Estancia landscapes in Argentina

Estancia landscapes in Argentina

Jules Charles Thays (1849-1934), better known as Cárlos, born in Paris on August 20, 1849, was the creator of many Estancia landscapes in Argentina.
Architect, naturalist, landscaper, urbanist, writer and journalist, was nationalized Argentine. Also he was disciple and secretary of the famous architect Edouard Francois André (the great nineteenth century French landscaper)


carlos thays tour


He arrived from Paris in 1889, and adopted Argentina as his country: He went in a tour across all over Argentina looking for native species in order to decorate walks, parks and squares. He brought from the north and acclimatized tipas, jacarandas, lapachos, ceibos and “palos borrachos”, devoted to his promise not to leave any Buenos Aires street without trees or without flowers.


estancia plan proyect


In the following years he produced hundreds of projects: the Centenario square, Lezama park, Patricios and February 3 parks; Bosques de Palermo (which expanded and remodeled) and Barrancas de Belgrano; the Constitution square, Congress and May Square; including 69 squares and public walks attributed in Buenos Aires, and 16 in the interior of Argentina.

Design of the Estancia landscapes:

“Thays always incorporated water, either in the form of lake, creek, pond or fountain. After adding sculptures, pergolas, and open spaces to see the nearby fields…”
“Around the main house of the estancia landscapes, the garden was French, rigid and geometric style, while the rest of the park get into the nature of the environment being more free and with wild design.”
In pampa Estancias like La Candelaria, Lobos (with a French chateau style), Thays landscaped 100 hectares and introduced 240 species such as pine, palm trees, ombúes, or casuarinas pines.



carlos thays buenos aires

Who made the Estancia Landscapes


In La Porteña Estancia, in San Antonio de Areco district, that used to belong to Manuel Güiraldes (and where his son Richard wrote the Don Segundo Sombra gaucho book), Thays planted eucalyptus trees, cedars of Lebanon, oaks and an avenue of access with a tree native to the Mediterranean, the hackberry (Celtis Australis). Also in Areco: the gardens of the traditional gaucho Estancia “El Flamenco” that belong to Jorge Castex.


Estancia Landscapes la porteña

Some Estancia Landscapes


He himself designed and directed his estancia landscapes and park projects personally and worked tirelessly around twenty hours a day. He was the author of the first Argentine book on landscaping.


Foundations of Gardens in Buenos Aires:

He founded the Buenos Aires Botanical Garden to develop and adapt plant species for scientific, recreational and landscape projects. Opened on September 7, 1898, it became internationally renowned scientific center.
He designed with ingenuity, creativity and love for native species.


Extracted from Teresa Bausili, published in “La Nacion”: Thays, el apellido detrás de los grandes parques y estancias


You can enjoy our countryside and Estancias in this Full Day Tour to the Estancias and gaucho town



Original pampa in Buenos Aires province (part II)

Original pampa in Buenos Aires province (part II)

The original pampa has loose, dark, well drained soils with a high percentage of organic matter.

It is the most fertile soil in the country, fitted for agriculture and the rearing of livestock.


Geography of the original pampa:

The fertile area of the pampa is more than half a million square kilometres. Its most important rivers are the Salado and the Colorado which marked the limits in the history of Spanish colonization.


“Immense plain, immense rivers, an uncertain horizon, always melted into the land between the cloudscape and flimsy vapours that do not allow, in a distant perspective, show the point where the land ends and the sky starts.” (Domingo F. Sarmiento).



birds and pampa grass

Birds in the Pampa



The fertile pampa of Buenos Aires, the original desert, was formed thanks to the treading of immense herds of wild animals, the fertilization of its waste matter, and pasturage.


Estancias in the Pampa

When the big Argentine estancias started being established by the end of the seventeenth century in the original pampa, its settlers suffered the loneliness of the endless plain. Many years went by, until the desert was totally conquered and the pioneers could eventually get their reward.


The use of wire fencing was the next big step towards the creation of the modern Estancia. The wild and savage herds, protected by limitless freedom, were finally penned.

The inhabitant of the pampa, the itinerant gaucho, also saw in wire fencing the end of his freedom and of his infinite horizons, and it was then that this character turned into the myth and archetype he is now.



original pampa

Cows in the Pampa


In the wired fields, the wild livestock became tame and the estancieros (Argentine farmers) started crossing them with pedigree animals, especially those belonging to races brought from England.

It was then, that the cabañas (pedigree cattle breeding farms) were created. Here they devoted themselves to intensive breeding in the Estancia.


Not only were the cattle improved, the the fields started being carefully tended as well. They were sown with better fodder and were intensely prepared for cultivation.

In Argentina, cattle are still bred in the open and fed on natural grass.



original pampa

The original pampa


Immigrants in the original pampa:

In the twentieth century, when European immigrants arrived, the fields around the cities were subdivided in order to create smaller farms, called chacras, to cultivate cereals and vegetables.

The hardworking colonists and farmers were not Argentine but Italian, German, French, who worked with simple ploughs, had moved water pumps and home made winches.

(Mónica Gloria Hoss de le Comte)


There are many ways of experiencing the pampa Argentina: Camino Pampa Tours

Tourism in the Pampa: San Antonio de Areco

Departing from Buenos Aires everyday visit to the original Pampa: Estancia Tour