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Regardless of your destination, there’s something to be said about escaping the city limits for the countryside; ditching the urban sprawl for a destination where the air is cleaner, life is peaceful, and you can find distance from crowded spaces and personal space invading strangers. It’s an opportunity to recharge your batteries, reconnect with nature, and uncover the hidden gems that lie just a short drive from the big smoke.

And this is especially true of Buenos Aires. The most European, most glamorous, most hedonistic city in South America, you don’t have to travel far to swap city life for gaucho culture, and it’s a short one hour drive before high rise hotels give way to estancias (elegant ranches) where travelers have the unique opportunity to experience the countryside.

Estancias are found all over Argentina, though as this would be our first estancia experience we chose to experience the best. A stay at Puesto Viejo Estancia truly encompasses an experience like no other, offering the ideal leisurely countryside break to unwind away from the city. Seamlessly blending historic ranch life with contemporary accommodation, Puesto Viejo Estancia is an idyllic luxury country escape located right on Buenos Aires’ doorstep.

Puesto Viejo Estancia: 5 Reasons to Organize a Stay

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Puesto Viejo is both an estancia and modern polo club, and no trip to Argentina is complete without this experience. There are many reasons to book a stay at an exceptional, countryside destination such as this, though the following are 5 highlights from our stay.

Share Argentina’s Love Affair With Polo

On arriving at Puesto Viejo, our first order of business was to partake in the Polo Day Experience which included our transfer from Buenos Aires. We would be learning the ins and outs of the sport which local children seem to master before they even learn to walk!

Polo is one of the most popular sports in Argentina. It is a sport of grace and nobility, and the chance to be taught by the best was quite the honor. We may have been comical talent-lacking beginners, but were made to feel comfortable with their show of patience, courtesy, and wonderful sense of humor which made the day a lot of fun.

In a short time we were actually mounted on horses and racing across the boarded pitch with an actual knowledge of what we were doing compliments of Julio, our incredible teacher. Riding alongside the club’s professional players was a fantastic opportunity to develop polo skills and play like an Argentine.

Pueso Viejo Estancia Polo Club

Pueso Viejo Estancia Polo Club

Pueso Viejo Estancia Polo Club

Pro Tip: While you can book to attend the day activities the club has to offer, we highly recommend combining the polo day with an overnight stay. Many polo day guests often make this selection last minute after participating in their polo day and falling in love with the beautiful Argentina pampas. The property is gorgeous and there is so much more to explore.

Polo Day includes welcome drinks and snacks, a delicious 3 course lunch including a traditional Argentine Asado and complementing Malbec wine, and use of the hotel’s infinity pool and bicycles. Learn more.

Exceptional Estancia Experience

After polo we were shown to our accommodation. The estancia offers 10 en-suite bedrooms, named after the owner’s favourite horses, all of which have been individually designed using antiques sourced from local markets to give a traditional feel.

Estancias play a huge part in Argentina’s culture, economy and history, and our stay at was a rare opportunity to stay as a guest and experience the unique gaucho culture in a tranquil and beautiful setting of untamed countryside.

Puesto Viejo means the “original post” and was the name given to the old building where the most trusted gaucho lived. There he was responsible for looking after the extremities of the original estancia. Combining old, rustic charm with modern day comfort, the location and experience are truly authentic.

The main part of the hotel was fully refurbished and extended over the winter of 2011. All rooms are complete with amenities, air conditioning, central heating, and wifi, with the elegant and historic buildings overlook vast expanses of countryside. The living room, complete with open fire, wifi and library, is the ideal place to relax after a day exploring the grounds.

Puesto Viejo Estancia Review

Puesto Viejo Estancia Review

Puesto Viejo Estancia Review

Countryside Activities

It would be easy to spend multiple nights at the Estancia as they offer a multitude of activities including hot air ballooning, skeet shooting, horse riding, biking, and cooking lessons just to name a few.

Complimentary activities include the luxurious infinity pool which overlooks a polo pitch, as well as horse riding. The estancia will organize hacks for the complete beginners to have their first experience on a horse, with a tranquil, controlled stroll around the property. Or if you prefer a more fast paced canter, outside of the property, to relish in the argentine countryside and take in the pampas.

Guests have free access to bikes for an unlimited amount of time, and cycling is a fantastic way to explore the expansive property grounds. We took a cycle to the stables to warm up before jumping on our horses, and rode over to the club house to watch a professional polo match.

Puesto Viejo Estancia Review

Puesto Viejo Estancia Review

Puesto Viejo Estancia Review

Gastronomy

Estancias also are known for their excellent cooking, especially when it comes to barbeque, and in this regard, Puesto Viejo does not disappoint.

