Argentina ~ Corrientes, Estancia La Rosita & Gaucho Rides
The province of Corrientes, home to Estancia La Rosita, lies to the north of Buenos Aires. Surrounded by the great Parana and Uruguay rivers, it is the heart of the traditional 'gaucho' country. Stays at La Rosita are flexible; the estancia is open year round and there is lots to do from rides out through the pampa, lagoons, forest and sand dunes to cattle work, fishing, polo and swimming. Between March and November Gaucho Rides take you from estancia to estancia, staying at different farms each night and with excellent going and plenty of spare horses, are a joy for experienced riders who are keen to move on. La Rosita is authentic rural Argentine hospitality at its best - colourful gauchos, rodeos and cattle round-ups, delicious 'asados' - you can even have tango lessons!
Riding: 3-6 hours a day or tailored to suit
Horses: Criollo and farm bred crosses
Pace: varied, tailored to suit (fast to moderate on Gaucho Ride)
Riding ability: novice to experienced riders; families welcome (intermediate and above on Gaucho Ride)
Weight limit: about 95kg (15 stone) but contact us if you are 90kg (14st 2lbs) or over
Accommodation: comfortable estancia
Group size: maximum 12
Season: year round (March to November for Gaucho Rides)
Horses: The horses are local criollo and polo ponies, most have been bred on the farm and are well schooled and used to cattle work and polo so a responsive ride. Saddles are Argentine (very comfortable with big sheepskins) or polo saddles. The horses are ridden in pelham bits with a loose rein and light hands. Saddle bags are provided where necessary.
Hours: When staying at the estancia there is usually about 4 to 6 hours riding a day with breaks for rests and lunch, although hours are flexible and tailored to suit. On the Gaucho Rides there is about 5 hours riding on most days, with one long day of 8 hours. There is a long break for lunch each day.
Pace and experience required: Estancia based rides suit riders of various ability levels. As a minimum you must have some previous riding experience and be fairly fit. You should be comfortable and in control on a well schooled horse at a walk, trot and canter and used to riding in open country. Experienced riders will have responsive forward going horses and fun riding but there are also sensible, steady schoolmasters, and riding hours can be adjusted, for less experienced riders. The pace is varied with opportunities for canters and some slower days. The Gaucho Rides are for intermediate riders and above only and pace is moderate to fast, covering about 50km a day and changing horses regularly.
There are 6 guest bedrooms at La Rosita, all with en-suite bathrooms, they are simple but comfortable, quite old fashioned and furnished in traditional 'estancia' style.
When on the Gaucho Rides you stay at three other estancias - again accommodation is simple but comfortable though there may be shared bathrooms on some nights.
The Estancias are homes belonging to your hosts and are very much homes rather than hotels. You are looked after with true Gaucho hospitality. There is a swimming pool at La Rosita and also one of the other estancias on the Gaucho Ride.
Dinner is usually served in the family dining room and lunches and breakfast outside on the verandah or on tables set up under the palm trees in the garden.
You will be well fed with traditional Correntino cooking and plenty of excellent Argentine beef and lamb (vegetarians can be catered for with advance warning)
8 night Estancia stay - USD 1420
Rates include - 2 nights overnight sleeper bus, 6 nights twin estancia accommodation, all riding, all meals, drinks, guiding services, equipment, return bus tickets Buenos Aires-Esquina, and transfers between Esquina and Estancia La Rosita.
Estancia stays - on request, year round
Itinerary in brief - Gaucho Ride
|Day 1||[Own arrangements to arrive Buenos Aires] In the late afternoon make your way to Retiro central bus station in Buenos Aires for the overnight luxury sleeper bus to Esquina in Corrientes province. Dinner served onboard. (D)|
|Day 2||Early morning arrival in the town of Esquina and transferred by car to Estancia la Rosita (about 30 mins). A good breakfast and the chance to rest before heading off on your introductory ride to get acquainted with the horses and the way they are ridden. After lunch spend the afternoon riding alongside the gauchos. Later, a candlelit dinner in the dining room of the 19th century part of the estancia. (B,L,D)|
|Days 3||Enjoy a morning ride across the plains and returning to the estancia for lunch and a siesta. In the afternoon you may head to the estancia’s own polo ground for some stick and ball practice. Night at La Rosita. (B,L,D|
|Day 4||Set off for a long day in the saddle, about 22 miles in all. Lunch is a typical Argentine asado (barbecue) on the shores of a lagoon. The afternoon’s ride finishes at the end of a tree lined drive at the simple but cosy estancia La Amistad. (Approx. 5 ½ hours riding). (B,L,D)|
||Mount up on new horses, yesterday’s horses enjoy their rest as they lope along with the group as you pass through and between lagoons inhabited by alligators and capybara. Lunch and siesta at an old cattle station before continuing on to the next estancia, the aptly named Buena Vista. (Approx. 5 hours riding). (B,L,D)|
|Day 6||A delicious breakfast then set off riding across the plains. Stop for lunch overlooking the Corrientes River. Set off riding, first finding a spot to cross the river, the riding on the far side takes you through beautiful native scrub, with some open grassland, sand banks and oxbow lakes. Your next accommodation, Estancia La Pelada, comes into view, situated in a beautiful spot on the far side of the Corrientes River. Dinner and night at La Pelada. (Approx. 4 hours riding). (B,L,D)|
|Day 7||Set off riding, across the wide pampa, heading back towards Estancia La Rosita. This is the longest day and you have a good deal of ground to cover. After a delicious 'asado',ride on, reaching the district of smaller subsistence farms close to Esquina. In the late evening, as dark is setting in, the frogs are singing and fireflies begin to light up you reach La Rosita. Night at La Rosita (Approx. 8 hours riding). (B,L,D)|
|Day 8||A last morning with a choice of activities and in the afternoon there will be a final ride. A special dinner followed a late evening transfer to Esquina for the overnight bus back to Buenos Aires. (B,L,D)|
|Day 9||Arrive Buenos Aires at about 08.00. Own arrangements for a taxi to Ezeiza International airport for your flight home (or onward travel).|
|Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on tel (+44) (0)1837-82544 / 825440 for further information, detailed itineraries, dates and answers to questions.|
The meeting point for these rides is Esquina - we arrange the overnight luxury sleeper bus tickets from Buenos Aires to Esquina (inlcuded in above 8 night packages).
For flights from London budget around £600 to £900 economy return (varies with season and availability). British Airways has direct flights from London to Buenos Aires, as does Norwegian low cost airline. Iberia and Aerolineas Argentinas fly via Madrid.