Gaucho Traditions & Uruguay

Argentina conjures up romantic images of gauchos (cowboys), vast pampas (grasslands) and the immense Rio de la Plata (River Plate), all of which can be found on the doorstep of its capital city. Take a step back in time to immerse yourself in the history and traditions of these distinct attractions: a day's experience at an authentic estancia (ranch) - home to the cowboys of the pampas, and then a memorable river crossing into picturesque, colonial Uruguay.
2 Days
$995

Gaucho Traditions & Uruguay - 2 - $995

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Hang-out with the gauchos, Argentina’s famed cowboys. Learn more about the way of life of these custodians of the pampas (grasslands)

Step back in time and visit Colonia de Sacramento in neighbouring Uruguay; discover the colonial history of this attractive UNESCO heritage site

Spend 2 full days exploring the surrounding regions; all of your complex travel logistics are taken care of - stay at the same hotel each night in Buenos Aires

With our expert guides and estancia (ranch) hosts, there is time to  relax and enjoy this trip at your own pace 

Landmarks potentially visited on Gaucho Traditions & Uruguay

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Estancia in the pampas

Leave the skyscrapers and noise behind as you head by private vehicle into the province of Buenos Aires to an authentic estancia (ranch) for the day. The drive today is approximately 1.5 hours and will leave you in awe of the vastness and beauty of the Argentine pampas (grasslands) region, home to the famous gauchos, the cowboys of Argentina. These incredibly fertile, naturally occurring prairies stretch for hundreds of miles, paying honour to the roots of its ingdigenous name, simply meaning ‘flat-land’. 

Estancias, sometimes translated as ranches, are more than just a cattle-ranch, they represent the economic, social and political hub of the pampas region, which in turn, was the motor driving Argentina’s economy to worldly heights in its historic glory days. The money made here is the raison d’etre for all the huge mansions you will have seen in Buenos Aires. Nowadays these places, set deep in the countryside, are perhaps economically less important but still act as a focal point for agricultural production with some having opened-up to tourism in recent years. One of the reasons we have chosen your particular estancia is that visitors are limited to a maximum of 20 people, making your stay here much more intimate and enjoyable. 

Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by your bilingual host who will make you feel right at home with tasty empanadas (Argentine pastries) and welcome drinks. Today’s visit will be relaxed and full of learning opportunities about the Argentine pampas and a chance to simply relax in a verdant, picturesque setting. Activities that can be arranged include discovering the 10 hectares of property on foot, spotting some of the birds that inhabit the nearby lagoons and learning about the on-site organic vegetable garden. You might like to visit the stables, and try your hand at horse riding, complete with a gaucho horse whisperer on hand to guide you. These are masters of their trade, rearing beautiful horses from a very young age; your intimate experience at the estancia will afford you a great opportunity to interact with them, seeing first-hand their equestrian prowess, and a chance to take some great photos.  

Many people who visit this estancia for the day are captivated by its people. From the farm workers who prepare your asado (BBQ), to the in-house chefs and serving staff, everyone will make you feel relaxed and taken care of, wishing you could stay for longer. Lunch will certainly be a highlight, consisting of a variety of  delicious meats, vegetables and fresh salads - much of which you will have seen either growing in the garden or being roasted by the gauchos previously. You may eat indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather, with the guarantee being that nobody will go home hungry from this meal. 

As the afternoon winds down, afternoon tea will be served and you can try some home-made pastries slathered with wonderful dulce de leche (spreadable condensed milk) to make them extra special. As you say goodbye to your hosts, remember that hasta luego means ‘until next time’ and not goodbye! Return to Buenos Aires with your heart and belly full from a wonderful day in the real Argentine countryside.  

Meals: welcome snacks, BBQ lunch - soft drinks included, afternoon tea 

Excursion: full day estancia visit, with maximum of 20 guests

Accommodation: Swoop suggested 4* boutique hotel, Palermo neighbourhood, Buenos Aires


Day 2: Visit Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay

Today you’ll cross the Rio de la Plata estuary which is also an international border. You are visiting Argentina’s sister country, Uruguay. Life drops down a gear, or two, on the other side of the river, as you take the day to get to know the delightful colonial village of Colonia de Sacramento - a UNESCO heritage site.

It’s likely to be an early start: your private vehicle will take you from your hotel to the Buquebus terminal at Puerto Madero in time for you to check in for your international ferry crossing. Remember to bring your passport and any visa documents if required. The fast ferry service takes approximately 1 hour, covering some 50km as it sails across what is considered the widest river in the world. It is so vast that when it was first sailed by Europeans, it was called the Sweet Sea as it was considered a sea but contained non-salty water. 

The small town of Colonia de Sacramento, first established by the Portuguese in the 17th century, was for decades the frontier between the antagonistic Spanish and Portuguese forces in the area, and for a time the best defended and most opulent settlement in the region. Nowadays you can visit the old city gate, and atmospheric convents and churches from the era. Most of the old Portuguese layout remains in the UNESCO-protected Barrio Historico (Historic Neighbourhood). You will be met upon arrival by your local guide who will walk you through this fascinating small town and recount its history, which is indicative of how the continent of South America was politically formed - an offspring of two great colonial powers. You will gleen lots of fascinating information from this local historian’s perspective as you peruse the quaint architecture that simply cannot be found in Buenos Aires.       

Lunch is taken at a local restaurant,with a wide choice of dishes, and then take some time on your own to wander the cobbled streets, check out the flower-filled parks and plazas, or perhaps visit some of the museums or artisan shops in the historical centre. In the early afternoon check into the ferry port (very close to the historical quarter) for your fast ferry back to Buenos Aires. Upon returning, you’ll be struck by the stark contrast between the immense city of Buenos Aires - with its imposing skyline and modern panache, and the tiny town, lost in time that you’ve just spent a day getting to know. 

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch - including non-alcoholic beverages 

Excursion: full day visit to Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay

Accommodation: Swoop suggested 4* boutique hotel, Palermo neighbourhood, Buenos Aires

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Price of USD $995 is based on 2 people sharing accommodation and may vary depending on hotel selection, seasonality and availability.  

Additional Notes

Day 1 and Day 2 can be reversed, or taken separately if you wish - we can tailor the trip to suit your travel requirements and personal choice. 

Itinerary for the fast ferry crossing bewteen Argentina and Urguay is subject to availability. It generally departs between 8am and 9am. You need to check in at least 1 hour ahead of departure. 

The ferry terminal is an international border, the conditions for which may change at any time, we will advise you but cannot be held responsible for any requirements of modifications implemented. 

Includes

  • 2 night's accommodation in Buenos Aires - including breakfast
  • 2 lunches - including soft drinks 
  • Private transfers to/from the estancia (driver only)
  • Private transfers to/from the ferry terminal (driver only)
  • English speaking hosts at the estancia
  • Local guide in Colonia de Sacramento
  • Assistance from our local partners in Buenos Aires during your entire stay

Excludes

  • Meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages during included meals
  • Buenos Aires municipal tourist tax - this must be paid in person at the hotel (USD $1.50 per person, per night)
  • Visa / immigration documentation required for travel in/out of Uruguay 
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gratuities/tips for your guide/driver/hosts
  • Visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?