In general, when living in Buenos Aires or in Argentina, you want to adapt yourself to the traditions of the Argentinians i.e. eating empanadas, drinking fernet (even though it tastes like medicine), only having a café and some medialunas for breakfast, having dinner at 10pm and being late rather than on time. You want to live the Argentine life and experience those things which are traditional. In this case, you should also spend a day with the gauchos of Argentina.
“Gauchos” are the cowboys of Argentina and have a long and rich history. They are the symbol and the heroes of the people who live in the countryside, or el campo.
In the north and northwest of the city of Buenos Aires, there are a lot of polo fields, or campos del polo, like those in Cañuelas and Pilar, where you can enjoy watching a polo game during the season (November/December) and visit one of the many estancias (a big farm), where a lot of gauchos live and work.
However, to really taste the gaucho ambience, you definitively should go to San Antonio de Areco, which is probably the most picturesque pueblo when it comes to gauchos. It is a beautiful town with nice little streets, several amazing parks and the downtown area also has a lot of traditional shops. Every single day will be a great experience, but El Día de la Tradición must be the best day to visit San Antonio.
On November 10th and 11th, they celebrate this amazing day where thousands of different gaucho families come to the old little town to show their horses while wearing their traditional costumes. The parade is stunning and every group of gauchos has its own unique touch. Some gauchos also show their tricks with the horses, and the people who do not ride horses are doing traditional dances in the streets. Besides enjoying the activities of the gauchos, you can eat delicious meat from one of the many street vendors or in a local restaurant.
After the parade, you can go to the lovely traditional feria, or artisan market, which is situated next to the rodeo, which is an important and fun activity on this day. Every person can join the rodeo, but believe me, you won’t want to. It is just fun to watch and enjoy the locos who like to fall off of the horses and listen to the comments and jokes the announcer makes.
If you want the full package, you should stay the weekend in San Antonio de Areco. Choose a typical posada and enjoy the festival at night. Live music, bonfires, dancing, eating, drinking and laughing together will make this night unforgettable, just like El Día de la Tradición…