Duration 4 hours approximately – Check rates and available days
Enjoy a unique experience and get to know one of the most special traditions of Argentine culture. Visit one of the main producers of Yerba Mate, Las Marías Establishment with specialized guides.
YERBA MATE: AN ARGENTINE TRADITION
Argentine Mate is a national tradition we are proud of, the excuse for a casual get-together, a custom transmitted by family heritage, and the perfect beverage any time of the day. Its origin dates back to the Guaraní people, who used the leaves of the tree as a drink, object of worship and currency.
THE ORIGINS OF YERBA MATE
During their long journeys in the jungle, the Spanish conquistadors noticed that the Guaraní had a great physical resistance after drinking this sacred drink. Some time later, the Jesuits introduced the crop in the reductions and contributed to its spread and commercialization, to such an extent that the infusion became known as the Jesuit tea.
The largest yerba mate crops in the country are found in the provinces of Misiones and northeastern Corrientes. In 2019, the production of ground and packaged yerba mate for the domestic market reached almost 277,332,014 kg. It is estimated that each inhabitant in Argentina consumes on average 6.4 kg of yerba mate per year, and this beverage is present in 90% of households.
EXCURSION TO YERBA MATE ESTABLISHMENT LAS MARÍAS
Experience yerba mate production at Argentina’s leading establishment Las Marías. The company was established in 1924 by a pioneer in the cultivation of Ilex Paraguariensis (Yerba Mate) in the southernmost region of the world. With this milestone, he marked the beginning of a series of innovations that have turned this family-run company the world’s largest producer of yerba mate and the first tea producer in Argentina, with a total turnover of 270 million dollars in 2016.
With more than 90 years of experience, Las Marias products are present in more than 40 countries, bringing the flavor of Argentine mate to every continent.
Care at every stage in the production process is really important. Everything takes place in the vicinity of the colonial-style house in which the founder of the company lived at the beginning of his venture. There is the nursery in which the plants with the best genetics are selected and germinated. In the drying facilities, heat is used to extract all the moisture from the plants, then the yerba is taken to huge sheds where it is stored for about 10 months, then it goes through a mechanized process of grinding and it is finally sent to the packaging plants.
In a nearby building, there is a laboratory, where about 12 technical specialists are responsible for mixing flavors in a unique way for each brand, ensuring that they are made in the right way always preserving the same quality in the product.
The tour takes approximately 4 hours. During the tour, visitors will experience the complete production process of this infusion. It includes an explanatory video, tastings, a visit to the nursery and a walk through part of the 30,000 hectares of yerba mate plantations located on the property, always accompanied by suitable guides provided by the establishment.
If you enjoy this type of experience and gastronomic tourism, tasting new regional flavors and aromas, do not miss the Tea Route Tour to learn about the history and methods of tea harvesting and pairing.