Polo, Pampas & Porteños

Join one of Australia's best-known polo players, Rob Archibald, and ​The Australian Financial Review's​ travel editor, Fiona Carruthers, for the inaugural AFR Reader Journey - to Argentina.

Journey Overview

Join one of Australia's best-known polo players, Rob Archibald, and The Australian Financial Review's travel editor, Fiona Carruthers, for the inaugural AFR Reader Journey - to Argentina. This expert-led 10-day tour includes a visit to the architect-designed private ranch of champion polo player Nacho Figueras, plus VIP seats to the final of the fabled Argentine Open.

Your journey begins with a warm welcome by our local team before you head to the opulent Estancia La Bamba in the heart of the Pampa, where you’ll immediately switch off and luxuriate in the rural surrounds of polo fields and manicured lawns. This elegant estate is more sophisticated home than hotel where you’ll be treated like a dear friend enjoying personalised service and superb cuisine.  

You then travel to the dramatic Northwest, ‘El Norte’, where the scenery is raw and rugged, the towns are charming colonial gems and the vineyards produce exquisite high altitude wines. Soak up the wild west landscapes, and take advantage of invitations to some of the most exclusive wineries in Argentina from your base on the Cafayate estancia, where polo, golf, riding and biking are all on offer before experiencing the colonial heartland of Argentina in the city of Salta.  

Returning to Buenos Aires, you are treated to a sultry and sensual performance of the avant-garde Rojo Tango, a fitting introduction to this beguiling and cosmopolitan city. The days that follow will reveal the heart and soul of B.A. with your guide sharing insights and expertise on what makes this uniquely Latin metropolis tick. Your journey concludes in style on the hallowed turf of Palermo where the Argentine Open plays out between the world’s best. It’s sure to be a high scoring journey from beginning to end.


Journey Itinerary

6 December, 2020: Arrive Buenos Aires - San Antonio De Areco, Argentina

Welcome to Buenos Aires. Elegant, old-worldly, with a touch of Paris here and a touch of London there, a dash of cosmopolitan New York and a big splash of Italian exuberance, the city has a strong Latin personality as well as uniquely Argentine elements. Here, everything is grand, on a scale fit for kings: vast steaks in glamorous restaurants, magnificent tree-lined avenues, a cemetery so revered it occupies one of the most elegant parts of the noblest neighbourhood, and the entire city fronts onto the world's widest river, the Rio de la Plata. Buenos Aires never fails to impress.  

Arrive into Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport where you will be met by A&K and driven out to the nearby Pampa where your historic estancia is located. This is rural Argentina at its finest, where you’ll be part of the rich gaucho tradition. Marvel at the gauchos’ equestrian skills, chat with them over a mate and tuck into a tasty asado, the typical gaucho barbecue.
Estancia La Bamba de Areco | Meals: LD

7 December, 2020: San Antonio De Areco

Immerse yourself in estancia life this morning. Saddle up for a ride around the property, step aboard a horse-drawn carriage or explore by mountain bike. Challenge the locals to a game of bochas, Argentine style. Or simply relax on the porch, watching local life unfold around you, or sun yourself by the pool. Later, head into the village to visit the local silversmith at work, an erstwhile tradition from the days when gauchos carried their wealth on their belts in silver coins.  

La Bamba de Areco also serves as the base for the international polo team that bears its name. With two polo fields on site, you can watch practice chukkas and matches, and even take part if feeling adventurous.  

This evening you will relax over a sumptuous dinner and a few glasses of Malbec while the gauchos entertain with folkloric songs and traditional dancing.
Estancia La Bamba de Areco | Meals: BLD

8 December, 2020: San Antonio De Areco - Cafayate

This morning after breakfast you will be met and transferred to the airport in time for your Aerolineas Argentinas flight AR1454 to Salta, departing at 11:10.  

