Sterling rates boost interest in Argentinian ranch holidays
The 2011 film release of Patagonia might have captured the hearts of horseback enthusiasts, but in 2012 Argentina appears to attracting holiday goers for entirely different reasons. The latest Holiday Money Report from Post Office Travel Money confirmed the growing appeal of the country; sales of the Argentinian peso quadrupling in two years and sterling’s value up by 7.2 per cent*.
While it might be best known for the seductive tango and the vibrant capital of Buenos Aires, Ranch Rider is also seeing increased demand for riding holidays in Argentina.
Tony Daly, Managing Director of Ranch Rider comments, “The “wanderers of the Pampas,” have been roaming the countryside since the early 1600s, when the flatlands were overpopulated by 'cimarron' cattle. As the very first cowboys, the gauchos’ legacy is legend, and today you can still saddle up with these once rugged characters at numerous working cattle farms.”
Solar and wind-powered, the Estancia Los Potreros is a luxury organic cattle farm situated in the Cordoba Hills. Guests can choose to join the gauchos or take overnight pack trips into the Sierras during the summer. A photographer’s paradise sunset rides and treks to ‘The Top of the World’ offer unforgettable views over the Punilla valley and the estancia supports and runs visits to a rural school. When not cantering along the grassy hilltops guests can try their hand at lassoing, or even enjoy a weekly game of informal polo (lessons included), the field doubling as an impromptu driving range and three hole golf course. Taking a maximum of only 12 guests, the holiday is also one for “foodies,” the organic gourmet dishes complimented by informal tastings of Los Potreros’ own label wines. 7-nights from £1,645pp (no single supplement) including full board accommodation, drinks, ranch activities, use of ranch facilities, transfers and taxes. Excludes gratuities as left to guests’ discretion. Return flight from £859pp.
Situated in Argentina’s Patagonia region, the Huechahue Estancia is set against the magnificent backdrop of the Andes. Rugged and wild, the challenging terrain features water meadows, craggy climbs and valleys. Working with the gauchos is all part of the programme, the stay culminating in the ‘Aparte Campero,’ a traditional cattle separating competition. Guests can also ride out to view ancient petroglygphs at the Tehuelche Indian caves or opt for a more adventurous pack trip (three to five days), eagles and majestic condors soaring above. 7-nights from £1,895pp (no single supplement) including accommodation, meals, drinks, ranch activities, use of ranch facilities, taxes and transfers. Excludes gratuities as left to guests' discretion. Return flight from £859pp. Year-round departures.
The more adventurous might want to consider the Across The Andes To Chile itinerary. The trail winds its way across one of the world’s largest mountain chains, riders traversing the Andean Steppes, passing through Indian reservations and encountering magnificent rocky gorges. A dramatic backdrop, the Lanin Volcano is the perfect plot point on the horizon, its presence looming larger as riders edge their way towards Currarehue. 9-nights Across The Andes To Chile ride from £2,969pp (no single supplement) including estancia and camp accommodation, meals, drinks, ranch activities, use of ranch facilities, taxes and transfers. Excludes gratuities as left to guests’ discretion. Return flight from £859pp. Departures from November 2012 through February 2013.
Do the Coastal Tango on Ranch Rider’s new 8-night fly-drive itinerary, the tour beginning and ending in the vibrant capital of Buenos Aires. The penguin and whale paradise of Puerto Madryn unleashes a wildlife spectacular from September through April, and its dinosaur museum is purported to be one of the best in the world. Another marine sanctuary, the Valdes Peninsula was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991; sea wolves, elephant seals and over 3,000 Southern Right whales gracing its shores. There is also the opportunity for a little last minute shopping in the Argentinian capital at the end of the trip, the seductive tango pulling on the heartstrings of more adventurous romantics. From £899pp (two sharing). The 6-night eco self-drive includes the opportunity to ride the ecological train ride to the Devil's Throat and view the Iguazu Falls. From £769pp (two sharing). Both prices include domestic flights, accommodation and car hire. Return flight from £859pp
Visit ranchrider.com for further information.
*Post Office Travel Money's Holiday Money Report quarterly update.