altura Máxima malbec!
If you seek an authentic estancia stay, Estancia Cristina offers an unparalleled experience in Argentine Patagonia. Accessible only via a 3-hour boat trip from El Calafate, it sits in the middle of Los Glaciares National Park. The Estancia’s charming main house is surrounded by Patagonia’s rugged beauty and vast landscapes.
Estancia Cristina provides 20 individual guest rooms spread among 5 charming houses. Each room offers dramatic views towards Cerro Norte, draped in hanging glaciers.
Guests can enjoy either guided hikes or 4WD excursions. The main ones are to Upsala Glacier, and canyons full of prehistoric fossils. Additionally, they can explore the dramatic viewpoint atop Cerro Carnero, or visit the roaring Cascada del los Perros. The knowledgeable gauchos at the Estancia take care of a stable of around 40 horses. Additionally, they are in charge of taking guests to ride up and down the Caterina River valley. Moreover, fishing enthusiasts can try their chance at catching the gigantic Chinook that spawns here yearly.
The estancia is open only from October to April, and a 3-night stay is recommended to allow time to indulge in the plethora of activities available to guests.
Estancia Peuma Hue
Estancia Peuma Hue stands as one of the Andean Lake District’s charming secrets. Notably, it’s a welcoming getaway where you can either kick back and relax, or enjoy some of the incredible adventure activities right at your doorstep. The estancia accommodates just 28 guests in a series of small cottages, which can be exclusively booked for family groups. Additionally, the main house serves exceptional quality meals prepared using home-grown produce from the organic garden. Here, you can delight in a range of traditional Patagonian and Argentine cuisine, perfectly matched with local wines.
Their expert horse-whisperer guides lead horse lovers of all skill levels on rides. These rides cover flat terrain within the valley and mountain terrain up the surrounding slopes. Even more exciting, their horses swim in the lake alongside guests! However, Peuma Hue’s biggest highlight is that it’s a true paradise for hiking and trekking enthusiasts. The property offers a large variety of trails that cross pristine forests, ancient rocks, gorges, and hilltops, providing stunning views over the Gutiérrez and Mascardi lakes. Moreover, guests can walk or hike within the 500 acres of the property or connect to the largest hiking network in Argentina (within our National Park) located just behind our mountain, without the need for transfers.
Whether you prefer short strolls or challenging hikes, Peuma-Hue has something for everyone to explore the natural beauty of Patagonia. As a recommendation, Contours Travel suggests a minimum of three nights’ stay at Estancia Peuma Hue to fully enjoy the experience.
Estancia Las Carreras
Located in Tafi del Valle, Tucuman, Estancia Las Carreras is a 1718’s manor built by the Jesuits. While experiencing life during that era, guests enjoy modern amenities. Due to its off-the-beaten-trail location and having only 10 rooms, you can often have the estancia all to yourself. Engage in activities such as hiking, horse riding, and visiting the working dairy and cheese factory. Moreover, the onsite restaurant offers locally grown produce and an excellent wine list, including wines from the nearby Cafayate region.
Tafi del Valle is an excellent stop for those on a self-drive holiday around Argentina’s north-western provinces. This charming destination offers a unique opportunity to explore the region’s beauty and tranquility.
Estancia Rancho e Cuero
Estancia Rancho ´e Cuero, a family-run ranch in Mendoza, Argentina, sprawls over 3,000 hectares in the Andean foothills. With over 250 years of ownership by the Palma family, this estate now welcomes guests seeking a unique experience. While staying here, you can enjoy horse riding, fly fishing, and trekking amidst vast and remote landscapes, bordered by river valleys and jagged cliffs. Notably, their calm Criollo horses suit riders of all levels, even beginners. At the end of each day, unwind in your comfortable suite adorned with traditional Argentinian artworks and local fabrics, offering stunning mountain views.
Why not extend your stay in this beautiful region and explore more of the famed Mendoza Wine Route? Self-drive and guided options are available to make the most of your visit.
Estancia la Bamba de Areco
Even on a short trip to Buenos Aires, you can escape the city and experience a luxurious stay on the Relais & Châteaux affiliated Estancia La Bamba de Areco. Just 120 km from Buenos Aires, close to San Antonio de Areco in the heart of the Pampa, this estancia blends luxurious comfort and colonial elegance. Dating back to 1830, guests are welcome to visit for a day trip or an overnight stay in one of the 11 luxury suites.
La Bamba de Areco takes pride in offering authentic gaucho traditions, such as ‘asados’ and mate tasting. Moreover, during your stay, you can enjoy a unique gaucho show. The show features musical entertainment, along with folk dances, Indian horse-whispering, and games of equestrian skill, including patos, boleadors, and sortija.
Furthermore, the estancia serves as the base for La Bamba international polo team, allowing guests to enjoy watching games during the season, with practice sessions and matches happening almost daily. While not a polo school, arrangements can be made upon request for experienced polo players.