For a quick trip out of the city to experience a taste of Argentine country life, you can’t beat an estancia. Estancias or ranches are country estates that offer a day’s activities including a traditional asado (barbeque), horse riding, swimming, traditional folk music, and maybe even a little polo. Many estancias close to Buenos Aires offer pick-up/ drop-off service and packages that include food, activities, and entertainment. Here are some of our family-friendly favorites for a relaxing escape from the urban sprawl.
1) El Ombu
About an hour’s drive from Buenos Aires in the tiny town of San Antonio de Areco you’ll find El Ombu (named after the famous tree). You can stay overnight in the colonial-style mansion or visit for the day to use the swimming pool, go on a bike ride, or take a guided horse ride out into the countryside. Little kids will like the horse drawn carriage rides and there is plenty of space for running around while the parents enjoy an asado with great Argentine wines.
Image via El Ombu
2) La Porteña
Also located near San Antonio de Areco is La Porteña Estancia. The “Country Day” offers empanadas and wine for the adults, a full asado lunch, tea time treats, and a variety of activities along the gaucho theme. There’s a playroom with some games and a pool table and swings outside.
3) La Candelaria
Located near Lobos, around 100km from the city, this is the place for your standard polo/ empanadas/ gaucho entertainment. La Candelaria offers a relaxing “Day in the Country” for families looking to get away from the city. Enjoy some tasty empanadas, horseback rides, tennis, swimming in the outdoor pool, volleyball, soccer, and walking in the forest.
4) Villa Maria
If you want something a bit fancier, Estancia Villa Maria is a good choice. This getaway is a luxury country house hotel in Ezeiza and there’s a “Country Day” program every day for pool swims, carriage rides, bike rides, tennis, and a stroll through the botanical gardens. A full lunch is served and kids will love the acres of parkland and, at the moment, autumn leaves to kick through.
Image via Estancia Villa Maria
5) Dos Talas
A two-hour drive from Buenos Aires, Dos Talas is a truly gorgeous house surrounded by parkland designed by architect Charles Thays. Excellent horse riding, lots of space, and some great food.
Let us know your favorites!