Tailored Cultural Tour Gauchos including the cultural and arts legacy of Gauchos and Criollos beautifully preserved since the colonial times in this area of the Pampa of Argentina: in towns and Estancias.
San Antonio de Areco is a community that nested generation after generation the knowledge and spirit of the handicrafters that mixed the immigrants artisanal skills with the roots and environment of the native locals.
Quite unique workshops filled with basic and old devices and tools, where the experienced artisans turn used and new materials into old fashion pieces of work.
– 8:20am hotel/address pick up in Buenos Aires
– 10:00am arrival to San Antonio de Areco: Guided tour visiting a Creole Silversmith´s Workshop. handbuilding Pottery and painting demonstration. Textile studio: Natural dye of wool and hand woven indian style textile pieces in working looms. Chocolate and “alfajores” artisanal factory. Locally handmade cheeses and sausages shop.
– 1:30pm lunch in typical local parrilla (steakhouse)
– 3:00pm walking tour in the colonial historical neighborhood: Main square, San Antonio´s church, 100 years old gauchos´ bars.
– 4:00pm departure from San Antonio de Areco gaucho town, return to Buenos Aires
– Approx. 6:00pm arrival to Buenos Aires
This cultural gauchos tour includes:
– Round trip with hotel/address pick-up in vehicle with official license and special insurance
– All the activities, tickets and transfers within the town
– Bilingual local guide
– Horseback ride
More on gaucho culture in Spanish: Gaucho culture in Spanish
Everyday Full Day Cultural Tour Gauchos departing from Buenos Aires to San Antonio de Areco (can also include visit to an Estancia)
Gauchos in Buenos Aires by Tinker: When the writers in Argentina turned to their own land tour for inspiration, it was inevitable that they should choose the gaucho for their theme.
The most logical explanation of the etymology of the word is that comes from the Quichua or Aimará word “huajcho”, meaning an orphan or poor person.
In this cattle producing areas the gauchos played a romantic and often heroic part.
The men, mind and manners of the gauchos in Buenos Aires according to Tinker:
On the broad pampas (Quichua word meaning space) roamed unnumbered wild cattle and horses, descendants of those brought over by the early Conquistadores.
They were the country’s greatest source of wealth, and were so numerous that the law permitted any one to round up in an Estancia and brand up to 12,000 head in a tour.
If they wanted more, they had to get a special permit from the Buenos Aires governor.
This gave rise to a body of fearless riders, called gauchos, who made a business of hunting wild cattle for their hides and tallow, or of driving them to estancias to be marked and gentled.
Thus it was that, unlike the North American cowboy, who followed civilization, the gaucho preceded it and helped to make it possible by garnering the natural resources and protecting the frontiers against the Indians.
Huge expeditions were organized for this tour of huntings, with as many as a thousand head of saddle horses and great convoys of lumbering two-wheeled carts drawn by oxen.
Once in sight of a herd in the pampa, the gauchos in Buenos Aires galloped on horseback after them and hamstrung as many as possible with their big knives, called facones, or with medialunas, long bamboo spears shod with crescents of sharpened steel.
It was no trick for eighteen or twenty horsemen gauchos to maim seven or eight hundred animals in an hour.
by Edward Larocque Tinker: Reference in Wikipedia
More information about Gaucho culture: The Gaucho Experience
The organically way of dyeing gauchos ponchos has been kept this way for centuries.
Families of dyers zealously kept the secrets of their organical dyeing for gauchos ponchos techniques, that were only transmitted from one generation to the next, within the same family.
The dyeing native method is still based on three pillars: the washing, the use of mordants and the soaking of textiles in the dye bath.
In order to avoid problems when dyeing, the preparations of the skeins is of crucial importance. If we want to achieve an even colour, the skeins must have approximately the same weight, be loosely wound and tied, and the threads have to be kept separate.
Once the wool has been washed and the grease is removed, the process of dyeing gaucho ponchos can begin.
The function of mordants is to allow a better penetration of the dye into the fibre; it also makes colours resistant to the action of light, water and rubbing.
When the skeins are soaked in the dye bath they have to be evenly wet; the dyestuff correctly diluted in water and the water has to be hot.
A trick to enhance the shade of the colour is to rub ashes into the dyed wool so that it gets evenly impregnated and to soak it again in the dye bath.
Dye elements used by our aboriginal ancestors in Argentina:
The seat of honour is for cochineal, the dried, pulverized bodies of certain female scale insects, “Dactylopius coccus”. This is a cactus-eating insect, native to tropical and subtropical America
Another important one was indigo, a leguminous bush which is the raw material for a paste that produces blue colour. It grew in subtropical and temperate zones and were used by Pampa and Araucano Indians.
