El Ombú de Areco, an historical estancia (ranch) just over
an hour's drive from downtown Buenos Aires, is located in San Antonio
de Areco, birthplace of the gaucho tradition. The Late-Colonial style
mansion, built in 1880 by Lieutenant-general Pablo Riccheri, offers
visitors a magnificent setting for an unforgettable stay.
grandfather of the present owner Eva Boelcke, purchased the El Ombú
in 1934. Eva's father, Osvaldo, a renowned botanist, ran the estancia
as a working ranch until his death in 1990. Eva was trained
as an agronomist, but since 1993 has expanded her role as farm manager
to include local and international estancia tourism.
offers nine spacious, modernised bedrooms (6 doubles and 3 triples),
with en suite bathrooms, large windows and an interesting array
of period furniture. In winter, guests enjoy the warmth of central
heating in every bedroom, augmented, if desired, with the friendly
glow of the gaucho's typical wood-burning salamander.
living room is now a spacious common room, in which guests can enjoy
satellite TV or videos, a round of billiards, a game of chess or
hand of cards. On the adjacent gallery, there is ping-pong and metegol
The main house
is surrounded by a covered gallery typical of the late-Colonial
period, with a richly tiled floor and cascaded steps that lead into
the gardens of the park.
over the park is the estancia's namesake, the great ombú
(Phytolacca dioca), a plant as characteristic of the pampas as the
baobab is of the African savanna. Nearly as ancient as well: gauchos
have been hitching their horses to the estancia's main ombú
for over a hundred years.
araucarias (monkey-puzzle trees), palms, eucalyptus, casuarinas
and magnolias adorn the four-hectare (ten-acre) park, tempting guests
to stroll about and enjoy the scent of gardenias, roses and lime
trees. The park and surrounding ranch land, with its natural lagoons
and small water courses running to the Areco River offer a rich
habitat to a large proportion of Argentina's 1000 bird species.
provides all the comfort required by the most demanding guests,
together with a kind and personalised attention by professional
staff, against the backdrop of the big-sky beauty and pastoral quietude
of the Argentine pampas.
In the cosy
and commodious dining-room, facing a large hearth, guests are treated
to a wide selection of international or creole cuisine served with
local wines. No stay will pass without at least one asado, the typical
Argentinean barbeque of the world's finest beef raised free-range
on the estancia.
In the summertime
lunch is served al fresco in the shadow of the great ombú.
Drinks and snacks are available at any hour, and, of course, guests
are always welcome to share the famous Argentine maté with
Eva and her family, your friends and the gauchos.