Estancia Los Potreros is an exclusive 6,500-acre working organic cattle and stud farm, delightfully secluded at the top of the ‘Sierras Chicas’ in the heart of the beautiful region of Cordoba.

We delight in welcoming guests to share our home and lifestyle, providing a unique and unforgettable vacation in first hand contact with the rural traditions of Argentina. We pride ourselves on setting a high standard of professionalism in accommodation and hospitality, taking care of guests with unrivalled personal attention to detail.

Whether your passion be outstanding horses, beautiful scenery, walking, photography, bird-watching, soaking up the local culture or simply enjoying good company in a truly unique setting, Estancia Los Potreros has something for everyone.
 

Good to know

  • Works with travel agents?

    yes
  • Belongs to

    TripAdvisor Green Leader Platinum award
  • Good time to go

    The estancia is a good year round destination, although spring and autumn are always popular as they are still warm but a little drier than the full summer months. The wild flowers in spring are not to be missed!

Lowdown

  • Owner(s)

    Louisa and Kevin Begg,
  • Manager(s)

    Kevin and Louisa Begg
  • Address

    Estancia Los Potreros, Casilla de Correo 64, Rio Ceballos, Córdoba, Argentina, 5111
  • Tel

    +54 11 6091 2692
  • Capacity

    12
  • Open

    Jan-Apr, Jun-Dec - view details
  • Nightly rate

    $435-460 - view details
  • Ranch Type

    Guest Ranch, Working Ranch, Authentic, Hands-On
  • Great for

    Romance, Action & adventure, Peace & quiet, Solitude, Diverse scenery, Kids - age 10+

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Highs

  • For riders, this estancia has been referred to as "heaven"; You also have opportunity to try your hand at Polo!
  • Highlighted and acclaimed in several publications including Real Travel "The World's best riding"; Sunday Times "100 Best Hotels in the World"
  • Submerse yourself in history and the gaucho culture; one guest calls it "beautiful unadulterated tranquility"
  • Non-riders will enjoy the beauty of the landscape, great food, amazing walks, and relaxing by the pool
  • Guests report - The pasos are an amazing experience, with their super smooth gait; the criollo horses are sure footed, safe and great fun

Lows

  • Be prepared for the odd electricity break; however, the generator usually kicks in!
 

Summer Season Rates & Booking

  • Open

    Jan-Apr, Oct-Dec
  • Nightly rate

    $435-460   view details on lodging rates
  • Nightly rate (non-rider)

    $435-460
  • Nightly rate (children)

    $350-370
  • Minimum stay

    3 days
  • Preferred arrival day

    Any day is fine
  • Preferred depart day

    Any day is fine
  • Booking Policy

  • A 50% deposit confirms your reservation, the balance payable one month in advance. Payment is via bank transfer (USD account).
  • Included in your stay

  • meals, activities, ranch shuttle, lodging, tax, Riding, All drinks (including alcoholic beverages)
  • Extras

Winter Season Rates & Booking  

  • Open

    Jun-Sep
  • Nightly rate

    $380-410   view details on lodging rates
  • Nightly rate (non-rider)

    $380-410
  • Nightly rate (children)

    $304-328
  • Minimum stay

    3 days
  • Preferred arrival day

    Any day is fine
  • Preferred depart day

    Any day is fine
  • Booking Policy

  • A 50% deposit confirms your reservation, the balance payable one month in advance. Payment is via bank transfer (USD account).
  • Included FREE in your stay

  • meals, activities, ranch shuttle, lodging, tax, Riding, All drinks (including alcoholic beverages)
  • Extras

Environmental & Social Practices

  • Environment

  • For the Begg family, responsible tourism is a way of life and centred around respect for history and tradition, the environment and the local community. With regards to protecting the environment, the majority of the energy is generated from renewable resources (wind and solar power) and the natural spring waters are kept free from pollutants. All farming is organic, and completed without the use of growth hormones, pesticides, insecticides or chemical fertilizers. There is an active tree-planting programme, and wine bottles are transported back to the winery to be filled again with Los Potreros wine!

    Farming methods remain similar to those used in the area for hundreds of years, with particular attention paid to the traditional role of the ‘gaucho’. The historic buildings on the estancia are gradually being restored, taking care to renovate them in sympathy with the original construction where possible, and using local workmanship and traditional materials.

  • Community

  • The local community is central to rural life in Argentina, and the majority of the employees on the estancia are local people, with some families having worked on the estancia for many generations. Supplementary fresh produce not grown on the farm is sourced from local suppliers, and the estancia has long-supported the local rural school through donations in kind, which have included a well, solar power, an orchard, a bread oven and most recently their first computer.

  • Food

  • Wherever possible, vegetables and fruit are supplied from the estancias organic vegetable gardens along with free-range eggs and home-reared beef. All other produce is sourced locally from the rural villages in the area, reducing farm-to-table distance.

