Stretching south from Buenos Aires and trickling down to the toe of Argentina and Patagonia is the vast expanse of fertile flatlands known as “the Pampas.” With its endless sprawl of succulent grasses and open skies that make for ideal grazing conditions, the area was once a breadbasket for the rest of the country, still making notable contribution to the national income even today. But the Pampas is inarguably most notable for being the land of the “estancias” (cattle ranches), where the myth of the “gaucho” on horseback, Argentina’s cowboys—thought to be a descendant of Europe’s gypsies, and the inventors of the Argentine method of barbecuing meat—is still very much alive. Expect folk music, woven ponchos, rodeos and competition horsemanship, horseback parades and displays of decorated gaucho gear, including tooled leather saddles and spurs. On the 10th of November every year, the small town of San Antonio de Areco hosts the Día de la Tradición celebration, which sees the liveliest gaucho activity.
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