This is the most complete Responsible Gaucho Tour in the Pampas of Buenos Aires
– Get involved and connected with the origins of the Pampas and its Gauchos.
– Discover the oldest Argentine traditions in rural labors, social activities, local food, arts and handicrafts, and support the people who keep them alive.
– Only 90 minutes away from Buenos Aires City, you will find one of the prettiest towns in the Pampas: San Antonio de Areco . A 280-year-old historical town, known as the “Cradle of Gaucho’s Traditions”.
– Experience the culture, the way of life and the characters of the Argentine farmlands, in a town that is deeply proud of preserving their traditions.
– Meet the people who practice, teach and keep our original culture alive: they use horses daily, they manufacture native handicrafts and cultivate our authentic folklore music and dance.
– Help us support the main characters of this small town that, despite the issues of modern life, they preserve their original traditions with great devotion and commitment.
The Responsible Gaucho Tour
Activities of the Responsible Gaucho Tour Areco:
– Visit to a Community program Center
– Visit to the workshop of a native Artisan of silver and leather
– Visit to a 160-year-old gauchos´ bar (Pulpería)
– Talk at a gaucho painter’s atelier
– Lunch at a local typical restaurant
– Guided tour through historical neighborhood
– Visit to an old-fashioned self-sustaining gauchos´ farm
Visit to a local Association which promotes and give jobs opportunities to special people.
It´s an association where young and adult people with different abilities produce in a handmade way “alpargatas”: typical gaucho shoes used in the countryside… very casual and comfortable shoes!
This factory is the only working opportunity this people could have in the town
This is the place where they can find a shelter, learn a technique, earn their own money through their efforts/work, and also socialize practice sports, learn theater.
Activity: During the visit, group members will visit the atelier and see how people work and how people can be inserted into society being & feeling useful.
This alpargatas shoes are the version of “Toms” a success in USA: http://www.toms.com its creator was awarded by Hillary Clinton.
Why this Responsible Gaucho Tour is considered fair and sustainable? Because through purchasing local goods (alpargatas shoes) and / or supporting with donations group guests will be helping to keep the business alive and employees to preserve their jobs.
Also in the Responsible Gaucho Tour: Visit to a typical countryside ranch
We won´t be visiting a typical touristic ranch in the Responsible Gaucho Tour. Just the opposite, we will visit a small ranch which survives thanks to the few animals they have: some horses, cows, sheep, hens and turkeys, all of them are used for the family own consumption.
– We will visit a real family living at this ranch.
– Family will open their home/ranch for guests and will share them the way they live, and invite them with a full lunch in a rustic and simple way, just the way they live.
– Why this visit is considered fair and sustainable? Because through this visit guests will be helping this family / supporting them economically so this people can preserve the place where they live and keep their traditions alive. Guests will have an unforgettable experience in a really authentic ranch.
The Tourism Areco Association
Social Responsible Gaucho Tour Areco: Camino Pampa has been always supporting and nurturing the sustainability of San Antonio de Areco as a tourism destination, and its cultural heritage in many ways:
Features of sustainability:
– It is locally based
– All the guides are locals from this town
– Has developed the only sustainable tour in Areco
– We contribute and promote these San Antonio de Areco´s Institutions:
o Apropdis: Social Community Center
o Conin San Antonio de Areco
o Asoc. de Amigos del Parque Criollo y Museo Ricardo Güiraldes
o Biblioteca Manuel Belgrano
o Asociación de Turismo de San Antonio de Areco
Conin San Antonio de Areco
If you would like to join us in this experience: Real Gaucho Tour contact
Some articles about Gaucho culture in Spanish: http://gauchoexperience.com/
Juan Jose Draghi silversmith: Born in San Antonio de Areco, from a family of farmers in the province of Buenos Aires. Inspired by a strong vocational impulse, and generating a great technical command of the trade learned solely through experience, intuition, and a creative genius that earned him prestige as the re-discoverer of traditional Argentina silverwork.
His Draghi silversmith concerns and unique ability to handle the chisel led him to be in 1971, one of the 38 craftsmen present in the first week of Crafts Exposition in San Antonio de Areco.
Midway through the 20th century, silverwork in Argentina was losing its essence, as well as one of its most important qualities: its identity.
Industrialization stripped the works of their unique character, just as it did to so many other trades, substituting individual craft with the generic printing techniques of mass production.