     

  • Conservation

  • The Beggs work actively with a number of local organisations and groups in the area of conservation. They provide access to local university groups who are conducting studies on non-indigenous plant species in the hills, and also work with the provincial reserve in releasing animals back into the wild that have either been bred in captivity or rescued. The reserve also keeps a number of weather stations on the estancia to measure rainfall and other climate data.

Weather

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Avg Temp (°F):

888481776863636672728186

Avg Rainfall (in):

5.24.34.62.00.90.70.60.71.52.94.25.9

Lowdown

  • Elevation

    3,600 ft.
  • Generate power

    The estancia generates electricity through both wind and solar power.
  • Remote Location

 

Nearest Airports

  • Pajas Blancas, Cordoba, Cordoba

  • Nearest town / city

    Cordoba
  • Distance to ranch

    20 miles
  • Time to ranch

    45 mins
  • Airlines

    LAN, Iberia, Aerolineas Argentinas, TAM, Gol, Andes, Copa Airlines, Austral, Pluna
  • Ranch shuttle

    Included in rate
  • Rental car

    4x4 recommended

Nearest Town / City

  • Rio Ceballos

  • Population

    20,000
  • Distance

    10 miles
  • Time from ranch

    30 mins
  • Facilities

    grocery store, pharmacy, church, school, post office, medical clinic, hospital, bank, atm, gas station
  • Shopping

    small hometown necessity shops
  • Ranch shuttle

    $250 pesos one way
  • Rental car

    4x4 recommended
 

Our riding stands out

  • Fabulous, forward going, well-mannered horses
  • Variety of horse-related activities, including polo
  • The chance to try the smooth-gaited Paso Peruano

Our horses

  • guest horses

    80
  • horse types

    Other, Geldings, Mares, Criollo, Paso Peruano, crossbreeds, polo ponies

Our Riding

  • Guided rides

    All rides are accompanied by 2 guides, usually a gaucho and an English speaking back-up rider. Morning rides are usually to some specific point on the farm or nearby - waterfalls, view points, churches, old estancia buildings, etc. Afternoon rides are often mixed up with other activities such as lassoing, gaucho games or moving horses. Informal polo is played once a week on the estancia.
  • Riding Freedom

    Guests to not need to ride 'nose-to-tail but are accompanied at all times by guides who set the route and the pace.

Good to know

  • Riding considerations

    Up to 210 lbs, no riding experience needed, We consider height and athletic ability as well as a guest's weight
  • Saddles

    English, Local Argentine saddles, polo saddles, English military saddles

Lowdown

  • Type of riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Most riders are

    Intermediate
  • Rides are grouped by

    Age, Ability, Pace of Ride, Rides dictated by ranch work, Families Ride Together
  • Maximum of 6 guests per ride
  • Max riders per ride

    6
  • Wranglers per ride

    2
  • Pace of ride

    Walk, Trot, Lope

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You'll enjoy

  • hours in the Saddle

    Morning - 3 hours, Afternoon - 2 hours
  • We ride usually twice per day, or full day rides. Sunday afternoons are free for guests to relax.
  • Riding

    Openly through property, On specified trails
 

Riding Lessons

  • Details

    lessons come with package, basic riding lessons
  • Lessons given by

    wrangler, ranch owner or manager
  • Lessons located

    on the trail
  • Lessons are given 'on the hoof' if required, rather than in a formal training environment and is included in your package. We play informal polo once a week free of charge, and Polo tuition is given to guests that wish to try the game. For additional polo beyond our regular one time per week, there is a USD50 charge per session.

Cattle work - pasture gathers

  • When

    Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec, All year
  • Frequency

    Weekly
  • Interaction

    Guests participate
  • Cattle work is driven by estancia needs and weather, and so is not available 'on request'.

Branding work

  • When

    Feb, Mar
  • Frequency

    Yearly
  • No. Branded

    350
  • Interaction

    Guests watch

Pack Trips

  • Details

    overnight trips, weekly trips
  • Extras

    Overnight trips can usually be arranged with sufficient notice, for guests staying 7 nights or more. A number of fixed date week long trips are run during the year.

Arena Work

  • Activities

    roping from the ground, barrels
  • Other gaucho games such as 'sortija'. Polo.

Horsemanship Clinic

  • Clinician

    Pepe Estenssoro
  • Details

    Additionally charged, Clinics occur in the arena
  • Cost

    $75
  • Focuses on

    Pepe is a 'natural horsemanship' trainer and focuses on round pen techniques on the ground. Subject to availability and must be booked in advance.

