The Gauchos of Argentina

Gauchos on the shore of Lake Viedma
Gauchos on the shore of Lake Viedma with the peaks of Mt. Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre in the background.

Like their North American cowboy counterparts, the gauchos of Argentina share a special role in the lore and culture of Argentina.

Renowned for their skilled horsemanship, the gauchos roamed, and some still roam, the plains of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, primarily raising and herding cattle.

Gauchos gallop on horseback

Their free-roaming lifestyle, skills with the horse and reported bravery and bouts of violence were romanticized in the legends, folklore and literature of South American writers.

Gauchos have a distinct, if not more stylish, attire from the North American cowboy.

Gauchos share a mate
Gauchos were boinas (berets) and loose-fitting trousers called bombachas.

The life of a gaucho would not be complete without drinking mate, a caffeine-infused tea made from the leaves of the yerba mate plant that is drunk through a metal straw called a “bombilla”.

Gauchos enjoy a mate.

For more, visit my gallery of photos of the Gauchos of Patagonia.