The Pampas is an area of fertile low-lying land, roughly the size of France, which dominates northeastern Argentina. This is the land of the gaucho - the enduring icon of Argentina's cowboy country - and huge cattle farms and sets of sleepy ranches known as estancias abound.
The Pampas's clear skies and windswept grassland are the perfect remedy to the bustle of Buenos Aires. The many estancias that dot the plains range from grand old mansions to small and modern ranches. Many welcome visitors to stay and this is a great way to get a glimpse of traditional Argentine guacho life.
Of the Pampas' small settlements, San Antonio de Areco is perhaps the most charming and little changed since the 1900s. A town of rustic old buildings, palm lined dusty streets and of course, excellent steak houses, the small settlement is home to a friendly population. Mini festivals bring people together throughout the year, and one in particular to look out for is the Carrera de sortija, the traditional and exciting ring-spearing contest.