Before to grab our flight friday the 23rd of April to Paris, we spent 2 days in and around San Antonio de Areco, a small colonial town 130 Kms away from Buenos Aires. The old historical part is extremely nice. Try to visit all the "Platerias" where you will be able to buy handmade silver knives, plates....Silver IS the local speciality ! You will also find multiple options to eat well but modestly. We personally tested "El almacen de Ramos" . Excellent meat and fresh pasta. Nice Atmosphere and very friendly. Around 80 ARS ( 20 USD ) per person. We have also been recommended another restaurtant by several locals we had no time to experience. So we'll leave that one up to you : La pulperia de Areco. Feel free to drop us your feedback.
We did spend the night at a very charming posada called "Posada de la plaza" which again several locals pointed out as the best local option. This is a family run business and you will immediately feel at home there. The rooms are spacious, rustic but well decorated. We had an excellent breakfast in the vast garden. Again an excellent service which has proven to be part of the argentinian DNA ! Go there you will have a good rest for 300 ARS ( 75 USD ) breakfast included.
We spent the second day around San Antonio, in the Estancia's ( en el campo ). You will find many different options to experience the famous Gaucho lifestyle which is still very well preserved. We personally did visit Estancia la bamba which has been recently entirely restored after it has been acquired by a rich French business man. Without a doubt, La bamba is the local luxury and ultimate retreat. Absolutely an amazing place but at 450 USD/night we decided to opt for a more modest and authentic one ! And we ended up by chance at Estancia El Ombù, another family run farm. The owner and the entire staff are very friendly and professional. We spent most of the day there enjoying an "asado", meeting with some gaucho's and passing by.
So Enjoy San Antonio and say Hello on our behalf to all those places should you ever visit them !