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Estancia Don Joaquin

Overview

Estancia Don Joaquin is located near the city of Esquina in the Corrientes province of Argentina, to the north of Buenos Aires. The area is renowned for its wetlands and lagoons and is home to capybara, caiman alligators and abundant birdlife. The horses roam and graze freely in this subtropical la…

Highlights

  • Ride in the wetlands of northern Argentina
  • Spot cayman, capybara and numerous birds from horseback
  • Help the gauchos work the cattle & learn their culture
  • Try your hand at polo
  • Enjoy sundowners on the shores of the Corrientes river

Essential Facts

  • 2 itineraries available
  • Max 12 riders per group (22 in camp)
  • Average of 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 120 kgs / 264 lbs / 18st 12lbs

Description

Estancia Don Joaquin is located near the city of Esquina in the Corrientes province of Argentina, to the north of Buenos Aires. The area is renowned for its wetlands and lagoons and is home to capybara, caiman alligators and abundant birdlife. The horses roam and graze freely in this subtropical land, living in harmony with the beef cattle and wildlife.

This welcoming estancia is the ideal base for a horse riding holiday in Argentina. Your hosts are passionate about both their country and their horses and the overwhelming feeling from guests is that they are made to feel like part of the family. The Argentine countryside gives way to wonderful riding opportunities and you are welcome to explore the scenery on horseback, work the cattle, try your hand at polo and to live the life of these true countrymen.

The estancia has horses and trails suitable for everyone, including the complete beginner, and the horses are always ready and available for guests to use. Groups are split according to ability or private family groups can also be arranged. The horses here are considered the estancia's most important working tool and you can accompany the gauchos whilst they herd cows and horses or during their work in the corral. Rides can be from thirty minutes to a whole day or you can try riding between haciendas over several days for a real adventure. Stays here are custom made to suit your needs and you will not feel like a tourist… you will live the true experiences of this Argentinian family where there is a strong sense of tradition and an appreciation of the way of life.

Horses & Riding

Tack

Argentinian (Correntina) tack for trail rides and cattle work, which are basic wooden frames with sheepskins over the top for comfort. English type saddles for polo.

Horses

Criollo and Criollo mix

Riding

There are 2 itineraries:

  • Estancia Based Stay is a based ride
  • Estancia to Estancia Ride is a trail ride

Ages

5 year olds and upwards for riding

Health

General good health

Weight

120 kgs / 264 lbs / 18st 12lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

All meals and drinks are included.

Every morning for breakfast you'll enjoy fabulous homemade breads, croissants, tortas fritas (gaucho fried bread), cakes, eggs, fruits, fresh orange juice, butter, jams and dulche de leche.

Lunches and dinners are three course affairs using locally sourced meats and vegetables. Everything is home-made and local Argentine wines are also on offer.

Argentina's national dish - the asado or barbecue - is a cherished meal where you can sample the best local grilled beef. Empanadas are another Argentine favourite - pasties filled with either chicken or beef and then baked or fried.

Vegetarians and other special diets can be accommodated with advance notice.

Accommodation

The estancia has twelve rooms with private bathrooms and air conditioning. Each room contains sumptuous bedding and luxury linen with Argentine antique furniture, and overlooks either the gardens, fields or wetlands. There are five Standard rooms which have a Queen bed, six Deluxe rooms with King beds, and one Estanciero room with two King beds.

The estancia has two living rooms and three dining rooms so there is plenty of space to relax. There is also a beautiful verandah which faces the lagoons and open plains, a large garden and a swimming pool.

Guests often dine communally in the dining room or out on the verandah, but it is possible to arrange private tables in the smaller dining rooms for those who prefer.

Itineraries

Estancia Based Stay Standard accommodation.

Estancia to Estancia Ride Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

There are many activities on offer for when you aren't riding, or prefer to have a more restful day. These activities are included:

Bird watching: the estancia's owner is passionate about birding and enjoys sharing her knowledge with her guests. Novice and expert bird watchers will be delighted with the extensive variety of birds found in the area, with more than 200 species recorded.