Many plants were also used as dyes in order to dyeing gauchos ponchos :
For purple: Piquillín, Cardón, Amarantus. For violet: Maqui, Palo rosa. Brown: Visco, algarrobo. Yellow: Pico de gallo, Quilcha, Aguaribay. Green: Jarrilla, Laurel, Tala, Molle. Black: Espinillo, Paracá, Guayacán.
Based in many different colors the ladies were weaving the ponchos of the gauchos, that were used for every day task at the Estancia or while herding the cattle in a tour through the Buenos Aires pampa.
Every design and mix of colors had a different meaning because the place were it was manufactured, because the person weaving it, and about the status of the native or gaucho wearing the poncho.
Extracted from the book: Argentine Textiles by Taranto/Marí: Buy the book here
For experiencing this artisanal process and some others from our local artisans in their own workshops in San Antonio de Areco you can take this unique Tour: Cultural & Arts Legacy of the Gauchos Full Day Tour
The Boliche Bessonart gaucho, hosted by Augusto and Geraldina Bessonart, seems to be taken from Don Segundo Sombra (most popular gaucho novel, written in San Antonio de Areco province of Buenos Aires).
With its structure of old grocery store more than 200 years old and its particular atmosphere where families and young people, day trip tourists and arequeros: they are mingling and crowding together amongst the various generations in different hours along the full day and night.
From the outside you can see that the building has a certain inclination on the walls and when you are entering you can notice the original ceiling and two restored rooms that have been in restoration work for two years.
There is no much choices here but your can make a gastronomic tour having cheese chopped, salami and prosciutto, raw ham and cheese sandwiches, empanadas and “Fernet with Pepsi”: the specialty of the Boliche Bessonart gaucho: more than half of the soda bottle is pour into a long glass and the rest of the soda bottle is filled with the Fernet Branca, then the liquid in the bottle is mixed and served slightly poured into the long glass many different times till you empty the bottle. At the end you are drinking almost two full glasses.
On the sidewalk there are some stakes: on weekends and holidays some Gauchos tie their horse and unsaddle for a quick drink and continue their tour to the countryside or Estancias.
On one wall is framed the poem “Be hospitable” written by Ricardo Güiraldes in his Estancia La Porteña, many different advertising posts of “Fiesta de la Tradición”, really old photos of local gauchos and there is a wide display of what the original general store was selling here: beer, vino, soap, oil, alpargatas, brooms, brushes.
There is still two big wooden refrigerator running made locally in Argentina by the Di Tella family factory: Siam.
It seems that everyone here have read the Ricardo Güiraldes poem “Be hospitable”. It is certain that the traveler is served like a king. And when you go you will be carrying “the gift of their brotherhood which improves the man.”
Extracted from the article written by Silvina Beccar Varela in the La Nación Argentina newspaper
You can feel the atmosphere of this old gaucho bar and some others by contacting: Tour from Buenos Aires to San Antonio de Areco Town & Estancia
Gaucho Tradition Day Festival 2020: “81st FIESTA de la TRADICIÓN”
Special Celebration of the 81st Anniversary of the “Fiesta de la Tradición” : 1939/2020
This is the oldest and more prestigious gaucho festival in Argentina, that takes place every month of November in San Antonio de Areco Town, that ends in a Sunday with a large parade of gauchos and horses going through the parks and streets of the Town.
There are gauchos from all over Argentina gathering here with their families and horses for an entire week of different events: folkloric music, dances, fairs, large barbecues, cultural events, arts expositions and gauchos´ rodeo.
Official Program of the National Tradition´s Day: Gaucho Tradition Day Festival 2020
From Friday November 6th to Sunday November 8th, 2020
Friday, November 6th:
Friday Nov. 6th:
- “Fogón Surero”: Social gathering for Traditional gaucho folkloric music event, at “Pulpería la Blanqueada”
Saturday Nov. 7th:
Sunday Nov. 8th:
- Gaucho & Horses Parade.
- Gaucho rodeo: Demonstration of gaucho skills in the El Parque Criollo.
- Awards ceremony.
• Traditional Fogón in the Quinta de Guerrico. Organized by the Asociación de Amigos del Parque Criollo.
• Tribute to Jose Hernandez with gauchos on horseback. In the Güiraldes monolith.
• Opening of the Rawhide (Guasquería, Soga) Crafts Exposition. Dedicated to Maestro Luis Flores. At the Museum Las Lilas.
You can enjoy part of this unique program by booking this Tour: Tradition Day Gaucho Festival in San Antonio de Areco Full Day Tour with Estancia
For more information: Origins of gaucho criollo horses in Pampas and Estancias in Argentina
If you prefer to enjoy all this gauchos´ activities and events during the week of Gaucho Tradition Day Festival : Best gaucho experience hotel in the Pampas near Buenos Aires
Also if you are just looking for a transfer between Buenos Aires and San Antonio de Areco: Arecobus