Day trip to San Antonio de Areco and the Gauchos from Buenos Aires

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Aina Prat
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Travel deep into 'Gauchos' (cowboy) territory during this day trip to San Antonio de Areco from Buenos Aires. Discover a colonial city steeped in gaucho history and culture, then visit museums showcasing all the pride and beauty of rural Argentina. Then experience a gaucho party at a local “estancia” (traditional ranch). Ride a horse, admire the gauchos rodeo and taste the tasty Argentinian cuisine to the rhythm of music and dance.


This day trip to the territory of the Gauchos of Argentina begins with pickup from your Buenos Aires hotel. Enjoy a pleasant 90-minute drive northwest through farmland and the pampas, then arrive in San Antonio de Areco (or simply "Areco"), one of the most picturesque towns in the region. Every November, Areco hosts a gaucho festival to celebrate the "Fiesta de la Tradición" (Festival of Tradition) when cowboys arrive from all over Argentina and strut their horses through the cobblestone streets of the city.


Stop at Ruiz de Arellano Square. It is named after the rancher, or estanciero, who founded the town in 1728. A professional guide will tell you about the origins of Areco and Hipólito Vieytes, a revolutionary born in this town, as well as the unique role that it played in the history of immigration. Irish, Croatian, Spanish and Italian migrants settled in Areco as early as 1870.

Visit the Museo Taller Draghi, a small museum displaying pieces of Argentine silverwork known as platería criolla. Discover exhibits of ornaments from the gaucho culture: knives, stirrups and belt buckles.


And the gaucho culture doesn't stop there. Head to the Gauchesco Ricardo Güiraldes Museum, named after the rancher and writer to whom we owe the 1926 novel Don Segundo Sombra. In this museum, learn more about gaucho culture as well as on the novelist. A little further, admire the Puente Viejo (the old bridge) which spans the Rio Areco river. This bridge, built in 1857 and formerly used as a toll, is now reserved for pedestrians.


After visiting the city, head to an estancia. You will also visit the Ranch of Don Silvano, the Porteña or El Ombú de Areco (depending on availability on the day of your excursion).


Upon arrival, local Gauchos welcome you with a demonstration of their techniques. Watch a rodeo, a ring race and an impressive herd gathering. Then explore the vastness of the ranch grounds on a horse-drawn carriage or horseback ride.

Then go and relax in a "fiesta gaucha", enjoy an asado lunch in the purest Argentine tradition and taste a delicious barbecue of sausages, chicken, pork chops, etc. Have lunch to the rhythm of music and a folk dance show.


After your thrilling tour of the region, you'll be dropped back at your Buenos Aires hotel.

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