Sample Riding Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Arrive at Estancia Los Potreros and settle into your room. Join the Beggs for lunch on the verandah, before receiving a brief introduction to the wonderful horses and relaxed western-style of riding. Enjoy a sunset ride or walk to ‘The Bellstone’ to learn a little more about the history of the estancia and surrounding areas. A candle-lit dinner provides the perfect end to your first day.

    Day 2
    Ride to our beautiful waterfall, and take a refreshing dip in the clear waters. Return to the estancia for a typical Argentine ‘asado’, and after a well-earned siesta help the gauchos to round up the mares and foals to protect them from the elusive puma. Try our fabulously smooth and forward-going Paso Peruano horses, which help make sure that a full day in the saddle doesn’t feel quite so long.

    Day 3
    Ride this morning to ‘The Top of the World’ – the highest point on the estancia, with spectacular 360 degree views of the surrounding hills and valleys. In the afternoon head to the corrals at our cattle station with our gauchos to challenge them to a bit of lassoing, and to learn a little more about the working cattle operation on the estancia. Supper with the Beggs is washed down with Estancia Los Potreros’ own label wine.

    Day 4
    We take a picnic with us today on horseback to ‘Las Tazas’, beautiful natural rock pools providing a perfect place to while away a few hours swimming, relaxing in the sun and enjoying the beauty of the Sierras Chicas. In the evening take part in a wine tasting by Kevin Begg, exploring some of the fabulous wines from Argentina.

    Day 5
    How about trying your hand at the ‘Sport of Kings’ – polo! Ride down to the polo field, have a short lesson and some practice ‘stick and ball’ and then play a few chukkas of this highly addictive game. A swim in the estancia pool and gin and tonics on the verandah mark the end to a perfect day.

    Day 6
    After a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs, depart for your onward travel.
     

     

Setting

  • Private Land - 1000-5000 (hectares)

  • Our landscape boasts of grassy hilltops that give way to craggy outcrops, dropping down to sparkling streams and hidden gullies. The landscapes are surprisingly varied and each season brings different colours – spring hills are peppered with vibrant wildflowers in primary colours, whilst winter brings dried grasses that blow in the wind ‘like flowing honey’.

Food is home cooked, from either homegrown or locally sourced ingredients. Beef, vegetables, eggs and many fruits are all produced on the estancia, and the remainder is sourced from local suppliers. The menu reflects both local Argentine dishes, with plenty of 'asados' (barbeques), along with European favourites. The menu is set and all meals are taken 'family style' with the hosts Kevin and Louisa Begg.

Following the theme of supporting local industry, our own label wine is made especially for us by a local winery, the oldest winery in Argentina. Both the red and white are made from traditional Argentine grape varieties, Malbec and Torrentes respectively.

Regular wine tastings are held, and a full vegetarian menu is also available.

 

Good to know

Alcohol

wine provided with dinner

Snacking

Stocked refrigerator

Lowdown

  • Enjoy

    Ranch-style
  • Meals served

    family style, everyone eats together, scheduled meals
  • Enjoy dining in

    nature settings, patio, dining room (casual attire), bar & grille
  • You'll definitely love

    ranch-raised beef, farm fresh eggs, ranch garden, organic produce, locally grown produce, fresh daily bread, fresh daily desserts, Beef is Aberdeen Angus, farmed organically from our own herd; eggs are from our own free range chickens
  • Dietary restrictions catered for include

    lactose intolerant, vegans, vegetarians, other

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Guest Favorites

  • 'Asado' - beef barbeque
  • Osobuco
  • 'Pollo al disco'

Wine List Sample

  • Los Potreros Malbec
  • Los Potreros Torrontes
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
 

Your Chef

  • Your dedicated chef is Patricia

  • Patricia has been with us for over 12 years now, starting her life here as a cleaner, moving into the kitchen as second cook some years ago, and has been our head cook for over 8 years.

Sample Menu

    Breakfast - cereals, toast, homemade jams, homemade yoghurt, fresh fruits, stewed fruit, bacon and eggs (free range from the estancia), tea, coffee, orange juice

    Lunch - canapes, two types of 'empanada' with two salads, homemade onion bread, homemade chocolate and orange ice cream, coffee

    Tea - tea with homemade 'alfajores' (local biscuits)

    Supper - canapes, homemade pasta with mushrooms, homemade foccacia bread, salads, tiramisu, coffee

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 10 and over



Children are welcomed at the estancia from the age of 10 upwards. Children must always wear hard hats when riding and must be supervised by a responsible adult at all times whilst on the estancia, including on rides where the family group will ride together.

Detailed Activities

  • Games

    scavenger/treasure hunts, board games
  • Riding based activities

    trail riding

This region of Cordoba province was originally dedicated to mule breeding, mainly for the silver mines in Bolivia, but over the past 100 years has gradually moved across to cattle.

Many of the estancia buildings date back to over 300 years ago, along with the stone walls that surround the property, whilst the oldest building on the estancia was built somewhere around the 1630's. There are many references to the Jesuits who were early farmers in the area.

