Combine the essence of the Argentine with this horse riding experience: Ride on the pampas at all paces, learn cattle work from the gauchos on a working estancia, learn to play polo with the locals, and visit Buenos Aires, all in one convenient holiday for riders or accompanying non-riders.
Based in a charming lodge in the heart of the pampas 2 hrs from Buenos Aires, guests ride in the countryside and wildlife reserves accompanied by gauchos, visiting local villages. There is one full day of polo on experienced polo ponies with the opportunity to train and interact with local players who might share some of their secrets...
The total Argentinian experience would not be complete without spending the night at an authentic working Estancia in the pampas. Here riders spend time with, and learn from. the gauchos who are proud of their way of life and cattle-raising skills. This is the true spirit of Argentina. Cattle work is part of daily life here and guests can ride all day long joining in with the cattle drives.
Finish the trip with a night in the heart of bustling Buenos Aires, including a city tour and an optional tango show.
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Day 1 – Buenos Aires / Capilla del Señor
Arrive Buenos Aires during the morning. Pick up at International Airport at preset time. 1.5-2 hs. drive to the lodge at Capilla del Señor in the Pampas. Lunch. Horseback riding in the afternoon. With the help of the guide, the hosts will introduce riders to the Argentine tack and riding style before a ride in the surroundings farmlands. A hearty Argentine welcome dinner. Argentina is known worldwide for its wine production. Each night during your stay you will be enjoying a different wine from its regions including some of the world-renowned Argentine Malbecs.
Day 2 – Polo day
A visit to Argentina would not be complete without experiencing Polo; a sport intimately linked to Argentina, its countryside and its people. Today focuses on the sport in a fun, easy going way and at the rider's own pace. This is the perfect opportunity to learn, or improve, this highly addictive sport and pick up some handy tips from the hosts and local players. Lunch at the polo fields and dinner at the lodge.
Day 3 – Ride along the Paraná river
Ride in a privately owned wildlife reserve located along the Paraná river. This river is 2,500 miles long and its name means “as big as the sea” in the local Indian language. This is the second largest river in South America (second to the Amazon river) and the water flowing into the Atlantic Ocean roughly equals the Mississippi river. Picnic at the river banks. Dinner at the lodge.
Day 4 – Ride to El Tatú
Ride the farmlands and follow the old road to San Antonio de Areco. In the old days, this was once the only route into town. Since the highway was built for cars and trucks, the route has been forgotten by most, except the gauchos! The route stops at a small rural school and the old church at El Tatú (The Armadillo) to rest and enjoy a picnic. Return to the lodge for dinner.
Day 5 – Estancia
After breakfast we move to the beautiful 19th Century Estancia for riding and cattle work where we will spend the night. There are a few activities, typical of an Argentine Estancia to enjoy, in case you prefer not to engage in full day riding, like horse driving, folk music, “Doma India” (Argentinian horse whispering), hiking, cycling and bird watching. This Estancia splits cattle breeding and farming. Lunch and dinner at the Estancia.
Day 6 – San Antonio de Areco/Buenos Aires
After breakfast, visit the town of San Antonio de Areco which is very proud of its gaucho spirit in the heart of the Pampas. Visit one of the traditional silversmiths with skills that date back to colonial days. The gaucho museum in town is well worth a visit, as is lunch at one of the authentic gaucho restaurants. After lunch the group leave Areco and head to Buenos Aires. Hotel check in and free time to wander around the city, go shopping, visit museums. Optional: Tango Show with dinner and a tango lesson. Night at hotel.
Day 7 – Buenos Aires
Breakfast. City tour and free time until transfer to Buenos Aires International Airport (EZE). Flight back home in the evening.
Small group supplement
A small group supplement is applied if the total number of bookings (including yours) is less than 6 riders. This is fully refundable before departure if more people book the holiday.
Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.
Fit and responsive horses all in good condition, from 15hh to 15.3hh. Horses are ridden in the traditional style, which is similar to Western riding with neck reining and long stirrups. Instruction is given on first day for those not familiar with this style, it is very easy to learn and quite addictive.
