Depending on what you want to do and what weather and scenery you like will definitely influence what you buy. It’s a wonderful thing that Argentina has a spectacularly diverse topography from the plains of the pampas to the mountains in the west, to the sub tropical areas in the north. All areas lend themselves to rural tourism.
Buenos Aires Province
We have already covered earlier in this article the area around BA but just to reiterate. This is true Gaucho land. Come here if its farming mixed with tourism that you are inter- ested in. The area is gorgeous in its peacefulness and it’s an area that many city dwellers here in BA have their farms which they visit at weekends. It’s the best of both worlds. They have stylish apartments in BA and horse ride a la gaucho on their farms at weekends. It is this area that Susan Barrantes the mother of Sarah, Duchess of York, lived on her huge estancia before being tragically killed in a car accident. The area is famous for its huge estancias of which some have opened their doors to the public much the same way as we have with La Margarita. Certainly if you want the best of both worlds i.e. live near a very sophisticated city and also have a country spread that you can reach in a couple of hours its ideal.
There are quite a few estancias on the market and many are just crying out to be reno- vated and put to good use as rural tourism locations.
Vineyards in San Rafael
During my time in Argentina I have been on many air planes going to different areas looking at potential opportunities. Some I have discarded for different reasons but one area I have found is almost perfect – San Rafael.
It has fantastic potential and it’s a paradise to boot. You can drive 90 minutes to a ski station. Or go white water rafting, climbing, trout fishing, hang gliding – I could go on. It has lovely clean air, the bluest skies you will ever see, pure mountain water and guaranteed sunshine. The cost of living is cheap, the quality of life near perfect and the people are lovely. This is an area packed with opportunities for either starting a new business and a new life or simply for investing in. I have now visited it three times and I can safely say that it is truly a remarkable place. You can buy a vineyard here with 140 acres of grape vines with views of the Andes to die for. And all yours for $200,000 negotiable – and you get an income from it! For $80,000 you can buy a fabulous house with 5 hectares of land, a swimming pool, guest house and beautiful parkland – a perfect setting for making a campsite. From USD$ 250000 you can buy a campsite located next to the river and have the time of your life away from the stresses of big city life.
You could also go into the potentially rewarding business of prunes. I visited a prune farm (no jokes please) with 130 hectares in full production for only USD$150,000.
Just ‘ripe’ for that change of life you always dreamed of – and it’s already in operation. Even if you know nothing about wine or prune production, don’t worry; there are experts who will help you all the way. Some companies take a percentage of the profit while others to whom you can simply pay a fee. There are already international investors in the area, from France, Spain, Italy and America, and the community is growing. Once you have visited it you will see why. Remember, if you only want to visit your property once or twice a year there are people who can take care of your property at a very low cost.
I have no doubt that buying land in this area will be a fantastic investment. Prices are low at the moment but there are definite signs that prices are rising – get in early and you will have purchased a fantastic investment for which you, your children and your grandchildren will be eternally grateful.
In the North of Argentina you will find the huge rivers, subtropical forest, mountains, and jungles and for what many say is the real Argentina. If it’s fishing tourism or ecological type tourism that’s of interest to you then you will love this area. Whilst the areas in the north are in the main poorer than other parts of Argentina (because it is not so productive farming-wise than other parts) it offers those that are interested in rural tourism a spectacular choice of free raw materials just waiting to be developed. The wild life, the fauna and flora the fishing, the climbing, the indigenous population - the list goes on. For many it’s got it all. One very rich and famous American who has recently purchased huge amounts of land here is Douglas Tompkins He now devotes at least six month of his time to his ecological projects and he says that he’s here to stay. Google him, it makes interesting reading.
It’s good to remember that tourism in many parts of Argentina, especially the North, is a new business. Sure, Patagonian in the south has a sophisticated tourist industry, but that is not so in many other parts because in many ways, tourists visiting in any large numbers is a new phenomenon here. Before the crash of 2001 here, Argentineans just didn’t visit places in their own country and for foreigners it was either too expensive or too difficult full stop. It’s now changing. Argentineans are at last seeing what a wonderful and beautiful country they live in and are starting to explore it in numbers, and foreigners are now coming in droves. Problem is especially in the north they just are not geared for this explosion in tourism. Of course all this means that there awaits those brave enough to take up the challenge - a wonderful opportunity in tourism – as Clint asked “Do you feel brave enough - well do you etc (ok I changed it a bit!).
Excerpted and adapted from the ebook "The Argentine Land & Country Report: Opportunities for Living and Investing in Ranches, Vineyards and Countryside Properties in Argentina" by David Cummings.