On arrival at 13:25, you will be met and transferred to the House of Jasmines just outside Salta for lunch. The charming century-old house is approached through an avenue of mature eucalypts and lunch will be a showcase of regional specialities.  

After lunch, we take the road south through the fertile Lerma Valley, Salta’s most important agricultural centre where tobacco, beans and sugar cane are grown. The road trip along Ruta 68 is one of the most scenic in the northwest, with breathtaking landscapes of dramatic cacti-dotted hills, spectacular geological formations, ochre-coloured gorges and tiny pueblos.

Glide into your boutique hotel near Cafayate, in the Calchaquí Valley, late this afternoon. Cafayate is the centre of Argentina’s high altitude wine production with vines growing at elevations of 1,700 metres and above. The town itself has a charming frontier feel with dusty streets set around a central plaza, a grand cathedral, colonial buildings and shady trees.  

This evening, savour a typical Salteño-style barbecue under the stars paired with fine local wines.
Grace Hotel Boutique Cafayate | Meals: BLD

9 December, 2020: Cafayate

Head out this morning on a bike tour. Pedal southbound on Ruta 40 for around 17 kilometres, into the heart of the Calchaquí vineyards, soaking up the surrounding Andean landscape. Arrive at El Porvenir, one of the most exclusive wineries in the valley with 40-year-old vines producing exceptional high altitude wines from Malbec, Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon, Torrontés and Syrah grapes. Meet the owners for lunch at their charming farmhouse set amongst the vines.  

After lunch, you’re invited to blend your own wine under the watchful eye of one of the bodegueros (local winemakers). Learn first about the characteristics of altitude grapes and the local terroir before a technician-led master class in the vineyards hearing how the thin air, extra hours of sun light and cool evenings will stress the vines just enough to produce the best grapes: with dark thick skins, high levels of sugar and very small berries which eventually transform into the full-bodied wine characteristic of Argentina’s north. Then, put the learning into practice to produce your very own Calchaquí blend. Return to the hotel in the afternoon with time at leisure to stroll around town, visit the handicraft markets, step inside the Vine & Wine Museum, enjoy a round of golf or head out for a ride around the estancia.
Grace Hotel Boutique Cafayate | Meals: BL

10 December, 2020: Cafayate

This morning, horse riders head off to Tolombon, a short drive away, to meet your guide, and your mount, for a ride through the valley. Admire the old water mill, meet local families along the way and visit some pre-Columbian ruins before a barbecue lunch. Non-riders can enjoy the hotel facilities or venture into town. The Grace property enjoys a world class golf course, sauna, spa and fitness centre including squash courts.  

This afternoon, return to the hotel to relax before a late afternoon hike to La Yesera, where the ancient landscape of sandstone mounds shaped by wind and fluvial erosion will surprise you. Celebrate the day with outdoor cocktails before returning to the hotel and dinner at Bad Brothers in town. Showcasing different wines from the Bad Brothers label, this wine bar in a restored adobe house off the main plaza is an inviting place to relax over a glass or two of the local drop, listen to music and savour local fare.
Grace Hotel Boutique Cafayate | Meals: BLD

11 December, 2020: Cafayate - Salta - Buenos Aires

After breakfast, you will return on the stunning road to Salta for a city tour of the Colonial heart of Argentina. You will spend your afternoon discovering why Salta is a world apart from the rest of the country.  

Meander through narrow streets and plazas steeped in Andean tradition. Marvel at the mountains that stand guard protectively over the city. Look for the ornate cathedral in dazzling pink and cream and the stop off at the MAAM, Museum of High Altitude Archaeology. Right on the main plaza, this beautiful historic building houses the world-famous Llullaillaco Children, three immaculately preserved Inca mummies who were sacrificed on top of a nearby volcano some 500 years ago (only one mummy on display at any one time

You will later be transferred to the airport in time for your Aerolineas Argentinas flight AR1451 to Buenos Aires, departing at 17:30. On arrival at 19:30, you will be met and transferred to your elegant hotel in the up-scale Recoleta neighbourhood. You will spend the evening enjoying the Four Seasons Buenos Aires.
Four Seasons Buenos Aires | Meals: B

12 December, 2020: Buenos Aires

This morning, explore the highlights of magnificent Buenos Aires on a guided sightseeing tour. This excursion kicks off in one of the city's most significant spots: Plaza de Mayo, the political heart of the city laid out by Don Juan de Garay in 1580 during the second founding of Buenos Aires. Continue to San Telmo neighbourhood, with its cobblestoned streets, where the original porteños settled in the city’s early days.  

