Horseback riding in Cordoba/Mendoza, Argentina

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Horseback riding vacations in Argentina, Cordoba/Mendoza

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Equestrian tours in Argentina, Cordoba/Mendoza
Estancia at Sierra Chicas


Itinerary for Estancia at Sierra Chicas




Every day at the estancia is different. The would-be gauchos amongst you can canter along grassy hilltops, take a dip in natural rock pools, visit local churches on horseback, help round-up the young horses, learn how to lasso, or have a go at polo. Riding groups are kept small and split according to the ability of the riders so that guests can ride at their own speed.

There are between 4-6 hours riding daily on the estancia, consisting of either a morning and afternoon ride, or a day ride with picnic. On Sunday, there is a morning ride but no afternoon ride. Riding does not need to be arranged or booked in advance.

We're proud to say that 'The World’s Best Riding’ (Real Travel) and ‘The Most Inspiring Horse Rides Around the World’ (The Huffington Post) are just a couple of the many accolades the estancia has received in recognition of the first class riding on offer.

Note: All outdoor activities are weather dependent and we do not ride in extreme weather conditions such as storms or high winds. 


Riding activities

Trail Rides
Trail riding is tailored to suit ability and the hills provide a surprising variety of landscapes and terrain. Rocky outcrops give way to open hillsides. Hidden valleys lead to tumbling waterfalls and wooded paths. Trails take you to swimming holes and spectacular viewpoints, or further afield to neighboring lands that offer a glimpse of rural life, past homesteads, churches and remote schools.

Waterfall Ride (Half-Day)
Ride to the waterfall, and take a refreshing dip in the pool. Return to the estancia for lunch on the veranda, and after a well-earned siesta help the gauchos to bring in the mares and foals.

Bellstone Ride (approx. 2 hours)
Take a sunset ride to the ‘Bellstone’ to learn more about the history of the estancia and then help the gauchos round up the mares and foals.

Church & School Ride (Full Day)
A full day picnic ride to a local Dominican church, and to visit the local one-teacher rural school which is supported by the estancia. The fabulously smooth and forward-going Paso Peruano horses make sure that the day in the saddle doesn’t feel quite so long!

El Vergel Ride
Visit ‘El Vergel’, the oldest building on the estancia dating back to 1639 and try your hand at ‘sortija’, a gaucho game on horseback that involves threading a stick through a small ring at speed!

Potrero de Niz Ride
Ride to the north of the farm to soak up some of the family history of the farm. This was the original family home of the Begg’s some four generations ago, and the landscape is peppered with shrubs along running streams.

Guido Buffo Ride
Another full day’s ride to the far south of the farm, enjoying a picnic by the stream next to a small museum in what used to be the house of Guido Buffo, an art and science lover, who built an unusual chapel as a memorial to his wife and daughter.

Chiviquin Ride
Visit Chiviquin on horseback, the main working cattle part of the farm, perhaps seeing the gauchos in action with the Aberdeen Angus cattle which are the backbone of the farm today. Ring the ‘Bellstone’ on the way back, and on returning to the estancia enjoy a traditional Argentine ‘asado’ and a leisurely afternoon dip in the pool. Follow this with an afternoon in the corrals – watch our horse-breaker at work or try your hand at lassoing. 

Full Moon Ride
The night of the full moon we often ride to a point on our hills for moon-uppers and sun-downers, to marvel at this beautiful spectacle unfolding ... After a long canter or gallop along the hilltop imagine standing amongst long grasses gently swaying in the breeze, a glass of wine in hand, looking out over the plains in front of you as the blue sky fades. Then turn to face the other direction to be confronted with the dramatic crimsons, scarlets and flame thrown hues of the sun setting over the dramatic horizon of the surrounding mountains before turning back to see a silvery moon start to ascend into an indigo sky. And if there isn't a full moon due we sometimes ride up for sundowners anyway!


