Tag Archives: countryside

LA BANDADA RANCH IN THE PAMPAS, BUENOS AIRES

A working estancia close to the city, perfect for a relaxing stay or a countryside day, living the essence of the spirit of the Pampas.


La Bandada, formerly known as Candelaria del Monte, is a 250 acres fully working farm just one hour and a half from Buenos Aires. Its current name means The Flock, and as it implies, this is an exceptional place for birdwatching. Such is that the lodging rooms bear names of birds that are frequently seen on the ranch.

The house was built in the 70’s and until today keeps the typical colonial style of XIXth century, painted in reddish colors. A paved patio introduces the road to the main entrance of the house, and once inside, a long and wide windowed corridor takes you to the rooms and a very spacious living and dining room at the end, with fireplaces and furnished with detail and care. Big windows overview the park and the swimming pool. One of the most notorious architectural details is the roof made of bricks.

La Bandada offers a countryside day with barbecue, and also 1 to 4 night stays, with full or half board and activities. There are only seven guest rooms, all very comfy and colonial, with a variety of layouts. There are three private suites and two apartments with two bedrooms and a bathroom each. The total occupancy can be up to 14 people, making it a great place to book and enjoy privately.

The house is surrounded by a 24 acres park, full of a variety of very old trees, including centenarian platanus, oak trees, acacias, pines, Chilean myrtles, laurels and casuarinas. It is very pleasant to go for a walk around, visit the orchard, the henhouse, the corrals with goats, horses and other farm animals. 

There’s also a self-guided birdwatching circuit. You just have to take the binoculars and the Bird’s Guide, and follow a checklist of the most common birds in the area that will help you to look for and identify hummingbirds, cardinals, horneros, herons, storks, sparrows, tropical screech oils, southern screamers, coscoroba swans, black necked swans, woodpeckers, fork tailed flycatchers, and a variety of over 15 ducks, such as cinnamon teal, yellow billed pintail, white-faced whistling duck and southern wigeon.

Besides taking advantage of the swimming pool (in summer season) and riding a bike, among other activities, it is possible to book a two hour polo lesson to experience one of the most famous sports in Argentina. You will learn how to play and get a taste of what playing polo is like, in the unique scenery of the Pampas.

Horses are a very important part of life of the farms and here you can ride along a path full of centennials trees until reaching the endless grasslands of the pampas. There are very well trained and easygoing horses, so you can enjoy a ride whether you have any previous experience or not. 

If you are interested in local music, a «guitarreada» is the best way to experience how argentines enjoy a traditional barbecue evening by the fire. Folk music like chamame, zambas, gatos and escondidos are performed by a group of musicians that play the guitar, drums, accordion and violin. This is an experience that operates on demand only.

No countryside experience is complete without the specific gastronomic service. Mariana Dacruz is the inhouse chef, and with vast experience in Patagonia and abroad, this 30 year-old chef is the kitchen’s soul at the estancia. All the dishes she creates include seasonal vegetables from the orchard, which can actually be collected by yourself. Also, the best pieces of meat are chosen to be part of the typical asados.

If you would like to discover the behind the scenes of the kitchen, it’s possible to book a cooking class with Mariana, where she will teach you about traditional Argentine cooking methods, ingredients and seasonal tastes. You can choose from a variety of recipes, such as empanadas, fried pastries and fritters. What you cook, will be served in your next meal.

La Bandada offers a full countryside experience. Visiting or staying here will bring you a sense of tranquility, peace and serenity. You will feel that time runs slower and that the rest of the world seems further and further away. The sound of the pampas with its fauna, windmills, breeze…the smell of the grass and of humid soil of the rain to come…little by little, immerse yourself into the Argentina country spirit!


