In Argentina, a group can spend a sunny afternoon harvesting grapes in wine country one day and raft through the frigid waters of the Patagonian Steppe the next.From its people to its geography, Argentina’s abundance of cool cultural experiences is a clear indicator of how varied the country really is. Argentina Travel Partners DMC gives us a glimpse of Argentina’s newest and wildest group experiences.
Known for its deep history in the game of polo, Argentina is the ideal spot for groups to test their skills at the “sport of kings.” Located on the northern outskirts an hour from Buenos Aires, the town of Pilar is home to Club Polo One, a venue open to both professionals and amateurs. The afternoon begins with a brief introduction to the rules of the game while attendees sip champagne and munch on gourmet cheeses.
One of the polo fields hosts two long tables for up to 100 guests to enjoy a country-style barbecue of world-renowned Argentinian steaks, paired with accompanying vino from the country’s vaunted vineyards.
After lunch, the polo match takes place and groups have the luxury of watching from just a few yards away, inside a refurbished train wagon.
“All the while, we continue to serve champagne and sweets,” says Ines Gowland, director of ATP. “Overall, it’s quite fancy as an event.”
For a wild ride through the Patagonian Steppe, groups of 70-pax can partake in the Patagonia Ultimate Challenge teambuilding activity. Take in the beauty of the surrounding canyons while rafting down the Limay River, all the while racing against other groups of your peers. Each group has to solve various quizzes and puzzles at checkpoints along the way, and points are added to determine the winning group.
Another option is a 90-minute plane ride away, taking groups into the heart of Argentina’s wine lands in Mendoza. Here, attendees blend their own wine, under the watchful eye of experienced sommeliers.
The group can also learn the secret to mastering Argentina’s famous asado, a barbecuing technique, by participating in a group cooking demonstration and class. Those who feel safer a few feet away from the ovens can watch with a glass of wine in hand.
“It combines all the wine events we offer,” Ines says. “The ladies cook, the men blend the wine and at the end of the day everyone eats together.”
While touring the wine country by bicycle is a very popular option, ATP is taking it one step further starting in January. The company will offer groups up to 28 people a tour of the land on Harley Davidson motorcycles.
“It just makes the experience more glamorous by offering the motorcycles and accommodations at upscale hotels,” Ines says. “I can’t wait. It’s going to be fabulous.”
FOR THE CITY SLICKERS
If the high rises and city lights are more your scene, groups in Buenos Aires can customize a day of shopping and great food, all within the city limits.
“We’ve seen a trend from groups coming in from the U.S. where they do activities together but also want a chance to do their own thing and customize their trip to their personal interests,” Ines says.
It’s easy for ATP to cater to this request with the variety of activities available for group experiences in the city’s downtown. For shopping, Ines recommends Palermo Soho. This hip, new area features great shopping malls and fun nightlife. Groups can visit San Telmo’s flea market on Sundays for antiques. They can also purchase leather goods on Florida Street.
“A lot of shops in town are tailoring clothes in 24 hours for guests who shop and must return back home the next day,” Ines says. “Even though that’s the case, you should never leave shopping for the last minute.”
For groups who are more fashion-inclined, runway shows can be held during breakfast in the event spaces of many hotels within the city including: Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, Hilton Buenos Aires, and Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel & Convention Center.
While the ladies enjoy their designer brands, men too can enjoy the city by attending a sporting event. Ines recommends golf or soccer. “We’re really loud and colorful people so it’s fun to go down to the stadium and take part in it,” she says.
ATP will also take groups to other destinations, including Chile’s wine country and a 1-day cruise to Uruguay. The cruise port is a 1-hour drive from Buenos Aires and travels out to Colonia del Sacramento, the oldest town in the country.
Ines loves both options and says groups tend to enjoy a day out of the country, and often opt to go to Chile. “It’s great because you can go to the mountains or go to the Pacific, depending on what you want to see,” she says. “Groups love it because it’s another stamp on their passport.”