Estancias in Argentina | Countryside | Pampa
What all estancias have in common is their remoteness. Many are lone farms adrift in the massive green sea of the pampas, the fertile lowlands of the continent that cover more than 750,000 sq km (289,577 sq miles). Cattle, sheep and horses are the only immediate signs of life, grazing away nonchalantly in huge fields.
Closer to Buenos Aires, the pampas is vibrant, green, sometimes unnervingly flat, and sometimes more hummocky. You’ll often wind your way up a long driveway to reach an estancia, and as you draw closer you’ll likely be greeted by the estancia’s dogs (and sometimes a preening peacock).
If you choose to visit an estancia in Patagonia, the scenic drama ratchets up a notch.
Here you’re in steppe, dry and sprawling, unbroken to the horizon. Depending on where you go, you might look out in one direction over mountains. Nibepo Aike, has about the best view of the lot. From the bedroom window, poking out from in-between gutsy giant agave stems, you could see the snowy tops of the Andes.
At Patagonia’s, you’re treated to views of hanging glaciers, lakes and rivers, as well as the mountain panoramas. Just getting to this estancia is an adventure, too: you’ll take a three-hour boat ride across Argentina’s largest lake, Lago Argentino. Once there, you can thoroughly explore the estancia’s huge estate, go hiking to waterfalls, and investigate the estancia’s chapel and Spanish colonial main house.
You’ll share your stay with a handful of other visitors, only joining them for group activities and mealtimes. So, there are usually plenty of opportunities to seek the solitary pleasures of nature, if that’s what you’re after.
It’s also worth noting that some estancias don’t have Wi-Fi or a phone signal, which might influence your choice one way or the other.