Gaucho Culture: Cowboys, Horses & Ranches of  Argentina

Gaucho Culture: Cowboys, Horses & Ranches of Argentina

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  • Visit the Ombú de Areco one of the traditional estancias near Buenos Aires.
  • Continue visiting other estancias in Argentina in legendary Patagonia. 
  • Visit Perito Moreno Glacier, enjoy horseback riding and learn about the gaucho culture. 

In this 11-day trip to visit the best estancias in Argentina get to know the life of the Argentine cowboys, or “gauchos” in the tranquility of a ranch surrounded by the most incredible scenery. Stroll through uninhabited forests, appreciate nature’s contrasting colors and gaze upon the impressive mountains of Argentina’s Patagonia. This itinerary fully immerses you in the Argentine culture and the history behind it.


Welcome to your estancias in Argentina trip

  • Transfer from Buenos Aires airport to your hotel in the city.

Upon arrival, we will drive you to the city and you’ll have the rest of the day to enjoy Buenos Aires at your own pace. Buenos Aires is a marvelous, energetic, cosmopolitan city, full of color and different styles of architecture. 

The capital of Argentina, and described as the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires proudly embraces its title, and also shows off plenty of its own culture! Argentinians are usually eager to host visitors; if you walk the streets with a map, someone will surely stop and ask if you need directions…that’s just our spirit! 


Say Hueque Tips

Our recommendations for your first day in Buenos Aires:

  • Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, che! (“che” means “guy” in Argentina). For this first day, feel free to wander the cobblestone streets lined with outdoor cafes, enjoy the mouthwatering aroma of world-famous Argentine beef sizzling on an open parrilla (barbeque), and browse the local antique and artisan markets that offer plenty of bargain shopping.

Welcome to your estancias in Argentina trip
El Ombú de Areco

  • Transfer from Buenos Aires airport to San Antonio de Areco

Upon arrival in Buenos Aires we’ll meet at the airport and drive you to your estancia near Buenos Aires, The Ombú in San Antonio de Areco.

El Ombú de Areco is a historical estancia (ranch) just over an hour’s drive from downtown Buenos Aires in San Antonio de Areco, birthplace of the gaucho tradition.The Late-Colonial style mansion, built in 1880, offers visitors a magnificent setting for an unforgettable stay.

Today you have a variety of options for activities; you can go horseback riding, hiking, or sightseeing in an old-fashioned carriage. This is an ideal place for prime bird watching and observing typical ranch-style activities such as herding animals, branding cattle and milking cows.

In the evening, there will be a typical Argentine asado, or barbecue, as well as a musical performance and some folkloric dance.



Estancia El Ombú de Areco

  • Activities in the estancia

Today, you will have the morning to participate in any activities you did not get to the day before. In the afternoon, there will be a show of classic Argentine cowboy skills, such as catching calves, herding galloping horses, a sort of backwards polo, and many more.


Continue your trip to estancias in Argentina

  • Transfer to the airport / Transfer to your estancia in El Calafate

After breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to this lovely estancia. At appropriate time we’ll drive you from the estancia to the domestic airport. Upon arrival, you will have a transfer from El Calafate airport to Nibepo Aike, your first estancia in Patagonia!

This estancia is located inside of Los Glaciares National Park. With a maximum capacity of 22 persons in its ten rooms, exclusiveness and warmth are guaranteed. Horseback riding and hiking are the principal activities. Furthermore, visitors can enjoy the homemade cuisine: vegetables from the garden, and the famous lamb grilled on a traditional Patagonian cross stake.


Nipebo Aike ranch & Perito Moreno Glacier tour

  • Perito Moreno Glacier tour with boat trip

During the morning, we will pick you and drive you to Glaciers National Park to enjoy the 6-hour Perito Moreno Glacier tour.  You will travel about 25 miles from El Calafate to the park, enjoying the views of the Patagonian steppe. Once inside the park, you will take walkways to explore the different viewpoints, and you’ll feel unbelievably close to Perito Moreno Glacier. If you’re lucky, you may even get to see a piece of ice break off and fall from the glacier wall, sinking forever into the lake below.

 Over the course of about one hour, a bilingual guide will provide you with all the information you might want to know…and things you may have never thought about. After this visit, you will take a boat ride that will bring you close enough to fully appreciate the 262-foot ice walls of Perito Moreno! You’ll never feel closer to this gigantic and impressive natural masterpiece. At the end of the day, we will drive you back to your hotel.  


Say Hueque Tips

  • Walk over the Big Ice

Have you ever imagined walking across the surface of a glacier? Well, this is your chance! The Mini Trekking tour will allow you to trek on Perito Moreno Glacier… This is one of our favorite excursions in Patagonia, and you can also enjoy it in this itinerary of the estancias in Argentina! This is an optional excursion you can add to this day. 


Horseback excursion to the Third of April Lagoon

  • Horseback ride to the Third of April Lagoon

The ride starts early in the morning, with the climb up the Cordon de los Cristales (Cristal mountain range), which lies behind the main house. The higher we go, the more clearly the Argentino lake`s arms stand out. Once we reach a clearing, the track plunges into the Patagonian Andean woods. On coming out of the dense woodland the way opens out into the Valley of the Río Cachorro. 

We start descending towards the lower land until we come to the riverbed. Surprise views of the Frías glacier start to appear in the distance. Riding between rocks and pasturelands and avoiding the marshlands, we reach the corrals of the Río Cachorro (Cachorro River) outpost where the rangers might be working with the livestock.

After a picnic lunch we continue horseback riding to the Third of April Lagoon. Passing the lake, we arrive at the outpost, and after unsaddling, there will be time to enjoy the surroundings and the cosiness of the refuge. A wood-fired stove and a brick clay oven, the evening meal will be prepared while tales of adventures are shared.