Ricardo Güiraldes from San Antonio de Areco took the journey of preserving the gaucho spirit of the epoch intact-embodied in his immortal Don Segundo Sombra acclaimed book: the most important novel about gauchos.
His work demands commitment to the preservation of the estate of noble traditions passed from generation to generation.
Therefore it’s not by chance that Juan José Draghi silversmith, devoted advocate of these values, always speak out loud: “I became a silversmith because I was born in Areco.” In San Antonio de Areco he found the source of inspiration to develop his work and start with tenacity upon a self-taught path.
He undertook a profound study on national fashions and customs, and inspired himself by trying to re-create the classic pieces on exhibition in the Ricardo Güiraldes Museum of the Gaucho, and wear by real gauchos in the Estancias.
The handicrafts of Juan Jose Draghi silversmith are today spread out in a tour throughout the world. Many of them are very far away from Areco and Estancias, where they were conceived.
Juan José Draghi is faithful interpreter of the aesthetic personality characterized by the gaucho and its current expression, his contemporary equivalent.
Juan Jose Draghi silversmith was devoted to his principles, as well. Another loyalty that stand out.
This silversmith that is important in San Antonio de Areco and Argentina, has received many awards and satisfactions of a different order. But we imagine that none can be so overtaken experienced as when he was handed the gifts to be given to the Kings of Spain, Don Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia. That “facón” sheathed silver and gold, and that “rastra”, must be the most admirable few garments created by Draghi silversmith
Presidents of USA: Reagan and Bush; the Prince of Saudi Arabia, Turki and Saud Faisal Al Saud; Chancellor Hellmut Kohl of Germany, among other world figures, have presents in silver with the Draghi´s punch.
The flag bearer of the Argentina Army 1st Battalion Logistics and their escorts, will take forever pieces of work of this great Argentina silversmith.
Currently his sons are still nurturing this art: Juan Patricio and Mariano, whose pieces have been selected to represent Argentina craftworks in the United States and France for World Cup 1994.
Partially extracted from the website of Draghi Plateros Orfebres, and Comodoro Juan José Güiraldes letter from May 9th, 1994.
You have the opportunity of visiting this great Criollo silversmith workshop in San Antonio de Areco and many other artisans in this Full Day Tour to the Gaucho town Areco
Mas acerca de las tradiciones del gaucho en Español: Tradiciones en Tour de Estancia Buenos Aires y San Antonio de Areco
Bus tickets and Tours to San Antonio de Areco and Estancias near Buenos Aires
Estancia Los Patricios in San Antonio de Areco:
The trees at Estancia Los Patricios in San Antonio de Areco incluye a wide variety of acacias. The huge garden in front of the house with the pool to one side has a one-hundred years old maple casting a deep shadow big enough to shelter 500 people at 50 tables for an open air “asado”.
It is owned by Maria Luisa de Bary de Brane and Hector Juan Brané Istueta Landajo, descendants of Basque and French arrived in Argentina in the mid-nineteenth century. In addition to the family house where there are two big towers (one west and another east), a kind of stud with carriages and classic cars.
The estancia in San Antonio de Areco is known for its beautiful house, main style home “pampeano colonial” and all its infrastructure, storehouses and stables. Its large park has century-old trees of great magnitude and variety of species.
Héctor Juan Brané and Maria de Bary de Brané have been living in this pampa colonial style house for the past 36 years and have been taking in guests in a Estancia Tour for over 28 years.
Their children, following the family tradition, play polo. They had run a polo school and can even offer a wooden practice horse for beginners.
Los Patricios is a 200 hectare estancia dedicated exclusively to farming.
In Estancia Los Patricios de Areco you will find an exclusive place where the old family house stand out from the rest.
The park has large centenaries trees and variety of species along the natural lake, providing an ideal spot in contact with typical nature of the pampa from province of Buenos Aires , Argentina
Full Day Tour at the Estancia Areco: In Los Patricios you can have an exclusive place with the necessary infrastructure and organization to serve large groups in a daytrip. The gastronomy includes cocktail reception and typical argentina asado.
There is a variety of activities like horseback riding, carriage ride, bikes and the swimming pool.
The place was visited by Literature Nobel Mario Vargas Llosa in 2011: he was received with a typical argentina asado, folkloric music, gaucho dances and demonstrations of gauchos skills on horseback.
