If you're planning a luxury holiday to Argentina, Original Travel expert Jules recommends the Candelaria del Monte - a traditional estancia with a particularly lively polo culture...
Escaping the city
Everyone loves Buenos Aires...well, that's what I kept saying to myself while I was there. My barrier was that I had fallen so hard in love with the wilderness of the south (Ushuaia) and the mountains of the west (Patagonia) that by the time I got back to Buenos Aires, I wanted to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Or maybe it was just because I am a Londoner....
Estancia Candelaria del Monte
So to escape, on my final day in Argentina, we drove an hour out of Buenos Aires to the Estancia Candelaria del Monte, family owned and run by the wonderful Sebastian, who we were lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time with. It's an oasis from the craziness of the city, and perfect if you are looking for a more authentic rural experience. The old colonial house stands in all its former glory, traditionally decorated - but with a difference; Sebastian is a metal artist (no doubt with a slightly cooler term for it) who tells his social and political views through jagged metal pieces of art on display throughout the property. A bizarre mix, which in my humble opinion works perfectly, staying true to an authentic Estencia modernised only by his social commentary.
Horse riding and cow herding in Argentina
I conquered my city girl fear of jumping on a horse, dressed for a trip to the supermarket (no need to don the full gear in this laid back world), and we made our way into the fields to help heard the cattle into their enclosure for the night. The cows seemed as surprised as we were by the whole charade, but we got the job done. We rode across what felt like endless land (yet only an hour away from the city) and saw, in the distance, the polo training in the adjoining field. If you're lucky with the weather, guests can sign up to polo training.
I'm the wrong person to say too much on the subject, but the polo crowd would LOVE Candelaria del Monte. We stayed during polo season and the only other three guests we cross paths with were there for the polo. It's also a short distance to the high profile games in the city, and right in the heart of the polo training outskirts.
I later separated myself emotionally from my new four legged friends (the cows, not the horses) and sat down for yet another beautifully cooked steak, washed down by the obligatory Malbec.
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