Our all inclusive stay included all meals which incorporated fruit, vegetables, herbs and meats bought locally. The 3-course lunches and dinners offer a variety of typical Argentine dishes, all of which are home cooked and absolutely delicious. Afternoon tea is served in the drawing room every day in front of the fire and bay window during the winter or outside under the trees during the summertime. It includes a range of specially blended teas, homemade cakes and soft drinks.

The dining experience is a communal setting where we had the opportunity to meet and share stories with other guests from all over the world. Breakfast was buffet style with fresh fruits and pastries, and the option of bacon and eggs.

Bird Lovers Paradise

Puesto Viejo could not have suited our love of wildlife any better as a diverse array of bird species call the estancia home. Chimango caracaras numbering in the dozens cried out overhead as our hosts greeted our arrival. Since 2003 Puesto Viejo Estancia has planted 5000 trees ranging from conifers, eucalyptus and willows and palo borrachos.

We took to hiking the  grounds to photograph the birdlife and would come back with stunning images of owls, parakeets, lapwings, and much more. Neither of us expected such a wild natural setting so close to Buenos Aires.

Puesto Viejo Estancia Review

Puesto Viejo Estancia Review

Puesto Viejo Estancia & Polo Club lies just outside of the town of Cañuelas and only an hour outside downtown BA or 40 minutes from Ezeiza airport. Visit puestoviejoestancia.com.ar for more information or to book a stay.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

    18 Comments

  1. What a stunning estate! I love staying in countryside places just like this one. And that pool – quite nice! Plus, Argentina is very high on my South America bucket list.

    I’m not a big polo fan but birdwatching is definitely my kind of thing.

    • Puesto Viejo really is a stunning estate – you would love it here Hugo! Especially if you’re a fan of birds. We went nuts with the wildlife on site :)

      Hope you have the chance to make it to Argentina soon!

  2. I love this. I’ve never tried Polo but I have been wanting to. That alone makes me wnat to stay here. Plus those birds, that would be a good sight to see. I think I would spending a lot of time in that pool though.

    • Puesto Viejo is a fabulous combination of everything and all of the above! Learning to play polo was one of the highlights of our time in Argentina, the whole day was so much fun!

      And then to top it off with a stay such a stunning estancia, the experience is an incredibly memorable one :)

  3. Great idea! I would LOVE to visit Argentina, but had never thought about getting outside Buenos Aires to experience this

    • Only 45 minutes outside Buenos Aires too, so it’s very accessible from the city as a day trip or for an overnight stay :) Hope you have the chance to visit soon!

  4. This sounds wonderful! My kids would love both the cycling and the horseback riding. Not sure I’d trust them with a polo mallet in their hands though – more likely to whack each other as they try and ‘aim’ for the ball.

    • Haha maybe you can whisk them off on a horse ride while the adults have a go at a polo game :D

  5. I had no idea that polo was such a popular sport in Argentina! And I never thought much of getting outside of BA when I’ve considered it in my travel plans. The estancias look peaceful, relaxing with a side of fun! I love getting outside of the city in London, I suppose it’s no different in Buenos Aires!

    • The most popular! It was such a blast learning, and then having the chance to watch a proper practice match later in the day – the skill and way they manage to navigate the fields on their horses is amazing. Definitely something to see!

      The estancia experience really was so peaceful and relaxing – we loved that the countryside was so accessible from the city :)

  6. I remember watching polo in Barbados – it was such a fun event. I’d love to see it in Argentina, and the Puesto Viejo Estancia sounds like the place to do it. I agree, getting out of the city is ALWAYS a good idea.

    • Polo is so different to every other sport I’ve experienced, and having never played or been to a match made it a pretty fun experience – something completely new for us to try!

      Highly recommend Puesto Viejo, it’s definitely the place to try your hand at polo when you’re in BA :)

  7. We are heading to Argentina next month and I this place wasn’t on my radar. The boys would definitely enjoy seeing the horses and watching a game. Thanks for sharing. I will definitely contact them.

    • Hello Christina,
      My name is Holly, i’m the manager at Puesto Viejo Estancia & Polo Club. We would love to accommodate you and your family. Please feel free to contact us to find out more.
      reservas@puestoviejoestancia.com.ar

      Thank you Meg for a wonderful blog, superb!

  8. This looks really cool! I quite like the idea of playing polo!

    • Hope you have the chance to visit soon Sophie :)

  9. Breathtaking Meg!! I could certainly see us taking a long weekend getaway here to relax among the gorgeous landscapes. The array of wildlife is spectacular but for me, the highlight has to be experiencing the polo match.

    • Experiencing professional polo was probably the highlight of our whole Argentinian experience. Highly recommend Puesto Viejo if you find yourself in Buenos Aires soon!

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