An unique original tour can be taken in a private service to this Estancia in San Antonio de Areco: Full day tour to Areco Town and Estancia departing from Buenos Aires
The Areco boliches :
After the Parrillas (steak restaurant in Argentina), which we can find in a tour all around us in Buenos Aires, we should consider the “boliches” as a true reflection of the reality today: save by a few nostalgic old timers and their aged customers, their main support in these times.
(Experience the best Foodie Tour in Estancia Buenos Aires)
The small towns and gaucho villages in the pampa and possible the quieter, more traditional outer suburbs of Buenos Aires are hosting many of these boliches.
They do not aspire to be more than modest suppliers of simple food, often offering no more than the days specials plus the possibility of preparing some short order (not always available) to their frequent patrons. In many cases they overlap with the parrillas (steakhouses) because they too have a simple grill to hand.
If not a grill (Argentine barbecue), then a hotplate is a frequent alternative. The fare is very basic, being mainly stews and pasta, with a tour to basic desserts as cheese and membrillo (quince jam) or a flan.
They are the solution for local villagers or a peon working in an Estancia with a very limited budget.
Some boliches are providing some quite simple sandwiches or “picada” (like tapas in Spain) to their customers, just as a perfect excuse to have some drinks (normally cheap liquors) and wine meanwhile. If the customer do not end the whole bottle of wine, it is kept closed by the “bolichero” till next day when the patron will return for the rest.
Some of the normal drinks are quite basic liquors with a high density of alcohol: caña, grapa, ginebra, or “vermouth” like the very popular “fernet”. There is no room for scotch, cognac, etc.
The more ambitious aim a little higher with the objective of luring the truck trade tour on routes and major highways crossing Estancias all over Argentina. Truckers love to eat well and cheaply.
In San Antonio de Areco there are many areco boliches for the gauchos that remain as they were originally: Same decoration, furnitures and belonging to the same family.
Extracted from “El gaucho gourmet” by Derek Foster: Buy the book Gaucho Gourmet
You can enjoy your own stews, picadas and fernet liquor while in one of these Tours in the Pampa Argentina and Estancias: Estancia and gaucho town San Antonio de Areco
For experiencing some sort of old gaucho pulperia bar try this: Day trip to the gaucho Town and Estancia
All the information of the Foodie Tour: find Restaurants en San Antonio de Areco, also Pizzerías y Empanadas en San Antonio de Areco
San Antonio de Areco alfajores : 37 years ago, the teachers Carlos Gabba and Teresa decided to produce alfajores to be sold to the few tourists who came to San Antonio de Areco.
“They visited the Güiraldes Museum, Dragui silversmiths, maybe an Estancia and then had nothing to take as a souvenir after their tour: they think about an alfajor with a bath of dark chocolate that should be really rich, with real cocoa,” Carlos says. He currently goes to the factory of La Olla de Cobre, where currently the San Antonio de Areco alfajores are producec, only to monitor, he recently delegated all the operations to his son Agustín.
At the beginning they cooked the San Antonio de Areco alfajores in their house and then took their production to the small handicraft factory, while continuing teaching in schools. There was a time when the buses start stopping by their shop and the tourists buying hot chocolate and alfajores and then continued with a guided tour in Areco.
These alfajores from La Olla de Cobre are unforgettable. Great alfajor chocolate areco of 55 grams, with two round cookies made of traditional flour, butter, sugar and egg, that were stuffed with a good layer of old-fashioned dulce de leche and then finally covered with delicious dark chocolate.
Some small machines perform the melting, refining, “concado”, deodorizing and tempering of the chocolate, the central product of La Olla de Cobre, which also sells chocolates figures and Easter eggs.
The process starts from the nibs or cocoa liquor (cocoa bean bits already processed, peeled, crushed and toasted imported from Ecuador and Brazil). The Concado is the process of churning chocolate that gives the termination; the more Concado the more refined and delicate will be the chocolate.
“There is a particle size measuring texture, if you have more than x amount of microns you will feel in the mouth and probably will be rough. When you finish refining and concado these crystallites are broken down to a point where your will not feel in the mouth” concludes the master chocolatier.
As if he were a concentrated child watching animated cartoons. So Carlos Gabba sees passing alfajor chocolate areco on the production tape. He looks at them with the surprise of the one who sees the assembly process for the first time: first the tapas, a sleeve that deposits a very high flake of thick dulce de leche, then a shower of chocolate. Carlos follows the process with his eyes, as if remembering the beginnings of his dream: La Olla de Cobre, a family factory of exquisite alfajores and chocolates.
