Estancias are Argentina’s haciendas or ranches, mostly wealthy farms set up to raise livestock on extensive swathes of green pasture, dotted with the odd ombú. The owners, or estancieros, effectively make up the country’s aristocracy, and still employ large numbers of peones (ranch hands), some of them regarded as latter-day gauchos, to look after their cattle and, occasionally, sheep. The main buildings, known as cascos, range from simple colonial-style farmsteads to ornate mansions, with architecture inspired by French chateaux, English country homes or Italianate palaces. Scattered all over the country, but with the greatest concentration in Buenos Aires Province, above all around San Antonio de Areco, many of them take in paying guests; this can be either for días de campo, during which visitors take part in outdoor activities, such as horseriding or even polo, and enjoy three or four hearty meals, or overnight stays in often luxurious rooms for a complete estancia experience.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Argentina features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Beyond steak: how to order like a local in Buenos Aires

Beyond steak: how to order like a local in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is often associated with steaks, but they are far from the most common cut served up in the parrillas (meat restaurants) of Argentina's capital. …

20 Apr 2016 • Daniel Neilson insert_drive_file Article
15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

South America has become a favoured destination for the intrepid backpacker, and while it’s impressive in the astounding diversity of its nations, there are a…

02 Mar 2016 • Steph Dyson insert_drive_file Article
Why Córdoba is Argentina’s most underrated region

Why Córdoba is Argentina’s most underrated region

Although long popular with Argentine tourists, Córdoba Province receives few foreign visitors, despite being one of the most diverse parts of the country. This…

24 Feb 2016 • Shafik Meghji insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month