One of the highlights of Buenos Aires has to be our day trip to a small town called San Antonio de Areco. This city, located on the Areco River, was founded in 1730 and is the center for gaucho (Argentina’s cowboy) culture.
The day started out with a driver, Cesar, picking us up from our apartment and driving about an hour and a half outside of Buenos Aires. He proceeded to tell us of some gaucho culture history and how this area became ground zero for how good beef became a staple here in Argentina.
When we got to town, we were met by our awesome guide Laura. We introduced ourselves over a delicious cup of coffee. She proceeded to take us on a walk through “downtown” and showed us a few interesting places. One of the points she wanted to stress and was very passionate about was the craftsmanship and skill that the people of San Antonio possess.
We visited a silversmith, leather maker, jeweler and a chocolate shop. Everything that they make is by hand. The talent that they have in order to make all their goods is amazing! They pride themselves on their artistry as it’s been passed down from generation to generation.
The next stop was our favorite part of the day – the well known estancia (ranch) named Ombu. This ranch used to be a working ranch but is now a place primarily for tourism. We got to spend time with real gauchos during our horseback ride, had a flavorful lunch (a traditional gaucho style “asado” which is a selection of barbecued meats) and finished with a show by the gauchos. They displayed traditional gaucho methods that were actually taught by the natives of these lands. They use a less aggressive technique which is based on gaining the trust of the horse rather than using physical force.
San Antonio de Areco was definitely one of our best experiences we’ve ever had. We would go back in a heartbeat! Check out our album from the day!