This exceptionally well-run estancia is located in the Sierras Chicas, a mountain range north west of Cordoba city in Argentina. It’s a 6,500-acre working cattle and stud farm which has been in the same family for four generations. As soon as guests arrive at this estancia they instantly feel at home, welcomed with open arms by both the owners and staff. Exploring this property on one of the 80 horses is an absolute delight. The horse breeds range from polo ponies to the traditional Criollo breed to the Peruvian Paso, which has a natural, four-beat lateral gait.
Riding guests have the opportunity to ride in the morning and afternoon each day and no two rides are the same. One riding day may involve a full day picnic ride to a local Dominican church and a visit to the local one-teacher rural school, or a polo morning and participating in ‘sortija’, a gaucho game on horseback. In between rides there is the opportunity to dine on traditional Argentinean cuisine, swim in the pool, and enjoy long, uninterrupted walks or a spot of bird watching.
- Horse Breed:There are approximately 80 riding horses available on the property. The horses have been bred on the estancia, have exceptionally soft mouths, are well-mannered and in excellent condition. They’re responsive and sure-footed and are either Criollos, Peruvian Pasos or polo ponies, with some crossbreeds.
- Pace:The pace can vary from a walk right through to a gallop.
- Weight Limit:Maximum of 95kg/210lbs for estancia stays and 83kg/182lbs to ride Peruvian Pasos or participate in polo and trail rides.
- Type of tack:The type of tack used on this ride is the traditional Argentinian tack, the recado.
- Seasons:Estancia stay is available all year round, with the exception of four weeks over May/June when the estancia is closed for essential repair work.
- Group size:4 to 6 riding guests, plus guides.
- Time in Saddle:On average 4 to 6 hours in the saddle each day.
- Riding Ability:All riding abilities are catered for from beginner to advanced riders.
- Accommodation:Comfortable rooms that are traditionally furnished with plenty of antiques, all individual and with private bathrooms. Rooms are heated with wood-burning stoves or fireplaces.
- Ride Length:Minimum of 3 nights.
The price includes transfers to and from Cordoba Airport (arrival/departure must be between 8am and 6pm), food, drink, accommodation, daily riding, guides, equipment, and all other activities whilst on the estancia.
The price does not include international or regional flights, travel insurance (compulsory) and staff tips.
DEPARTURE DATES & RATES
Estancia stay is available all year round, with the exception of four weeks over May/June when the estancia is closed for essential repair work.NEW! Secure your saddle seat NOW with just a 10% deposit.
January to April, 2020
July to September, 2020
October to December, 2020
Single supplement charge is an additional thirty percent on total ride rate.
For children aged between 10 and 16, there is a discount of 20% off the standard ride rate.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE RIDE PRICE?
The price includes transfers to and from Cordoba Airport (arrival/departure must be between 8am and 6pm), food, drink and accommodation, daily riding, guides and equipment, and all other activities whilst on the estancia.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE RIDE PRICE?
The price does not include international or regional flights, travel insurance (compulsory) and staff tips.
Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all card payments. Click HERE to read our recommendations on which cards are best to use to avoid international transaction fees.
WHY IS THE PRICE QUOTED IN USD?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.
ItineraryExpand AllCollapse All
Estancia stay is available all year round, with the exception of four weeks over May/June when the estancia is closed for essential repair work.
*Please note, this is a suggested itinerary only for a 5-night stay and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors.
Day 1A transfer service will meet you at the you at Cordoba Airport and you’ll begin the hour’s drive to the estancia. If your flight arrives in the morning, you should reach the estancia in time for a late lunch. You’ll have the chance to enjoy an introductory ride this afternoon – this will give you the chance to get used to the ‘gaucho’ style of riding, i.e. long legs, deep seat and neck reining, whilst enjoying the comfortable sheepskins on the saddles.After your ride, your hosts Kevin and Lou will join you for a welcome dinner in what has been the family home for nearly 100 years.
You’re heading to the highest point on the estancia today, otherwise known as the ‘Top of the World’, to appreciate the spectacular views out over the Sierras Chicas. You’ll return to the estancia in time for lunch on the verandah. This afternoon you’ll enjoy a demonstration and introduction to the Peruvian Paso horse. You’ll learn more about this amazing five-gaited horse, before trying out their super-smooth paces yourself on the afternoon ride.
In the evening you are invited to an informal wine-tasting with Kevin, sampling some of the local wines from the region before sitting down to a candlelit dinner.
