We have stayed several times at Estancia Santa Cecilia over the last 10 years. The first time when my children were very young and the last time when they were quite grown up, in their late teens. We all loved it every time. This is a real and authentic Estancia experience, where you get to stay on a working ranch which takes guests rather than in a hotel which has a few cattle and horses.
The location, hospitality and food are divine, but as other reviewers have said, you are staying in the home of a working rancher, not in a hotel and so expectations have to be reflect that.
But it is all amazing. You can choose to enter as much of the world of the Vaqueros as you chose. So, you can laze around drinking mint juleps and listening to vintage Tango on the verandas of a 19th century mansion; or you can herd cattle with the Vaqueros and live the life of a working cowboy from roping, herding, branding and the whole gamut of chores. Your call, but I can tell you that the first time my children got to drive the cattle to their evening resting place, deemed safe by our Vaquero foreman from the rustlers from across the Paranha river, they loved the experience beyond words.
Silvia and her family will make you welcome and allow you to make your own choices about how deeply you get involved. My young son threw himself into helping with the hard physical work of roping, branding and herding; my daughter locked onto Silvia when she was pricing and trading cattle with local ranchers. My wife has always disliked animals but fell in love with the amazing working ranch dogs and her most patient steed! Kate and 'Puchicio', who is the most huge dog I have ever encountered, struck up an enormous friendship. He seemed to know that Kate was nervous on a horse and anxious about our long daily rides. So, he came out with us every day, trotting alongside my nervous wife, a big, strong safe protector. They became inseperable and she speaks with fondness of her great canine friend to this day!
Charlie, Silvia's son even taught us all to play polo on the lawn, once he believed our horsemanship was sufficiently advanced. Which is quite a feat for West Londoners who a week before our first visit had never sat astride a horse.
If you want authentic, welcoming and an extraordinary life experience with the warmest people you could imagine, then you will love Estancia Santa Cecilia!