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Full Board stay: Includes: Lodging with breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Non-alcoholic beverages. Activities: use of facilities, 1 hour horseback riding, bikes at disposal, swimming pool. Not included: Alcoholic beverages. Transfers. Extra services (laundry, use of telephone, etc.). Additional experiences. Tips.
  • Half Board stay: Includes: Lodging with breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner. Non-alcoholic beverages. Activities: use of facilities and swimming pool. Not included: Alcoholic beverages. Transfers. Extra services (laundry, use of telephone, etc.). Lunch. Horseback and bike rides. Additional experiences. Tips.
  • Countryside Day (from 11 am to 4 pm): Includes: Welcome reception with empanadas and wine. Lunch: barbecue with chorizo, two meat cuts, grilled vegetables and salads, traditional dessert and coffee. Non-alcoholic beverages. Afternoon tea with creole pastries. Guided horseback ride or hike, and other country activities. Not included: Alcoholic beverages. Transfers. Additional experiences. Lodging or other meals. Use of facilities, horseback and bike rides, swimming pool.
  • Additional experiences with extra cost (available for stays and countryside day): Polo lesson. Guided birdwatching circuit. Visit to San Miguel del Monte town. Massage service. Live folk music (guitarreada). Folk dance live show. 

PATAGONIAN RANCH EXPERIENCE IN EL CALAFATE

Experience the rural life of an authentic Patagonian estancia in the lands of the Perito Moreno Glacier.


Far from mass tourism and 55 km from El Calafate, we find the historic ranch Estancia Nibepo Aike. Initially called La Jerónima, Nibepo Aike covers an area of ​​more than 12,000 hectares, delimited by the South Arm of Lake Argentino and the border with Chile, framed by the Andes Mountains. Dedicated to bovine and sheep production as livestock activities, it is an ideal place to immerse yourself in rural life.

Nowadays you may spend the day visiting the ranch, to experience the life of an authentic estancia located in one of the most impressive settings in Argentina.

Every morning and afternoon, it is possible to enjoy the traditional countryside day. Upon arrival, the host guide will receive and take you to the quincho for a hot drink (tea, coffee or mate) and homemade pastry.

Then, we will set forth on an easy walk to tour the facilities of the farm, which was formerly dedicated to sheep production only, and which today has been transformed into the most prestigious Hereford cabin of these latitudes that also maintains a sheep herd.

The hike will take us to excellent views of the South Arm of Lake Argentino, discovering various rocky outcrops eroded by glacial action and changes in lake levels. Through trails, we will discover a forest of lenga and ñir trees, where caranchos, cachañas, hares, woodpeckers, eagles and an abundant variety of native flora and fauna live.

We will arrive at the shearing shed and current historical museum of the stay. Here we will learn about this peculiar rural work, from the shearing of the animal to the assembly of the bundle of wool; the way in which the wool is stowed and transported.

Next, a “reins test” of riders will be carried out or, depending on the rural activities of the day, farm work will be done in the pens near the main house. In the morning, visitors can also participate in the milking and sheep grazing, concluding with a typical day of work in the ranch.

On the way back, the guide will reveal the history of the place, telling anecdotes and stories of the first settlers. Crossing through the orchard where most of the vegetables in the ranch come from, we will arrive to the quincho, where they will wait for us with an exquisite barbecue, ready to delight us with a delicious Patagonian lamb while enjoying the imposing view of the Cordillera.

For those who choose the extended countryside day option, after lunch or before dinner and rural activities, will take a three hour guided horseback ride on different paths that will allow you to learn more about the corners of Nibepo Aike.

And for those who do not have enough time for a full day experience, you may visit the estancia only for lunch or dinner at the quincho. Taste the homemade delicacies, a barbecue of Patagonian lamb, beef steaks and sausages, with various salads, homemade dessert and one drink per person. This culinary experience is ideal before or after the Perito Moreno Glacier excursion, if you rented a car. It is important to clarify that this option does not include other rural activities.

Another brief but more adventurous option to not miss this incredible Patagonian ranch is to only take a guided three-hour horseback ride, touring the coast of the lake and ascending to the Cerro de los Cristales hill. With its 1282 meters, despite not being the highest in the area, its privileged view allows you to appreciate Lake Argentino, the Perito Moreno Glacier and Torres del Paine, from a single point.

