Off the Beaten Path: Rural Towns in the Buenos Aires Province

(Photo by Facundo Prámparo)

Argentina is a vast country with many very different places to visit. Traveling to Buenos Aires usually means staying in Capital Federal, undoubtedly, the city has a unique magnetic pull; it is after all the country’s stunning capital. However, the province of Buenos Aires has charming towns that are well worth visiting to get the feel of the rural aspect of Argentine living. Many of these places are close to the city so they make great quick getaways. Below are some of our picks:

San Antonio de Areco:  This gaucho town, just 113 Km’s away North West from the city centre, is the perfect place to find typical customs, native silverwork and to enjoy nature. Some of the recommended places to visit include the Museo Gauchesco y Parque Criollo Ricardo Guiraldes, the Museo Taller Draghi, and La Olla de Cobre for fantastic homemade chocolate and alfajores. Getting there takes two hours approximately by bus to Retiro.

Where to stay: There are various estancias, inns and Bed & Breakfasts to choose from. Some of the more known options are Estancia La Porteña de Areco, and El Ombu de Areco.

San Pedro: A little further up North, on the banks of the Paraná river is this small town that was founded in 1907, surrounding a Franciscan convent. Now a day it is a one of the most important fruit ports in the country. Places to visit include La Campiña, a fragrant orange farm open to the public, the Plazoleta Fray Cayetano, and the Fernando Garcia Curten art museum. It is also a great place for fishing and other aquatic activities.

Where to stay: Hotel San Pedro Palace, the oldest hotel in the town which dates back to 1898 and is spick and span due to recent renovations.

Lobos: This small town just 100km to the south west of Capital Federal is famous for its estancias, lake and outdoor life. It is also a historical town where both gaucho and indigenous culture clashed and where General Peron was born. Attractions include the Laguna de Lobos, the Peron museum, a museum of natural sciences and various estancias.

Where to stay: Estancia la Candelaria-A top-notch estancia offering everything from gaucho shows to parachuting and massages in a gorgeous French style chateau surrounded by fragrant nature.

Tandil: Further down south, the town of Tandil sits on the edge of the Sierras de Tandil providing a rugged terrain, perfect for rock climbing and trekking. It is also an important historical landmark as it was a big military fort where important battles were fought. The biggest attractions are natural landmarks such as the Cerro Centinela, Monte Calvario and Piedra Movediza amongst others. Tandil is also a special place for cured meats and cheeses.

Where to stay: Posada de los Pajaros is set in the middle of the sierras providing for a tranquil atmosphere surrounded by nature. Otherwise stay at the Altos Avenida in the town center.

We Recommend: A Rural Expedition to an “Estancia”

(Photo by ChrisGoldNY)

With the arrival of spring and sunny days to come the span of activities broadens in the outskirts of the city where short trips to the countryside make for a great way to experience what the local culture is all about.  As your are probably very well aware of, one of the focal points of Argentine tradition is the countryside, home of gauchos and many an unfortunate cow.  The estancias are rural estates that not only carry out typical rural activities but also have a rich history depicting the settlement patterns and land disputes of this young country.

Horseback riding, polo, fishing, and Fiesta Gaucha (including folkloric dances and races) are all offered as part of the Estancia experience.

Some places to check out are:

La Candelaria Estancia & Polo Club

A top-notch estancia offering everything from gaucho shows to parachuting and massages in a gorgeous French style chateau surrounded by fragrant nature.

Estancia Santa Susana

This typical estancia outside the city regularly celebrates a Fiesta Gaucha with traditional meals and activities. This is a great day trip option in which transport to and from the Estancia is included.

Estancia La Horqueta

Built on the shore of a lagoon and surrounded by trees this natural haven offers canoes, bird watching, and horseback riding. Plant lovers will get a chance to walk around the estate with Enrique Pierri, an expert on the surrounding vegetation.

More options here.