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The Ridiculously Large Ranches of the Argentinian Interior

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Situated in the north west of Argentina, close to the border with Chile, a most spectacular parcel of land is for sale: 989,000 contiguous acres, with fenced boundaries and a large underground aquifer. Until the 1950s, the land was farmed, but due to limited transportation infrastructure, became less competitive. Now, a new network of roads services the massive parcel, which is 3.5 times the size of Hong Kong and half-again larger than Rhode Island. Power lines have yet to reach the remote tract, but a proposal for a solar power station could alleviate those worries. There's no firm price attached to the listing, but estimates place the value at just under $10M. Save for the rather serious issue of power, that seems like quite a bargain for so much land. Just be prepared to pay a bundle to get a contractor out there to build a suitable house.

? The Estancia Alicura might measure only 180,800 acres, but this ranch in southern Argentina is fully outfitted for both cattle farming and recreation. The property measures 30 miles by 20 miles and is located not far from the four-season resort community of San Carlos de Bariloche. There is a five-bedroom main lodge, complemented by two three-bedroom guest houses, a swimming pool, extensive stables, a gun and rod repair shop, and staff residences. Plus, the resort is supplied with power from the grid, with backup from a pair of generators. Sorry, but the price of this luxe ranch is only available to qualified buyers.

? Once the fort for a frontier outpost, this 19th-century hacienda now sits on 820 acres of recreational land just two hours drive from Buenos Aires in Roque Perez. That acreage may pale in comparison to the million acres on offer in the hinterlands, but the easy access and the historic home make this an attractive option. Once again, potential buyers will have to ask to hear the price. The hacienda is equipped with four bedrooms, four fireplaces, and an idyllic swimming pool.

? For a location with some foreign cache, head to this 47-acre polo estate in the town of Mercedes, outside of Buenos Aires. The low-slung hacienda might not look like much from the outside, but through the tall doors there are even taller ceilings and some remnants of the house's construction in 1889. Yet again, the price has been shielded from the eyes of lookie loos like us.

? Finally, here's one with a price tag attached, a $7M ranch on the Pampa, with facilities for raising cattle and a ranch house with a deceptively hardscrabble exterior. Inside, the stone walls are complemented by oil paintings, chandeliers, and oiled wood furniture, a far cry from a rustic ranch house. At 24,710 acres, the property strikes a balance between the smaller suburban ranches around Buenos Aires and that enormous million-acre plot.

· Largest ever block of freehold land to come to the open market? [Savills]
· Estancia Punta del Agua (PDF) [Savills]
· Estancia Alicura [Hall and Hall]
· Ranch in Roque Perez [Christie's]
· Gorgeous Polo Estate [Christie's]
· Historic Ranch in La Pampa [JamesList]