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The Pampas stretch from North East Argentina, throughout the entirety of Uruguay into Southern Brazil. These vast fertile plains are home to charming rural estancias and their gauchos. The way of life here is an integral part of the culture of South America and an estancia holiday will offer a deep insight into the living history of the region. During your holiday there will be ample opportunity to get out and about on horseback. Get in touch with one of our Estancia specialists who will be able to talk you through the full range of experiences on offer and advise you on which estancia is best suited to your budget, riding experience and interests.
During your stay, you will interact with the Gauchos - these South American cowboys are celebrated for their sublime horsemanship which has been refined over a lifetime in the saddle. No one that has visited an Estancia has left unimpressed by the skill the Gauchos display in their native environment.
The riding experiences on offer include tuition for beginners and children, working with the Gauchos as they go about their daily tasks and learning to play polo.
Don't worry if not everyone in your group is an enthusiastic rider. There are plenty of options away from the horses, depending on the estancia you may have activities as diverse as bird watching, walking, mountain biking, carriage rides, traditional Argentine bowls, cooking classes, wine tasting and if all that isn't enough, a relaxing stay in a traditional rural environment.
Gaucho Style riding is performed in a relaxed manner with loose reins it is an intuitive way to ride and relatively straightforward to pick up. It is a much more rugged style of horse riding, and you may need to clear your mind of everything you have already learnt to pick it up. You will use be using a recado saddle which is more comfortable than the saddles that you may be used to. Gauchos typically ride with the reins in one hand allowing them to use their lasso or whip (rebenque).
Although Estancias are most readily associated with Argentina and the Pampas they can be found throughout Argentina from Salta in the North to Patagonia in the South as well as in Uruguay and Brazil.
When it comes to eating like a Gaucho, nothing beats the smell and flavour of the Asado. Large pieces of meat - often a whole lamb, goat or a substantial cut of beef - are cooked over a grill or an open fire. It is a popular centrepiece in the traditional cuisine of Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina and an intrinsically social meal to enjoy with friends and family. During your stay at an estancia, you will be sure to have a chance to try an Asado; some estancias may even serve one every day for lunch, others as a special occasion at the weekend, either way, it goes beautifully with a glass of the local red.
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