In the grassy Argentine pampas about 110 miles southeast of Buenos Aires, Estancia El Venado has been owned by the same family for four generations. During twice-daily training sessions, estancia (ranch) owner and polo pro Federico Cendoya teaches all levels of players how to master the game of polo—one of Argentina’s most popular sports.
WHAT YOU’LL DO: In the morning, practice with a stick and ball, or ride around the grounds of El Venado; in the afternoon, play four chukkers (seven-minute periods) with instruction; improve riding skills by helping the estancia’s gauchos herd cattle to fresh pasture on the 2,500-acre property.
HIGHLIGHTS: Dine outside on empanadas, asado (barbecued meat), and Malbec wine. Stay in an 1878 hacienda furnished with family antiques. Go birdwatching for monk parakeets and guira cuckoos that live in the estancia’s century-old casuarina, eucalyptus, and plátano trees.
Estancia El Venado Polo School, 54/9-2241-67-3320, one-week trips for $2,100, including lodging and meals. Photo by Alice Horlick. This appeared in the July/August 2010 issue.