Looking for the best estancias near Buenos Aires? You’ve come to the right place! These amazing getaways are all within a short distance from Argentina’s capital.
I’m a big fan of cities – it’s usually where I travel to most. But every now and then, it’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle and escape to the countryside. So, when city life in Buenos Aires gets too much – or if you’re after a unique experience when you visit Argentina – it’s not difficult to find that escape.
And the best place to escape to is one of the many estancias near Buenos Aires. In just under an hour you can be whiling away a lazy day by a pool or riding horses or enjoying a traditional Argentine asado (barbecue) while getting a taste for local culture.
You may be wondering, what is an estancia? An estancia is essentially the Argentine version of a ranch, and there are many within a short distance from Buenos Aires. They range from the super luxurious with in-house spas and gourmet food, to the more traditional with basic lodgings where you can experience life as a gaucho (cowboy).
Rent a car and stay overnight (or longer) or simply head out for the day as part of an organised dia de campo (day in the countryside) where you’ll have the chance to ride horses and enjoy an asado. Some are more touristy than others, some have retained their original traditions, and some are still working estancias where you can join in rounding up cattle and discover life as a gaucho.
If you have the time on your Argentina itinerary, make sure you add a Buenos Aires estancia stay! Here are 7 of the best options near the city.
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7 best Buenos Aires estancias
Best for: Romantic weekend away, weekend with friends
This is my favourite estancia in Argentina – because it was the first one that we visited. The sprawling grounds at Estancia Villa Maria are gorgeous, the staff attentive yet discreet and the food delicious. There’s also a swimming pool for those hot Buenos Aires days.
Built in the late 1920s, it’s been beautifully restored and boasts many a celebrity visit, including Michel Bublé when he married his Argentine sweetheart in 2011.
Meals are multi-course affairs, coupled with wine, of course.
You can relax inside the property’s beautifully preserved rooms and enjoy the many games, books and DVDs or hop on bikes for a leisurely ride around the estate. The estancia also has horse riding, and during high season there are polo matches, tango dancing and gaucho skills on display.
Estancia Villa Maria is close to Ezeiza international airport, so you could even spend your final night in Buenos Aires here. There’s a shuttle from the estancia to the airport.
2. La Bandada
Best for: Culinary experiences, gaucho introduction
Recently renovated, you’ll immediately feel at home at this working estancia. La Bandada’s property covers 250 acres – plenty of space for horse riding, polo, walking, biking or swimming. There’s even an adorable French Bulldog to snuggle with!
The onsite chef whips up dishes featuring seasonal vegetables directly from their own garden. You’re even free to pick a few veggies yourself. Of course, Argentina’s famous meat products are on display with each meal (vegetarians are also catered for), and the staff can’t promise that you won’t leave without putting on a little weight!
Best for: Tranquil countryside stay, authentic experience
Estancia El Ombú de Areco is one of the more “authentic” Argentine countryside experiences. This historic estancia, established as a posthouse in the late 19th century, is located near San Antonio de Areco, known for its historic buildings and cobblestone streets, as well as for Argentina’s famous gaucho culture.
The accommodations at Estancia El Ombú are minimalist with vintage furnishings. Rooms are filled with light with comfortable beds.
The property is expansive, with plenty of outdoor activities. Visitors can participate in horseback riding, enjoy traditional Argentine barbecues and swim in the pool. El Ombu is well-known for its dia de campo day trip.
Best for: Luxury weekend away
From the moment you roll up in front of the castle – that’s really the only way to describe it! – you’ll be blown away.
The 100-acre park was designed by renowned landscape architect Carlos Thays and features 240 species of trees. Prepare for pure luxury in the comfortable yet ornate rooms in one of the best estancias in Argentina.
If you’re heading out for the day you can experience La Candelaria’s famous fiesta gaucha or día de campo. Book the Buenos Aires estancia tour of La Candelaria online here.
Best for: Luxury weekend away
One of the oldest estancias in Argentina, La Bamba de Areco is also one of the best luxury estancias near Buenos Aires. Each room is named after a famous polo horse and has lovely views over the outdoor gardens, park or polo fields. There are no televisions or telephones, so it’s perfect for those who really want to escape (in luxury).
Meals are communal and taken in a different part of the estancia. Like other estancias, you can spend a few days on horseback rides or mountain bikes, enjoy the huge swimming pool, wander through the gardens or book a hot stone massage. During polo season, you can even watch the daily polo matches.
Best for: Outdoor activities like polo lessons and horseback riding
Most well-known as one of Argentina’s premier polo schools, Estancia Don Manuel can arrange a multi-day polo holiday where you spend your days playing chukkas and learning polo skills.