For 16 years, Carlos distributed sweets in the neighboring towns of San Antonio de Areco. That activity related him to the chocolate and alfajores industry. At the end of the seventies, Carlos and Teresa began to notice that San Antonio de Areco began to arrive tourists and that they had nothing special – except silverware – to take as a gift.
“The town was much smaller than it is now. Areco did not have a good arrival at the river. You could reach the boulevard, which at that time was dirt, but the waterfront was all trellised and with tapestries. People, to get to the river, had to cross the old bridge. After a lot of work between neighbors and tourism commissions, we managed to recover that space, ”recalls Carlos, who actively participated in the tasks.
They planted trees, placed the pergolas, benches, cut the grass, cleaned the waterfront, removed the bars and thus made the neighbors of Areco and tourists know the river and use it to go to take mates. “At the beginning there was a lot of social tourism, retired to spend evenings in the town. It was when we decided with Teresa, my wife, that our venture was related to tourism. Do something that could be taken from Areco. We immediately think of alfajores, because alfajor is a tourism classic. You go to the coast or to the south and there are alfajores, ”says Carlos.
Carlos and Teresa began to bond with people specialized in the manufacture of alfajores. They, before starting, knew that they wanted to make the best alfajor that was within their reach, regardless of the price: they wanted it to be exquisite. A quality product For that they hired men and women who were already soaked in the chocolate trade. They were in every detail to “design” the best of their dreams. The first thing they noticed was that the chocolate used was of poor quality. Then they got into the world of chocolate to achieve the best possible bath.
Before making the alfajor chocolate areco that is sold today, they made hundreds of tests to achieve the exact flavor. “At the beginning we didn’t have the machine to bathe them, so we put sugar in it. We evolved until we managed to have the machines and then did not have many variants. The cookies, the Ecuadorian chocolate and the dulce de leche are still the same back then, ”says Carlos, who proudly defines himself as a chocolate maker.
If you would like to take this Full Day tour Estancia near Buenos Aires with San Antonio de Areco Gaucho town visit.
When they started, they only had a stained glass window; Little by little they began to grow and fast. The Copper Pot became an attraction and tourist groups stopped at the door of the business to take a bag of alfajores. The business did not stop growing and today La Olla de Cobre is a classic in San Antonio de Areco. Even the arequeros who live far away, always ask their relatives to send them, in addition to the grass, a box of alfajores, as a plea filled with nostalgia: a precious gift for those who live hundreds of thousands of kilometers from the local Matheu street.
Alfajores are manufactured every 15 days in La Olla de Cobre. That day Carlos takes the opportunity to eat one. Still enjoying them like that first time, forty years ago. In the place they still keep the copper pot where they made the first tests. “We always work for people and perceive whether they like it or not. We know that our customers live an hour and a half, in Buenos Aires, and they always buy us again, ”he says.
For 8 years, Carlos began to delegate the work to his son Agustín: he swears that he is a better chocolate maker than him and that he improved the processes. Carolina, his daughter, has a Copper Pot shop in Merlo, San Luis. The elder is a lawyer and is also an excellent chocolatier: every time the work exceeds them, they call him to give him one hand.
In La Olla de Cobre there is always a alfajor chocolate areco smell: an exquisite aroma that transports us to the world of chocolate fantasy. However, Carlos has it so incorporated that he no longer feels it. That bothers him, because he doesn’t know how the aroma is, something he considers fundamental. When he leaves a few days and returns to his place, he takes the opportunity to take a deep breath in the fragrance of his dream.
Carlos keeps the happiness of working. And it maintains a philosophy of life and work that does not negotiate: “They have offered me everything. They have made me offers of all colors to grow, to put franchises in any country
Review: Went there because several Argentinean friends always mentioned and I saw many postings. I am not a fan of chocolates so have to recognize that tried them and bought some for a gift but not that enthusiastic. I went for the alfajores… They were absolutely delicious. First I only bought one because I had already bought the chocolates…went out of the store and ate the alfajor, it was so yummy that I had to go back and buy more, the flavour of a fresh alfajor is so delicious!! Do try if you are around
There is more information about the Alfajores chocolate Areco in “Gaucho experience”
For spending some journeys in the Gauchos` Pampas
Experience the countryside with the gauchos: day in the Estancia
You can check more than 500 5 stars reviews in Tripadvisor here: Reviews for Buenos Aires Gaucho Tour