The Begg family first came to the area some 100 years ago, and the estancia has now been in the family for 4 generations. Louie Begg first welcomed long term house guests just after the Second World War, and in 2001 the estancia opened its' doors to guests in its' current format, and the estancia and cattle business are now run and hosted by one of Louie's grandsons, Kevin Begg, and his wife Louisa.

Lowdown

  • Ranch established

    1630
  • Guest ranch since

    2001
  • Ranchers for

    4 generations

Our Staff

  • Cheerful
  • Flexible
  • Hard-working
  • We have 6 wranglers on our staff, aged 20 to 60

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Your hosts, Louisa and Kevin Begg (and friend!)
Some of our wonderful staff.

Owner Info

  • Owner - Louisa and Kevin Begg,

  • Languages spoken

    english, spanish
  • The first ancestor of the current Begg family (Grierson) came to Argentina as part of an organised migration from Scotland in the early part of the 19th century, the journey being captured in the book 'From Caledonia to the Pampas - The Voyage of the Symmetry' by William Grierson. The Beggs themselves arrived later that century from Dumfries, with a young son, Robert Begg. Both parents died shortly after arriving in Buenos Aires, leaving the young boy to be brought up by the Presbytarian church. Their descendants first came to the Cordoba hills about 100 years ago, where they first bought some land. The land is still owned and farmed by their son, Robert Begg, and his sons, Robin and Kevin. Both sons married English women, whom both live in Argentina, with Kevin and his wife Louisa based permanently on the estancia.

Our Managers

  • Manager - Kevin and Louisa Begg

  • Hometown

    The estancia!
  • With ranch since

    2003
  • Languages spoken

    english, spanish
  • Kevin was born in Argentina, and spent much of his childhood in the Cordoba hills, here on the estancia. Latterly he was schooled in England, staying there to finish university and then take a job in the banking industry in London. Later, Kevin was posted to Spain and then to Argentina, where he has subsequently stayed to run the estancia for the past 12 years.

    Louisa was born and raised in England, and following a career in the hospitality and service industry (with a brief sojourn into thorougbred horse breeding), finally ending up in the City. Louisa came on holiday to the estancia in 2005, and never went home! She and Kevin have been married for 8 years, and jointly run the estancia.

Rooms & Rates

  • Room type | nameSummer ratesWinter rates

  • House | Potrero de Loza$435-$460$410-$380

    • Description

      Potrero de Loza is the main guest house on the estancia, with parts dating back over 300 years. All individual, there are 7 bedrooms, each with private bathrooms, that have been tastefully restored and converted into guest accommodation. There is a mix of single, double and twin rooms, with one separate 'cottage' having interconnecting rooms, ideal for family groups. Antiques and books abound, and rooms are heated by wood-burning stoves in the winter months.
    • Rooms

      7
    • Max occupancy

      12
    • Prices listed are

      per person
    • Minimum stay

      3 nights
    • Bathrooms

      Private bathroom
    • Amenities

      wood fireplace
Guest sitting room.
Guest sitting room.
Guest sitting room.

Services

Communications

  • wireless internet

Onsite

Shopping

  • We have a small estancia shop, with all proceeds from sales going to our local rural school.

Outdoor Activities

  • bird watching
  • Hiking, tours of the estancia by pick-up, birdwatching

Water based Activities

  • outdoor pool

Good to know

  • You can borrow

    Riding helmets, Saddle bags
 

Fishing & Wildlife

  • Wildlife and birding

  • Aside from the plentiful birdlife, the hills are home to foxes, hare, deer, iguanas, and more elusively the wild boar and the puma.

Offsite Activities

  • There are 3 excellent golf courses within an hour of the estancia, and a little further afield you can also find world class dove-shooting and paragliding. Transfers can be arranged as required at an additional cost.

Local Attractions

  • We've only highlighted attractions that may add to your stay!
  • Santa Catalina

  • Historical Jesuit estancia
  • Distance

    40 miles
  • Time from ranch

    1 hour 15 mins
  • Ranch shuttle

    fee-based, contact us
  • Rental car

    4x4 recommended
  • Candonga church

  • Small church on the original 'Camino Real' trading route to Lima
  • Distance

    30 miles
  • Time from ranch

    1 hour
  • Ranch shuttle

    fee-based, contact us
  • Rental car

    4x4 recommended
  • Eden Hotel

  • Hotel, originally built in the 1880's, for the visiting German popluation. Now a museum.
  • Distance

    20 miles
  • Time from ranch

    45 mins
  • Ranch shuttle

    fee-based, contact us
  • Rental car

    4x4 recommended

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Our horses come in many colours, shapes and sizes!
Antique gaucho bridle.
Your hosts - Kevin and Lou Begg
 

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