Estancia Los Potreros is set in a beautiful reserve at the top of the Cordoba hills in the center of Argentina. The Estancia dates from 1574 when breeding mules for the silver mines in Peru was the principal activity. Today it is an idyllic retreat for horsemen and nature lovers. This organic working farm breeds Aberdeen-Angus cattle and Paso Peruano horses. It has been in the same Anglo-Argentine family for four generations and sets the highest standards of accommodation, combining the pleasures of estancia life with exceptional riding.
Home rides, long-distance pack trips, polo, assisting the gauchos with horses or simply relaxing by the pool are some of the many activities. Los Potreros is a year round destination known for its fabulous horses.
Guests are welcome additions to the working Estancia and horse breeding farm, where there is always something happening. Many of the Estancia buildings are several hundred years old, and have been lovingly restored with traditional materials to reflect the history of the area. One of the original cattle brands and symbols of the area - The Bell - can still be seen etched into the fireplace in the sitting room. The main house is steeped in family history with many references to the days of the Jesuits who first organized farming in the area.
Days on the Estancia are as full as desired. All are welcome to spend the morning in the corrals watching the horse-breaker working with the young horses, try their hand at lassoing or a gentle game of bochas on the lawn. For the less energetic, a pool with a view provides a perfect place to relax, along with hammocks on the verandahs. The Estancia has an eclectic range of books in virtually every room for guests to enjoy, and an artists box is provided for the creatively minded. The sierras are a photographer´s delight.
For those interested in Argentine cuisine, the on-site chef is delighted to share and demonstrate knowledge of traditional Argentine dishes from the beautiful farm kitchen, using only fresh ingredients, much of which is provided from the Estancia.
For those accompanying riding partners or friends, there is often the opportunity to join for picnic lunches, and to watch polo being played on the Estancia. Or perhaps enjoy a ride in one of the antique cars or more traditional horse-drawn carriage. For a thorough description of activities available, please explore the link above.
Meals and Dining:
Meals are European in style, varied and delicious with plenty of excursions into local dishes, with the dishes supplemented by organically grown vegetables, fruit and free-range eggs. The excellent on-site chef can cater for a range of special dietary requirements. The Estancia has their own label of Argentine wines to accompany the meals, and various grape varieties make for interesting wine tasting.
Accommodation on the farm is simple and very comfortable providing you with all creature comforts. All rooms are individual and tastefully furnished, and all have their own private bathroom. Antiques abound and cooler winter nights are warmed by log fires and wood-burning stoves.
Flora and Fauna:
The Cordoba hills in the center of Argentina are famous for their healthy climate and wonderful scenery. The higher land is bare of trees and covered in long straw-like grass called paja brava which the animals eat in the winter months. There are a number of tree varieties: acacias, cocos and molles are the most common, and wild flowers cover the hills from early spring to the end of autumn. There is an interesting variety of bird species from vultures and eagles down to the most brightly colored humming birds, whilst condors have also returned to the hills. Partridges and doves are plentiful and foxes and hares can often be seen, though the puma, wild boar and small deer are more elusive.
Responsible tourism is a way of life and centered around respect for history and tradition, the environment and the local community. Farming methods remain similar to those used in the area for hundreds of years, with particular attention paid to the traditional role of the gaucho. The historic buildings on the Estancia are gradually being restored, taking care to renovate them in sympathy with the original construction where possible, and using local workmanship and traditional materials. The majority of energy for the Estancia is generated from renewable resources (wind and solar power) and the natural spring waters are kept free from pollutants. All farming is organic, and completed without the use of growth hormones, pesticides, insecticides or chemical fertilizers. There is an active tree-planting program, and wine bottles are transported back to the winery to be filled again with Los Potreros wine! Wherever possible, vegetables and fruit are supplied from the Estancias organic vegetable gardens and orchard, along with free-range eggs and home-reared beef.
The local community is central to rural life in Argentina, and the majority of the employees on the Estancia are local people, with some families having worked on the Estancia for many generations. Supplementary fresh produce not grown on the farm is sourced from local suppliers, and the Estancia has long-supported the local rural school through donations in kind, which have included a well, solar power, an orchard, a bread oven and most recently their first computer.