Cookery lesson: perhaps you'd enjoy learning how to make the delicious empanadas you've tasted from the estancia kitchen

Wine tasting: a fun and exciting way to try new wines - without seeing the label or knowing the grape, try different Argentine wines and discover more about your preferences.

Sundowners at the river lodge: close to the estancia, on the shores of the Corrientes river, this beautiful lodge is the perfect place to sit on the verandah and watch the sunset with a refreshing drink.

The following activities are also available at extra cost:

Fly Fishing
Polo Lessons
Spa treatments (massages, facials, manicures etc)
4x4 wildlife safaris
Cultural excursion to Estancia La Teresita

Travel

There are plenty of flights to Buenos Aires including Air France; Air Canada; United Airlines; American Airlines; Al Italia; SwissAirlines; Lufthansa; British Airways; Iberia; Lan Chile; Aerolíneas Argentinas;

From Buenos Aires to the estancia, we advise the best way to travel is by the Luxury Night Bus - it is quite a long journey (around 8 hours) but you travel during the night, the service is very good and dinner is included on the bus. You will be transferred from and to the bus station in Esquina.

Night bus departure times:
Departure from Buenos Aires @ 20:55, arrive in Esquina @ 05:00
Departure from Esquina @ 23:00, arrive in Buenos Aires @ 07:00

The Retiro bus station in Buenos Aires is located approximately 50 minutes from Ezeiza (international) Airport and around 30 minutes from Aeroparque (domestic) airport.

We can book the bus tickets for you and even arrange a driver in Buenos Aires if you prefer - please ask for a quote.

Alternatively, you can hire a rental car - the drive is 650km and takes around 6.5/7 hours.

We can also advise on internal flights to Santa Fe or Corrientes Capital and a private car driver on request.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: 2 hours

After arriving at Esquina bus station you'll be transferred to the estancia in time for breakfast. Then you can join the Grasslands Ride, which takes you through the plains of the estancia. Meander through the vast and beautiful grasslands where the cattle and horses graze and enjoy the peacefulness of the landscape. Return to the estancia for lunch.

In the afternoon, take a nature walk to stretch your muscles after all your travelling and then enjoy a cheese and wine tasting before dinner.

Day 2

Riding: 3 - 5 hours

After breakfast, mount up for the Marshlands ride to venture further afield and discover the famous wetlands of the Corrientes. Return to the estancia for lunch and a siesta. In the afternoon, ride out to the point where the Corrientes and Parana rivers meet. Here there are islands which centuries ago were inhabited by aboriginal colonies who survived through hunting and fishing - sometimes ceramic artefacts can still be found. The flora and fauna here is spectacular too. Finish the ride with a sundowner at Joaquin River Lodge to watch the sunset before returning to the estancia for dinner.

Day 3

Riding: 4 hours

Today sees you heading out for a full day ride through the immense lagoons, where its possible to spot nutria, tortoises, caiman alligators and dozens of species of birds. Stop for an asado lunch in the open country and relax in this paradise for a few hours, before returning to the estancia at dusk.

Day 4

Riding: 4 hours

A day of culture beckons as you join the gauchos to watch, and if you wish, participate in their work. Perhaps you can help to drive the cattle towards the corral, or ride out into the fields searching for newborn calves to tag.

Day 5

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

An easier day today, with a morning ride to continue exploring the networks of lagoons and grasslands, whilst watching for the local wildlife. Then after lunch you can relax with a book, or perhaps opt for a massage or a polo lesson (payable locally).

Day 6

Riding: 4 hours

Head off in a different direction today to explore the scrubland areas where you weave through numerous bush and tree species. Surrounded by lagoons the scrublands are dense with vegetation - many areas choose to cut and burn the scrubland to make space for cultivation, but here on the estancia, the scrubland is left wild and untouched.