Cattle day! Discover your inner gaucho as you help the boys round up your host’s herd of award-winning Aberdeen Angus cattle, collecting them and moving them across the hills to the cattle station. Following lunch ‘gaucho style’ under a shady tree, you’ll be given the chance to see if you can master the art of the lasso in the corrals, before enjoying some lovely long open canters along the top of the hills as you ride back to the estancia.
Today’s morning ride heads out first to a hidden waterfall, where you can take a dip or just take a few moments to relax in the cool shade. From there you’ll head off for a picnic lunch on the beautiful verandah of ‘Potrero de Niz’, the original family home of your host family. Perched on the top of a hill, the house has stunning views over the valleys. Be warned: once there, you will never want to leave! In the afternoon you’ll ride back via the ‘Bellstone’, which will have the geologists amongst you scratching your heads (you’ll find out why).
Tonight the chef opens the farm kitchen doors and invites you to join her in preparing some traditional local dishes whilst sampling some of the fabulous Argentine wines.
No horse riding holiday to Argentina would be complete without trying your hand at the ‘Sport of Kings’ – polo! Today you’ll ride down to the polo field, where Lou will give a short lesson followed by some practice ‘stick and ball’, then you’ll play a few chukkas of this highly addictive game. After a barbeque lunch, why not challenge the gauchos to some gaucho games – barrel racing and ‘sortija’, a race that involves spearing a small ring with a stick at speed. Good luck!
You’ll enjoy one last farewell dinner tonight at the estancia.
After breakfast, you’ll bid a fond farewell to your hosts and horses at the estancia and depart for your onward travels. A transfer service will take you back to Cordoba Airport if you wish.
The estancia offers polo weeks three times a year which are specifically aimed at the beginner, novice or occasional player who wishes to learn how to play, brush up their skills or just have some fun in an informal and friendly environment. Half-day polo sessions are combined with stunning trail rides out into the estancia in the afternoon. The polo weeks offer the best of both worlds, learning or honing your polo skills in the morning and then exploring the estancia in the afternoon.
Quality coaching is provided by an Argentine polo professional.
What would a typical day look like?
After a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs, you take the horses down to the polo ground. A short session on the ground covers the skills and tactics that are going to be focused on for that day, then riding guests are mounted on polo ponies for a short ‘stick and ball’ session, followed by some chukkas. Back to the estancia for lunch, a siesta and maybe a swim in the pool, followed by a sunset ride out into the beautiful Sierras Chicas. A candlelit dinner accompanies the tales of the day, which get longer as the week goes on! The week culminates in an in-house tournament, often joined by players from the local area.
Please arrive anytime between 8am and 6pm on day one (morning flight arrivals to Cordoba work best so you can enjoy a ride in the afternoon). Transfers to and from Cordoba Airport are included in the ride price, as long as they fall within the time frame of 8am to 6pm.
What our valued Globetrotters say about The Sierra Chicas
‘A great way to experience a different breed of horse. Doing it in style and comfort with like minded people. Fantastic! The spacious, old-style rooms were very comfortable. I really enjoyed the barbeques. The service, environment and hospitality were excellent. I enjoyed the gait of the Peruvian Paso horses. My favourite experience was the afternoon when we mustered some cows and calves, separated the calves and then roped some of them. We then rode to the top of a hill to view a super moon rising, while enjoying drinks and nibbles.’
‘I was so happy with the Sierras Chicas ride. I would definitely recommend it! The food, service, horses and terrain far exceeded my expectations. We cooked in the kitchen with the chefs, which was a lovely surprise. The guides were absolutely amazing, and I’m glad that I got to ride with people who were at the same level as me!’
‘Trying polo was great fun and the full moon ride was very special. The guides and gauchos were lovely and great to ride out with. They were very good at looking after the group and the horses. It’s quite something to see the gauchos with their horses, and the bond between them. The pacey and varied rides were fantastic, and the horses were superb, beautifully trained and well cared for. I rode a different one every time, and all were great. My favourites were Chilenita, Rubia and Picante. If a week of total peace and quiet, clean air and excellent food and accommodation is your thing, with riding on superb horses thrown in, Sierras Chicas is the place to go.’
‘My ride in the Sierras Chicas, Argentina was fabulous. It was all amazing, however the polo days were a standout! The hosts, Lou and Kevin, went out of their way to ensure that I had a fantastic experience on the polo field. All the horses were fabulous, especially the Peruvian Pasos – so much fun. I wanted to bring a gaucho saddle home with me, they were amazingly comfortable, and the food and accommodation was amazing! You are certainly never going to go hungry whilst on this trip.’