The pampas consists of grassy lowlands, ideal for days in the saddle where you can run your horse all day long alongside the gauchos. There are plenty of opportunities for those who like to canter or even have a good gallop on the more open bits of terrain. The lodge has around 20 horses available for guests to ride.
As well as working with the gauchos and cattle, there are rides out across the pampas to local villages to enjoy the freedom of the area. There will also get a chance to try your hand at Polo, one of the most popular sports in Argentina.
This ride is suitable for riders who are able to walk, trot and canter on a good horse. There is usually about 4 to 6 hours in the saddle each full riding day, so a good level of riding fitness is recommended to make the most of this.
Due to the length of riding days this ride is not recommended for children under the age of 10 and there is a weight limit of 95kg/15 stone.
There is no need to walk next to your horse and assistance can be given when mounting and dismounting.
The weight limit for this ride is 209 lb/95 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
Guests stay in a traditional lodge with comfortable twin bedrooms making this holiday a small and personal experience, much like a homestay with a boutique feel.
Each bedroom has a private bathroom, hair dryer and air conditioning. The dining room is in a separate building and the main building also houses a living room furnished with fascinating memoribillia - even a full-size carriage! Each room has a large open fire making the atmosphere warm and friendly, great for relaxing in after a day spent in the saddle. There is a TV/DVD room for guest use and the lodge has WiFi.
Outside the main building is a variety of verandas for soaking up the sun, reading a good book or enjoying a pre-dinner drink. There is also a swimming pool with views across the farm and several friendly dogs who love nothing more than a scratch behind the ear.
The food available at the lodge is all fresh and home-cooked by your attentive hosts. A sample menu might consist of:
Breakfast - continental breakfast/scrambled eggs/orange juice/tea/coffee.
Lunch on the trail - barbecue or picnic style - chicken/roast beef/ham/cheese/sandwiches. Antipasti/salami/cheese etc. Fruit for dessert. Drinking water.
Dinner - local traditional meals such as barbecue/stew/empanadas with wine, soft drinks and water. Spirits available at extra charge.
The guests will spend one night in a guest house at a 19th Century Estancia, in comfortable twin bedrooms with private bathrooms. Here guests experience a working ranch lifestyle where the main activities are cattle breeding and farming.
On the last night in Buenos Aires accommodation isthe Hotel Tribeca (or similar); an apartment hotel situated in the city centre and surrounded by cultural, financial, commercial and tourist landmarks. It has a gourmet restaurant, gym, sauna, sun deck on the roof, room service and complimentary Wifi. Please note that if this hotel is not available at the time of booking, a similar hotel will be used.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip.
NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures and requirements while travelling.
Visa requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country.
Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate should you need a visa.
When visiting Argentina your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.
In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/argentina
In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Argentina.html
In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/argentina
The Pampas area has a climate which is pleasant for visits all year round. It is well outside the tropics and has an adequate rainfall of between 500 mm/20 in and 1,000 mm/40 in per year. Winters are mild and summers warm, with more rainfall during the summer months.
The region does not often experience extremes of heat or cold. Frost may occur in most winter months but is not prolonged or severe. The climate is generally healthy and pleasant. This is the most important agricultural region of Argentina and occasional drought is the main economic hazard.
COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.
Yellow fever vaccination is recommended for travel to some parts of the country.
Health authorities have classified Argentina as having a risk of Zika virus transmission.
Dengue fever can occur throughout the year. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Argentina and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.
In Argentina the supply voltage is 220V. If the appliance is a single voltage rated appliance, it will need to operate at the same voltage as the supply voltage of the country i.e. 220V. If this is not the case it should be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly.
It will be possible to recharge batteries/phones/cameras at the lodge, Estancia and the hotel. Wifi is usually available at all overnight locations on this programme and mobile phone reception is good throughout. If you want to bring a GoPro please be advised that you will have to have permission from all other guests and guides that they are willing to be filmed.
