Argentina: Beyond the Pampas

beyond the pampas huechahue 2

According to locals, the true soul of Argentina can only be discovered in its boundless steppes, not in its cities.  For centuries the Argentine grasslands have been the domain of the gaucho, a variant of the North American cowboy, providing their livelihoods through cattle rearing and sheep shearing. Whilst the gaucho is still very much living and working part of the national culture, many of the country’s smaller ranches, known as estancias, have been persuaded to open up their gates to paying guests in order to ensure survival.

Today the vacation ranch market already seems nearing saturation; you will find luxury estancias complete with spas and pools catering for honeymooners, or those that have been turned into Disney style nightmares for gawking tourists. However, delving a little deeper will unearth a handful of places that are indeed the real thing; working estancias maintained by true gauchos.

Located on the edge of Patagonia, 125 miles north of Bariloche, 990 miles south west of Buenos Aires and seemingly a million years away from anything, lies the 15,000 acre estancia Huechahue. With eight double rooms, all en suite, the accommodation is basic but comfortable. Meals are served communally either in the lodge dining room or outdoors, where traditional barbecues, or ‘asados’, are prepared over open pit fires. Being in prime beef country means its pretty much meat galore for lunch, dinner and sometimes, even breakfast. But don’t expect a dainty sirloin steak; the animal you saw grazing just hours before will be roasting in its entirety on the flames. Huechahue is virtually self-sufficient when it comes to food; sourcing its own eggs, milk and bacon – it also provides freshly baked bread and has a sizeable orchard.

Although one can choose to partake in some fly fishing or a spot of bird watching, the main event here is horseback riding. There is cattle gathering to be done on a daily basis and the estancia also organizes excursions through the Andean foothills, where you will be trotting amongst rocky gorges, galloping through Patagonian rivers and can even stop to visit ancient Tehuelche Indian burial caves. All the horse related activities are presided over by one of the ranch gauchos, meaning no nonsense and experienced guidance.

The estancia remains closed from May to September when the land plummets into a frigid slumber and the cows move onto greener pastures, but if travel does take you that far south, be sure to venture beyond the capital and explore the wilderness that awaits.


Milk Barn is the Perfect Catskills Getaway and It Could Be Yours

Built in 1873, Milk Barn sits on 15 private acres and includes two guest houses, three glamping cabanas, a treehouse, and a spring-fed swimming pond.

Jazz Legend Miles Davis’ Ferrari 308 Heads to Auction

Here's your chance to own a piece of music and automotive history.

The Best Buys from Moosejaw’s Massive 96-Hour Sale

With everything from tents to technical gear to sleeping pads, Moosejaw's deep discounts can be found in every outdoor category.

Own Your Own Minimalist Swedish Retreat with Villa Akerman

This waterside home is peak Scandinavian design an hour south of Stockholm.
Food & Drink

How to Eat Your Way Across Texas Barbecue Country

Brisket, brisket, and more brisket. Here’s how to eat it like a king in Texas barbecue country.
Food & Drink

Ohio Is Home to the World’s First Brewery Hotel (with In-room Taps!)

In-room taps and well-stocked shower fridges? Sign us up!
Food & Drink

Win a Luxurious Travel Cocktail Set In Honor of The Manual Spirit Awards

Only two can win. Will it be you? Enter to find out.

Tips for Staying Healthy on the Road from People Who Get Paid to Drink

Though spirits brand ambassadors have pretty much the coolest job ever, constant travel can take a serious toll. Here's how some of the best stay balanced on the go.

The View of an American Road Trip from the Back of a Motorcycle

When I was in architecture school I bought a small 250cc Honda Rebel a) because it was a cheap way to get around town and b) because it allowed me to explore the mountains near my university in a way I hadn’t experienced before. Mountains…

You Can Play Real-Life Mario Kart on the Streets of Tokyo

Banana peels and red turtle shells are strictly forbidden, but Mario mustaches are encouraged.
Fashion & Style

Peak Design’s Travel Line Is the Kind of Compartmentalized Luggage Bag We love

This bag has pockets inside pockets inside pockets!

5 Best Cities to Celebrate Oktoberfest Outside of Germany

Munich isn't the only place that loves lederhosen, märzen, and oompah bands.

Burstner Harmony 3 Is One of the Sexiest Camper Concepts We’ve Ever Seen

Sometimes "roughing it" should include an espresso maker and a rainfall shower.
Food & Drink

A Brief History of Oktoberfest and Why You Should Celebrate in 2018

How did a Bavarian wedding in the 1800s turn into the biggest beer celebration in the world?