Day 7

Riding: 6 hours

A full day of riding today as you set off to find the capybaras. These native South American mammals are semiaquatic and live in groups of 10-20 on the edges on the lagoons. You may be able to hear them barking or spot them swimming. An asado lunch will be taken out in the wilds before returning to the estancia late afternoon.

Day 8

Riding: 4 hours

Your final morning of riding takes you through the thriving wetlands and scrublands which are home to countless species of birds. You will feel as though you are riding through a bird sanctuary. After lunch back at the estancia you can practice your gaucho skills and perhaps learn to through the lasso.

After a farewell dinner you are transferred back to the bus station for your overnight coach back to Buenos Aires.

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

All abilities can be accommodated.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 12
Accommodation for up to 22.
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2021  (Arrive/depart any day)

Pricing

2021/2022
Standard room, single occupancy per DAY
£145 $200 €172
2021/2022
Standard room, sharing, per DAY
£123 $170 €146
2021/2022
Deluxe room, single occupancy, per DAY
£181 $250 €210
2021/2022
Deluxe room, sharing, per DAY
£152 $210 €180
2021/2022
Estanciero room, single occupancy, per DAY
£200 $280 €240
2021/2022
Estanciero room, sharing, per DAY
£174 $240 €205
Included Accommodation, all meals and drinks, riding, nature walks and bird watching, transfers from/to Esquina bus station
Not included Flights, bus tickets, insurance, tips, additional activities

Extras

2021/2022 - Child Discount Children 2-9 years of age receive 50% discount. Children under 2 years are free of charge.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1

Riding: 6 hours

After arriving early at Esquina bus station you'll be transferred to the estancia in time for breakfast. Today you have two rides from the estancia - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. This is a chance to try different horses and relax into your new environment and style of riding. Dinner and overnight at Don Joaquin.

Day 2

Riding: 6 hours

A full day of riding at Don Joaquin. Set out from the estancia to reach the Don Joaquin River Lodge for lunch. After lunch, explore the delta where the Corrientes and Parana rivers meet. Overnight at Don Joaquin River Lodge.

Day 3

Riding: 7 hours

Depart Don Joaquin and ride northeast through open countryside. Stop for an asado lunch in the fields until reach a colonial estancia where you have dinner and overnight.

Day 4

Riding: 7 hours

Continue your journey on horseback to eventually reach Estancia La Teresita, where you will spend two nights. Part of todays ride will take you past the homes of local villagers where you can observe the magic and freedom of a simple life.

Day 5

Riding: 7 hours

A full day of riding from Estancia La Teresita. Ride through beautiful fields and lagoons to reach the Corrientes river where you stop for lunch on the sandy shore. Return to La Teresita for dinner and a second night.

Day 6

Riding: 3 hours

A morning ride to explore a different area around La Teresita with new terrain and ending with a visit to a local school. After lunch at La Teresita you return to Estancia Don Joaquin by vehicle (1 hr drive). In the afternoon you can relax with a massage (arranged in advance) and enjoy a wine tasting before dinner.

Day 7

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Dive into the world of the gaucho and spend the day helping them from horseback. Perhaps you'll be herding cattle into the corral or lassoing calves to be tagged. After lunch you have the option of a final ride or perhaps a visit to the town of Esquina before transferring to the bus station for your journey back to Buenos Aires.

Accommodation

During this trail ride you sleep at four different locations, starting and finishing at Estancia Don Joaquin.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

You should be at least an intermediate or experienced rider, capable of riding for long hours in all paces.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 8
Accommodation for up to 10.
Departure windows

At any time during: Dec. 15, 2021 - Feb. 28, 2022

At any time during: July 1, 2022 - July 31, 2022

Pricing

2021/2022
Single Room
£2170 $3000 €2575
2021/2022
Sharing
£1445 $2000 €1715
Included Accommodation, all meals and drinks, a full body massage, riding, transfers from/to Esquina bus station
Not included Flights, bus to Esquina, insurance, tips, additional activities
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.