Combine the essence of the Argentinian experiences: 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 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, we ride in the countryside and wildlife reserves accompanied by gauchos, visiting local villages.
We have 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 we 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.

Finish it off 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 your guide we will introduce you to the Argentine tack and riding style and ride in the surroundings farmlands. 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 – Polo day 
Your visit to Argentina would not be complete without experiencing Polo. Polo is a sport intimately linked to Argentina, its countryside and its people. Today we will focus on the sport in a fun, easy going way and at your own pace. If you have the riding skills and enthusiasm, this is the perfect opportunity to embed in a sport from which there is no way out. For introduction to the sport or improvement of your skills, you will have lessons of its well kept secrets. You will also have the chance to interact with local players. Lunch at the polo fields and dinner at the lodge.  

Day 3 – Ride along the Paraná river
We will ride in a privately owned wildlife reserve that sits by the huge 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
Today is when we ride the farmlands following the old road to San Antonio de Areco. In the old days, this was the road gauchos used to ride their horses to town. Now, a new road gets the car traffic and ours is very much forgotten. But on the way we will stop at the small rural school and the old church at El Tatú (The Armadillo) where we plan to enjoy our picnic. After riding the morning and afternoon we go back 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, we will visit the town of San Antonio de Areco which is very proud of its gaucho spirit in the heart of the Pampas. We will visit a couple of silversmiths who keep alive these skills dating back from colonial days. The gaucho museum in town is well worth a visit. Lunch at one of the old time gaucho restaurants. After lunch we leave Areco and head to Buenos Aires city. Hotel check in. 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. We meet to take some time to visit the city and learn about its icons in a very special way: Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada’s balcony, Eva Peron, etc. 
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) reaches less than 6 riders. This is fully refundable before departure once 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.

Horses & Riding

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 and their bars and around the farm letting you really enjoy the freedom of the area. You will also get a chance to try your hand at Polo, one of the most popular sports in Argentina.


Rider requirements

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.

Weight Limit

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 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 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 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.



You will also spend one night in a guest house at a 19th Century Estancia. Staying in comfortable twin bedrooms with private bathrooms you will get to experience a working ranch lifestyle where the main activities are cattle breeding and farming.



On the last night in Buenos Aires you will be staying in Hotel Tribeca in Buenos Aires; 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 can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

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.

General information:

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

Climate Summary

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.

Climate Chart

Health

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

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.

Film and Camera Equipment

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.

Packing List

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)
Swimwear.
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.

Programmes

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.

Departure Dates

2022 departure dates on request all year round.

Pricing
Single supplement must be paid if booking alone.
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
2022 - Per Night per night1double pp275
20227d/6n5One Week Programme double pp1,845
20227d/6n5supplement for 4-5 riders95
20227d/6n5supplement for 2-3 riders239
20227d/6n5single supplement for 6 nights275
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2022 - Per Night per night1double pp309
20227d/6n5One Week Programme double pp2,059
20227d/6n5supplement for 4-5 riders105
20227d/6n5supplement for 2-3 riders265
20227d/6n5single supplement for 6 nights309
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
2022 - Per Night per night1double pp289
20227d/6n5One Week Programme double pp1,949
20227d/6n5supplement for 4-5 riders99
20227d/6n5supplement for 2-3 riders249
20227d/6n5single supplement for 6 nights289
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2022 - Per Night per night1double pp3,355
20227d/6n5One Week Programme double pp22,559
20227d/6n5supplement for 4-5 riders1,159
20227d/6n5supplement for 2-3 riders2,895
20227d/6n5single supplement for 6 nights3,355
Additional Night Pricing
  No of days/nights Product item description £
Lodge Stay - per night, full board including ridingper nightdouble pp275
  No of days/nights Product item description
Lodge Stay - per night, full board including ridingper nightdouble pp309
  No of days/nights Product item description $
Lodge Stay - per night, full board including ridingper nightdouble pp289
  No of days/nights Product item description SEK
Lodge Stay - per night, full board including ridingper nightdouble pp3,355
Recommended Reading

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)


Other Activities

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.

Wildlife

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.

Other Country Information

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.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Buenos Aires International Airport (EZE)
Transfer:
2022: Included for weekly stays. Can be arranged for shorter stays for approx $200 per car return (max 3 passengers).
Flight Guide:
London - Buenos Aires (EZE) return from £500-£800
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