Returning to El Calafate, having experienced the life of a typical Patagonian estancia will give you a new perspective, finding more meaning in the immense Patagonian landscapes characterized by the infinite and the remote.


GENERAL INFORMATION

Countryside Day, morning or afternoon: Traditional option to visit the ranch. 

  • Schedule: AM Pick up 8.30 – Drop off 15:30 / PM Pick up 16.30 – Drop off 23.30. The schedules are estimates and subject to modification. 
  • Includes: Welcome reception with tea/coffee/mate and fried cakes/homemade puddings. Walk around the old main house. Stories of the first settlers of the Estancia and the cattle ranching. Brief historical review on the breakdowns of the Perito Moreno Glacier and their consequences in the area. Milking in the morning (depending on the time of calving of the animals), feeding of lambs or calves with a bottle and sheep herding. Demonstration of shearing and test of reins. Visit to the orchard. Lunch/Dinner: Roast Lamb with salads and dessert. A glass of wine or a non-alcoholic drink per person during meal. Bilingual English/Spanish guide during rural activities. 
  • Not included: Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks during the meal, outside the stipulated. Transfers. Tips. Horseback ride. Bilingual guide for the horseback ride.

Extended Countryside Day: a 3 hours horseback ride is added to the traditional Countryside day.

  • Schedule: AM Pick up 8.30 – Drop off 19:30 – Horseback ride after Countryside day and lunch /  PM Pick up 13.30 – Drop off 23.30 – Horseback ride before Countryside day and dinner. The schedules are estimates and subject to modification. 
  • Includes: Welcome reception with tea/coffee/mate and fried cakes/homemade puddings. Walk around the old main house. Stories of the first settlers of the Estancia and the cattle ranching. Brief historical review on the breakdowns of the Perito Moreno Glacier and their consequences in the area. Milking in the morning (depending on the time of calving of the animals), feeding of lambs or calves with a bottle and sheep herding. Demonstration of shearing and test of reins. Visit to the orchard. Lunch/Dinner: Roast Lamb with salads and dessert. A glass of wine or a non-alcoholic drink per person during meal. Bilingual English/Spanish guide during rural activities. Horseback riding of approximately 3 hours duration. 
  • Not included: Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks during the meal, outside the stipulated. Transfers. Tips. Bilingual guide for the ride

Patagonian barbecue: Lunch or dinner at the quincho

  • Schedules: Lunch at 12 pm. Dinner at 8 pm. 
  • Includes: Lunch/Dinner at the quincho: Roast Lamb with various salads and homemade dessert. A glass of wine or a non-alcoholic drink per person during the meal. Ask for alternative menu. 
  • Not included: Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks during the meal, outside the stipulated. Transfers. Tips.

Horseback ride: 3 hours to explore the corners of Nibepo Aike in more depth, crossing the coast of the lake and ascending to the Cerro de los Cristales. 

  • Schedules: From 3 to 6 pm. Please check in 30 minutes in advance. 
  • Includes: Horseback riding with guide authorized by National Parks. 
  • Not included: Transfers. Bilingual guide.

Gaucho Culture & Lifestyle in Areco

Get to know the Argentinean countryside traditions: gauchos, asado and estancia culture.


Lucky for the porteños, the vast plains of the Pampas, gaucho culture and tradition are alive and so close by. Only an hour drive from Buenos Aires city we arrive in San Antonio de Areco town, far away from everything and surrounded by wild countryside landscape, home to the Tradition Festival in November.

San Antonio de Areco church

Founded in 1730, San Antonio de Areco has been home for centuries to the traditions and rituals inspired by the gauchos, but the town really started to embrace its fame after 1926, following the publication of the famous novel Don Segundo Sombra by the local writer Ricardo Güiraldes, which follows the meeting between a gaucho and an orphan in the Blanqueada, a typical pulperia (bar) in the town.

Wandering through the colonial streets of Areco, time seems to have stopped. Over the centuries, the town has preserved its heritage and identity, becoming one of the most visited historic places in the province of Buenos Aires.

