Beyond the sprawling city of Buenos Aires, fertile plains and vast skies stretch in all directions, interrupted only by wind pumps and cattle. This is where those succulent steaks come from, and it was Pampas beef which gave Argentina its early 20th century wealth, when it was ‘breadbasket of the world’. The plains extend into several provinces, but you’re most likely to explore that of Buenos Aires, which stretch south and west of the city. Here you’ll find rural tradition alive and well, in huge ,estancias (cattle ranches), where gauchos (Argentine cowboys) still work the land on horseback and some towns seem unchanged since the 1880's.
A total contrast, the Atlantic coast curves in a wide arc south from Buenos Aires all the way to Bahía Blanca. It's practically one long sandy beach, ranging from tacky Mar del Plata to some very chic resorts. All Argentines go to the beach for at least a month in the summer, and while many head off to hotter climes in Brazil or Uruguay, you can still find bars and endless beaches here.
If you hunger for adventure, then head south west of Buenos Aires city to mountain ranges at Tandil and Sierra de la Ventana: hiking paradise.
While the Pampas might not rival Iguazú or Patagonia for spectacle, a stay in an estancia really gets you under Argentina's skin. We’ve chosen our favourites within easy reach of both the capital and Ezeiza international airport – perfect for a final night or two in the country.