There are acres of lush grass, plenty of beautiful horses and amazing meals that cater to all kinds of dietary requirements at this Buenos Aires estancia.
As well as plenty of polo activities, there’s a swimming pool, jacuzzi, tennis and volleyball courts, games room, yoga classes and bikes to take for a ride. And, of course, horseback riding.
Stay the night or head out there on a “ranch day”. You’ll learn a few polo techniques, watch a polo match and enjoy an asado on a day trip.
Best for: Traditional gaucho stay, warm hospitality
Another beautiful estancia near Buenos Aires, Estancia Los Dos Hermanos is more traditional than others.
Come here for a día de campo. Spend a day riding horses followed by a full asado with plenty of Malbec. You’ll need to take a siesta after all the food!
If you choose to stay a night or two, there are four spacious and private cottages. Be treated to delicious food and spend your days lying by the pool, birdwatching, horseback riding or playing croquet.
Visit a Buenos Aires estancia on a day trip
If you don’t have enough time to stay a night or two at an estancia near Buenos Aires, then there are plenty of tours that can arrange a day trip to one. These day trips tend to focus more on a Buenos Aires gaucho experience and look like a lot of fun!
- This full-day tour heads to San Antonio de Areco for a day of gaucho showmanship, horseback riding and of course a full asado lunch. Book your day trip on Viator. Transportation is included.
- Estancia Santa Susana is close to Buenos Aires and remains a working estancia. Spend a day here on this tour which includes a full asado for lunch (with wine!) and a folklore show.
- Learn about life on an estancia on this tour to Estancia Don Silvano. Like the other tours, it includes transportation, a full lunch and activities. Book online here.
- If you prefer a private tour for your family or group, then this tour can arrange a great day out at an estancia. Book online here.
Buenos Aires estancias map
Final thoughts: Buenos Aires estancias
Buenos Aires is an incredible city – you could easily stay here for weeks. But when you need a break from the concrete jungle, these estancias near Buenos Aires are the perfect escape. From horseback riding to traditional asado barbecues, these unique properties are a great way to experience Argentine culture in a peaceful setting.
Estancias near Buenos Aires: FAQs
What is an estancia and how does it differ from a hotel?
An estancia is a large rural estate typical in Argentina, similar to ranches or country homes that you’d find in the US or UK. They’re deeply rooted in Argentine culture and history, often with a focus on the traditional gaucho (cowboy) lifestyle. Estancias tend to be more intimate than a typical hotel, and are located in scenic, tranquil environments.
What is the best time of year to visit an estancia near Buenos Aires?
The best time to visit an estancia near Buenos Aires is during the spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) months. This is when the weather is generally mild and pleasant, ideal for outdoor activities. Summer (December to February) can be hot, but it’s still a popular time, especially for families on school holidays. Many of these estancias have pools for a cool dip.
How do I get to these estancias?
Most estancias near Buenos Aires are within a 1 to 3-hour drive, making them accessible for day trips or weekend getaways. The best transportation options include renting a car or arranging a private transfer through the estancia. Many of these estancias can be reached by bus if you’re looking to save money, but it can be complicated to figure out the best route.
What types of activities can visitors expect at an estancia?
Common activities at an estancia include horseback riding, hiking, bird watching and participating in traditional farm activities. Many estancias also offer cultural experiences like Argentine barbecue (asado), folk music and dance performances, and demonstrations of gaucho skills. The activities available can vary greatly depending on the estancia’s size and location.
Are estancias suitable for families with children?
Yes! Most estancias are family-friendly and offer activities suitable for children. These can include gentle horseback rides, farm animal interactions, outdoor games and swimming. Check with the estancia in advance, because some are adults-only.
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Have you visited an estancia in Argentina before? Which of these estancias near Buenos Aires would you like to visit? Let me know in the comments below.
Before you go… you might also like these Buenos Aires articles:
- 3-day Buenos Aires itinerary
- Where to eat in Buenos Aires
- The ultimate Buenos Aires bucket list
- Where to stay in Buenos Aires
- What to buy in Buenos Aires
ARGENTINA TRIP ESSENTIALS
- Book your flight to Argentina online with Skyscanner or Kayak. I usually compare flights on the two sites to find the best deals.
- Find a great hotel in Argentina. Check prices on Booking.com and HotelsCombined online.
- Check out the huge range of day tours throughout Argentina on GetYourGuide or Viator. There’s something for everyone.
- Keep those bottles of wine you’ll be buying safe in these wine bags.
- A copy of the Lonely Planet guide to Argentina will be handy. Also pick up a Spanish language guidebook to help you navigate your visit.
- One thing I always purchase is travel insurance! World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
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