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“Wonderfull authentic experience”
Review of Estancia El Puesto

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Estancia El Puesto
Reviewed December 3, 2012

I had The most wonderfull experience At El Puesto in The argentina summer of 2007. If you're looking for à real gaucho experience, being spoilt by The best nature And food, friendly horses And Chill moments in The evening with endless amount of The best mendoza wines. EL PUESTO is The place To be. I am à experienced horse rider And i love The taste of bological food, Raul en Cristobal make you feel like à real gaucho. Leave for à ride in The Andes, bring à pièce of meat, bread And wine on The horseback. And when you feel hungry, The gaucho's Will make à campfire To barbecue The fresh meat, And cutting sticks from à tree To put The meat on. Sit back And relax, in The middel of knowhere, experience The good live of à traditional mendoza gaucho. Once in à live experience. One of The best places i have been on earth, And i have traveld à lot!
Oh, i allmost Forget The best goat Cleese on earth, made by Liz, The lady who provides The food. If you like you can help To catch The goats with à lasso To. Unforgetable ......

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank HaasjeOpReis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 3, 2012

Don Raul Labat is the host of all hosts...
I booked (very last minute) in to El Puesto, and was lucky enough to find myself in the company of one of the world's last true gentlemen. From the personal airport pick up, to sharing a meal (more on that soon), and organising anything I wanted, Raul ensured my stay was not only memorable, but very comfortable. The estancia is simple but cosy, and I can just imagine how much fun could be had if a large group were staying there. I was travelling solo, and with little spanish under my belt, however it didn't matter as Raul and I found a way to meet in the middle.
I am not afraid to say I enjoyed some of the best meals I personally encountered in Argentina while staying at El Puesto. His cook was outstanding, and I just couldn't wait to see what each meal brought. Don't hesitate to try Estancia El Puesto...

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Slym554
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2012

2 friends and I crossed the Andes with Raul, a small group of other guests and 5 gauchos. With the pack train of mules and riding horse there were close to thirty horses in our remuda. The first days ride, on the trail of St. Martin, led us through a portico that is quaintly called a pass in that region: as we went over we were at an altitude of 14,200 feet. The scenery was magnificent. We were looking down on condors soaring over the valley! Our accommodation was in a refugio tended by Army personnel. Every day we rode out in different directions, exploring the country. Riding west to another high altitude pass into Chile was a thrill. Every day we enjoyed a gaucho bar-b-que complete with wine, cheese, bread and freshly roasted beef. We were lucky enough to see guanaco almost daily and one day a puma.The horse were amazing, climbing steep slopes easily at altitudes constantly at or over 10,000 feet. Raul's knowledge of the history of the region was great - he had run cattle in one of the valleys we rode through and had spent a summer in a small - very small - rock shack. Our Spanish is pretty shaky and it improved as we listened to his stories of cattle drives and bad weather. Interacting with the gauchos added greatly to the adventure. They went out of their way to make our experience enjoyable. Every mile of trail brought new sights. We had a sobering pause as we rode by a cairn marking a site where several gauchos died in a spring blizzard. The whole experience was incredible. Raul and his crew made every effort to make sure we had a great trip.

Room Tip: Be prepared for rustic accomodation (it is an outdoor adventure trip), lots of food, wine and long d...
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Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
Thank Alan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2012

My friend and I stayed one night at the estancia towards the end of November 2012. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will remember forever! Raul is the owner of the estancia and picks you up roadside in a 4x4 truck, dressed in traditional gaucho gear. You drive along a bumpy dirt road for about 20 minutes, venturing deep into the scrubby hills of the Andes, until finally arriving at the simple but beautiful estancia. We had the whole place to ourselves during our stay. With a full staff waiting on us hand and foot, we spent a delightful afternoon on the ranch. After changing into ponchos and cowboy hats which we wore the entire time (traditional estancia gear), lunch began with an ever-refilled basket of piping hot empanadas (the best you'll ever taste) and a bottle of chardonnay - transitioned to a beautiful asado with malbec for lunch next to a giant outdoor BBQ - then off for a siesta - then hopping onto horseback for a private two-hour ride through the mountain - then a sunset stroll on the dirt road through the mountains, as gauchos cowboys rode past us on their way home from a day's work - then champagne and appetizers - then a pollo asado dinner with a visit from Raul's lovely friends from Mendoza City - and, of course, a full breakfast the next morning before departing around noon. It was a unique and memorable Argentinian adventure, and I'm glad we went.

That being said... there were several things about our stay that I did not know about the estancia ahead of time. They have not been represented in the other TripAdvisor reviews, so I want to mention:

First, expect to spend A LOT of time with Raul. All those meals and horseback rides and time spent relaxing I just described? Raul was with us 100% of the time, talking and generally acting like he was a third member of our guest party. He does not speak much English, so if you're not fluent in Spanish, expect to have a lot of Spanglish conversations with him or sit in silence while the Spanish-speaking members of your party carry on full conversations with him. He is a bachelor, running the estancia by himself (his son-in-law, Daniele, arranges all the bookings over email but won't be present) - which made me a bit uncomfortable, as we were two young women travelling solo. My friend and I spent no time bonding or talking 1x1 ourselves, as we spent the entire time talking with Raul and his friends. So if you're looking to have a private, romantic excursion with a partner, this isn't the place.

Second, you can only pay in cash. This confused us, as we had used a credit card to hold the booking - but were told, as we were leaving, that we had to pay in pesos. You can do a bank transfer up front, but we made our reservation only a few days in advance while we were on the road, so this was not an option for us. Since we did not have enough cash, we had to drive with Raul to the nearest bank in Tupungato and pull out thousands of pesos from an ATM.