We invite you to a full day of gaucho lifestyle, tradition, asado, craftwork and estancia culture. A day trip from Buenos Aires to Areco to see the real national heritage; an opportunity to learn about one of the emblems of the Argentine identity and the rural life.    

Early in the morning, we leave from your hotel and exit Buenos Aires towards the Route 8 to reach our final destination. Soon after leaving the city landscape behind we start seeing the Pampas scenery.

An hour or so later, we arrive in San Antonio de Areco where we meet our guide, who will guide us through the charming streets of the historical center and show us the local church and the famous pulperías.

A visit to the Silversmith Draghi Museum, the First workshop and museum of Draghi’s silverware, where we may observe the process of making a genuine piece of silverwork; and also to the Ricardo Güiraldes Museum where gaucho life is celebrated and preserved with a collection of traditional gaucho gear: mates, handicraft decorated knives, ponchos, and all manner of elaborate saddlery and bridlery.

After the tour around Areco and its surroundings, at noon we arrive at an exclusive and historical estancia where we will be greeted with empanadas and a delicious Argentine asado. We will walk around the estancia with the guide, hearing stories about this historic working ranch.

At the estancia we will meet gauchos and participate in different rural activities such as horseback riding and carriage rides. Also we will enjoy a traditional folkloric music dancing performance and an impressive gaucho skills demonstration.

In the afternoon, after a full day in touch with the countryside and the gaucho culture, we get back on the bus and to Buenos Aires.

When visiting our city, we recommend getting to know a bit of our country history and traditions. This is the perfect experience to do so!


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Operates year round upon reservation.
  • Full day tour from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm
  • Personalized tour for 2-4 people or private bigger groups.

Includes:

  • Door-to-door transfers to and from Buenos Aires hotel.
  • Bilingual local guide.
  • Guided visit to the historical town, museums and handicrafts.
  • Reception with empanadas, drinks and asado for lunch.
  • Horseback riding or carriage at the Estancia.
  • Demonstration of gaucho skills and traditional folkloric music performance.
  • Open swimming pool in the summer.

 


 

RIDING INTO THE DUNES

Only 10 km away from Cafayate, Estancia Chimpa rests in the middle of the Calchaqui Valley, waiting for you to enjoy a day in the northern countryside.


This fascinating estate is at your disposal for spending the night but today we will tell you about one of the many activities it has to offer.

The Nanni family, passionate for the valley, its mountains, grapevines and horses, made of this 7600 hectares plot a beautiful relaxing place to rest and spend the day.

The estate´s main house stands out for its architecture and style; with two wings that define its structure: the South Wing, antique and original from the XXth century; and the West Wing refurbished between 2004 and 2006. In the summertime, a big exterior pool at the back to enjoy the landscape provided by the immensity of the surrounding mountains.  

The adventure of the day at Estancia Chimpa involves a one hour and a half horseback riding in the surroundings of this dreamy estate. Authentic creole gauchos who know the area as the palm of their hands, will lead the ride. Starting at the horse’s corral, you’ll be riding through the green vineyards where the Nanni family grow cabernet, torrontés and malbec grapes, among others.

Soon after, the scenery changes dramatically into a dazzling mass of white sand: behold the Cafayate dunes, a sandy area that enlightens the panorama drawing the visitors attention because of the curious figures formed on the surface by the wind.

This wonderful ride is available year round. During the winter, the ride takes place between 10:30 and 14 hs, trying to make up the most of the sun and avoid the coldest hours. In the summer, the best is to go out at dusk or dawn. Also, night rides are a classic at Chimpa; a wonderful experience with a different perspective of this natural environment, amazing starry sky view, a cozy bonfire and the nocturnal noises of this unique place.

For those who like the countryside and riding horses, while visiting Cafayate this is the estate to stop by. For more information, contact your Kallpa Tour executive.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • 1.30 hs excursion. Minimum 2 pax per riding.
  • 24 hs advanced booking required.
  • It is advisable to bring sunblock, comfortable clothes, sunglasses and a cap.
  • Conditions: Min age 3 years old / Max age: 60­-65, depending on physical conditions. Traveller max weight/height permitted 100kg / 2 mts.