The Estancia is located in the northwestern part of Argentina in the Province of Salta. A front range of the Andes Mountains lies immediately to the west of the Estancia. Bolivia is to the north, Paraguay to the east and Chile lies over the Andes to the west. The average altitude of the property is 750 meters above sea level (2200 feet) and the highest point is 1000 meters (3300 feet). The entrance to El Rey National Park, one of Argentina’s most remote and picturesque, is 15 minutes by car from the Estancia. By anyone’s definition, Estancia Buenaventura is located in a region of spectacular natural beauty.

      The nearest city of any size is the City of Salta (500,000 inhabitants) about 2 1/2 hours away by car. The little town of Las Lajitas is home to nearly 5000 people and is 50 kilometers away by road; the Tropic of Capricorn is 150 kilometers to the north which means that the Estancia is located in the Southern Hemisphere about where Cuba is found north of the Equator.

      The Estancia itself is shaped more or less like an irregular figure eight. There is a part which is particularly well suited for agriculture by virtue of its flat relief and deep loamy soils and there is a part which is better suited for cattle ranching because of its gently rolling contours and its potential for growing sub-tropical grasses. The two parts are separated by a range of hills that rise up to the highest point in the Estancia. This range of hills is in turn split by a gorge, in places nearly 30 meters (100 feet) deep, called the Zanja de Matorras, (“zanja” means “gorge” in Spanish). The gorge provides a natural water run-off corridor for the sub-tropical rains that fall in summertime. The agricultural part is about 3000 hectares in size (7500 acres) and the ranching part is about 2000 hectares in size (5000 acres). The balance of the 8000 hectares is taken up by the range of hills. In general, the Estancia is quite isolated from other farming or ranching operations. (The nearest place where electricity is available is more than 30 kilometers away!). The agricultural portion is surrounded on three sides by the hills within the Estancia that serve as a barrier many kilometers wide. The fourth side is bordered by an all-weather dirt road and neighbors are distant.

      Nearly 1000 millimeters (40 inches) of rain fall on the Estancia each year. All of this rainfall comes during the growing season between October and May. Then, the dry season begins in June and no rain falls until the middle of October. Because the Estancia is so close to the tropics, the rainfall is torrential and we have constructed a complex series of terraces, dams and canals to control and store the water run-off. The temperature in the spring and summer is extremely hot – sometimes exceeding 40 degrees Celsius during the day. But the altitude of the farm and its proximity to the Andes insure temperate nights. The rainfall, the rich soils and the hot sun make it a paradise for growing crops.

     We plant our summer crops in November, December and January. The harvest takes place in May and June. Our winter crops are planted in June. Our fields of up to 125 hectares (300 acres) each are much larger than is common in the Northern Hemisphere but our operation is quite industrialized and we use large machinery to efficiently plant, cultivate and harvest the crops.

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