Few can compete with La Bamba for character, setting, age, prestige or Argentine hospitality – and all within a two-hour drive of Buenos Aires
Activity adventure | History & culture
Just 120km from Buenos Aires, La Bamba lies in the heart of the pampas – the verdant, flat pastures that have nurtured Argentina’s gaucho cowboys and the cattle they protect for centuries. The nearest town is San Antonio de Areco, a quiet village known for the talented work of its gaucho-inspired silversmiths and artisans. Be sure also to visit its renowned museum, dedicated to the novelist Guiraldes and the gaucho legend.
There’s a wonderful feeling of being welcomed into a family home upon arrival here. For a large part that’s down to the refined service and characteristic warmth of the gaucho community, but it’s helped by the fact that there are only 11 rooms and suites. Each is named after a famous polo horse, and all are decked out with dark-wood floors, antique colonial furniture, local textiles and works of art, king-size beds and Egyptian cotton linens. You won’t find televisions here, though, so you’ll have to make do with the breathtaking views of the park, polo fields and rolling pampa.
The asado, or barbecue, is at the heart of any estancia experience. Here is no exception, with cuts of grilled beef unlike anything you’ve tasted served beside salads, sweetbreads and chorizo, washed down with a bold Argentinian red. Guests are encouraged to eat together, family style, at the antique dining table, though private dining elsewhere on the estate can easily be arranged. There’s no bar as such, but wine is served with every meal and all meals are included in the room rate. In between meals the attentive staff will be only too happy to fetch you a glass.
This is what Argentine cowboy dreams are made of. You can ride the estancia’s resident horses as often as you’d like, take a horse and carriage ride, explore the pampas by foot or by mountain bike, try fly fishing or bird watching, or even get to grips with Argentine bowls. And when you’re back from a hot ride, you can always relocate to the outdoor pool, whose surrounding loungers are shaded by umbrellas and 100-year-old trees. Spa treatments, pilates, yoga and fitness classes can also be arranged. An international polo team trains at the estate, and guests are invited to watch practice sessions and matches, which take place almost daily through the season. You haven’t seen polo until you’ve seen it played in Argentina.
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