I received a query recently about ranches in the pampas and if you can actually go and visit one.
I'm pleased to say .. yes you can. We have been a couple of times to a particular ranch and have always had a great experience while we were there. Don Silvano's is one of a number of "fincas" that encourage tourists to visit and then put on quite a show when they come. We like Don Silvano's, mostly because of the entertainment and the fact that the staff are so readily available to explain all the goings on around the ranch and what is next to see or do.
They offer a number of activities for you to take part in. You can go for trail rides, be driven around the estancia in a horse drawn carriage, play bocchi ball, wander through the corrals with the horses and cattle or just sit in the shade and "veg out". Additionally, they also do a display of the normal activities that happen on a daily basis around the ranch. The gauchos that work there play a major part in these events.
There is the "main house" for you to explore, as well as a bunk house area that is rented out, room by room, for those guests who want to stay over night. It is a very unique experience and although we have not stayed for the weekend, they tell me that it is a never ending menu of surprises and pleasantries. A late night song fest and barbeque was mentioned as the highlight of the Saturday night.
The main feature of the "tourist daily visit" is the parilla luncheon. Everyone gathers in the main dining hall and you are fed a meal unlike anything you've ever had. The meat is excellent (all barbeque), the wine never-ending and the entertainment exemplary. We've been to that luncheon twice now and it's been a wonderful gathering on both occasions. Not only do you get "fed" well but you also learn a lot about farm life in Argentina. They have entertainment that schools you in Argentine history as well as regional differences ... and you can even learn to dance a couple of local folk dances as well.
We heartily endorse a visit to Don Silvano's or any other estancia out of the city. Well worth the time and effort to get there. If possible, stay the weekend. It's an experience you won't forget.
For more photos please visit http://globalodyssey.ca/p911081579