This 4,000 acre Estancia although only 3 hours from Buenos Aires is a true working ranch at the core of the Argentine Pampas, dedicated to livestock production and a criollo horse stud, where corral work is a daily activity. Spend time with the gauchos who love their work and are so proud of their way of life and cattle-raising skills - they are the true spirit of Argentina. Cattle work is part of daily life here, you can ride all day long joining in with the cattle drives and really experience the spirit of freedom.
A 100% personalised service is part of the philosophy and culture at this ranch. Enjoy the excellent local cuisine, extensive Argentine asados and comfortable accommodation. Relax under the stars of the Southern hemisphere and forget about the 9-5 at home. For those who would like to extend their stay we offer an optional cultural experience in the heart of beautiful Buenos Aires, including 2 nights in the city with a guided city tour, tango lesson and show and a River Plate delta cruise.
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Day 1 – Buenos Aires / Estancia:
Arrive in Buenos Aires (EZE) during the morning. Pick up at the airport and drive for around 3 hours to the Estancia in the Pampas. Enjoy lunch upon arrival and settle in. Time for your first horse ride in the afternoon and with the help of your guide we will introduce you to the Argentine horse breed and assign your horse for the rest of the stay. We will ride the surroundings of the Estancia to get used to your horse and learn about the daily activities at the Estancia. Finish the day with a hearty Argentine welcome dinner.
Argentina is now known worldwide for its wine production. Each night during your stay you will be enjoying a different wine from its terroirs. We have prepared a special selection which includes some of the world renowned Argentine Malbecs.
Day 2 onwards – Horseback and ranch activities:
During your stay you will be riding Argentine breed horses on the famous Pampas grasslands with wonderful long canters on the plains and the chance to explore the quaint and charming villages throughout the area. The gauchos (our cowboys) will be eager to teach you the “secrets” of cattle work and horse breeding. You will enjoy both the horseback and ranch activities at the Estancia over the next few days, including:
- Ride the El Gato river banks. This portion of wilderness will let you see how the Pampas were originally
- Conventional cattle work, cattle driving and barrel racing
- Drive 19th century carriages
- On a longer day we will ride past neighboring Estancias only to make a stop under the shade of the trees to lunch a traditional Argentine barbecue
- We will explore area and villages that are typical of historic Argentina, such as the very small town of Almada. The locals gather at the bar and are always glad to have visitors and make new friends. It is like going back in time. Tie up your horse in front of the bar the same way it was done in the Old West. Enjoy a drink and have a chat with the locals.
Optional Buenos Aires Extension (2 nights)
We will ride during the morning and then say goodbye to the horses. After lunch we will leave the Estancia and head to Buenos Aires city. Hotel check-in. Free time to wander around the city, go shopping and visit museums. Night at the hotel (dinner not included).
After breakfast you will have some time to visit the city and learn about its icons in a very special way: Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada’s balcony and Eva Peron to name but a few. This tour is by bus with an English-speaking tour guide. You'll need to set aside the evening for an exciting night of tango. You will be picked up and driven to the tango lesson at Complejo Tango and afterwards enjoy dinner and a tango show. Night at hotel (dinner included at the tango show).
9 AM pick up by bus from the hotel after breakfast to visit the River Plate/ Paraná delta and the surrounding picturesque towns. We will travel on bus, train and boat. At Tigre city you will board a boat. Snack available (not included). From the side of the boat we will appreciate the exotic subtropical forest of the Paraná river delta, a 14,000 square kilometre area comprising of thousands of islands and islets. The River Plate is the ending portion of the Paraná river which 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 its volume of water flowing into the Atlantic Ocean is roughly equal to the volume of the Mississippi river. Transfer back to the hotel in Buenos Aires. Arrive 2:30pm. Free time until transfer back to Ezeiza International Airport.
Small group supplement
A small group supplement is applied if the total number of bookings (including yours) reaches less than 6 riders. This is fully refundable before departure once more people book the holiday.
For the per night programmes they can be arranged for car (up to 3 passengers US$400 per car in 2019/20, or by bus for US$86 per person in 2019/20.
GETTING TO Buenos Aires Airport
As a fully ATOL bonded and registered agency we would be delighted to book your flights for you. Should you wish to book your own flights please see our flights page for some options.
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 Estancia 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 and their bars and around the farm letting you really enjoy the freedom of the area.
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 day, so a good level of riding fitness is recommended. 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.
You will be staying in the guest house at the Estancia with its newly-renovated old colonial style buildings. There are 5 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 collectibles and 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 estancia 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 Estancia 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.
If adding the optional Buenos Aires extension you will be staying in Hotel Tribeca in Buenos Aires; an apartment hotel situated in the city centre and is 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 can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If visa’s are required the 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 on request.
At the time of going to print visas are not required for UK passport holders staying under 90 days, but please check before you depart.
In Argentina the high commissioner is Dr Luis Agote, 2412/52, 1425 Buenos Aires. Tel: +54 11 4576 2222, and is usually open 12.45 –17.00, hours extended during the Summer months (Jan –March).
In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on 020 7008 0232/0233 or see www.fco.gov.uk
The Pampas area has a climate similar to that of Uruguay. 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 imprtant agricultural region of the country and occasional drought is the main economic hazard.
There are no specific health requirements although do remember sun block.
For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org.
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz as in the UK so electrical appliances can be plugged in with appropriate adaptors. These are widely available for purchase, including at departure airports throughout the UK.
It will be possible to recharge batteries/phones/cameras at the Estancia and the hotel.
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 ranch stay programme available on set dates throughout the year. Prices are per night however ther eis a minimum stay of nights. We also offer an optional extension to spend two nights in Buenos Aires after the ranch stay.
2020: 19 Apr; 30 May; 8 Nov
Tailormade dates also available year-round, please enquire.
|Riding days||Product item description||£|
|2020||7d/6n||5||One Week Programme||1,605|
|2020||7d/6n||5||4-5 riders supplement||83|
|2020||7d/6n||5||2-3 riders supplement||205|
|Riding days||Product item description||€|
|2020||7d/6n||5||One Week Programme||1,775|
|2020||7d/6n||5||4-5 riders supplement||91|
|2020||7d/6n||5||2-3 riders supplement||229|
|Riding days||Product item description||$|
|2020||7d/6n||5||One Week Programme||2,009|
|2020||7d/6n||5||4-5 riders supplement||105|
|2020||7d/6n||5||2-3 riders supplement||259|
|Riding days||Product item description||SEK|
|2020||7d/6n||5||One Week Programme||18,689|
|2020||7d/6n||5||4-5 riders supplement||959|
|2020||7d/6n||5||2-3 riders supplement||2,395|
|No of days/nights||Product item description||£|
|Estancia Stay - per night, full board including riding||per night||double pp||239|
|No of days/nights||Product item description||€|
|Estancia Stay - per night, full board including riding||per night||double pp||265|
|No of days/nights||Product item description||$|
|Estancia Stay - per night, full board including riding||per night||double pp||299|
|No of days/nights||Product item description||SEK|
|Estancia Stay - per night, full board including riding||per night||double pp||2,779|
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 at 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.