Travel to Hostería Helsingfors

  • From the estancia back to El Calafate

The return journey begins riding along the shore of the lake until we reach the main buildings of the estancia, about 18km from the refuge. We will arrive in time for lunch with a typical Patagonian lamb roasted at the stake over charcoal embers, which will be ready just as the riders arrive. After lunch, a shuttle service will take you to El Calafate.


  • Travel to Hostería Helsingfors

Once in El Calafate, you’ll be transferred to Hostería Helsingfors, the second estancia in Patagonia you’ll be staying at.

Set in a charming lodge in Los Glaciares National Park and surrounded by lush woods, Hosteria Helsingfors boasts 9 luxury rooms in an exquisite setting often compared to JRR Tolkein’s Lord of The Rings stories.

After lunch you can explore around the area, and if you are not too tired, you can make one of the activities that Helsingfors offers. In the evening, you’ll be welcomed with the best regional cuisine.


  • Suggested activity in the Hostería – Hike to Peninsula del Viento

An ancient livestock trail leads us towards Punta del Viento, the first viewpoint of the arm of Moyano. It is a simple walk that has great views of the town and the grove of Sequoias. Along the way we visit the ruins of the House of Alfred Ramstrom, who was the first settler in the area. The Moyano“arm” goes into the mountains and to the East lies the immensity of the Viedma Lake with its celestial waters; the characteristics of the glacial lakes can be seen arriving on the shores. This is a 3-hour, easy-difficulty experience!


Second day at Hosteria Helsingfors

  • Suggested activity – Trekking or horse riding to Laguna Azul

Today you will be able to choose from the activities offered by Hostería Helsingfors. Enjoy the trekking or Horse riding to Laguna Azul!

The day will be started on a path that leads out from the lodge and goes into the valley of the Rio Alfredo (the same river that feeds the lodge’s energy). You will begin to slowly hike up the Cerro Huemul, accompanied by the melody of the bubbling river. After around forty minutes of hiking, you’ll reach a panoramic viewpoint where you can see the magnitude of Cerro Fitz Roy coming out from the huge Lago Viedma.

The walk continues plunging into the valley which becomes increasingly narrower, surrounded by Cordon Huemul and peaks that reach 2700 meters; the glacier of the Blue Lagoon you will already be able to see on the horizon of the valley. The trail then enters a forest where it is common to see guanacos and vultures curious to observe visitors approaching. This medium-difficulty experience lasts for 5h 30 min.


Hosteria El Pilar, El Chaltén

  • Travel to Hostería el Pilar in El Chaltén

Continue your trip to explore the estancias in Argentina Patagonia and reach El Chaltén! At the appropriate time, you will have a private transfer that will take you from Hostería Helsingfors to Hostería El Pilar in El Chalten.


Say Hueque Tips

  • What to do on your first day in Histería El Pilar?

You can enjoy any of the self-guided treks in the area. We recommend that you take the path to Pliegue Tumbado from where you get impressive panoramic views of the Mounts Fitz Roy and Torre. You can optionally hire horses for this trekking.


From El Calafate Back to Buenos Aires

  • Transfer from Hostería el Pilar to El Calafate airport


At the appropriate time, you will have a private transfer from Hostería El Pilar to El Calafate airport. This is the end of your trip to explore the estancias near Buenos Aires and in Patagonia.


  • Transfer from Buenos Aires domestic airport to your hotel.


Upon arrival at Buenos Aires domestic airport, we’ll drive you to your hotel and you will have your last night at leisure. 


The end of your estancias of Argentina trip

  • Transfer from your hotel to Buenos Aires airport 

At the appropriate time, we’ll drive you to the international airport where you’ll take your flight back home, ¡buen viaje! (good trip!).

Say Hueque Tips 

How would you like to spend your last day in Argentina? Here are some ideas:

  • You can explore the cobblestone, tree-lined streets of Palermo Soho in search of some one-of-a-kind Porteño fashion stores or discover the graffiti circuit. 
  • You may stop by one of our historic cafés (named “cafés notables”) located all over the city and have a “cortado”, the most popular Argentine coffee choice.
  • If you’re leaving on a Saturday or Sunday, you may have the chance to visit one of the city markets, only open during weekends. 

If this trip doesn’t meet your expectations we can tailor it to your needs and budget.


  • Prices in US Dollars.
  • Valid until May 2023 (ask for prices at Christmas and New Year).
  • Prices are per person, based on 2 people in double occupancy. Single rates are available on request.
  • Flights are not included in the price but can be arranged on request.
  • We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you book with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset. We are working to create more sustainable, responsible, and meaningful ways of exploring South America.


We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you book with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset. We are working to create more sustainable, responsible and meaningful ways of exploring South America. It feels good to do it right. Learn more about our actions against climate change here.


  • 1-night accommodation Buenos Aires
  • 2-night accommodation in estancia El Ombú
  • 3-night accommodation in Estancia Nibepo Aike
  • 2-night accommodation in Estancia Helsingfors
  • 1-night accommodation in Estancia El Pilar
  • 1-night accommodation in Buenos Aires
  • Daily breakfast
  • Transfers and tours are mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Bilingual guide (English / Spanish)


  • International or domestic flights or buses
  • National Park entrance fees
  • Travel / Medical Insurance – To get a free quote please follow this link: World Nomads
  • Personal Expenses


Buenos Aires - El Calafate - Buenos Aires

Flights in South America cost approximately $150 to $300 USD per segment (destination). We offer special rates on flights for this tailor-made itinerary.


Buenos Aires - El Calafate - Buenos Aires

Flights in South America cost approximately $150 to $300 USD per segment (destination). We offer special rates on flights for this tailor-made itinerary.