Cattle Work
The cattle are overseen by the gauchos, using our horses for herding and working in the corrals. Each gaucho carries a ‘rebenque’ or cattle whip when he's working, which is used to make a sound that encourages the cattle to move. He also carries a ‘facon’ or gaucho knife, used for a multitude of purposes, from taking a stone from a horse's hoof, to eating his beef.
The annual branding, in preparation for the sales or ‘yerra,’ is the absolute highlight of the year for the gauchos, and for us. This is when they have the opportunity to demonstrate their prowess with a lasso, over a long weekend of hard work and camaraderie, followed by the traditional ‘fiesta’. The yerra has long been an important event in the rural community. If you're here when it happens, consider yourself invited.
As a working cattle estancia, there is often the chance for our guests to ride out alongside the gauchos and help them with their daily tasks.

Bringing in the young horses to protect them from the elusive puma, rounding up stray cattle, moving the herd into the corrals for counting or vaccinating, or taking salt out to the herd are just some of the day-to-day estancia activities in which guests can be involved.
For instance, you could join the gauchos taking salt out to the cattle herd and checking over the newborn calves (half day ride) or test your skills against the gauchos in a round of ‘gaucho games’ including barrel racing and sortija (approx. 2 hours).

Polo
No visit to Argentina would be complete without the chance to try one of the local passions - polo. We both love introducing this extremely fun and highly addictive sport to guests, who wouldn't normally have a chance to try it. Take part in one of the informal weekly sessions (half-day long), which include tuition and a practice game, or take it a bit further and join one of the regular fixed date ‘learn to play polo’ weeks, which are run under the expert supervision of a local professional.


Non-Riding Activities
Out of the saddle, the cattle and horse trails make for wonderful walking, taking guests to awe-inspiring viewpoints and hidden waterfalls whilst experiencing the plentiful birdlife and colorful wildflowers, or watching the gauchos at work. The serenity and landscape lend themselves to those who enjoy painting, photography or writing, or simply curling up with a book, whilst good conversation and a gin and tonic are never far away.

Farm Drive
A fantastic way to spend a morning is to take a trip around the estancia. Learn about the family history of the estancia and see some of the many references to Jesuit farming in the area. It is likely you'll see some interesting wildlife along the way, and for added fun we usually have a story or two to tell as we go!

Cattle & Gauchos Drive (Half day)
Drive to the cattle station to understand more about the management of the Aberdeen Angus herd, the day-to-day role of the gaucho and the rural traditions.

Potrero de Niz Drive (Half day)
Head to the north of the farm to see the original family home of the Beggs. Watch the landscape change and learn about the challenges faced by Robert Begg in the building of the original family home, along with stories of Louie Begg, Kevin’s grandmother, one of the pioneers of rural tourism in the 1940’s.

School Drive (Half day)
Visit the local rural school, long supported by the estancia, which supplies rudimentary education for the families of the gaucho. Go further up to the local Dominican church, founded in the 1880’s.


Gaucho Skills
Immerse yourself in their world for a moment and try your hand at one of their greatest skills.

Lassoing (approx. 1 hour)
Discover your inner gaucho and learn how to lasso from one of the boys on the estancia. Learn how the lasso is made, what it is used for and most importantly have go yourself! (1 hour)

Introduction to the Peruvian Paso horse (approx. 1 hour)
Learn about this unique breed of horse, the ‘dancing horse’ of Peru that came to Argentina through the trading route of the Camino Real between Lima and Salta. Learn why they are different to ‘normal’ horses, their history, the traditional saddles and bridles used and watch our stallion be put through his paces. (1 hour)


Walking
You can either join a guided walk with a staff member, or head out on your own - our estancia dogs will be happy to join you! Wildflowers throughout the year are spectacular, and you shouldn't be surprised at crushing wild mints and herbs underfoot, releasing the most incredible fragrances. Ranging from an hour’s wander to full day hikes incorporating swimming holes, there's a walk around the estancia for everyone.