The best way to dress is in layers - a T-shirt, shirt, pullover (or fleece which is light and dries quickly) and a jacket to give protection against wind and rain.
Riding hat and gloves
Trousers should be comfortable for riding - jodhpurs, jeans etc
Footwear that is SAFE for riding
Chaps (half or full)
Protection against the sun - sun block, lip balm and if you do not intend wearing a hard hat, a hat with a wide brim (also good if it happens to rain).
Evening dress is always casual.
saddlebags are provided.
This is a based stay programme available on request throughout the year. The weekly programme is 7 days/6 nights/5 riding days. Per night bookings are also available with a 3 night minimum stay.
2023: Departure dates on request all year round.
2024: Departure dates on request all year round.
|Riding days||Product item description||£|
|2023/24 - Per Night||per night||1||double pp||245|
|2023/2024||7d/6n||5||One Week Programme double pp||1,645|
|2023/2024||7d/6n||5||supplement for 4-5 riders||85|
|2023/2024||7d/6n||5||supplement for 2-3 riders||209|
|2023/2024||7d/6n||5||single supplement for lodging||245|
|Riding days||Product item description||€|
|2023/24 - Per Night||per night||1||double pp||285|
|2023/2024||7d/6n||5||One Week Programme double pp||1,899|
|2023/2024||7d/6n||5||supplement for 4-5 riders||98|
|2023/2024||7d/6n||5||supplement for 2-3 riders||245|
|2023/2024||7d/6n||5||single supplement for lodging||279|
|Riding days||Product item description||US $|
|2023/24 - Per Night||per night||1||double pp||305|
|2023/2024||7d/6n||5||One Week Programme double pp||2,035|
|2023/2024||7d/6n||5||supplement for 4-5 riders||105|
|2023/2024||7d/6n||5||supplement for 2-3 riders||259|
|2023/2024||7d/6n||5||single supplement for lodging||289|
|Riding days||Product item description||SEK|
|2023/24 - Per Night||per night||1||double pp||3,319|
|2023/2024||7d/6n||5||One Week Programme double pp||22,329|
|2023/2024||7d/6n||5||supplement for 4-5 riders||1,145|
|2023/2024||7d/6n||5||supplement for 2-3 riders||2,865|
|2023/2024||7d/6n||5||single supplement for lodging||3,235|
The Rough Guide to Argentina - 2nd Edition by Danny Aeberhard (Paperback - 25 Nov 2004)
On a Hoof and a Prayer: Around Argentina at a Gallop by Polly Evans (Paperback - 1 Mar 2007)
Argentina (Footprint Argentina Handbook) by Christabelle Dilks (Paperback - 1 Dec 2006)
There are plenty of other activities available in this beautiful area: carriage rides, fishing and golf within driving distance, swimming in the pool, bike riding and relaxing. Non-riders and children may be able join in with some gaucho activities from the ground such as feeding and branding the cattle and, depending on the time of year, helping with the harvesting and silo stacking.
Characteristic animals of the Pampas include foxes, skunks, small herds of guanaco, viscachas, bush dogs and many bird species related to sparrows, hawks and waterfowl of the North American prairies.
There is no dangerous wildlife in the area.
Argentina is the second largest country in Latin America after Brazil (almost all the countries of Western Europe and Scandinavia could fit inside Argentina's land mass). The country is diverse and includes rain forest in the north, vast areas of fertile farming land in the centre, the Andean mountain range to the west and the desolate plains of Patagonia in the south, leading down to glaciers at the southern tip. Argentina has the world's southernmost city (Ushaia).
Despite Argentina's recent economic woes, its pleasures - stunning natural wonders, an elegant capital and a passionate culture - are still as tempting as ever. Argentina has a distinctly European feel, Argentinians are much more European in temperament that their South American neighbours but their Latin spirit is still evident such as in their love of football and in the tempestuous dance of the Tango.
Argentina is three hours behind GMT. Remember in the summer the UK is one hour ahead of GMT and daylight savings is not in use in Argentina. They use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram.
The international dialling code is +54.