Nothing beats staying on an estancia and playing with horses for a true Argentina experience. Last week I had the pleasure of enjoying the best of estancia life at Estancia La Alejandra. Out in the Uco Valley, really far out, beyond the foothills and into a unique microclimate lies this historic estancia: hundreds of hectares of gorgeous green land to play on.
A three bedroom posada, part of it from an original century-old house, sits in the middle with a welcoming fireplace and a friendly local chef making homemade bread and countryside flavours to accompany you on your stay. Spending time in the middle of an untouched valley, surrounded only by fields, animals and birds, is a real pleasure and makes you appreciate all the nature around you and the people you are with.
You appreciate it even more so when you sit on their home bred horses and ride around the stunning property with its panoramic view of the Cordon del Plata mountain range, Tupungato volcano and the full spread of the Uco Valley below. Hills, rivers and energetic stallions make it a fun ride with so many postcard moments that you will wish you had your camera on your helmet. As well as enjoying the great outdoors, the idea behind La Alejandra is to give you an understanding and flavor of countryside life and it's history. This is a historic estancia and all the buildings are in the native style with low ceilings, stone walls and small windows. Nothing is out of place here and there is real attention to detail with lots of countryside touches like ponchos strewn over chairs, gaucho accessories in every corner and a traditional clay oven and wood burners. Enjoying a true campesino lunch or dinner is the perfect way to finish completely enamoured with estancia life.
Amanda Barnes is a British journalist living in Mendoza and who is slowly and gradually becoming a cowgirl, or 'china', she is only lacking the beard, which is on its way with all the carne being consumed.