Owls Walk (approx. 2 hours)
Visit the burrowing owls which inhabit many parts of the estancia and share their burrows with a large rodent called a ‘vizcacha’.

Bellstone Walk (approx. 2 hours)
Take a sunset walk to the ‘Bellstone’ to learn more about how this mysterious rock is part of the history of the estancia. Continue on up onto one of the  nearby hills to get an amazing unset view of the estancia.

Top of the World Walk (Half day)
For the more energetic, walk up to the ‘Top of the World’ for outstanding 360 views of the estancia from the highest point on the farm.

Las Tazas Walk (Full day)
Pack a picnic and head alongside a rocky stream to arrive at ‘Las Tazas’, some stunning natural rock pools, ideal for swimming, sunbathing and lazing a few hours away.


Bird watching
Do you know your Andean Condor from your Black Chested Buzzard Eagle? You might well, after your visit with us. The estancia is blessed with plentiful and varied birdlife all year; we also get American Kestrels, Peregrine Falcons and Black Vultures paying us a visit. The wonderful ‘burrowing owl' is a regular sight, eyeing passing visitors from fence posts, while other smaller birds include herons, hummingbirds, nightjars, plovers and mocking-birds. We have binoculars and bird books for you to borrow at the estancia.


Food & Wine
No visit to Argentina would be complete without experiencing of one of the Argentine national pastimes—eating and drinking.

Wine Tasting
Kevin shares his appreciation and fondness for Argentine wines with an informal and fun wine-tasting.

Introduction to traditional argentine cooking
Join Pato, our cook, in the warm and spacious estancia kitchen and learn how some of the traditional Argentine dishes are prepared, including the famous empanada and home-made pastas.

Sundowners
Accept an invitation to sundowners on the verandah at Lou and Kevin’s home, and meet some of their various animals including peacocks and pygmy goats.
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Estancia at Sierra Chicas
Tour Code: IT-ARRT11
8 days / 7 nights ~$3,165.00
Dates : Available all Year (except May & June)

Trip Rating :
Difficulty : Riding Level
Riding Level Explained
ABeginner
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
BNovice
Novice A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
CIntermediate
Intermediate A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
D Strong Intermediate
Strong Intermediate An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
EAdvanced
All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handlinga spirited horse in open country.
Lodging: Standard
Lodging Level Explained
   
= Facilities in lodges, estancias, haciendas, resorts, etc.
   
Basic lodging - some with shared bathroom facilities, usually no AC or room service.
Regular standard room - usually with private bath.
 Accommodations with superior comforts.
   
 = Trips with nights in tent camps. Sometimes the first and last night are in hotels.
   
Basic tent camping - everyone helps out with camp chores.
Regular standard with some camp amenities and camp cook.
Camping facilities with superior comforts like camp shower, bathroom facility..
   
 = Trips that combine nights in hotels and camping.
   
Basic accommodation and basic camping facilities can be expected.
Regular standard with some nicer amenities.
Only assigned to hotel and camping facilities with superior comforts.

Online Reservation


Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 01/01 - 04/30 8d / 7n 8 day ranch stay, AP (High) 3 /12 Reserve
B 2020 07/01 - 09/30 8d / 7n 8 day ranch stay, AP (Low) 3 /12 Reserve
A 2020 10/01 - 12/31 8d / 7n 8 day ranch stay, AP (High) 3 /12 Reserve
Introduction
Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
Accommodation
Polo Intro - 3 sessions
Golf nearby
Bird Watching
Wine Tasting
Local Events
Tack: English Style with English polo saddle...
Horses: Criollos, Peruvian Pasos, Quarter Hors...
Pace: Walking, ‘pacing’ and plenty of opport...
Walk, Trot, Canter,
Airport: Cordoba
Location on Google Map
Image Gallery
Image Slide Show
Customer Trip Rating
Climate
What To Bring
Travel Stories
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