Nestled in lush farmlands, San Antonio de Areco is probably the prettiest town in the pampas (Lonely Planet), with a peaceful atmosphere and picturesque colonial streets.
The town dates from the early eighteenth century and still preserves a great deal of the criollo and gaucho traditions, especially among its artisans, who produce very fine silverwork and saddlery.
By day, men don the traditional boina (a kind of gaucho beret), while in the evenings, locals head to the peña, a party with folk music and dancing for the locals.
Gauchos from all over the pampas show up for November’s Día de la Tradición (“Day of Tradition,” or Gaucho Festival in San Antonio de Areco and Estancias), where you can see them and their horses in the town’s cobbled streets, in all their finery and best horses.
San Antonio de Areco’s compact center and quiet steets are very walkable. Around the Plaza Ruiz de Arellano, named in honor of the town’s founder, are several historic buildings, including the parish church “Parroquia San Antonio de Padua”.
Like many other small towns in this part of Argentina, Areco shuts down during the afternoon siesta.
The old bridge across the Río Areco (from 1857), follows the original cart road to northern Argentina: the Camino Real that used to start in Buenos Aires and reach the north of Argentina while crossing this village, it’s now a pedestrian bridge leading to San Antonio de Areco’s main attraction, the Gaucho Museum.
Parque Criollo and Museo Gauchesco Ricardo Güiraldes. The bridge itself is kind of icon for the local people of San Antonio de Areco, that also is named in the first chapter of the most important novel about gauchos in Argentina : Don Segundo Sombra.
The Areco population is now near 23000 people, mainly farmers and specially horse breeders of different races like Polo ponies, Quarter mile, criollo horse, paso peruano, arabian horses.