The Patagonian Lake District, with its famous Siete Lagos route, is undoubtedly one of Argentina’s outdoor highlights. It’s stunning whichever way you go, but nothing beats on horseback. The days pretty much go like this: wake up in camp, light a fire to warm water, drink some mate tea, lazily eat some facturas (pastries), saddle up and hop on a horse, amble around some of the world’s most idyllic countryside, get off the horse, set up camp, help the gaucho with an asado, eat meat and drink wine overlooking a mirror flat lake, sleep into a divine slumber.
It’s the sport of kings, a playing field for the super rich, a game where the world’s most proficient horse riders get to show off their skills. Polo is surely not for any old day-tripping horse botherer. Or is it? Around Buenos Aires, an increasing number of estancias are offering “polo days”, where even novices can get in the saddle and start swinging a mallet. One such place is…
If you’re suffering from Bacon Syndrome – hot, crispy and well sizzled – then it’s time to take a break from the steamy summer in Buenos Aires, at least for a weekend trip. The Real Argentina offers up some cooling ideas such as kayaking activities, a working farm holiday, and where to find Argentina’s best surf – all to give you some respite from the sweaty city.
When porteños need to escape the city smog, they head to Cariló, Argentina’s ‘green sand dune’ (its meaning in the Mapuche language). Breezy and easy to get to, Cariló is a top Argentina travel destination and the country’s most exclusive summer resort, a green lung which is a small slice of paradise: a pine forest next to the beach.
Real travel, as opposed to taking a few weeks holiday from work, can be hard to justify unless you are retired or travelling is what you do for a living as a writer or film maker. For the rest of us, the idea of spending months on end in some far-flung continent just for the sheer adventure of it all sounds self-indulgent – especially in these tough times, and especially if you are a student.
Buenos Aires has the bright lights, Patagonia has the show-stopping scenery, Mendoza has the food and wine, but if it’s the beating heart of rural Argentina you’re longing for, you’ll find it on the country’s estancias.
The gaucho is an important symbol for Argentines. Equally revered and feared, the gaucho is the paragon of the stoicism required through a life of hardship – an admired virtue in this country. A life on the pampas; lonely; always in danger; quietly pushing forward the rickety wheels of Argentinian industry.