After a short drive south, stop off at picturesque La Boca, the colourful working-class port neighbourhood, and wander along Caminito Street, where local artists display their works to the tune of tango performed on the street. Pass through gentrified Puerto Madero before finishing the tour in Recoleta where you explore the renowned cemetery known for its rich funerary architecture and the famous characters buried here, including Eva Peron.    

After lunch, you are transferred to the Campo Argentino de Polo in Palermo to take your VIP seats at the final of the Argentine Open (El Abierto). El Abierto is one of the oldest and most prestigious events in the international polo calendar, and one of the great social events in Buenos Aires. Join the glamorous crowd watching the world’s best players and horses fight it out in a breathtaking demonstration of speed and agility. Afterwards, celebrate at an after-match party.
Four Seasons Buenos Aires | Meals: B

13 December, 2020: Buenos Aires

After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, you will be escorted for a tour of the famous San Telmo Sunday market.  

A unique opportunity today with a personal invitation by Argentinean polo star Nacho Figueras to his estancia near the city of General Rodríguez, 45 minutes from the capital. Admire the ultra-modern, architect-designed stables which house over 40 horses with a grass-covered roof upon which the horses graze, and sit down in the courtyard to an alfresco lunch and thrilling conversation with Nacho and his team.
Meals: BL

14 December, 2020: Buenos Aires - Tigre Delta

Today you will take to the water. Flowing north-south and splitting into several arms, the Paraná River forms a network of islands and wetlands. The Delta covers an area of 14,000 km2 (5,405 square miles), similar to the size of Connecticut in the U.S. The only river delta in the world that's connected to the sea as well as to another river, it's also home to a large number of species, especially avians. Just an hour's drive from your hotel, you can escape the busy hustle and bustle of central Buenos Aires on this relaxing getaway.  

Board a motor launch at Puerto Madero on the Río de la Plata and head out onto the Delta's waterways admiring impressive views of Buenos Aires city. You'll afterwards be surrounded by an array of colorful sights as your boat passes islands home to brightly painted wooden houses, yacht clubs and a flotilla of water-crafts, including canoes and sailing boats.  

Arrive at Isla El Descanso for lunch. The meticulous architecture, art and horticulture at Isla El Descanso makes for a memorable experience. This private home opens up for aesthetes keen to explore its tiny islands linked by an array of bridges. A guided walking tour around the stunning landscaped garden speaks to you on many levels, and helps work up an appetite ahead of a delicious lunch. Then relax at the swimming-pool or walk among the rose bushes. After having tea with local pastries, depart back to the hotel.  

The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the hotel and surrounds before an evening of avant-garde entertainment and fantasy. You are transferred to the opulent Philippe Starck-designed Faena Universe in the heart of the regenerated Puerto Madero district for a farewell dinner (complete with wine pairings) and a unique cabaret show at Rojo Tango. Lose yourself in the sensual performance by talented dancers, musicians and singers recreating a time when tango was danced in the city streets.
Four Seasons Buenos Aires | Meals: BLD

15 December, 2020: Depart Buenos Aires

Today after enjoying a farewell breakfast at the Four Seasons Buenos Aires, your incredible A&K journey
Meals: B

Show Full Itinerary


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Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Dec 6, 2020 - Dec 15, 2020
Price AU$16,695pp Single Supplement AU$12,450 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Call for Availability Enquire