Estancia La Benquerencia – San Miguel del Monte, Buenos Aires, Argentina

A 19th-Century Countryside Joy

When it comes to the estancia experience, Argentina’s embarrassment of choices can flummox the first-time visitor. Take heart: For sheer character, beauty, picturesque setting, and Argentine hospitality, the 19th-century Estancia La Benquerencia is the best choice within easy reach of the nation’s capital. This 6,000-acre working cattle ranch and its oat and wheat fields will make Buenos Aires seem remote, while the gracious welcome of Marta and Guillermo Staudt puts guests immediately at ease. Originally a public park, Benquerencia is now known for its meticulously preserved land­scape and gardens; guests enjoy wandering around under huge pines, willows, and euca­lyptus trees.

Better yet, take one of the horses bred and trained at the ranch and let a gaucho guide you the length and breadth of the estancia, unless you’d rather travel in one of Sr. Staudt’s beautiful horse-drawn antique car­riages. Large groups and receptions are frequently booked for the day or weekend, but you’ll find them easy to avoid, given the estancia’s vast terrain and the numerous distractions it offers.

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