Third, at USD $300 per person per night, it's pricey. We negotiated this down to USD $270 per person. But with a private ranch stay, a two-hour horseback ride, three amazing meals, it is worth the sum amount of money you would spend on any of those items individually (at least, we thought so). However, that doesn't change the fact that it's a lot of money for a lodging option.

Fourth, this place is RUSTIC. Like, not: Oh-cute-there's-a-navajo-blanket kind of "rustic". Like, no Wi-Fi, no cell service, no heating, no electricity (the estancia is all solar-powered), no toilet paper kind of "rustic". Make sure you bring plenty of reading material or a deck of cards: I finished my book in the first hour of my stay, and twiddled my thumbs for the rest of the time. After nightfall, the estancia is lit solely by candles - guests are discouraged from turning on lights, in order to conserve solar energy. Bring a headlamp if you have one.

Fifth, the meals are world-class incredible and the entire experience is quite grand. However, the actual accommodations are not luxurious, per se. The estancia is an old ranch house, and it has not been modernized. The place lacks a "woman's touch" since it is essentially Raul's bachelor pad. Our room in particular stood in stark contrast to the $600 per night price tag: two tiny twin cots, with crickets chirping in the room, a toilet that doesn't accept toilet paper, and a shower so old and decrepit that we never used it during our 24-hour stay. The house was drafty and bone-shiveringly cold at night (picture me wearing all the mis-matched layers my suitcase had to offer, plus a wool poncho).

Overall: If you are up for a rustic adventure, enjoy an "unplugged" break from society, feel like doing some horseback riding, and don't want to spend your entire time in Mendoza on boring wine tours, a night at the Estancia El Puesto is a great option. And now you can be forewarned about all the elements I mentioned! Enjoy your time in Mendoza; it's a truly magical place...

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank LindRuss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2012

We were a party of five guys on a bucket list tour of Argentina and ranching in the foothills of the Andes was definitely part of that.

You get 16 days rain in Mendoza every year and we had two of them, on El Puesto we didn;t even notice it.

We were picked up in 4x4's from our hotel in Mendoza by Raul and his son in law Daniel and driven to the Estancia. Daniel speaks perfect English and acts as translator for his charismatic father in law.

About an hours drive from Mendoza we arrived at the Estancia, it is magnificent. We were given a most welcome glass of wine on our arrival followed by a fantastic traditional Argentinian lunch with as much wine as we wanted. As we were on a boys trip, we were quite thirsty but that was no problem.

After a siesta to overcome jetlag aided by red wine it was time to ride out. I have never been on a horse in my life and I was absolutely fine. We rode out for about an hour but could quite easily have gone further but the red wine was calling and back we went.

Another superb meal at dinner time and fantastic stories from Raul and Daniel made for a most enjoyable evening, they are superb hosts.

The next morning we were woken to the sound of Raul playing stirring music to notify his guests, breakfast was ready. After an excellent breakfast Raul and Daniel were kind enough to take us to a winery en route back to Mendoza.

We like it so much that for our 50th birthday's we are already talking about crossing the Andes by horseback with Raul and Daniel.

I can't compliment Estancia El Puesto enough, just book it.

Room Tip: Ensure you get a room in the main house, the guest house quarters are not as well equipped.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank gazborangers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2012

Our stay at Estancia El Puesto was arguably the most enjoyable part of our 3 week stay in Argentina. We spent 2 nights at El Puesto, the first night spent with just the 2 of us with Daniele (the Estancia Manager), his wife Maria (the Estancia owners daughter) and their daughter Manuela. It was such a pleasure to spend some time hearing about them and their lives, as well as getting to eat some wonderful food and drink some fantastic Argentinean wines from the region.

The second day we were joined by another guest, and the Estancia owner Raul. Once again lots of eating and drinking were involved, accompanied by the hospitality of Raul and Daniele (Maria & Manuela had to return to Mendoza).

Other than relaxing, eating and drinking, we of course went horse riding. Neither of us are big (or good) horse riders, however we loved every moment of it. The horses had a fantastic temperament and the trails we went on were varied, with spectacular views of the Andes and the surrounding Uco Valley. The resident gaucho Polo was a great guide on each of our rides, and fantastic on the Asado/BBQ!

All-in-all, we had the most amazing time and can't recommend Estancia El Puesto highly enough, the tranquil setting, the amazing food, the breathtaking scenery and the unforgettable hospitality.

We hope to return one day, perhaps even to do the Andes crossing...

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Arrc2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2012

Firstly, let me say I'm a born sceptic so I don't always believe rave reviews about a place. However, I can assure you everything written about Estancia El Puesto is true.

I was a solo traveller and was made to feel very comfortable by Raul from the moment he picked me up in Mendoza. Arriving in the tranquility of el Puesto, I got to meet Daniele and his family as well as the staff. My two days were spent eating, horse riding, eating, horse riding... You get the drift! Everything was so wonderful. Paolo was a great guide on the horses and the animals were very forgiving to a novice like myself.

The food was wonderful. Really delicious, fresh and well prepared with great fruit and veggies to go along with the meats. And the desserts were just to die for. The whole team of staff were so kind and hospitable.

On my second night it was just me and Raul as the other guests had left. He was very charming and a man of many interesting experiences. Ask him to show you the cork trick!

I can only hope I have the fortune to go back and visit with family or friends again.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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Thank adamontour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Estancia El Puesto

Address: Alto Valle De Uco, Tupungato 0, Argentina
Location: Argentina > Cuyo > Province of Mendoza > Tupungato
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Tupungato
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Settled in the middle of the Andes, El Puesto is a great place for all ages to enjoy the panoramic views, delicious meals & mendocinean wines, horse back riding with the best hosts Raul & Daniele. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Estancia El Puesto Tupungato, Argentina - Province Of Mendoza

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