If you’re planning on taking a trip to Argentina, one of the locations you’ll definitely want to visit is the Pampas – the large, almost endless grassy flat lands of Argentina. The Pampas are home to huge herds of cattle that graze on this fertile land that are raised by the gauchos – Argentina’s version of cowboys. Together, the cattle and gauchos roam the grassy lands that extend from the Andes Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Of course, there are plenty of other things for visitors to see on these grasslands besides cattle, so if you’re looking for something different, or just want to get away from the sights and sounds of the large cities, check out some of the following things to do on the Pampas.
Because the Pampas area of Argentina is so large, it contains many different locations and things to do. For example, the Pampas area bordered by the Atlantic Ocean has a number of different beaches and waves perfect for surfing, swimming, and snorkeling in. The drier areas of the west and south also have a lot to offer, including the capital of Argentina – the beautiful city of Buenos Aires. This bustling city is full of sites to see, and is home to the best of the nation’s pastime – tango dancing.
Of course, if you want to learn how the gauchos of Argentina truly live, you can head out to the pastures and join them in tending the cattle. Gauchos, as they’re defined today, were first identified in the late 1700s, when the word was applied to the rough and tumble individuals who were hard workers, but had few manners. Many of these early gauchos lived alone or with their wives and survived by their skills alone. They wandered the Pampas, tending cattle for whoever could pay them, working odd jobs whenever possible. Soon, they became one of Argentina’s cultural icons – over the years, gauchos went from being identified as lone troublemakers to being heralded as famous heroes who were featured in folktales and classic songs. In fact, many gauchos started to see themselves as the Argentinean version of medieval knights.
During the 16th century, gauchos started assisting ranch owners in catching escaped horses and cattle and, before long, these ranchers were hiring gauchos to help herd their cattle. Since there were plenty of herds, gauchos found work easily, and eventually stopped their lone wandering to be full-time cattle herds.
If you’re in the Pampas, you can head out to any of these herds and join the gauchos as they drive cattle to various locations. The gauchos don’t mind you hollering and acting like cowboys out of your favorite western movies, as long as you follow their directions and the gaucho “code of virtue.” For more information on catching up with these modern day cowboys, ask the concierge staff at your hotel. You can even join in the huge gaucho festival in December and celebrate this major Argentina cultural icon!
If you’d rather not help herd cattle, there’s nothing that says you can’t explore the Pampas on your own. Several ranches have horses available for rent, allowing you to ride out onto the Pampas and then have a nice picnic lunch while taking in the sights.